(I'm posting this here rather than in MLS General just because I would rather read the thoughts of the posters on this board than the "thoughts" of the riff-raff over there. But if it is inappropriate to post the thread here feel free to move it Mr/Ms. Mod.) We all know the financial argument for slow steady growth, which may or may not be valid. But I saw a comment the other day which made me think about a non-financial argument for the tortoise rather than the hare approach. I'm sure this argument has been made by others but I just haven't seen it. I believe the comment was referring to England and the EPL -it's immaterial - but lets assume it was. The comment was lamenting the fact that England's soccer development and the national team were suffering because the EPL had become so rich that it was essentially a world all star league. Net result is that EPL makes for great viewing but isn't so great for the development of soccer players in England since fewer and fewer of them - especially the younger ones - can sniff the field or become famous in their own country. Too little room when competing for spots with the best players from all over the world, the best Russians, French, Brazilians, Peruvians, and so on. Now I don't know if this is a valid argument in England because they have decent quality and semi-decently paying 2nd and 3rd tier leagues for these young English players to grow in and out of if possible. But the US is different. If you play in the US but don't play in MLS you are basically playing for subsistence wages or worse. So its kind of MLS or bust here. So my question is if the next few years MLS suddenly had a $10-50 million salary cap would American players like Zardes, McBean, Cochrane, Villarreal, etc. be on any MLS roster? And if they were would they get opportunities to be getting first team playing time like they are now? Would the next Wondo ever get the chance to become super-Wondo? How about late bloomers like Cameron, would they be given a chance to bloom? Or would they play a couple years for a USL team (or whatever the lower league is called now) and then give up the starving route and get a "real job?" If teams could afford to fill their starting roster and some of their bench with either 200-400k/yr players from South America or maybe 28-29 year old really good EPL veteranswhy would a coach be drafting Meyers. How many injuries would have to happen before McBean got any first team playing time? The 8 international roster slots per team (unless traded) mitigates the problem somewhat. But I believe LA is only using 5 of their international slots now and in fact most of the MLS teams have unused slots. But given more $ to spend I'm pretty sure those slots get utilized that could easily mean 7 or 8 non-Americans starting for an average MLS team plus a few non-American born that have become naturalized. That wouldn't leave much room on the field for young unproven American players to get playing time. And as the bench quality improved even the US players who are on the roster will find getting playing time more difficult. This year for example if LA had a stronger bench we probably wouldn't be dipping down to the McBean, Cochrane, or Meyer levels because of an injured starter or two. It is true that some determined young US players would stay at it trying to work up from the lower leagues or reserve squad games. But their play then will be mostly invisible to the average fan. Who knows how many kids have been inspired by seeing Wondo go from Chico State to part time MLS player to DP status. And I'm sure that the the success players like Villarreal are having with LA at this moment is inspiring more than one 10-15 year old player in Southern California as I write this. Do we want those great US player stories to be even more rare? So I'm saying there is a non-financial argument for building the league quality slowly and steadily, for not outpacing the growth of the sport in the US and the improving quality (hopefully) of US players. Because if we start paying even at Liga MX levels too soon we may find ourselves flipping channels like crazy on weekends if we want to see an MLS team with more than a one or two up and coming young Americans on the field. Just sayin'. Thoughts?