Percentage of MLS players eligible to play for U.S. team?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Scotty, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Not really, given the rapid expansion of the league. The total number of minutes is the more important consideration.
     
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  2. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    this season is way lower than last season. on top of that, i'd guess goalkeepers and outside backs are the majority of players that are even getting on the field....if you just looked at field players, its very low....way lower than 37%.

    the depressing thing to me is what are we sacrificing for? MLS still isnt good enough to win CCL....i think theres a lot of americans who should be playing in MLS but arent. when teams spend mo ey on imports, they play them. why spend money on players and not play them? the spots for americns to get on the field need to be protected better.
     
  3. Baysider

    Baysider Member+

    Jul 16, 2004
    Santa Monica
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Who do you have in mind? Lord knows the Galaxy could certainly use some better players.
     
  4. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    i dont think its about specific players, per se...it's about giving more opportunities to unproven players...sticking with them....and doing a better job helping players improve over several seasons.

    some will blossom some will bust....just like foreign DP's. (without playig time, though, none will blossom..that's the key point.)

    i've seen a lot of players become great players after starting out as not good enough...

    look at players like aaron long, roldan, (even someone who left MLS but is now doing well abroad like romain gall), etc...

    just b/c a player isnt ready at 19,20,22 etc....doesnt mean they won't be in a few more seasons....or that they won't actually become a really good player later on....but sadly it doesnt seem MLS teams generally care about bringing domestic players along...and why should they if they can just buy a foreign player who is already a seasoned pro?...other than, ya know, wanting to actually grow the sport in this country.....

    the players who dont play in the 18-22 range face a really hard task of improving without PLAYING TIME....they need playing time!! the current situation is like asking someone to learn a language without practicing...

    would players like tyler adams, sean davis, muyl, etienne, etc even play at all for viera? i doubt it.

    i think MLS should lower the amount of international spots in the league...cut 1 or 2 off per team.
     
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  5. WheezingUSASupport

    Dortmund
    United States
    Aug 28, 2017
    This is probably the best idea to force some resolution. Easy to say that teams should invest more into their academies but there’s nothing forcing them to.

    Years ago, most of the foreign MLS players used up an international slot. When those players stay for several years they get a green card and aren’t using an international slot.

    It’s not that the # of International slots is too high, it’s that there are many more green card players representing other countries (or would if they were good enough).

    That’s why teams like Portland and NYCFC can field so many foreign players at once.

    There’s nothing I can foresee changing this, and our league will become the laughing stock of domestic play when our -% of domestic minutes becomes far worse than England’s.
     
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  6. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    While I agree that the percentages are depressing, it should be tempered somewhat by several considerations:

    1. the league has grown in the number of teams. As a result, the decrease in percentage does not represent the same numerical decrease. Without looking it up, I believe I remember that the numbers of Americans playing has dropped as well but not such significant numbers.

    2. The overall quality of the league has improved. As a result, the US players that are playing are playing at a higher level.

    3. USL has grown significantly in the past few years. The league has only been around in its current form since 2011 but has grown from 14 teams to the current 33 teams in just the past 4 years! That kind of growth is giving more young Americans a chance to play professional soccer. The next step is to see how many of those will successfully make the leap from USL to MLS or Europe. Most of USL's recent growth can probably be attributed to MLS's partnership and it will probably slow in the next few years but I would still expect continued growth.

    4. USL is planning a D3 league. If they can do that then the pipeline for young Americans to MLS becomes more complete and hopefully will have a positive effect on the numbers of Americans playing in an improved MLS.

    I am not saying that all is rosy and positive but there is an awful lot to be optimistic about. As the academies mature and MLS teams learn to use their academies and the USL pathway (both their own USL teams and unaffiliated teams), more and more young Americans will develop and play important roles in an improving MLS.
     
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  7. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

    Apr 3, 2009
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hate to hang a dreary storm cloud over this sunshine, but I completely disagree that currently MLS gives a US fan an "awful lot to be optimistic about."

    Even if this were just about numbers, the picture here is gloomy. What makes things worse is that this is more than just about the sum of minutes given to American players.

    It is about the type of roles American players are being asked to play. And it is no secret that what American players in MLS are for the most part asked to do, is support creative, attacking players from somewhere else.

    The math on this, as it relates to the US Program, is pretty simple:

    (Less overall minutes) * (less minutes given to creative players) = (pedestrian US team)

    I believe that MLS currently gives more minutes to creative players from other CONCACAF countries than it does US-eligible players. If true, the league is doing a better job developing other countries in the region that it is the US team.
     
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  8. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    #433 adam tash, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    not sure how long you have followed MLS but I have been around since day 1.

    the thing that bothers me so much about this current version of MLS i.e. the USMNT is that the exact same types of players who used to get a chance in MLS to be a starter for a season or 2 at least - some of whom would blossom into key players for the USMNT as a result of that chance- aren't even getting a decent shot anymore.

    so yeah....you can say the same # of americans are playing in MLS as before....but that papers over what kind of chances they are actually getting....and the higher # of players that are coming through the system now that MLS is a legit goal for youth players. there should be more than there were in the 90's!!! and the ones that do breakthrough should be better international players than ever before....not worse/the same...as it seems from the last couple of years of USMNT debuts from MLS.

    the dempseys, holdens , camerons beasleys etc....aren't getting their chance anymore...those guys are out there...they just arent getting onto the field now. the only way to find them is to let them play.

    I realize MLS isnt a USMNT farm team but the pendulum has swung so far away from supporting the USMNT that something must be done...as it is in almost every other country that is decent in soccer. they all protect their domestic players.
     
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  9. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    We've seen a slight increase in Americans starting as the season has went along. This usually does happen, as the high-priced foreigners have to start earning their spots mid-season.

    Number of US-eligible starters from most recent MLS game for each team:

    Orlando: 5
    RSL: 6
    Portland: 2
    San Jose: 5
    SKC: 5
    Colorado: 3
    Houston: 4
    LAG: 4
    Chicago: 4
    Atlanta: 5
    Seattle: 6
    Columbus: 6
    LAFC: 4
    FCD: 4
    Minnesota: 4
    Vancouver: 1
    NYRB: 5
    NYCFC: 2
    Montreal: 3
    New England: 5
    Toronto: 3
    Philly: 5
    DC: 5

    96/253=38%

    Number of US-eligible starters from first match of the season from each team:

    Orlando: 4
    RSL: 5
    Portland: 1
    San Jose: 4
    SKC: 4
    Colorado: 4
    Houston: 5
    LAG: 2
    Chicago: 4
    Atlanta: 4
    Seattle: 6
    Columbus: 3
    LAFC: 2
    FCD: 4
    Minnesota: 2
    Vancouver: 1
    NYRB: 5
    NYCFC: 2
    Montreal: 3
    New England: 5
    Toronto: 6
    Philly: 5
    DC: 3

    84/253=33%
     
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  10. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    what are the #'s if you take out GK?

    GK has to be the position with the highest % of us-eligible players...and the least relevant to the USMNT (it's not like the USMNT needs to be 20-deep at GK)
     
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  11. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    week of 4/27

    20 of 22 starting GK were us-eligible.

    68/220 field players were us-eligible (which I think is higher than a lot of weeks this season) = 30.9%
     
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  12. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    Last match: 33%
    First match: 29%
     
  13. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    For the 2008 MLS Season, only 3 US-eligible players--Donovan, Chris Rolfe, and Brad Davis--were in the top 10 for assists. Of those 3, only Donovan--his generation's Pulisic--was a significant contributor to the National Team. In other words, over the years, American soccer has always produced little in the way of creative types.

    The equivalent numbers for the 17/18 European season:
    EPL: 2/10
    La Liga: 2/10
    Serie A: 3/10
    Ligue 1: 6/10
    B1: 8/10 :eek:

    Gold Star to the Germans. They don't mess around when it comes to development.
     
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  14. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    I think you make good points. I would be interested in looking at who the potential creative players from the US are and where they are playing (ie Europe vs MLS). I would be interested in seeing a list of players (and ages) filling those requirements from posters that know much more about it than me.

    My impression is that many (most?) of the creative US players in MLS that people have high hopes for are still quite young (Carlton, Pomykal etc). There are a few others like Roldan, Lleget, maybe Delgado (I'm trying to avoid the older players like Feilhaber). I don't really see how that is too much different than the earlier days of MLS when the typical MLS team had a player like Cienfuegos, Pibe, Etcheverry etc running the show from central midfield. Who were the US creative mids? Donovan, Ramos, Ralston and a few others I guess but they were generally already established before they began with MLS (I'm probably forgetting someone). Holden is one that comes to mind. Also Mathis. Dempsey played defensive mid in New England if memory serves me right (although I think he scored quite a few).

    So, while I agree that we need those creative types and they need to play, I think that most of our best talent in that area is younger and perhaps a few years away from full impact. We have several 16-18 year old players that are the constant topic of conversation. One good thing is that now those players can be getting valuable experience with USL teams (at least if their parent club has a USL team) if they aren't quite ready for MLS. We should be seeing the results pretty soon.

    So, for now, the fact that we have McKennie (not a product of MLS but of MLS academy), Adams, Durkin, Roldan, Delgado, Lleget, Nagbe etc to choose from will hopefully give us enough so that we will have several top quality players and combined with guys like Pulisic, Sargent, Weah, Parks and other European players (I dont expect all to be Pulisic's level....but some will likely be pretty good) I think our team has a great deal of potential to be much improved and I think MLS will play a part in that.

    Personally I'm not that worried about our lack of creative players in MLS because I am hoping that it is somewhat temporary. I have faith that the young guys will end up breaking down the doors. (I could be wrong)
     
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  15. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    #440 Mahtzo1, May 9, 2018
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
    I've been watching from the beginning too. I probably saw more of it then than I do now just because I have less time now. I usually tape several games each week and end up watching half of those that I tape.

    My impression is that MLS is still giving chances to the players you mention. Early MLS, the typical player began getting time at 21-22 after college. guys like Dempsey and Cameron, Eddie Lewis, Holden I believe were all relatively unknown but fought their way to a successful career. Makes me think of Roldan. Acosta. Too early to tell for sure but Mueller. Time will tell if any climb anywhere near the heights but they are still similar in that they are young Americans that were relatively unknown or at least unhyped and have earned spots and become important parts of their teams. Beasley (part of our "golden generation" doesnt really fit into this category in my mind.)

    I believe it is obvious that MLS hasn't really figured out how to deal with the young players (Under 20) but I think going forward the truly exceptional talents will step right in to MLS at a very young age while the vast majority will take a year or more of seasoning in USL before integrating into MLS at a typical age of 18-22 depending on the quality and maturity of the player.

    So, what we have to look forward to is USL taking over College's role as a link between youth and professional soccer. Academies continuing to improve and reaching further down in age so that players are in the academy system for a longer period of time and MLS getting a higher quaility of rookie American.
     
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  16. Baysider

    Baysider Member+

    Jul 16, 2004
    Santa Monica
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    In some ways, 96 is a lot of players. How many of those are national team quality? Maybe a dozen? I find it hard to believe that there are a significant number of potential-national-team-quality players who can't contribute enough right now to make the 96. You're going to be looking at the players who can't contribute but you play them anyway on the off chance they might turn out to be fantastic. That's hard for a coach to do.


    This I think is the bigger problem. This forum is overreacting to one player who ended up in a bad position, but there are structural difficulties that are still being worked out.
     
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  17. ussoccer97531

    ussoccer97531 Member+

    Oct 12, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I agree this is the issue. There are enough Americans who start in MLS, but a lot of them have no real chance of helping the NT. There are two groups of players who are taking minutes and spots away from them, the older Americans and the foreigners. I think its a combination of the two.

    There are still clubs who will play a mediocre American over a young American with potential, but just because a good amount of Americans get minutes in MLS doesn't mean that foreign players aren't an issue here. They usually are better than the average American journeyman, they have bigger salaries, they have bigger pedigrees and get longer leashes. I think figuring out how to get younger players playing time deals with clubs being more willing to play younger players, which I think will lead to more American journeyman being phased out. And putting some restriction on foreign players or a much bigger incentive to play young Americans, which I think will deal with the problem of the foreign players.
     
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  18. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Opening week was 34.8% US-eligible. The season-to-date numbers have since risen to 38.86%. The past week was the best week yet for US-eligible minutes, owing in large part to the international break. US-eligible numbers should continue to do well this summer, with a number of key international starters absent for the WC. In years past, the US-eligible numbers have typically declined in the late summer as midseason foreign acquisitions get settled and push incumbents out of jobs.

    The non-GK numbers are current 34.3%, though.
     
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  19. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Cumulative US-eligible minutes have now hit 40% of the MLS total. Things have been trending up over the course of the spring and early summer, as is typical. I think clubs start to fall out of love with some of their foreign signings and some local talent makes their push. The WC also helped, with various key non-American starters absent and, of course, all Americans present.

    We'll see, but things might start to tip the other way sooner or later. The summer window comes with another influx of foreigners, which tends to drive down US-eligible minutes in this section of the season.
     
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  20. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    so i just went and looked at field players only for august 22-28

    and looked at # of us-eligible players per starting lineup....

    might have been a few mistakes....apologies for any i missed.

    1. Port – 1
    2. Sea – 3
    3. Nyrb – 4
    4. Dc – 4
    5. Sj – 1
    6. Van – 2
    7. Colorado – 6
    8. Rsl – 5

    1. Skc- 4
    2. Minn – 5

    1. Mtl – 1
    2. Phi – 6
    3. Ne revs – 4
    4. Lag – 5
    5. Lafc – 5
    6. Orl – 4
    7. Atl – 2
    8. Hou – 2
    9. Dal – 3
    10. Chi – 3
    11. Columbus – 4
    12. Nyrb – 5
    13. Nycfc -2
    14. Tfc – 5
    interesting to me is:

    of the 6 teams that played either1 us-eligible player (3 times) and the teams that played 2 us-eligible players (3 times)...ALL ARE FOREIGN COACHES.

    Some foreign coaches in MLS did play a lot of us eligible players this week...so it isnt as if all foreign coaches are not playing any americans....

    but i find it odd that of the 6 lineups with only 1 or 2 americans ALL 6 were put out by non-americans...hmmmm

    also...how is it even possible if teams only have 8 intl slots for 3 teams to put out a starting lineup with only 1 us-eligible field player??? even if they traded for more slots it would be hard.

    BTW average of about 3.5 us-eligible field players per lineup....
     
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  21. STR1

    STR1 Member

    May 29, 2010
    McAllen, TX
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That is kind of bad. And specially if you look at the majority of these foreign players that are playing instead of US eligible players, aren't that very good to begin with. I understand of a foreign player that was taking up a spot is actually of good quality but reality is that most of them are not, they are just fillers brought in with TAM or whatever else it is called. I am not saying all foreigners are bad, there are some very good ones but others just don't make sense at all. Makes you scratch your head sometimes as to why they were even brought in the first place. Hopefully we start seeing a bunch of academy players that are really good start pushing out some of the foreign players that are just brought as fillers.
     
  22. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
  23. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Not odd at all. Job hiring is in significant part a who-you-know process. It's like when Wenger went to Arsenal; he brought over a bunch of Francophone players.
     
  24. Heist

    Heist Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Lots of green cards. I don't know how many MLS players (particularly starters) have them, but I'm sure it's a lot.
     
  25. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    I agree with this 100%....I think it is a matter of....justifying the money spent in a way. Managing appearances is a big part of keeping management jobs in sports....and it doesnt look good if youre spending a bunch of money on players and not playing them. it opens decision-makers up to way more criticism when big money players dont work out than when end of the roster players dont.
    meanwhile americans in europe were scoring in bunches....kinda crazy when you think about it that the EU contigent of the usmnt pool significantly outscored the mls-contigent...it doesnt seem like it should be possible.
    any chance mls can start tweaking the intl spot rules? maybe make them non-transferable and make green card players count as intl for roster purposes?
     

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