Fútbol Law: Pellegrini, Carranza now count as domestic players

MIAMI, Fla. (February 4, 2020) —

You might have missed it last week, but Inter Miami CF experienced an internal roster shakeup.

Midfielder Matías Pellegrini and forward Julián Carranza have had changes to their immigration status. Both received what is commonly called a “green card”, which will alter their status on the team’s roster. The pair of Argentines will now be classified as “domestic” players after originally signing with the club as international players.

The pair of 19-year-olds were Inter Miami’s first two players to be signed, with both joining the club in July 2019. Pellegrini joined Miami via transfer from Estudiantes de La Plata as a young designated player while Carranza joined the club via transfer from Club Atlético Banfield.

Pursuant to MLS rules, each team is assigned eight international slots to begin with. For a refresher on the rules related to rosters head over to Russo Soccer. According to the rules, international roster slots are assets that can be traded, and there is no limit on the number of international roster slots a club can acquire, so long as the club is otherwise compliant with the salary budget cap, number of players, designated players, and so forth.

A player with permanent resident alien status (a/k/a a holder of a “green card”) is classified as a domestic player and does not count against the international player limit. In MLS, Canadian players, such as Inter Miami’s Jay Chapman and David Norman, Jr. also do not count as international players. Americans playing on one of the three Canadian MLS teams (Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver) likewise are not considered international players on their teams.

“Both Julián and Matías showed us they really wanted to take the next step of their career with Inter Miami CF,” Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough said in a statement when the club signed them. “We liked that Pellegrini can play inside and out wide, has very good aerobic capacity and can cover a lot of ground, while Julián is a very grounded player with an impressive work rate. He’s the player that strives to score goals and is very good in the box.”

McDonough said Pellegrini and Carranza’s change of status does not affect the club’s roster decisions going forward, as their being awarded green cards was anticipated by Inter Miami.

“We started the process back when we signed them,” McDonough said. “The benefit of that is that we can sign two more international players if we choose to. We can sell them to get some assets back.

“We think it’ll help us in a number of ways.”

For U.S.-based clubs, any player who does not qualify as a U.S. Domestic Player in a U.S. club must be considered an international player and occupy an international roster slot. Per MLS’s official website, a domestic player is “either a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (green card holder) or the holder of certain other special status (i.e., has been granted refugee or asylum status) or a player who qualifies under the homegrown international rule.”

With the recent signing of Nico Figal from Independiente, and the trading of one international slot to Columbus as part of the trade to acquire Wil Trapp, Inter Miami have four more international roster slots remaining. McDonough added “we have a few still coming” when referring to those international roster slots.

Press Release Photo By Inter Miami CF

Published by Ken Russo

My work in the business of soccer applies skills acquired in law practice with a focus on the sport's commercial, communications and sporting components. Russo Soccer aims to inform, educate and engage in dialogue on news and relevant issues in the game. Um advogado por formação, concentro meu trabalho nos negócios, comunicações e operações de equipes no futebol mundial. | Abogado con fundación avanzada en comunicaciones, enfocado en los negocios del fútbol y las comunicaciones. | Je suis un avocat experimenté dans les affaires de football.

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