The MLS Designated Player Arms Race

The MLS Designated Player Arms Race

Major League Soccer

The MLS Designated Player Arms Race


HenryAngel (

Photos by Howard C. Smith/

Designated Players are being signed, rumors are flying, and some of the sports biggest names appear to be heading to Major League Soccer.

Yes, the times are changing.

Thanks to new MLS rules that allow teams to sign as many as three Designated Players, teams all over the league are signing or preparing to sign big-name players who may not have been otherwise signed if not for the rule change.

Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho,Rafael Marquez and Nery Castillo are names most MLS fans wouldn't have pictured all converging on MLS so suddenly, but it's clear that teams aren't being shy about spending money on big names.

Could MLS be heading for a spending war as the league's big market teams flex their muscle while smaller market teams try to find ways to keep up?

Here is my take on this new development for Fox Soccer. There is no denying that the league's landscape is starting to change dramatically thanks to the new rules, and it will be up to teams across the league to decide how best to handle the changes.

What do you think of the influx of Designated Players? Happy to see it? Worried the league is overspending or loosening the purse strings too quickly?

Share your thoughts below.

Thierry Henry (HowardCSmithISI)

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