Category: Major League Soccer

MLS’ Targeted Allocation Money fund is a flawed approach to growth

After weeks of speculation, Major League Soccer revealed on Wednesday a new funding mechanism intended to encourage clubs to invest in players that cost more than the league’s maximum salary budget charge of $436,250. In essence, the league is enticing its teams to utilize both of their Designated Player slots in exchange for $100,000 of ‘Targeted Allocation Money,’ over each of the next 5 years, for use in paying an additional player more than the max salary. Any effort to increase available salary funds and encourage teams to seek higher quality players is a step in the right direction and ... Read more

How Brazil’s Failure Could Help MLS

There are myriad reasons for Brazil’s abrupt departure from the World Cup and honestly there is a sliver of truth in every theory or reason given for their poor play.  One reason, however, for the change in the Brazilian soccer culture struck me as both very truthful and an opportunity for MLS to argue that it truly should be the laboratory for the United States national team. The theory is that since the 1990s more and more Brazilian national team players have left for European leagues rather than play professionally in Brazil.  As they become integrated into European team systems, ... Read more

Young USA Players Looking to Move Beyond MLS

Going into the World Cup, a major storyline around the U.S. national team was the number of key players who had left overseas clubs to return to MLS.  Facing a logjam in the AS Roma midfield, Michael Bradley accepted a designated player spot with Toronto FC to earn more money and a starter’s spot.  Prior to his high-profile arrival was “Captain America” Clint Dempsey’s acquisition by MLS and the Seattle Sounders after a so-so stint at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.  Before being left off the World Cup roster, Landon Donovan had remained with the Los Angeles Galaxy a ... Read more

Failure of USA to Beat Belgium Reflects Negatively On MLS

An easy, somewhat lazy narrative has developed through the years that Major League Soccer has helped the United States Men’s National Team grow. While this is true from a pure standpoint of quality of squad depth, the league has from my perspective not helped develop the very top players. Before MLS launched in 1996, the USA reached one of the highest water marks in terms of success at Copa America 1995. The famous 3-0 win over Argentina, perhaps the best performance for the United States ever in a competitive match in the modern era, occurred on foreign soil, in Uruguay. ... Read more

Could Beckham’s Miami Experiment Kill Local Pro Soccer?

The Fort Lauderdale Strikers just completed a season where the club set an average attendance record for a local lower-division professional club, breaking a mark that was set a quarter-century ago in during the 1988 APSL season. The continued discussion of David Beckham’s potential Miami MLS team has raised concerns about the long-term viability of pro soccer among some fans. Last week’s announcement that Orlando City SC will move from the lower-division USL Pro to MLS in 2015 satisfied the thirst some hard-core fans in Florida had towards the desire to see MLS return to the state of Florida. The ... Read more

Alexi Lalas Critique of US Based Fans Ignores Local Game Outside MLS

In March, Alexi Lalas loudly proclaimed that to be a true soccer fan in the United States, you must watch and support Major League Soccer. “Think globally act locally,” Lalas proclaimed. While the sentiment is nice, the promotion of Major League Soccer by many pundits in the United States tend to forget that the majority of professional teams in the United States are not in MLS, the nation’s top flight league, but in lower divisions that receive little or no promotion from the likes of Lalas. It is these teams, many of which are in larger metropolitan areas than most ... Read more

A Walk Down Memory Lane… Reviewing the Previews

One thing we are not afraid to do here at MLS Talk is to take a look back on our predictions and previews to highlight what we got both awesomely right and so terribly wrong.  Now that the 2012 MLS season is well over and the 2013 preseason is in full swing, I thought it would again be appropriate to take a look back at our March prediction post.  While our thoughts on the final standings and MLS Cup winners overall were not too bad, the individual award predictions had a few hilarious items (admittedly mostly by me). Feel free to congratulate, gloat, ... Read more

Stage Set for MLS Cup 2011 Redux

After only twelve goals total being scored in the conference semifinals, fans could be forgiven for expecting low-scoring first legs of the conference finals.  Instead, tired legs and teams pressing advantages led to seven goals and seemingly anti-climatic second legs coming up on Sunday, as a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup looks in the cards.  Both Los Angeles and Houston have major advantages over the higher seeds in their series and, with LA holding the better record than the Dynamo, the eyes of American soccer could again be turning to the Home Depot Center. In the first match of ... Read more