We know that recent foreign additions of Beckham, Blanco, Angel, Wanchope, Galindo, Fred, Schelletto, Miglioranzi, Toja, Dichio, Marinelli, Pavon, Xavier, Emilio, etc., have been very important for both the economic and on-field growth of MLS and their teams. Every week it becomes more apparent that the best domestic front offices in the area of adding foreign talent will have the advantage. Just Saturday night's scoresheets would indicate a fair dominance of the newly added foreign player. Sure, it's only one week. Altidore, Kljestan, Donovan, and even Mathis all scored nicely last night as well. Still the season scoring lists reflect a similar foreign dominance over the season. This as many of the leaders have not played a full season as they were not on MLS rosters in April. Lost in the above is the unknown-as-yet effect of the development of domestic players and by eventual extension, the USA National team. It's an old arguement hashed over many times in many countries. Brasil, Mexico, Spain, and England all have interesting viewponits both pro and con regarding foreign influx. There isn't much argument over the USA's emergence being greatly helps by MLS and the abundance of opportunity for domestic guys to develop. It is this proven development that is now in question. Whatever your opinion of the quality within MLS a year ago to today, US guys are sitting at an ever increasing rate. The equation looks roughly like the following: Toronto's addition created 7 spots on average for US players (if 4 foreigners). If MLS added just 1 starter from a foreign land (about par this season), that's -12 man games per round for a net of -5 each game round. Make it -11 for sub minutes off the bench for a net negative of -4 (very conservative). -120 man games for US players each year due to the influx of foreign talent. Most caoches, The Bruce included, will tell you playing is a must in terms of making the US roster. This -120 deficiency is mitigated somewhat by the exposure of US players to higher and higher levels of talent and knowledge. Great, who wouldn't benifit from daily exposure to Beckham's soccer genious. The deficiency is exaserbated by domestic guys not being able to play games due to the foreign influx or a vastly lesser number of minutes played - those minutes possibly being at a reserve or lesser level. This in addition to the trickle down effect of say reserve starters being kicked to the bench on the reserve level. Probably the greater effect as game speed is faster than practice speed. For the circa 1999 Kerrry Zavagnin's of MLS, it semingly becomes harder if not impossible to get the quality plaiying time to develop from a cast off of sorts into even a guy getting time much less a stalwart starter. Even harder still to take that into an invite to a Nat camp as Kerry did. Bluntly, it's this class of MLS player that gets the short end of every superstar foreign name that signs into an MLS starting lineup. I'm not the first to mention it. Additionally, MLS has put in place a rule to sign an additional foreigner for next year if not already (someone can clarify this, my editor and staff have the decade off...). Barring expansion that's another 200 hundred or so less man-games for US players assuming a majority of imports start. The US National Team might be good enough right now and/or the increasing numbers of foreign-based players might offset or eclipse and negative effects from the above. The games in Europe upcomming will shed some light on that. If not, the a problem for USA fans becomes that, if Arena is to be believed, the US Nat team will pay a price for the lost man-games domesticly previous to expansion. This under the theory of nothing develops a player like playing games. MLS will always grab the dollars available by adding names like Beckham and Blanco. Doubtless fans will continue to pay for those names with increased ticket prices at the very least. Let's hope we US fans don't pay a further toll by watching our National Team suffer accordingly. I like to be able to watch classy players every week here in the states and the above named have undoubtedly sparked interest, attention, and cashflow. If it turns out the USMNT's best advantage was a domestic league that was heavily domestic, MLS has definitely thrown that away. We'll see.