M.L.S. has become a popular way station for young talent from throughout the Western Hemisphere seeking passage to Europe’s top ranks....with this...
In 2006, M.L.S. counted 36 players from the Caribbean, Central America and South America. By last April, the number was 107, a 197 percent increase over six years and a 37 percent rise from March 2011. In those six years, the league has grown to 19 teams from a dozen, but the number of American- and Canadian-born players is up only 35 percent.
At a time when MLS is touting its development of young professionals through so-called “homegrown” signings, a majority of those prospects are not getting on the field. Some have been outright discarded.Hmmm. Growing pains? Obligation to the bottom line before development of domestic players? Natural progression? I wonder if the current English Premier League and 90's Serie A contain teaching/talking points here?
Without a functional system in place to give such players actual game experience, MLS risks stagnating their development, thus also likely curbing the long-term growth of the American player pool.