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Canadian Premier League To Update Roster Rules

By on February 4, 2024 0 2276 Views

With the Canadian Premier League season growing closer, some clubs are further along than others when it comes to fleshing out their rosters for 2024.

Those bits of construction have led to questions about how compliant those rosters are within the league’s existing rules, particularly when it comes to the current rules around the seven roster spots available for international roster athletes. As things stand, these require a fifty-fifty split between under-23 and over-23 internationals.

York United Brem Soumaoro
Photo Credit: John Jacques

As it turns out, the international age requirement is a non-issue: sources with knowledge to the situation state that the league is doing away with the O-23 / U-23 roster rule, with new roster regulations expected to be released in the near future.

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That explains why Winnipeg’s Valour FC was able to land internationals Tass Mourdoukoutas (24), Jordan Swibel (24), Roberto Alarcon (25), and now Charalampos Chantzopoulos (29).

The current international rule stipulates that if a club wishes to use its seventh international roster spot, it must be used on a U-21 international athlete. It’s unknown if that rule will still apply, though we’ve heard that all U-21 players will still only hit the cap at 50% of their total compensation, which is currently up to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per club each budget year.

Vancouver FC Renan Garcia
Photo Credit: Beau Chevalier / Vancouver FC

The simplification of international roster spots gives clubs more flexibility in how they want to allocate their use of internationals, though it remains to be seen what else will be changed. Clubs across the league have been made aware of e rule change well in advance, so based on what we’ve seen so far the additional changes will likely be smaller-scale.

Last season saw the Canadian Premier League introduce an Exception Youth Talent category that clubs could apply to two U-18 domestic athletes on standard contracts. Their salaries don’t count against the roster cap, with eligible athletes able to stay in that category up to the year they turn 21.

While the CPL has yet to confirm any upcoming roster changes, fans should expect a formal update from the league office in the near future.

Header Image Photo Credit: John Jacques

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