Sunday, March 22, 2009

Is Major League Soccer (MLS) paying Attention?

Great! The 2009 Major League Soccer( MLS) season is here. Who knows what this year holds? New team Seattle gave a grand entrance by taming 2008 finalists, the New York Red Bulls. Thumbs up for the New England Revolution!

The sad thing, though, is that the league is growing at a far slower rate than that of the supply of new Soccer talent. As a result the contract deals for players are rapidly falling in value. In addition , many drafted young players are still out of contract. Does MLS have any immediate solutions to this problem before the Sport loses its valuable talent? Most of this talent comprises of young college graduates who have real lives to lead. At the present going rate of pay, there's no incentive to continue persuing a Sport that will take them nowhere in life.
Even teams of the other two Divisions, United Soccer Leagues' (USL1 and USL2), are limited on the capacity of their rosters. Besides, due to the increase in MLS division discharges, other divisons are considering former MLS players before new players and getting rid of some of their previous players. The pay being is really absurd. How about the players with families... how are they expected to survive on monthly pays that are averaging $2000 a month without accomodation included? Is there there a way to regulate minimum pay limits for these players?

Forces of demand and supply, alone, should not be the single determinant of the pay and treatment of players. Soccer players are real people with real lives to lead, and they do face real economic challenges.

It's time for Major League Soccer to consider alternatives to the current crisis, before the young and upcoming Soccer talent gives up hope on, and consideration of the Sport.

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