The MLS Situation

Photo Courtesy of KSL.com

While the rest of the sports world goes along at full steam, MLS in the midst of one of its most important offseason’s in the League’s history. That’s because the CBA between the owners nad the players expires on January 31. With 22 days before that date, there still isn’t a new agreement.

The players want three main things:

  1. The ability to sign with a team and not the league
  2. Guaranteed contracts
  3. Higher Salary Cap

Right now, the League is a single-entity which means that teams do not have the ability to sign players. The player must first sign with the league and the league then assigns a player to a team. The reasons that allocations exist in MLS is to create a system for assigning players that more than one team have interest in. The single-entity effectively limits a player’s ability to gain his market value since teams are not forced to bid against each other for the player’s services. Instead, the player receives one contract offer from the league and is then assigned to one of those interested teams based on allocation order.

The players want this system removed. As a fan, I’m on the players’ side here. The allocation process is confusing and mysterious to outsiders while the “assignment of players” makes the league seem rigged. Now, this isn’t true, but allowing teams to sign their own players will create a more open, fair system. Teams will have more control of their rosters since they control whether a player is actually signed. not the league. However, teams would be forced to bid against each other which would drive contracts up so owners would certainly angered by that. However, nearly every other sports league in the world allows teams to sign their own players. MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL, EPL, La Liga, Serie A, and etc. all have teams sign contracts. For MLS to become an upper echelon league, this single-entity system must go. Continue reading “The MLS Situation”