Wednesday, May 22, 2013
MLS expands to New York City - Big Apple and Big Money means changes ahead
MLS will expand to 20 teams in 2015 and yesterday welcomed New York City Football Club as the new member.
The new team is paying $100 million to join and has combined ownership group of Manchester City FC and the New York Yankees.
My first, feeble thoughts....
You can say goodbye to MLS as a salary cap league. Neither Man City nor the Yankees strike me as nickel and dimers. The cap could remain on the books for the teams that need it, yet I predict loopholes will be created for the teams that want them. When the MLS agreement with players ends in 2014 it will be very interesting to see where the next round of negotiations go.
I wonder if MLS clubs will now need to seek out partnerships with overseas clubs? If NYCFC's connection to Man City means a supply of players, what does TFC do to compete? Some fans may be unhappy with links to QPR, the Yorkies have already joked about Norwich and others will want to move away from UK teams completely. Could you imagine the impact on MLS if both young talent from Man City reserves use New York to build a future team and veterans such as Toure, Kompany and Zabaleta close out their careers there?
There are indications that the MLS will not stop at 20 teams. Beckham will be involved in a new team in the near future. Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, St. Louis, San Diego and Las Vegas have all been mentioned by somebody at some point. There seems to be a conflict brewing between wistful fans and prospective owners. The wistful fan wants to see promotion and relegation introduced. The big money people are too aware of the price tag, would you want to pay $100 million and risk a year playing against the Rochester Rhinos and the Puerto Rico Islanders?
TFC, the team of the perpetual rebuild, will face some interesting challenges ahead. The cost of attracting talent to Toronto, for one thing, just went up.