New England Revolution have been told they cannot replace Shalrie Joseph during his time away from the club for personal matters.
The 31-year old is on an indefinite leave of absence from the club but the Revs cannot bring a replacement player in because the transfer window is closed.
"It's a little difficult because this just came about," said Revs vice president of player personnel Michael Burns. "The [transfer] window has closed and it's not going to be reopened. Teams get no roster relief on a personal matter, so it's difficult. If there were a definite time frame on it - but we're getting into hypotheticals - if there were an extended period of time, more than six games, we could get roster relief but not [salary] cap relief.
"Our hands are tied on replacing the roster spot. He's a key guy for us, no doubt. On the field, he's a leader and a very important player for the team. But we can't dwell on the fact we don't have him. Guys are going to have to step up until he gets back. We have guys who are getting the opportunity to play who otherwise would not have that opportunity."