MLS is an ever-expanding league and with expansion comes adaptations. We take a look at a few issues the league will have to tackle in the near future as a result of the growth.
The league must understand the importance of not becoming an ‘international league’ in which most of the players are of foreign origin; as is the case with the Premier League.
The Premier League has put some rules in place which attempt to fix this issue, but the change has come too late. It is important that MLS takes precautionary action rather than reaction.
This will only improve the quality of soccer throughout the US and the national side will benefit greatly as a result.
In order to attract ‘star players’ the salary cap will need to be either increased or abolished, as it will hinder progression.
Players are only coming over towards the end of their careers due to the current wage structure, mainly because they could earn more sitting on the bench in England at the moment.
The designated player rule works well to maintain a level playing field across the league but the squad’s must be filled with more than just three key players in the near future.
Supply for the National team
The current USMNT World Cup squad plays host to ten players from MLS. This is a vast improvement from four years ago where only four were playing in America.
MLS should be a supplement league in which the USMNT has a vast number of talented players to pick from. This would enhance the league further if the National team were higher up the FIFA rankings.
Quality over quantity
It’s important that MLS doesn’t get overcrowded. The appeal at the moment is that it’s growing very quickly and it’s very exciting.
However, should the league get to 32 teams too soon, the appeal will be lost and interest will decrease. Gradual progression is needed and improving the standard of the league will keep the interest.
Like other American sports; Basketball and American football, soccer needs a high scoring rate. The league produces some great games because of the intensity of attacks.
This has been lost in the Premier League recently with the introduction of managers like Jose Mourinho, who brought a negative mindset to the league.
Tactics are important, but entertainment is what gets crowds in the gates.
The fans want to see goals. Oblige them.