Expansion = dilution?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by djwalker, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Has anyone noticed the level of play getting better because of the contraction of the Florida teams?

    Or to put it conversely, is there enough native talent in this country to support a larger league?

    I'm not making a case either way, just looking for input from different observers.
  2. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078
    ok... it is quite obvious if any league in the world had less teams... the overall talent level would probably go up

    if the same league had more teams, the overall talent level would go down

    it's really a stupid question... sorry it is

    however, there is tons of talent in this country, we could easily field a couple more mls teams... the product would go down in the short term, but rise up above what it is now in a couple of years
  3. djwalker

    djwalker BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 13, 2000
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It isn't a stupid question when you consider that it is really a matter of scale.

    If any league cut half their teams, yes, obviously the level of play would rise. MLS cut 20%. It's not obvious to me that the level of play in MLS has risen appreciably this year. I was asking other people their observations. What is stupid about that?

    Conversely, if MLS went to 20 teams next year, yes, clearly the level of play would be seriously diluted. But if in two years the league expands by 20%, it's not readily apparent whether we have the talent base to support two more full rosters and keep the level of play we now have. I was asking people their opinions on the matter.

    Many people on this list see more games than I do, I was asking for feedback on the level of play.

    Your reply was simplistic and rude.
  4. Of all sports, soccer may be the easiest expandable. In MLS all we would have to do is add another foreigner slot or 2 and we would only need a few more Americans per team. In addition, expansion may be good now because there too much parity. I dont think the games are as good as when the talent is a tad more spread out. If this was the NFL or MLB the talent would be diluted. In MLS we just go out and add some new foreigners into the already strong mix of Americans (just about anyone on any roster can start on any team) and maybe we can even up the roster size 2 players too. This would provide more opportunity for young Americans. Im all for strengthening the A League...but I think talent wise, MLS is in the midst of the perfect time for expansion.
  5. ojsgillt

    ojsgillt Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lee's Summit MO
    If the league were to expand in 2004 I think that we would see the draft become more important. In all honesty how many draft choices are still around? How many actually got signed to the full roster, not just the developmental roster? I think that with the contraction of the two teams that a lot of young guys who could be the average MLS player given time were not picked up this year since their was not enough room on the rosters. Development squads is a hot topic right now with the league front office, once these are established then the league can expand without lowering the level of play through dilution.

    By 2004 I would like to see the full roster at 20, and the developmental roster at 8. The same people who are starting now will be starting then, but the depth at which the teams have will be increase. That will give each club potentially 28 players under their umbrella, more if you have a full development squad ala Chicago and Metros. It is key to keep all of the draft players that are worth developing in the MLS system.
  6. inferno man

    inferno man Member

    Nov 26, 1999
    One thing that is not mentioned in this year of contraction is how many players retired after last year.

    On the Burn alone, for example, you have Richard Farrer, Eric Dade, and Josh Keller.

    That's three players who played a LOT last year.

    It seems that each year the new players are more and more skillful. What I believe that expansion will do is just increase the OPPORTUNITIES for young American players.
  7. jmeissen0

    jmeissen0 New Member

    Mar 31, 2001
    page 1078
    eck retired before the season was over
  8. Quakes11

    Quakes11 New Member

    Aug 6, 2000
    I think MLS talent wize could handle as many as 10 new teams. Yes the talent would drop a tad but that gives 10 more markets a chance to catch MLS action, there is a lot of talent in this nation as it is. MLS can expand without much of a talent drop IMHO.
  9. BenReilly

    BenReilly New Member

    Apr 8, 2002
    It was rude. I think this is an important question. The quality of the league is far, far higher than last year. From a quality perspective, I'm not sure I would want to jump to 12 right away. Frankly, I do not understand the need to expand 2 at a time. It's not that difficult to come up with a schedule with 11 teams.
  10. kpaulson

    kpaulson New Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Washington DC
    True but it would also increase the opportunities for Wolyniec and David Vadreuil-- guys are veterans but not necessarily the most skillful.
    I think MLS would need to raise the salary cap if it's going to expand too far: the talent is there, but more than a few of the younger prospects already won't sign or head to Europe.
  11. fusionmansteve

    fusionmansteve New Member

    Jun 9, 2000
    Waiting in Lockhart parking lot.....
    Miami FC
    No Fusion=Weaker, Less Attractive MLS.

    Simple as that.
  12. kpaulson

    kpaulson New Member

    Jun 16, 2000
    Washington DC
    What you mean is "No 2001 Fusion = Weaker, Less Attractive MLS"...

    I'm not sure about weaker, but less attractive? Definitely...
  13. eric515

    eric515 Member

    May 8, 2002
    Atlanta, GA
    Aston Villa FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    LOL...I do miss that stadium. I don't want to start this discussion...but there is not doubt that Fusion FC went down thanks to being in the same state as the Mutiny. There was no way MLS was going to sacrifice any larger market teams like NE or even SJ.

    I know it is a discussion for a whole other day. On this subject, however, I think with strong sides in the A-League like Milwaukee, Rochester and Seattle, you could definitely argue that the talent for expansion is there.

    My personal example is John Barry Nusum of the Silverbacks. Here is a guy who was 3rd in the Hermann Trophy voting, is a big, fast, and skillful forward. Yet, he was cut from the Crew due to their wealth of striker options. I don't doubt that he would be an MLS'er if it were last year, but he is here in the ATL instead.

    I have heard, though, that this years upcoming draft class is pretty weak. This is all conjecture, though.
  14. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Expanson = Dilution? Perhaps, a little.

    But let's be realistic. MLS is not going to expand in 2003. And it will have a very hard time expanding in 2004. That's TWO years from now. It's not like adding 10 teams next season is an even remotely realistic scenario.

    And, of course, there's a flip-side: Non-expansion = Congestion.

    Unless a fair number of MLSers begin migrating to European clubs every year starting ... well, now, there simply will not be enough jobs in the very near future for all of the deserving young US soccer players that this nation is gradually developing (plus the international developmental players who play here).

    First, I cannot imagine a scenario where a large number of MLS players begin migrating to Europe each year. Maybe they should be able to go abroad (i..e, they're good enough to play there) but several variables conspire to keep them in the US: work permit rules; limits on non-EU players; the downturn in the transfer market; competition with players from other, better-respected non-EU countries (like Brazil and Argentina, not to mention some Eastern European countries); concerns over the status of their US national team careers if they go to Europe and languish on the bench; the fact that at least some US players would prefer to stay home (like Donovan); MLS's obvious interest (and notable success) in retaining top US soccer talent; the fact that, in the history of MLS, very few players have actually moved abroad.

    So, if this theory is right - that most MLSers will stay in MLS - just where are these guys going to play? Every year more of the deadwood will get cut away, fewer marginal players will be seen highlighting their marginal talent on the pitches of MLS.

    But eventualy there's going to be a breaking point. I mean, right now this league is pretty well stocked with young (i.e., late teens/early 20's) future national team (not just US) probables. (At DC United alone, Convey's 19, Mapp's 17, Quaranta's 17, Q2's 19, Alegria's 21, even Ben Olsen's only 25). Every year another crop emerges. Unless MLS follows through with its stated goal of fielding real reserve sides for every MLS team or expands team rosters (and the salary cap) to a far more reasonable size than what it is today, one wonders where all of these guys are going to play.

    MLS needs to expand for a host of reasons. I don't know if "player job creation" is a major reason for doing so, but it's a legitimate one.

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