When do we say enough already?
So the question is… Is there enough talent interested in playing in the MLS to support so many more teams? Or is this just going to saturate the league with less talented players? San Jose gets the opportunity to select a player from each MLS team, after they each protect 11 players. Seattle will probably get the same opportunity. That means that in 2008, San Jose will potentially have 11 players starting that weren't good enough to start for their previous MLS clubs in 2007. Although Toronto was a great story this year, particularly with their high attendance numbers, they still finished in last place, with a -24 goal differential.
But the flip side of that argument is that there is actually a large pool of talented players in the USL that will get an opportunity to play in MLS now that there are more teams. The US Open Cup has shown every year that the USL teams can compete with the MLS. Even though a few MLS teams didn't take that tournament seriously this year (cough cough DCU cough cough Jay Nolly), for a USL team to beat an MLS team's Reserves even has to be a good accomplishment. But then for two USL teams to make the semifinals - that tells you that some of these players are legit, and they can compete with the big boys.
It's a nice idea that the new MLS Seattle franchise will be retaining some of the current Seattle Sounders players, as the Owners announced. I'm thinking they should keep the name too out of respect for the history of the current USL team (4-time USL-1 champions) and former NASL team.