MLS rules explained: The 'U22 Initiative' and Ayo Akinola
We explain the intricacies of the league's U22 Initiative and why the Canadian forward's cap hit is much lower than his actual salary.
In a continuing series at TFC Republic, we'll look at some of Major League Soccer's more arcane roster rules and break them down by using real-life examples so that they are easily understandable.
In this week's edition: we explain the intricacies of the league's U22 Initiative and how it applies to Ayo Akinola.
Last week, the MLS Players Association released salary information for every MLS player following the league's recently closed primary transfer window.
People were able to see who was earning what this season, and it led to a slew of debates as to who were the league's most under- and over-paid players.
One player contract that caught the attention of some TFC fans was Ayo Akinola's deal. The consensus seemed to be that the Canadian international hasn't lived up to his contract, which will pay him $771,875 in 2023. But that number is very misleading because his salary cap hit is actually much lower due to the MLS U22 Initiative.