Major League Soccer confirmed on Wednesday that former US youth international Sammy Ochoa has signed on with the league, and that his new MLS club will be determined by Friday via the allocation rankings.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old was a forward for Estudiantes Tecos last season and is currently out of contract. The Mexican-American, who attended Riverside Poly High School near Los Angeles, debuted for Tecos back in February 2006 and scored just three goals over the course of several seasons of spot duty.
The Mexican-born striker played for the USA and manager Sigi Schmid at the 2005 Under-20 World Cup and featured for Peter Nowak's US Under-23 side in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As in the case of Freddy Adu (Philadelphia Union), Kenny Cooper (Portland Timbers), Charlie Davies (D.C. United), Jay DeMerit (Vancouver Whitecaps) and Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), US national team pool players returning from spells abroad are subject to the allocation rankings, which is a pecking order determined by the reverse finish of the previous season, including playoff performance. The rankings are reset at the end of each league campaign.
Once a club uses its allocation ranking to acquire a player, it drops to the bottom of the list, which currently reads as follows:
MLS ALLOCATION RANKING (as of Aug. 24, 2011)
1) Chivas USA 2) Houston Dynamo 3) Toronto FC 4) Chicago Fire 5) Sporting Kansas City 6) Seattle Sounders 7) Columbus Crew 8) New York Red Bulls 9) Real Salt Lake 10) San Jose Earthquakes 11) LA Galaxy 12) FC Dallas 13) Colorado Rapids 14) Vancouver Whitecaps 15) Portland Timbers 16) DC United 17) New England Revolution 18) Philadelphia Union