This is a fair point from roxanneroxanne about MLS distributing players to certain cities, but at the same time, I think MLS has grown to a point where they don’t really need to do that anymore. When Beckham came to the league I think it would have been stupid to move him to Columbus or something, but we’re now 7 years past Beckham’s arrival, and I think the league has grown.
Personally if I was Frank Lampard I probably wouldn’t want to go to a small team in Houston or Utah, but at the same time MLS has to put themselves in a position where they can turn down these guys looking to come to the states to live in a fancy apartment in NYC and half ass it on the pitch.
It’s not as if flights to NY or LA are cost prohibitive for someone who’s made millions over the last 10 years, you can still have a nice place in those cities and play in a less desirable city. I think we’re beyond the sign a 40 year old forgotten star and let him trot around against players in a league that isn’t all that great. MLS is slowly becoming a really good league, and it shows just based on who’s come to the league from overseas just this year. It’s still not a great league where 10 million dollar transfer fees exist, but it’s getting there.
I’m fairly certain Kaka, a man who spent the last 10 years of his life living in Milan and Madrid, has always dreamed of living in Orlando, but he will be next year. Meanwhile he could have been moved to a team already in the league and could have played this season, and helped draw fans in that way.
I think over the next few years as MLS grows it will have some more growing pains, and I think it’s going to be because of their transfer policies. This is a league that I see gaining success via parity, not by constantly stacking 5 teams and letting the rest battle it out for mediocrity.