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Garber touches on CBA, expansion, transparency in State of the League roundtable



With the 2014 MLS season less than a week from reaching its conclusion, the focus now turns to the trials and tribulations of the upcoming offseason.

MLS commissioner Don Garber alluded to those upcoming difficulties, as the league and its players will now head into negotiations regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the commissioner admitted that a work stoppage wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, Garber maintained that talks have been “positive” to this stage.

“Of course we’ve started discussions,” Garber said Tuesday during his State of the League roundtable. “They’ve been formal. There have been a number of meetings with the league management and the leadership of the players union, including some players. This process is now just the beginning phases. We went through it five years ago. It’s just talking about what our priorities are.”

Garber continued by revealing that the league’s owners are currently unhappy with the league’s financials, and that the players have been informed ahead of the upcoming negotiations.

“I’m confident that we’ll be able to reach an agreement that will be good for the league and good for the players,” Garber said. “The dynamic is one that we would describe as positive. We’ve informed the players, in a very transparent way, that the league isn’t performing financially the way that we would like. I think they accept that and understand that.

“At the same time, there’s a wide variety of things that are important to them that we’ll have to listen to and get our owners to recognize to continue to move it forward to try and get a deal done.”

Here are some more notes from Garber’s State of the League address:


MLS is set to see two new additions heading into the 2015 season, Orlando City and New York City FC, pushing the league toward’s the long-established goal of 24 teams by the end of the decade.

Garber was quick to talk about that potential expansion by discussing the recent meetings with representatives from Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Sacramento. The league also has looming additions in Atlanta and Los Angeles, as well as a potential franchise in Miami, which Garber revealed is still up in the air.

“We all know that there have been some pro sports struggles there, so people are questioning if Miami can support an MLS team. I believe it can, but only if it has the right stadium. If we don’t have the right stadium, we won’t go to Miami, nor should we go to any market… We don’t have a stadium finalized today, so until we get it finalized, we can’t make a commitment to go to Miami.”

Garber’s comments seemed to prove slightly hypocritical, given that NYC FC has yet to lock down a stadium deal of their own ahead of their 2015 arrival. However, Garber, who reiterated NYC FC’s commitment to a new stadium, went on to say that expansion is “not an exact science” and that the apprehension surrounding Miami comes from the city’s past MLS failures.

“We know that in Miami if we don’t play in an environment that is in the center culturally, we will not succeed,” Garber said. “We can’t go into a situation where we aren’t because of our failure in the past. Let’s call it what it is. We were in the wrong spot, we were in that market and we failed and we folded a team… That’s not a good thing.

“Times change things a bit, but we’re not going to go to Miami unless we have a stadium site that we are convinced will be successful for us.


Throughout the soon-to-be 20 year history of Major League Soccer, the league has developed a reputation for being less-than forthcoming over its inner workings and processes.

That is something that Garber is looking to fix, especially in the wake of the Jermaine Jones summer controversy, as the league moves into 2015.

“We recognize that things aren’t as easy for people to understand as they need to be,” Garber said. “We look at the Jermaine Jones situation, we had a mechanism, that was the only mechanism that we could have put in place to have Jermaine Jones in MLS.

“There was no other way to do it based on the rules that we have, but the public doesn’t understand our rules, and most of the media doesn’t as well. As I did say in 2014, transparency is a priority. Transparency is a big priority in 2015.”

Part of that transparency, according to Garber, will come in the form of the league’s current processes, which the commissioner says will soon be made more public.

“All of that will be shared with the public after we’ve come up with a way to try and organize it in buckets so people can understand it,” Garber said. “Whether that’s allocation, priority orders, all that stuff that the hardcore fan is trying to figure out today, you have a commitment from me that a heck of a lot more will be transparent than it is today.”

What do you make of Garber’s comments? How do you see the CBA playing out? How would you handle expansion? What would you like to see the league be more transparent about?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. i enjoyed this format but Garber just didn’t say enough in my opinion. and his comments on transparency were a joke. his answer to everything is just to add a new mechanism. but the whole point is if you keep adding more and more mechanism, you have that many more scenarios you have to plan for otherwise you will ALWAYS end up in a situation like you had with Jones. think about it, they have had to create special rules to get players into the league for just about any big name that has come here in the last few years. why? because “there was no way to get them here with our rules”. so he’s just creating a bigger and bigger mess. if he is serious about transparency, STOP with all the mechanisms. it is not possible to think of every scenario and the more complicated things become, more one-off rules have to be created. they need to work to REDUCE these mechanisms and make all rules public. this does not need to be overly complicated.

    i also thought a lot of his responses were hollow or “i can’t answer that right now” when it came to the big questions. for some, i understand that (like what is the expiration date on Becks’ franchise) but most of them should not require this vague response.

    i like Garber, i love what he has done with MLS, but he is starting to irk me in a lot of ways.

    • Jesus Mike… are you nuts? You can’t be asking these sorts of questions out loud! Let’s continue this conversation on the dark net. We’re talking about cricket, right?

      Lastly, we never met.

  2. So Garber learned from past mistakes in Miami
    but he made no mention of the growing concern that NYC FC is becoming
    Chivas for white people?

    No reporter noticed this?

  3. Love it or leave it. Just like with FIFA this is the sport we decided to follow and its run by crooks, liars and scammers. These owners (and FIFA) didn’t get to be rich by being ethical, and they’re not in the business of growing football or making the US a footballing power. Their only reason for putting money down in MLS is to make even more money out of it.
    At least FIFA puts out quality product on the field and in video games. MLS does everything it can to keep their league mediocre. We have nobody else to blame but ourselves.

    • “At least FIFA puts out quality product on the field and in video games.”

      Wow. Yeah– I hear Sepp Blatter stayed up all last weekend coding the goalkeeper AI for FIFA 2016. If only we Americans could find a way to put out a better video game, like the one they make at FIFA headquarters in Switzerland (probably in the old cuckoo clock factory), we’d be set for life! Right?!?

  4. Of course Garber will bring up the losses the MLS incurs and the owners are unhappy.It puts them in a better negotiating position for the CBA
    But you must remember because of the MLS/operator model the MLS uses, even when a team makes money, they don’t make money.That’s because except for some revenues back to the club, teams that make a “positive revenue balance”do not see it right away, as it goes back into the pool to prop up the team that are losing money. Why are teams losing money when there is a new revenue in new TV rights, bigger gates and bigger crowds. more sponsorship. etc, etc? A hundred million dollar loss is not a big loss, divided by the number of MLS teams, it probably comes out to less than 5 mil a team or about 1-2 percent of a teams operating budget.
    Of course loss leaders like Chivas who losses were probably responsible for 20 percent of the MLS loses and is directly attributed to the MLS bad decision to bring that team on board and allow it to sinks. Then there are the small number of teams, who must “rent” their facilities, teams like San Jose. Chivas and even the Revs, who must pay someone to use their facility. And here come the laughable part. The Revs must pay a rental fee to the Kraft organization, as the stadium was built for the PATS, even though they have the same owner. And although the rental is on favorable terms, the REVS will still leel it in their bottom line and is more of a “paper loss”, but still passed on to the loss the MLS exhibits. How much of the hundred million loss is directly attributed to it’s own bad decisions (Chivas) and paper losses lke the teams who rent their own facilities, to show less revenue to the MLS and instead goes into the owner/operators pocket? I’m guessing most likely 50-60 percent of the “loss” is made from their own bad decisions and “bookkeeping” As the League will not be that transparent and release their financial record, except in abbreviated forms, we can only speculated.

    In short, the losses, although real in a bookkeeping sense are really not large. are somewhat contrived and some of the losses are of its own bad decisions. This is something I hope the players union can see can use in their bargaining with the League.

  5. I don’t think MLS has much leverage over the players union as compared to the NFL and NBA. Players have options such as playing in other countries if they are good enough or even making money by putting on clinics and training kids of rich people to play soccer, something some players already do.

    Plus most MLS players don’t make much to begin with so it’s easier to go on strike and miss a few pay checks of $3,000 rather then $30,000. Finally most soccer fans skew towards the left on the political spectrum and are more pro union. Not to mention as a whole I think the general public in all sports has started to become pretty angry with greedy owners who always cry poor but manage to remain billionaires

    • sorry, are you suggesting that it’s the less someone makes, the easier it is to go on strike? You understand that most strikes in US professional sports end because the players (mostly MILLIONAIRES) have spent all their money?

  6. Bla bla bla , this makes me think NASL has a chance or surviving, just a little chance 🙂
    He likes to tease so much and at the end if the day, MLS needs to mature and grow up as a soccer league.
    1. Don’t expand to 24, expand to 26 teams.
    2. Stop crying about your business rules, just have free agency and start talking cba.
    3. MLS fans want answers from everything, so give us.

  7. what a load of bullsh1t. The owner’s aren’t happy with financials? SERIOUSLY!? The salary cap needs to be expanded considerably, the wages some of these guys are making is a joke

    • While I agree that Garber’s position is probably wildly overstated, I can’t say I sympathize with the players simply asking for more money because they believe they are underpaid. If the players don’t like their wages, they can leave. They aren’t playing American football. There are literally dozens of leagues worldwide that pay better– if they think they are good enough, they can go and compete for those jobs.

  8. Don’t you just love CBA time? All of a sudden MLS is on one foot and xan’t afford raises. This despite the fact the league renewed Adidas, TV, and expansion.

  9. There was a graph that came out a few weeks ago that showed salaries and revenue for leagues around the world. Interesting part is how little MLS spent on salaries compared to their revenue. For example Greek salaries were similar to MLS but avg revenue per team was half as much in the Greek League.

    • I believe you mean “twice as much as the Greek League” rather than half as much.

      The basic answer, which I will not beat to death here as I have elsewhere, is that the MLS strategy is all about ensuring team profitiability. That is the bet MLS is making is that the league can differentiate itself globally, and succeed in the long-term, by focusing on the precedents of other successful sports leagues here (namely the NFL), whose growth is predicated on ensuring the profitability of all (or nearly all) of its member teams. The thinking is that this will ensure a more competitive league for all teams, and a better spectacle year-in year-out than they permanently top-heavy UEFA leagues.

    • It is definitely the golden years for MLS owners…but for some that was paid for many years previous.

  10. the league needs free agency and needs to become part of the global soccer marketplace.

    Also, stricter caps on foreign players (let teams have 6 foreign static slots)

    Also..let teams compete for youth players. If a kid from California prefers the RSL academy let him go there.

    Competion improves results and quality, not top down centralized planning.

      • gives more incentive to develop domestic talent. Gives more minutes to domestic talent. In the short run you’re probably right. But in the long run its very beneficial.’s already capped but the # is so arbitrary and clubs can trade foreign player slots.

      • Yes I’m familiar. And you’re right… it is pretty meaningless given the tradeable nature.

        I just don’t want MLS to turn into the pathetic whine show that England has. Their FA and fans b*tch constantly about how “only” 38% of the EPL roster slots are filled with Englishmen, as though their worthless crop of unmotivated players have earned anything more. English players don’t know how to compete. They expect handouts and that’s why they are weak, and utterly unable to compete for spots in the other European top leagues. That can’t be us.

  11. So it would appear the Don is being a little sleazy with his numbers, which of course is to be expected in light of the CBA. His assessment that the league’s franchises are combining to lose $100 million is a heavily loaded one — clearly it does not foot to the Forbes estimate (which showed teams were actually making money on an aggregated operating income basis in 2012….).

    The difference (some of which he alluded to) includes plenty of one-time expenses such as stadiums and club infrastructure, which are investing activities that should properly be excluded from statements about “income”. If anything, one could argue they are bets made based on the rosy outlook for the league’s future.

    Also, it’s not clear that the franchise fees are included here. They may very well not be– that would be why Don stated that the league’s franchises are combining to lose $100 million, rather than suggesting that the league itself is losing this sum. Franchising activities would occur at the parent level.

    So ho hum…. does anybody know what the obligations of the league/teams is to open their books for CBA purposes?

    • It was partially wrapped up in the Mix deal to the Crew. When the league wouldn’t allow that to happen, Columbus still had top allocation spot and Sacha would have had to go there instead. He only wanted to come back to LA so the deal fell through.

  12. So was NASL laughing in the background while watching on line.
    Cosmos: we are gonna tease MLS until they break and gives what we want.
    Scorpions: screw MLS, NASL rules.
    Indy 11: so does that mean we should stay in NASL.
    Minnesota united: god, what’s going on, is MLS for real.

  13. I don’t think the problem is lack of “transparency”, per se. I just think Garber mostly hasn’t gotten around to writing the rulebook yet…mostly because there isn’t one, for a parity-based salary-capped league less than 20 years old. There is simply no model to copy there, it’s mostly just “we’ll sorta wing it as we go along.”

    If he was truly being transparent, he’d admit that. 😉

    • He has rules and he breaks them when needed. No one knows you broke rules if no one knows the rules. Jones and Dempsey are good examples

      • DM, you always point to profligate but unspecified rule-breaking in other leagues as a reason to accept current MLS practices. Is there any limit to what you would accept? How about a secret cabal that assigned all players in order to make for good rivalries, or to help struggling teams, or even to help a good team so MLS could have a super-club? The owners love this system because it controls costs. I understand the need to protect a still-growing league, but no one has ever explained why a salary cap plus DPs, with NFL-style revenue-sharing, would not be sufficient.

      • Brain,
        I understand we have locked horns on this before, and to be honest I don’t think we are saying anything all that different.

        I am not a big fan of the byzantine bs that happens… I only defend it as necessary for the time being. And I think the owners are right to control player power…

        As far as I’m concerned, a salary cap plus DPs, with NFL-style revenue-sharing, is perfectly fine….agree?

      • Yep. But that’s a far cry from the current Rube Goldberg system.

        By the way, DM, I appreciate a good, respectful debate. Always a pleasure.

  14. The problem is not only that the public and the media don’t understand the rules. It’s that the rules themselves are hopelessly and needlessly complex, contain numerous exceptions, and are openly ignored or changed on the fly when it is expedient. I hope the Union holds out for a simpler and fairer system for player movement.

    • I have never heard anyone in MLS ever whine about these things…have you ?

      I am open see it…definitely dont bury my head in the sand. But it is only select fans.
      Why would the players union ? They dont want to shoot the golden goose.

      MLS is becoming the Golden Goose, but right now it still needs protecting, because it is a duckling
      See Chivas
      attendance this year if you dont agree.

  15. I guess Klinsmann just needed to time his comments better. If he made them around union negotiating time, Garber would be pointing at them to strengthen his argument that when you look under the hood MLS really isn’t that strong. 😉

  16. Garber just posturing for the CBA negotiations at this point.
    As soon as the players want more money the league is all of the sudden doing poorly.

    • Just because Garber is positive about the progress the league has made in terms of attendance, TV deals, youth development, etc, doesnt mean they are in a position to double players salaries. MLS still isn’t profitable on the whole. Maybe the players can get reasonable salary increases but I think their biggest push should be focused on free agency and the like. Players need more freedom to go where they want and where they can find the best deal.

      • The allocation order for returning USMNT players is particularly annoying, and it’s led to guys like Mix and Sascha staying abroad, along with several others.

        If I’m used to Europe’s laissez-faire capitalism, the last thing I wanna do is get shanghaied off to (cough, sorry guys) Houston or Toronto if I decide to come home. It’s HOT in Houston. And you freeze your balls off in Toronto, not to mention get guys like Ryan Nelson coaching you.

      • This is true, but the problem is exactly as you have outlined it– returning USMNT players (and indeed, any proven foreign talent of DP quality) will want to pick their destination, and this almost inevitably turns into an “I’d like LA or NY” demand. Without some stated system of levers and pulleys (even a ridiculous one), MLS has no defense against this.

      • And why does the league need a defense against that? Shouldn’t the salary cap, plus the limit on DPs, prevent certain teams from snapping up all of the best MNT players?

      • In my mind, no… it does not. There are only 9 DP spots in these two cities (12 by 2017). You have to have a mechanism to tell certain guys, “Sorry, we can’t give you the LA/NY deal”….

        Sometimes this means telling Sacha Klejstan “We don’t care if your brother works for the Galaxy, there are 20 teams in this league and you aren’t good enough to break the rules”

        Sometimes it means convincing Robert Kraft “We know you don’t really give a sh*t about your MLS team, but ownership will be better off as a group if we don’t let Jermaine Jones talk is his way into LA or Chicago.. and you could actually really use this guy. Maybe somebody on your staff can explain it to you”

        At some point, the RSL’s and SKC’s of this world are effed if you just let these guys pick and choose. Because they will always choose LA/NY, wth a few negligible exceptions based on birthplace or family.

      • That is simply not true. US players typically want to go Home. They are from all over the U.S. so that would balance them out a bit. Yes the areas that produce better talent will have better MLS teams, but isn’t that what happens all over the world? Not everyone is from LA and NYC.

      • Not true huh? Well, you let me know when a DP-quality player from Europe (USMNT or otherwise) decides he wants to join Real Salt Lake.

      • But they all can’t go there because at some point the DP spots are filled. What is so wrong about letting guys pick and choose?

  17. I believe they really are trying to learn from the failure of Miami Fusion, but sadly it appears they aren’t poised to learn the most important lesson it taught:

    Don’t put a team in Miami.

    • +1. Funny I was thinking the same thing last night while watching the Monday Night Football game between Miami and the New York Jets. The stadium was half full in the second quarter. Looked like a preseason game. I was thinking, “Man, MLS is crazy if they reallly think they can put a team in Miam. Even the NFL is eating it.”.

      Then I realized the game was being played in New York. (Well, New Jersey).

      So I guess I would add a secondary rule:

      1A) Don’t put a team in Miami
      1B) Don’t put a sh*tty team anywhere.

      • That game was played at the Meadowlands in NJ. Though, as a Dolphins fan I can say they do struggle to fill Sun Life at times. However, the Dolphins have been bad for a long time so it’s not too surprising.

      • I grew up in Bergen County, about 15 minutes from Giants Stadium (I refuse to acknowledge the corporate sponsor). Let me tell you, IMO Jets fans are losers. Unless you are from Long Island, you probably have no reason to root for gangrene. In New York, the Giants, the Yankees, the Rangers, and the Knicks dominate the coverage. It doesn’t matter if the Jets, Mets, Islanders/Devils, or Brooklyn Nets are championship caliber teams, they have to share the limelight regardless.

        Since no one really is a Jets fan, many people just give away their tickets. Let’s see, a Monday night game in December to see a team that is 2-9. Yeah, I’ll leap at that chance.


        And that’s why it was only half full but technically a “sellout” as the NFL defines both for revenue and for purposes of not blacking out games in the local market (so long as it is sold out 72 hours before kickoff).

      • “Let me tell you, IMO Jets fans are losers”

        What… you don’t like fat guidos from Hoboken yelling “Show us your t*ts!!!” at every female(ish) person they see?

        Man… some people just don’t understand the finer things in life!

  18. Funny how Garber can all of a sudden claim that the league isn’t doing well financially but at the same time find people to fork over a $100 million expansion fee.

    • Expansion fees are a band aid that stop the bleeding, but they cannot continue indefinitely. For MLS to succeed, they need to change their business model and bring it more in line with the rest of the world.

      • Not to sound like a broken record, but I really think you should re-read that Forbes article, Eurosnob

      • According to the Forbes article, only 10 out of 19 MLS clubs made profit in 2013. In other words, roughly half of MLS clubs was unable to make profit. If you divide the $100 mil expansion fee paid by NYFC by 19 (the number of MLS franchises) and deduct each club’s respective share of the fee from its operating income, only 4 out 19 clubs are profitable (Sounders, Galaxy, Timbers and Dynamo). And if you don’t agree with my assessment of the leagues financial state, that’s fine, but here’s what Garber said: “We’ve informed the players, in a very transparent way, that the league isn’t performing financially the way that we would like. I think they accept that and understand that.”

      • Hmmm… well, a few things here. For starters, the numbers in the Forbes article (at least the one I’m familiar with) are actually 2012 numbers, so the expansion fees should not matter in any case, because there were no expansions announced in 2012.

        Regardless, I’m not sure why you would deduct NYCFC’s cash outflow for the franchise fee from each individual team. These teams are not actually losing money because a newcomer paid a franchise fee into their collective coffers. After all, it is a cash inflow to the league (although I wouldn’t put it past Don to be sneaky this way). There should be no loss associated with this.

        As for Don’s comments, don’t expect to hear anything positive from him about the league’s finances until the CBA is done….then it will be sunshine and lollipops for a few more years until the next negotiation. God bless American sports.

      • I’ve no doubt they are (they are third party estimates, after all) …. but even if they are 20-30% off–or even more– the point remains the same

      • why do you doubt they are? idk who to trust, but i don’t think Garber is straight up lying.

        and no, the point changes when talking about profitability if the numbers are “20-30%” off. that is a massive change when talking profit margins.

        either way, no real conversation can be had until Garber enlightens us all on the financials. action is on him, otherwise just have to take his word for it and that isn’t going to happen. his word has lost a lot of weight.

      • I meantI have no doubt that they are off. They are estimates….

        Have a look at the numbers if you like. Decrease each team’s EBITDA by 30% and you’re still nowhere near the $100 million loss Garber describes.

      • My point is that the expansion fees from new clubs fee are divided between current clubs so it is an important source of revenue for the clubs. Take the expansion fee out and the team’s revenue drops. MLS is highly dependent on expansion fees, but it will not be able to collect them indefinitely. But I think you might be correct about Forbes article providing estimates for 2012 rather than 2013, which would make the numbers too old to reflect the current state of MLS. I do note, however, that the article specifically referenced the fee paid by the NYFC so it is unclear if they used the fee revenue in their estimates. What cannot be seriously disputed though that the fee is a large source of MLS revenue as the latest fee was more than double of the annual revenue of its most profitable franchise.

      • Not to be a stick in the mud, but I must insist that expansion fees really are not included in these revenues.

  19. As much as I like Don’s guidance, his comments here are pretty belittling to the players, fans, etc.

    Couldn’t understand the Jermaine Jones process? Give me a break.

    • If people didn’t understand it, it’s because Garber made it up on the spot & didn’t share with anyone the thought process.

      And he speaks about transparency!

    • With the bonus crap since it is negotiation year with the union. Some how the owners are unhappy as their asset (franchise) values skyrockets.

      • Garber to players union: “MLS is not on steady footing”
        Garber to potential owners: “That’ll be $100 million. Thanks for shopping!”

      • Garber to gullible MLS fans: “MLS wants to be considered among the world’s premier soccer leagues by 2022.”

      • well and then when someone references the Forbes article, he says, “well idk what balance sheets they are looking, because they aren’t the ones that I am.” ok fine, a-hole, but please provide us with the correct data otherwise how the F is anyone supposed to know that? extremely annoying.

  20. Garber, “one interesting factoid, [MLS] is spending more on youth development today then it was spending on MLS player salaries, in its entirety, 10 years ago”

    • Yeah, but maybe they should also give the promising 16 year olds contracts instead of whining when they get signed by teams like Utrecht. The MLS should be able to compete with Utrecht for money if it can’t then I don’t see why Garber complains. The young players shouldn’t have to play for free.

      • I agree that it is disingenuous to complain that an 18 year old leaves for Europe with no compensation to the MLS, when the MLS could have signed him to a professional contract (but did not) when he was younger and could not move to Europe. Some MLS teams are even charging thousands of dollars to their academy players for the right to play, I am looking at you DCU!

      • I think the complaining has been about players under 18 transferring to Europe. Per FIFA’s own rules an American is not allowed to transfer to a European club unless his parents go with him and they do so for reasons having nothing to do with soccer. If MLS thinks European clubs are trying to bypass this rule then they have right to complain. And if Klinsmann was facilitating this, which MLS owners claim, that is also pretty bad. It is bad that DC United’s academy is not free. However, the Union’s owner was one of the guys complaining and not only is their academy free, but it is a residential academy with a school. They’ve also hired Rene Muelensteen who is one of the best in the world with regard to training and player development.

      • As you noted, European clubs cannot sign non-EU citizens to a professional contract until they reach 18, absent certain narrow exceptions. There is absolutely no evidence that the European clubs broke the rules with respect to U18 MLS academy players. I think Philadelphia Union made a wise investment in their youth development facility. However, if they think that a 15-16 year old in their academy has potential to attract interest from Europe, they need to sign him to a professional contract (like South American and European clubs do), which would enable them to collect a transfer fee if the player eventually transfers to a European club. If the MLS offers a professional contract to a 17 or 18 year old, who is already getting serious interest from European clubs, it might be too late.

      • i was hoping someone would point out to Garber that NCAA rules really are at the root of the problem in this conversation. if an 18 year old signs a contract with MLS, they are ineligible for NCAA. that is a big deterrent, especially for the parent’s. so they end up not signing anything and then if Europe comes calling, they get that player for free.

        to me, a teenager should be able to sign professional for a MLS academy without the worry they are ineligible for a college scholarship if things don’t work out with MLS, and then that way if European teams want them, they have to pay. look at Palmer-Brown as an example. he can never play NCAA on a scholarship but he took that risk and SKC is going to reap the benefits of that when Juve buy him. but not every kid is going to risk that.

      • True, but if you give a 16 year old a 40k a year contract for 3 years. He can pay for college by the end of it even if the soccer doesn’t work out. It would give both sides what they want but I guess there just isn’t money for it…

      • i think in an ideal world that would be nice. but like you said, MLS teams don’t have the money to pay every youth player that kind of money.

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