Should MLS have greater foreign player limits for the sake of the MNT

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by Deadtigers, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Deadtigers

    Deadtigers Member+

    Jul 23, 2015
    Independent Republic of the Bronx, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ghana
    I looked at the starting line-ups for the NYRB and Columbus and both had 5 USA players in their starting line-up. I know they got this overturned in Europe due to Kolpak but in the USA there is only NAFTA. I just don't see how we can improve our talent pool if we don't atleast have 8 USA players in the starting line-up for each club. I mean is this something that as the HGPs and Academies improve it can be pushed for? Just an idea, what do you guys think?
     
    bsky22 repped this.
  2. onefineesq

    onefineesq Member+

    Sep 16, 2003
    Laurel, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm confused. It seems that the title is contemplating a discussion on RAISING the number of foreign players per team as a way to improve the American player. However, your actual post seems to be bemoaning that there are too many foreign players in lineups.
     
    Martin Fischer repped this.
  3. Deadtigers

    Deadtigers Member+

    Jul 23, 2015
    Independent Republic of the Bronx, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Ghana
    Greater limits means increase the limits on foreign players
     
  4. truefan420

    truefan420 Member+

    May 30, 2010
    oakland
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think the MLS needs to worry more about growing the business/brand/culture/product on the field before we concern ourselves with cutting down on foreigners.

    It's come a long way but has a ways to go yet.
     
  5. thedukeofsoccer

    thedukeofsoccer Member+

    Jul 11, 2004
    Youtube: Jimmy Dore, Secular Talk
    Club:
    AFC Ajax
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, all MLS needs is more built-in limitations on talent, to go with the salary cap, draft, allocation list, over-expansion, etc.

    MLS has come a long way in the last few years in spite of their self limitations. It's been part dumb luck due to Jurgen forcing talented Americans to be obscured there, part the installation of academies, part being laxer on cap rules, and part just time/momentum. Now, they don't need to set that progress back.

    Expecting 8 American starters per team is a crazy standard. About half the top 100 players in MLS per the advanced metrics are or were American eligible. Nothing wrong with that rate. For the EPL, it's barely over 20.

    I don't see how it's MLS' or U.S.S.' obligation to benefit each other. They are separate businesses. Only NEED to do it in so far as it benefits their own organization. And it will benefit their own organizations as the strength of the U.S. national team and MLS makes the sport more popular in this country. It's not going to make MLS stronger by greatly contriving the percentage of Americans in the league, and it's not going to make the national team stronger with next to nobody making the jump to Europe for their clubs.

    The installation of academies (and hopefully virtually killing off the college route) are the way for there to be natural growth. Let that be the tool (with tweaked rules to be similar to European academies) for MLS and the national team, not a crazy high domestic player standard. And at the end of the day, it yields what it yields.
     
  6. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    my unscientific opinion is no....

    While on one hand, limiting the number of foreigners on the field or on the rosters would increase the number of US players that get experience at a higher level than would otherwise be possible, it would also dilute the quality of play and reduce the value of the experience gained in MLS for those US players that are good enough to compete at the current level.

    American players are getting better and as they get better, more of them will be able to compete at the MLS level even as the quality of the foreign players improves. The MLS is not like the old NASL when virtually all of the American players in the league were token players that filled the minimum American player quota. Now, the American players in MLS are there because they have earned their place on the team. I don't know what the ratio of American to foreign players is now compared to the early days of MLS but I would venture to guess that many of the players in the early days (both US and foreign) would have difficulty earning a spot in today's MLS. That speaks to the growth in quality of the league and the US player. MLS isn't holding back American players.
     
    mschofield and Chicago76 repped this.
  7. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    the problem isn't the amount of foreigners in MLS...its the amount of underrated (American/non-american) prospects stuck on benches in MLS ....the mcinenerny, villareal, poku, ayuk, akindele, powers, McNamara, mullins, etc types who seem clearly good enough for MLS but struggle for playing time. there was a time when those type of players would've played every game.....and I don't think MLS is better now that they don't. the national team certainly isn't. and the chances a prospect pans out are now lower as well. I don't know if theres a rule that can be made to force teams to develop talent better....maybe allowing for more/better benefits from selling players?

    leveling the crazy skewed salary structure cause by DPs.....is what I think would help these types get more time. Clubs hands are tied when they are paying over 75%of their payrolls for marketable "stars". they have to play them even if an unknown player is as good or even better.

    having this exaggerated and tiered salary structure forces an artificial bias towards the higher paid players getting more playing time regardless of performance....a higher but flat salary cap which would allow teams to have 3 or 4 stars and the rest low budget OR a team full of decently paid but relatively equal salaries would result in less politics and more of these players on the field....and we would then start to see more unknown players making breakthroughs. as it is, enough of those breakthroughs are simply not happening.
     
    Patrick167 repped this.
  8. OWN(yewu)ED

    OWN(yewu)ED Member+

    May 26, 2006
    chico, CA
    Im of mixed minds of this, because we want the product on the field to be good, but we also want to be sure we can grow a healthy environment for American players to develop and perhaps take the leap to the national team. I would like to see in another 5-10 years a mandatory three homegrown players on the field (no issue for a team like FCD or LAG, but tough beans for SJE unless somthing changes there. Some teams need the issue forced, and the Quakes seem to be one of them), and two more mandatory on the subs bench or something. I thought we were fine until this new-new rule when LA brought in GDS, thats a bridge too far in the DP department IMO, that should be rescinded for the good of the league IMO
     
  9. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    We can only play 11. We can only roster 23.

    MLS needs to be the best league. Not the most "American" league.

    If it does not become the best league it can be the best Americans will not be playing in MLS anyway.
     
  10. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Campania
    You can find a lot of discussion and statistical analysis on this topic in a thread I started a while ago:

    http://forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/percentage-of-mls-players-eligible-to-play-for-u-s-team.1988430/
     
  11. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    there are just so many hurdles for americans to play in other leagues....they don't have to be good enough, they have to be better than. and for leagues like the EPL they also have to be included in pretty much every national team game.
     
  12. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Let's keep in mind what expansion has meant. If there are 5 American starters per team (and that seems about average), then there are a lot more American starters in MLS now than there were 10 years ago, even if there are fewer per team. In 2005, almost every American outfield player who was a lock starter anywhere in MLS got called into at least a couple NT camps. The standard required to "pan out" has gone up a whole lot.

    As for the players named: a bunch are from the badly mismanaged NYCFC. McInerney is not sitting behind a high-profile DP -- Kei Kamara is on a mid-level MLS salary. Neither is Villarreal, who has two young American players (Zardes and Lletget) ahead of him at positions he plays. Powers starts most games, and if he's losing playing time to anything it's Mastroeni's endless lineup tinkering rather than any particular player. Akindele (who is cap-tied to Canada) appears to be the starting center forward for Dallas next season as both of the players ahead of him are leaving the club (and neither was a DP).
     
    MPNumber9 repped this.
  13. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm going to say no. What we do need is more incentives for HGP; in my opinion, that player should be always cap exempt. That way if the players are mostly coming from the team's territory, the chances are much greater that they're going to be American anyways. The reason being is that we are seriously going to be considering 28-32 teams in MLS, and if we have that many teams, even if they are playing only 5 Americans, that's still better than 12 teams with almost 100 percent Americans. Plus, more players in academies...
     
    mschofield and Mahtzo1 repped this.
  14. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    This portion of the argument I agree with wholeheartedly. I believe that--from a structural standpoint, the other standpoint is the quality of coaching the young players are getting--the single most important thing that MLS could do for the quality of American soccer and particularly with regard to the quality of the USMNT is to heavily invest in and competitively incentivize investment in youth development. Allow the development of a club's homegrowns to be the one real competitive advantage that isn't canceled out by all other parity measures, such as the salary cap, draft and allocation orders, and so forth.
     
    Eleven Bravo and Mahtzo1 repped this.
  15. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    NJ/Roma/Napoli
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Start producing American players that are too good to bench or keep out of the squad.
     
    Statman and TheHoustonHoyaFan repped this.
  16. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    There are very few hurdles to Americans playing in Germany, the Scandi countries. Even the Dutch minimum salary should not deter teams from the better American players.

    If the idea is that the US players will get better by playing on the best teams possible, weakening the teams doesn't seem like it makes sense.

    You only need about 75 USMNT prospects to gather a happy, healthy 23 every couple of months. If you go by a basic 60/40 domestic/ferner league breakdown you need 30 - 40 MLS guys to cull 10 - 12 starters. 3 - 4 strong starters per team should do it.
     
  17. GiallorossiYank

    GiallorossiYank Member+

    Jan 20, 2011
    NJ/Roma/Napoli
    Club:
    AS Roma
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think player selection is or will or should ever be a science.
     
  18. freisland

    freisland Member+

    Jan 31, 2001
    Of course not. But there are currently, according to our friend Wiki 70 or so active MLS players with USMNT caps. So even assuming you want/need everyone of those starting on an MLS team (and that, of course, includes a fair number of one-hit-wonders and never-gonna-bes) So with 20 teams, if you have 4 American starters per team, you are likely starting every single currently active player who has been capped. Drop the geezers who will never get another cap, guys who are retiring and guys going overseas each year and you are leaving a dozen or so new players to enter the pool. If you have 5 US eligible starters per team you get an extra 20 guys you can look at it...

    It just doesn't seem like watering down the league in the hopes of finding a guy on the margins someplace make sense.
     
  19. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    I actually think 5 American starters is a good number that shows some progress in developing American players who can compete. I also am pretty firmly in the camp that would rather err on the side of having fewer Americans getting games in a better league than mandating American players get on the field first and then hoping they are good enough second. We could quite easily have a league with nothing but American players if we wanted to have a crappy league, but then getting a lot of games would be meaningless. With the number of teams in MLS, 4-6 guys per team give a pretty good sized player pool, especially when you add in the guys playing in other countries to the mix. Throwing more lower level players into the bottom of that mix wouldn't improve the national team even a little bit and would just lower the standard of play within MLS, which does more harm than good.

    I think this could become an issue at some point if the league improves faster than American players improve. If overnight MLS became one of the top leagues in the world where players were clamoring to get in, and the American players didn't improve, we'd be stuck with a situation where none of our guys could get on the field. But as things stand, practically every team at least has a handful of Americans either playing key roles or at least getting significant minutes with several young players each year winning playing time. I'm not sure what else should be expected.
     
    Eleven Bravo repped this.
  20. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    The better USL (and NASL) is, and the more MLS sides that have second teams competing in it, the less of an issue this becomes.
     
    Eleven Bravo repped this.
  21. olephill2

    olephill2 Member+

    Oct 6, 2006
    Oregon
    Club:
    Watford FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think, for the most part, MLS has got the formula right thus far. When approximately half of teams' starting line-ups consist of Americans (plus Canadians for the 3 northern teams), that seems like a good mix at this stage of our evolution and with the number of teams we have in the league.

    I agree that it's important for American players to get regular first-team minutes, but it's also important for them to have competition for those minutes and to have to bust their ass in training every single day in order to earn the right to play. That's what you get in Europe and MLS is becoming more competitive in that regard.

    My biggest concern at this point is the contingent of young, promising American players who aren't getting consistent starting minutes - guys who were already mentioned in this thread like Jack McInerney, Jose Villarreal, Jordan Allen, Tommy Thompson, and Dillon Powers - they would've been nearly every day starters 6-10 years ago.

    One thing I wonder is how the breakdown of American vs. non-American minutes differs for attacking vs. defensive players. It seems like MLS clubs are more likely to spend money to recruit bigger name attacking talent from abroad. Obviously, this has been a banner year for American attacking players, with guys like Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan and Ethan Finlay headlining among the league's assists leaders, but it would be interesting to see data that breaks down minutes earned by American attacking players vs. more defensive players.
     
    Fanatical Monk and adam tash repped this.
  22. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    I don't think there is much of a bias i.e. American vs. non-American....I think its more "proven" vs unproven....and even moreso salary concerns. the "proven" players make too much money to bench. a lot of times, coaches hands are tied. I actually think it might be a little more difficult for unproven foreign players to break through in MLS especially if they aren't making good $$$....ayuk, poku, etc. there's a few teams out there that clearly favor the yanks....dc united, revs....and they do well win-loss wise.....but otherwise, there are probably more teams who seem to look to foreigners first...port, Vancouver, Orlando, etc

    the problem is playing time is kinda decided when rosters are being constructed...and not as much as by performance because a lot of times salary plays a role and also the lack of options limits things as well.

    maybe it would be cool if there was more of a reward for developing and selling players beyond just allocation money...like a permanent salary cap bump or something...that would really incentivize playing promising young players.
     
  23. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Jack McInerney, I'll give you to an extent even though Kei Kamara wasn't a marquee signing and isn't that well paid. But the other players you mention aren't the victims of expensive foreign signings at all. Villarreal lost his form over a year of sitting on the bench in Mexico, and two of the three positions he plays are currently occupied by a pair of young Americans. Allen's problem may be more that he doesn't really fit at any position in RSL's system, rather than competition with foreign players. Thompson has played at four positions for San Jose, but he's behind Americans in two of those positions. Powers actually has the second-most minutes of any Colorado Rapids outfield player in 2015; the only thing he's losing minutes to is Mastroeni's constant lineup tinkering as no Rapids player had more than 25 starts.
     
  24. Fanatical Monk

    Fanatical Monk Member+

    Jun 14, 2011
    Fantasyland
    I think the mix is almost perfect right now. What we need in the next decade is more and better academies so that 15 years from now the quality and qty of American players continues to improve.

    Invest in the bottom now to improve the top later. But not some half assed program like we have now. Standardize training. Standardize training for coaches and require continuing Ed. Weed out the fakers soaking parents and promote the good ones. Make DA status more attainable for small and mid market clubs, or have a more comprehensive 2nd tier competition.
     
  25. Chicago76

    Chicago76 Member+

    Jun 9, 2002
    A couple of issues here:
    1) Player movement isn't efficient even with single entity, ie, we can't assume that these players are evenly distributed among clubs, nor can we assume that there is no one in their way into cracking their club XI.
    2) If the clubs go a bit more international heavy, they're probably going to be spending in critical areas like the middle of the field/striker. This means the ability to see time across positions for pool players will vary more as well. A natural DM for example may have an additional player in his way whereas outside backs and mids may have a much easier time.
     

Share This Page