The Major League Soccer website has this nice feature where they provide a summary of the current rosters for each team. Sometimes there can be some interesting information that’s overlooked. Hat tip to Jermiah Oshan of Sounder at Heart for finding this.
Every team in MLS gets eight international slots for their roster each year. The New York Red Bulls though, have a permanent ninth slot. What does permanent mean?
This slot, according to the MLS website, was acquired from the Houston Dynamo in 2009. The screen shot below is from the Red Bull roster page, which was last updated on July 28th.
Only one other team in MLS has completed a trade to get an extra spot. The Colorado Rapids acquired one from Real Salt Lake in 2010 in exchange for Adolfo Gregorio.
So how did the Red Bulls get an extra international slot? Since the website did not provide a link to details about the trade, it was up to Google to tell us why. All that turned up was a trade between the Red Bulls and the Dynamo in May of that year.
The Red Bulls sent Dominic Oduro, who had played in all of three matches for the Red Bulls, to the Dynamo in exchange for a 2010 1st round draft pick and a 2011 2nd round draft pick. Given that no other trade seems to have been made between the two teams in 2009, it makes sense that the international slot was part of the trade, but was not reported. MLS isn’t exactly known for being 100% transparent, so this wouldn’t be a surprise.
What does this mean for the Red Bulls? Not much considering that the international slot is not being used, to go along with a total of 4 roster spots at the moment. It does mean that they have the ability to get another international player. Now if the team would only just loosen up the purse strings on some of that Dax McCarty trade money before the 9th...