MLS to expand rosters to thirty players for 2011

According to FC Dallas coach Schelllas Hyndman MLS will be expanding rosters to thirty players next season. MLS currently has rosters of twenty six, with twenty four roster players and two spots for home grown players.

Coach Hyndman says the move is about the added games in the MLS season that have come about with expansion. "The roster is going to be extended," Hyndman told the assembled media at FCD training on Wednesday. "We're at a twenty four man roster, and with home grown players we’ve put ourselves really at a twenty six man roster, and next year it’s going to be a thirty man roster. So our league was very sensitive to the fact that we’re going to ask you to do more games but we want you to have more players. For a team like Dallas, who really counts on our homegrown players to be part of a 30-man roster, I think it helps. Now we’re giving more games to our younger players as well.”

Back when MLS had a reserve league MLS teams carried twenty eight players. The rosters were trimmed to twenty four when MLS canceled the reserve league. Over the last two seasons, as home grown players were added to MLS teams, two more spots were created, which is where Hyndman gets his twenty six from.

With the return of the reserve league in 2011, if logic follows, then MLS is really expanding back to the MLS reserve level of twenty eight players with two home grown spots bringing the overall total to thirty. In FCD's case, two of those twenty eight spots will be filled by Ruben Luna and Bryan Leyva. Victor Ulloa and Moises Hernandez, already signed for 2011, will be taking the two home grown spots that will be vacated by Luna and Leyva (pending a MLS rule change to allow more home grown players).

If they stand pat, FCD will have just two open roster spots to fill with reserve level players, likely chosen in the MLS SuperDraft. This is an expansion year however, so FCD could have additional open spots based on the expansion draft, cuts, trades, waivers, and expiring contracts.