It seems like the players are poised for a strike if their demands aren't met. The pay scale is base on how many years you have been in the league and having your contract owned by the league rather than the individual team. This setup allows little control as to where a player could end up. There is a significant gap between the big name designated players salary and your average MLS starter. On average the rookies were making $12,900 as a full time job. That is abysmal for a league that has wanted to prove itself on the global stage. The owners are reporting that they are losing money, but refuse to show how they are losing the money. The league is expanding to 20 teams for this season, and has increased the attendance each season. The stadiums that the clubs play are soccer specific stadiums, which are required for any expansion location. The two new expansion teams, New York City FC and Orlando City SC, are building these venues to have them by next season. The expansion teams have brought in some big name players to help out with ratings. If the strike happens, the casual fan might leave MLS and never come back. Can the owners and the players handle the fallout when the strike happens or will the two sides come to an agreement?
Can big name players coming into the league help the league gain viewers? David Villa, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Kaka are four of the big names joining the MLS. Although they are older players and their lifespan in Europe is coming to a close, they still have talent and experience to help the MLS to grow. The leadership that they will bring to the teams is going to be important to each club that they are joining. Will their experience at the higher level help bring the level of the MLS to new heights? Only time will tell. It seems like Villa is starting out very well with New York City FC, while his teammate Lampard’s contract fiasco will see him stay at Manchester City until the end of the season. Steven Gerrard will swap Liverpool for Los Angeles on a Bosman at the end of the Premier League season. While former Champions League Winner, Kaka stated he is looking forward to winning the league, or at least making the playoffs, the first year in the league. Let’s hope that more big name players start coming to the MLS.