Supplementing the poorer teams seems most likely in the event that there is some kind of financial expansion. It would also act as a control, like the salary cap – if you want to spend more money, you have to pay into the system, to make sure other teams can keep up. The league is still at a point where unity and parity have to take precedence over teeth-baring capitalistic impulses. Live together. Die alone.
We’re not there yet, though. The league won’t expand again until after the Olympics (at least), and enthusiasm for expanding with an NWSL team may wane in the years between Olympics and the next World Cup (2019). Then again, those off years are the perfect time to get a team established with far fewer interruptions, and by now there some best practices have been discovered for smoothing over the whole process.
For now, MLS involvement remains in the NWSL’s best interest. But the league should just be careful with how and when it welcomes in the bigger names with bigger money.