Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena has advised the MLS to go slow over its expansion plans because the losing focus on developing domestic players.
“I think we need to slow down a little bit,” Arena said. “What we’re not prepared for yet is the size of the league.”
“As the league continues to grow and get bigger, there are issues with travel, there are issues with suitable facilities, things that don’t make it easier,” he added.
The MLS has doubled in size from 10 to 20 teams since the end of the 2004 season while four more clubs are set to come on board by the end of the decade.
Last month, the MLS announced plans to expand to 28 teams, though the timeline has not been spelled out.
While Arena believes that financial rewards for the league will keep expanding, he stressed that the product should get better by developing local players and not just focus on recruiting big international names.
“We’re not the EPL , where you have these fabulous players from all around the world. I think we need to have the right balance there as well, domestic players to international,” he said.
In 2016, the minimum salary for the first 24 players on a team’s roster will be $62,500, with reserves beyond that number making at least $51,500.