As is league policy, the terms of Brek Shea's new contract with FC Dallas were not announced when he re-signed last year. Now, it appears he has been signed as a Young Designated Player, at least according to an article that is currently hidden behind an ESPN paywall. Assuming the report is accurate, Shea would count $200,000 against the salary cap as opposed to the $367,000 that normal DPs count.
While it would make sense for MLS to allow this kind of signing, it does counter to what the league stated at the time of the rule's announcement. Back in August, the league stated that the rule was designed to bring in players who were currently playing overseas, whether they be American, Canadian or other. It was even clarified that the rule was not meant to be used on young players already in MLS, as other mechanisms existed to accomodate them. Even the league's website said as much.
That MLS may have tweaked a rule in order to keep a player of Shea's talent is not a bad thing. MLS should be doing everything possible to keep its young players. Like so many things, though, a little more transparency would be nice.
The other explanation, of course, is that the writer of this article simply didn't know what he was talking about...