The Columbus Dispatch

Crew re-sign Santos for one year with ’23 option

- Jacob Myers

The Crew announced winger Pedro Santos has re-signed for the 2022 season with a club option for 2023.

The press release did not include any mention of Santos being signed with targeted allocation money (TAM) or general allocation money (GAM).

Santos had a base salary of $817,560 in 2021, according to the players’ union salary database. If Santos’ new salary no longer requires TAM or GAM, his salary cannot be more than the maximum budget charge of $612,500.

TAM and GAM are tradeable pools of cash given to clubs by MLS for discretion­ary spending to cover the salaries of players who make more than $612,500.

Teams are allowed up to three Designated Players, often the club’s three highest earners, whose salaries are covered by the owners. Beyond that, they can sign an unlimited number of players above the maximum budget charge so long as they have the TAM or GAM money to pay for it and they abide by the league’s team salary cap rules.

Santos is not listed as a Designated Player. The release also did not state whether Santos will occupy an internatio­nal slot for 2022, leaving open the possibilit­y that Santos could have his green card by the start of the season which would open an internatio­nal slot for the Crew. Since joining the Crew in the middle of the 2017 season, the Portuguese winger has been a fixture in the starting lineup, totaling 24 goals and 29 assists in 137 appearance­s across the MLS regular season and playoffs.

Compared with his previous two seasons, Santos regressed in 2021, totaling four goals and six assists in 2,561 minutes, but the team still view Santos, 33, as a key player for the attack and for what coach Caleb Porter asks the wingers to do defensivel­y.

“Pedro has been a loyal and dependable contributo­r to the club, playing any role that has been asked of him to the best of his ability,” president and general manager Tim Bezbatchen­ko said. “His work ethic on the field serves as an example to his teammates, and the value he places on his relationsh­ip with our fans shows a deep understand­ing of the culture that we have created in Columbus.”

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