The "core player" rule is still not official, but details are slipping out and we are getting a better idea of just what the new rule will mean for Major League Soccer and the Portland Timbers.
Yahoo's Kristian Dyer has the latest tidbits on the rule, breaking down the potential salary cap implications that cast it as a fourth designated player slot with a lower maximum salary allowed.
A source told Yahoo Sports that a Core Player is a current Designated Player who makes more than the league's maximum salary of $436,000 but less than $750,000.
The rule will not change the salary cap, which is controlled directly by the league's collective bargaining agreement. What it will change, according to Dyer's article, is the allocation money being given to teams by the league, which can be used to pay down a player's salary.
The interesting twist is the money: $100,000 a year per team over the span of five years. It can be used in one lump sum, so, in the case of the Galaxy, that flexibility would allow the defending MLS champions to add Dos Santos to their lineup.
For the Timbers the team could certainly use that new infusion of allocation money to pay down the salary one of their current three designated players below the threshold required to fall under the core player rule and could use the rest to find the room under the salary cap for a fourth designated player sized hit.
If the Timbers can pay down just one of their designated players to be a core player, as the LA Galaxy likely will with defender Omar Gonzalez, the only limitation on what the team will be able to spend on a new designated player will be Merritt Paulson's pocket book and international market.
There is always a possibility that the Timbers may not make use of the core player rule at all this season, but the team is almost certainly taking a long look at the possibilities that open up with this new rule.