Watered-down product a real concern for MLS when it comes to expansion - Metro US

Watered-down product a real concern for MLS when it comes to expansion

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MLS is growing, perhaps a bit too fast critics will say and that can create a major problem for the league. With news this past weekend out of MLS Cup that the league will expand to 28teams, there are concerns that the product on the field will be diluted.

Which will lead, a league source said, to MLSpossiblyadding one if not two international slotsfor each teamby the 2017 season. With the expansion team in Atlanta set to enter that year, the league mighthavethese additional slots to augment any concerns about wateringdown the talent in the league.

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It is a real and pressing concern given the rapid expansion MLS has seen in recent years.

As of the 2006 season, MLS had a dozen teams. Now it sits at 20 with more tocome.Withthe American player still developing, extra teams means the need for extra players and internationals can come in to augment depth concerns.

Atlanta comes in 2017 with a second Los Angeles team a year after that and Minnesota as well as Miami already approved by the league. There will be the need for more talent and in a country still struggling to develop high-end talent, rapid expansion could hurt the quality of play.

The source said that MLS needs to get approval from the league’s Board of Governors as well as US Soccerfor any possible expansion of international slots in 2017.

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