Salary Cap: MLS Needs to Make Up Its Mind

Ken FossAnalyst IMarch 9, 2008

David Beckham's arrival signaled many things, among them a new Designated Player rule. This change is why its legal for the Galaxy to pay him anywhere from $100-250M for five years work.

But take a look across the rest of that team. $2M per season is just not enough any more for a team of 25. How can tension not develop, when Beckham is richer than anyone can imagine, and his teammates are filing for food stamps.

If we don't act fast we'll lose players like Jose Altidore, as they look to take the plunge overseas. A large majority of our American National team already plays in Europe. To keep talent the league will to have to pay talent—but that's just part of the problem.

How can sponsors or fans take the league seriously if the median player age is 22, with 10 Team Adidas players that don't count against the cap? How is it going to be once Blanco, Schelletto, Beckham, and Xavier drop off and we continue to export our talent?

The MLS needs to understand that with the pace of expansion and construction of new soccer-only fields, the time to act is now. Either lift the cap entirely, or raise it to $25-50M US.

If that happened, the League could tap the Periguan, Honduran, Canadian, Brazilian, and Argentinian pipelines and really develop the league. Leagues need stars to sell their brand. One 34-year-old Englishmen, and a fat, firey Mexican isn't enough.

 

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