Even with a Salary Cap zeroed in on parity, only 5 clubs of a potential 12 have made it to the MLS Cup in the 6 seasons since MLS introduced Targeted Allocation Money (the “TAM era”). Two clubs, the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC, have faced each other three times in the six TAM era MLS Cups. Seattle themselves have made four of the six TAM Era MLS Cups.
From that, it seems clear that a pathway to sustained, regular MLS Cup success exists. As we will discuss, one of those factors are teams with high-quality, experienced, players.
However, MLS provides numerous initiatives via its salary cap to incentivize signing young, inexperienced, players who may provide future transfer value for their clubs. This creates a disconnect and a friction between the model that the MLS salary cap incentivizes – signing young players – and the model proven to establish sustained MLS Cup success – fielding an experienced squad.
The question becomes, is there a way to marry both MLS’s incentives to invest in young talent, and the data that shows a strong correlation between having an older, more experienced clubs and winning MLS Cup?
This a second piece in the Breaking Competitive Balance Series. You can view the inaugural piece, MLS Salary Cap 101, HEREContinue reading