Previously, MLS teams were only allowed to sign players from other MLS clubs on a permanent basis.
"The loan rule is meant to get young guys moving more within the league, especially if they're not playing for their team," explained MLS vice president of player relations and competition Lino DiCuollo on MLSsoccer.com. "Teams can now execute trades involving loans, without having to permanently give up a player's rights."
On Friday, MLS announced rules for the system, which it says has quietly been in place since early 2013, and was prompted by the increasing number of young players, especially home-grown signings, on MLS rosters.
- Only players 24 years of age or younger are eligible for loans.
- Loans must be executed within the primary transfer window of a given MLS season (Feb. 12-May 6 in 2013).
- All loans run through the end of the MLS season (player reverts to his original club only after MLS Cup).
- Roster slot and budget considerations surrounding the loan are subject to negotiation between the two clubs.
- There are no limits on the number of loans involving any one team (incoming or outgoing loans).