Editorial (April 28, 2017) – For those of you living under a rock, LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers has been out for awhile after off-season foot surgery. It came out recently that Rogers is probably going on the MLS Season-Ending Injury List. There’s some speculation as to whether Rogers is every going to play again (TBD for now). So what exactly is the Season-Ending Injury List? What can the Galaxy get out of putting Rogers on that list? Let’s break it down.
Robbie Rogers On MLS Season-Ending Injury List: What Do The LA Galaxy Get From That?
Rogers had foot surgery back in December. It turned out he was having trouble gaining feeling back in his foot. That issue has persisted. There’s been speculation about whether or not Rogers was considering retirement because of this. No word on that right now. It’s pretty clear now that the 29-year-old won’t be back anytime soon (as in months). Hence the Galaxy contemplating putting him on the Season-Ending Injury list.
Season-Ending Injury List Rules:
So what exactly are the rules about this? First of all, let’s clarify that this is for a senior squad player (not a supplemental or reserve roster player). And this is for Rogers being put on the Season-Ending Injury List (rather than the Short-Term Injury/Disabled List. So based on the 2017 MLS Roster Rules and Regulations, here’s the cliff notes version:
1. The Galaxy will receive an open roster spot (the one Rogers was occupying), giving them two senior roster slots open at the time of this article.
2. Rogers will not be eligible to play in any competition for the LA Galaxy (MLS regular season, playoffs, U.S. Open Cup, friendlies, etc.). Should Rogers magically get feeling back in his foot, he is eligible to play for LA Galaxy II.
3. The Galaxy are still responsible for paying the full Salary Budget Charge for Rogers, a guaranteed compensation of $233,500.
4. The Galaxy can pursue getting budget relief. They’re able to do this because Rogers fulfills the following requirements:
– He makes at least $100,000.
– His injury was suffered prior to the end of the Primary Transfer Window (February 14 – May 8, 2017).
5. The replacement player must be signed to the roster during the Primary Transfer Window (by May 8, 2017). That player can’t make more than Rogers ($233,500 prorated for the full season). The club will be responsible for that player’s salary. It won’t count against the budget (so effectively, Rogers counts against the budget, but his replacement won’t). MLS teams can only sign one Season-Ending Injury Replacement Player each year.
So What Can The Galaxy Do?
They can do one of a few things. $233,500 is a lot of money in MLS. They could certainly go sign a quality starting caliber player. They’ve only got about a week to do it though with the May 8th deadline coming up. That’s not a lot of time.
It’s also unclear what position they should target with that roster spot and money. This team has a lot of issues right now. The midfield is disorganized. They aren’t scoring goals. And the defense is going through some growing pains. They could use help/and upgrade at several positions.
They just signed Jack McInerney, so they probably won’t go after a forward. Given how much they invest in Joao Pedro and Jermaine Jones, they probably aren’t going to sign a central midfielder who will unseat them as starters.
They could go like-for-like and get a right back to play where Rogers would have been starting. Full backs are one of the less expensive positions in MLS and they could certainly get a starter in MLS or abroad at $230,000.
The Galaxy have TAM and a few Homegrowns sitting on the bench who would be decent trading chips if it comes to that.
We’ll have to wait and see. The answer to this question could change significantly based on the results of this weekend’s must win match against the Philadelphia Union. It’s probably a wait and see what happens in that game.
Whatever happens, the Galaxy will need to act fast. May 8th is a week from Monday.