What Should Major League Soccer Do to Build on World Cup Interest in the U.S.?

If you were in MLS Commissioner Don Garber's shoes, what changes would you make to help the American domestic league take advantage of the unprecedented interest in soccer here in the States? Graph your position below and then share a few comments. To read what others have to say, hover over any shaded cell.

July 17, 2014 4:30 PM
Abolish Salary Cap, Secure More Talent
Invest in Youth Development
Increase Focus on American Players Emphasize Foreign Stars
Sign Pele and Beckham. — MackemH8r
<- I hope you're being sarcastic... — <-
<--This made me LOL — Scotty Don't
Salray cap has to go so we can get elite players in their prime who want to live in USA — Ryan
Douchebaggggg >>>>>> — Callinyououthomes
There's nothing you can do. Soccer is the world's most boring sport, and it's very un-American. We Americans don't like it, and don't care about it. So screw off, soccer fans. And take your boring sport with you. — globo
^^^agree — Ben
^^^ Why are you here ?? you live a sad life MR. washed up high school athlete who hates his day job — Truth
Pay the players. — Noses Malone
The salary cap has to go — Ant
This is very obvious for me. How do you expect to develop youth talent in a league where the competition is nowhere near world class? You can't. Remove the cap, clubs will establish themselves and bring in big players and the rest will fall into place. — John
US or Foreign, MLS needs more stars (and is in the process of getting them, Villa, Xavi, Kaka) To continue with the current trend and get younger stars, the Salary Cap needs to go — Tosh
Get rid of salary cap and run it like the premier league... Make NASL the Div 2, and relegate/promote teams each year. That will get more people interested for sure — Paps
get rid of the cap and single entity communism, focus on youth development, merge with NASL to form two top leagues East vs West with a champ vs champ Soccer Bowl. — Tim
No caps, more money — Jt
Look to sign a Neymar or a James rather than a Kaka or Lampard. If we want to be among the top leagues in 8 years, we need to start opening up the checkbooks and competing with those larger leagues in signing the best players. — Christopher
Yup — ME
The league needs to take the handcuffs off of clubs. Give them a chance to sign whoever they want to sign. — Mike Dee
The World Knows that MLS can produce American Players. To become a top league, MLS has to let these American players go and show that they can play on top teams. That will prove to many that the MLS can produce talent and more foreign players will come will come. — That_Guy
Raise the salary cap = attract better talent and keep the good that's already here. We need to develop a strong youth system as well, and the development academies are on their way - look at Yedlin as one example, but don't forget about players like Jordan Morris, etc. Bringing in top American players, focusing on them and retaining them increases exposure to our biggest stars. We need to bring in foreign talent to raise the level of play, but we will sustain interest over time by making our NT more competitive - it is the driver of our nation's interest (at least every four years). — Anon
I think a higher salary cap (or no salary cap) would not only attract more talent, but be an incentive for younger players developing in the US. I also think a focus on American players (but not too focused) would help keep fans between the MLS and the USMNT. — Patrick
It would be nice if there were more American players to overpay for. — NickB
The more American players, the better. Doing away with the cap all together keeps the league from competitive, but increasing it substantially and increasing the number of DPs to 5 would absolutely increase the talent level and appeal of the league. — BDM
dont abolish salary cap but make it high enough to sign atelast one of the world's top players. Always focus on American talent and thus invest and grow youth talent here in the States — rogersd03
MLS should highlight there talented players and really focus on exploding in their markets. If every team could have the fans of Portland and a secret gem like Diego Valeri, the league would grow. TV ratings will slowly rise but the most important thing is to make sure the clubs continue grow in revenue and expenses. (not a Timbers fan but they're an easy example). Long Story short, move Chivas USA to a successful market and keep Cubo Torres. — Alan Banks
Money = Talent America has talent but needs to be recognized for it, build player development programs, and make superstars out of those players who are doing well. Celebrity stays beyond the sports world is key. — NZ
I think that plenty of the upper tier Euro talent would come to the USA if the wages were right. — Chris
Why not? — Pat Fenis
The MLS absolutely needs to do all the above. Next step I think would be to abolish the salary cap and incorporate a tiered system with promotions and relegations. American youth talent is critical to the success of the USMNT, but that may not be the first thing MLS should focus on. However, all these ideas are intertwined and necessary for the growth of the league. — Matt
Really all of these need to be done, but I would put slightly more weight on "increasing focus on American players" not because of xenophobia but because that's what will be recognizable to more people and cause more people to watch in the short run, which will lead to bringing in more foreign stars in the long run. Since I am a USMNT fan first, the recent influx of players returning to MLS has caused me to follow the league much more. — Mark
(---------- What he said — Lazy ass
Just sign Jermaine Jones. — Ben
Don't abolish the salary cap. Will lead to a drastically top heavy league just like all of the Euro leagues. Salary cap raise is a must though — Scotty Don't
I don't care if talent is american or not if the quality on field is good. I'll take Clint Dempsey AND David Silva please. I do think that the vertical axis doesn't have to be a choice if MLS can work out their 2nd division/reserves conundrum that stunts youth development today. Then more players would go MLS vs. college and the pipeline would be better. — dabes2
In fact, MLS has to do ALL of these things. As Development Academies improve, MLS shouldn't be shy about selling young talent abroad. Still, the league must bring in recognizable starts to sell tickets in NY, LA, and CHI and generate TV ratings nationwide. — Mark Fishkin
One of these is a false dichotomy-- you can raise the salary cap and secure foreign talent while still emphasizing youth development. The other is a stupid nonissue: the league should neither emphasize foreign stars nor increase focus on Americans, it should play good soccer. — Loller Coaster
Why not? — Pat Fenis
New York est grande. J'aime la ville et les Red Bulls! — Thierry Henry
Eu amo Orlando, estou animado para a próxima temporada! — Kaka
Me encanta la ciudad de Nueva York, estoy emocionado para 2015! — David Villa
I love New York City, excited for the task ahead. — Frank Lampard
I'm technically foreign, can I join in on this please? — Dom Dwyer
No Mate! — Tim Cahil (responding to Dom)
JAJAJAJAJA — Erick Torres
Notice the emphasis on STAR, GTFO CUBO!!!!!! — Robbie Keane
Fine Cubo, you can join once Chivas USA gets a sponsor on their jersey and sells out a home game (without the stupid tarps that cover half the stadium)ok? — Jermain Defoe
NOOOOOOOOO that will never happen!!!!! Nunca! — Erick Torres
Definitely need to put more money to develop youth and academies, but right now a continued influx of foreign talent and higher paid talent is essential through removal of salary caps. — Gunnerstahl
yeah — no
People who want to get rid of the salary cap are blind and rather incompetent. That will tilt the league completely while still not necessarily raising it's standards to stardom. It will also only have adverse affects on the USMNT. Work on raising it, but getting rid of it would be foolish. — Connor
Until we are ready to compete for "best league" status we should be focused on putting an increasingly talented group of US players on the field and continue to "feed" the European leagues. — Jason
This — Xose
Combination of youth and American talent. — Noname
Viva MLS! — Fredo
The salary cap is fine, just needs to be higher. If we can get to where we are paying a minimum of $200K in salary I think the league will be fine. Beyond that though the league needs to focus on becoming an exciting development league. Overtaking the big 4 leagues will not be realistic for a while, but becoming a destination for development can happen in the next 2-3 years. Loans and agreements with big brand name clubs should continue. There is nothing wrong with being a feeder league. Look at holland's setup. — Chaz
Young players need to get coached up — Jeff
No niggers or kikes please. — John Oliver
I'd rather keep the salary cap (adjusted for inflation/cost of living annually) and keep the focus on developing young talent. Bringing over top tier talent is nice, but it doesn't do much for a domestic league's national team... just ask England. — Geo
I'm at a loss here. I want to get rid of the salary cap so that players can be properly compensated, but I believe more in youth development. Eventually the salary cap will go up in order to properly pay players. But for now money needs to go into the the youth systems. — Sean Miller
Build long term strength rather than boost short term ticket sales AND feed into the MNT. — sportinggunner
I agree that salaries must rise, but I find far more value in investing in the development to both create talent and drive interest. — Kt
It must begin with our infrastructure that has already began to be put into place but this also means finding ways to play our MLS youth players rather than they sit on benches or go to Liga MX teams like Xolos. We have yet to build that solid "AAU" type of system where US players play regularly like youth basketball players do almost every day. It will take more time to build but Germany and Belgium did the work and 10 years later both are seeing the positives of it. — Adrian
Galaxy II is the first Domino to fall rest of league should follow within next five years. Wait ten years after that, and we're all set! — wonderkin
Invest in infrastructure for the future development of talent! — Cameron Pratt
This seems a no-brainer to me. MLS is not at the point yet where removing the salary cap makes sense. That would produce a European-style league with 5 or so perennial contenders and 15 also-rans. Support in the US is not strong enough to support a league like this in the non-contender cities. Particularly given the level of quality (unlike other professional sports in the US, MLS would not be the best league in the world in its sports). The correct plan is to continue to grow the salary cap. The improved quality of players that will enable all the teams to bring in will help MLS grow more than creating a class-system would. — Pwyll
Short term, yeah stars are probably the way to keep riding the World Cup wave. But the Villas, Lampards and Xavis of the world didn't have much of an impact this WC and are only draws for established fans of the game. Better to invest in youth development, but not limited to the US. Start signing teenagers from all over this hemisphere. Get fans in other countries interested as well and make more broadcast money for the league. — Swa
You surrounded snowflake! — The cold hard truth
how does not being special anymore feel? — The overwellming and depressing realitry
Anyone who says abolish the salary cap is crazy. it's loose enough as it is with the DPs and allocation money. It should be gradually increased over time, but the primary goal should be developing quality young American/Canadian players, selling some to recoup the investment, keeping others in the league to build around, etc. — Bobb
Look at me! — Special Snowflake
You aint special no more, I run this ship now. — (-------
I like this guy >>>> — Callinyououthomes
To make the league sustainable, a higher level of talent is needed as far as young Americans, especially as the number of teams keeps increasing. The quality must not be diluted, but rather strengthened. This will only last in the long run by improving the youth systems leading through into the league — Jacob