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How will D.C. United use the MLS Targeted Allocation Money?

Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper have some new money to use as the transfer window opens.

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer announced today the establishment of Targeted Allocation Money, which compliments the existing pool of allocation money that teams earn for missing the playoffs, making the Champions League, and other nebulous events. Major League Soccer's press release gives us a little information about the nature of these new funds and how they can be spent:

Major League Soccer today announced that each MLS club will receive $100,000 per year for the next five years ($500,000 total) in additional funds to invest in their roster outside of the player salary budget....

...Unlike general Allocation Money, which may be used to sign players earning any amount, Targeted Allocation Money may only be used to sign or re-sign players whoearn more than the maximum salary budget charge (but who are not Designated Players). In 2015, the maximum salary budget charge amount is $436,250....

....Additionally, going forward clubs may use a portion or all of their allotted Targeted Allocation Money to convert a Designated Player to a non-Designated Player by buying down, on a prorated basis, his salary budget charge to at or below the maximum salary budget charge. If Targeted Allocation Money is used to free up a Designated Player slot, the club must simultaneously sign a new Designated Player at an investment equal to or greater than the player he is replacing....

....While MLS clubs are not required to use their full $100,000 each season, they are required to use the remaining amount during the following year. For example, if a club does not use its $100,000 allotment in 2015, that club must use or trade at least that $100,000 of Targeted Allocation Money in 2016.

This is an effort by the league to encourage teams to sign more mid-level designated players in order to help their team and to help the draw of the league as a whole. This could actually be a boon for D.C. United, because it means they could sign the same type of designated player that United typically signs for little-to-no cash expenditure from the pockets of Erick Thohir, Jason Levien, and Will Chang. This extra allocation is a carrot to the lower-spending teams in the league, and hopefully Ben Olsen and Dave Kasper can find a way to use it such that the ownership will approve.

With the offense sputtering, D.C. United needs someone in the attacking corps to replace what the team got from Eddie Johnson last season. Perhaps some of this money can help towards that end. I also expect D.C. United to trade some of it to the big money teams around the league, and get a proven MLS veteran out of it.

This is a limited amount of money, so we can't go wild, but what would you like to see Olsen and Kasper do with this money? I think that a left back and an attacker are on the tops of most people's lists, but what do you think?