With the Colorado Rapids exchanging allocation ranks with the Chicago Fire, it begs the question to fans and followers: What does the Allocation Ranking Order even mean?

Essentially, the MLS maintains a fixed and public list of players, known as the Allocation Ranking List. These players are subject to what is called the Allocation Process, what people might refer to as “waivers” in other sports and leagues. Each of the 22 MLS clubs has the ability to acquire players off the Allocation Ranking List based on their Allocation Ranking Order. The order of teams on the ranking list is determined by the reverse order of finish in the previous season (including playoffs).

With that all being said, because the Chicago Fire and the Colorado Rapids finished at the bottom of the standings in the 2015 season, they get the first selection of players on the Allocation Ranking List (Chicago at No. 1 and Colorado at No. 2).

When a trade was orchestrated between the Fire and the Rapids in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft, they exchanged positions on the Allocation Ranking Order, ultimately giving the Rapids the first selection.

This is beneficial for a few reasons, but primarily it gives a team the opportunity to sign a player that had previously played on the US Men’s National Team, the US Youth National Team, or someone who is playing outside of the MLS and wishes to transfer into it. The players on the Allocation List must fit into one of those three categories.

Currently, here is the list of players included on the Allocation List:

Player Current club Classification
Juan Anangono Leones Negros (MEX) Transfer
Alejandro Bedoya Nantes (FRA) Senior USMNT
Deshorn Brown Valerenga (NOR) Transfer
Geoff Cameron Stoke City (ENG) Transfer
Junior Flores Borussia Dortmund (GER) Youth USMNT
Giancarlo Gonzalez Palermo (ITA) Transfer
Julian Green Bayern Munich (GER) Youth USMNT
Brad Guzan Aston Villa (ENG) Senior USMNT
Doneil Henry West Ham Utd (ENG) Transfer
Tim Howard Everton (ENG) Senior USMNT
Aron Johannsson AZ Alkmaar (NED) Senior USMNT
Fabian Johnson Borussia Monchengladbach (GER) Senior USMNT
Fredy Montero Sporting Clube (POR) Transfer
Shaquell Moore Huracan (ESP) Youth USMNT
Andy Najar Anderlecht (BEL) Transfer
Tim Ream Bolton (ENG) Transfer
Alain Rochat BSC Young Boys (SWI) Transfer
Oriol Rosell Sporting Clube (POR) Transfer
Rubio Rubin FC Utrecht (NED) Youth USMNT
Richard Sanchez UANL Tigres (MEX) Transfer
Camilo Sanvezzo Queretaro (MEX) Transfer
Jose Adolfo Valencia Independiente (ARG)
(on loan from Rosario Central)
DeAndre Yedlin Sunderland (ENG)
(on loan from Tottenham)

The Rapids must be seeking a top player on the Allocation List; otherwise, they wouldn’t have traded with the Fire for the top pick. Unfortunately we won’t find out who until later.

For continuing coverage of the MLS Draft, you can watch a live stream of the MLS SuperDraft on www.ColoradoRapids.com or follow @ColoradoRapids on Twitter.