Okay, I have been a big supporter of MLS having more significant competitive games for sometime, now it looks like the dam is breaking and that there will be a slate of games MLS clubs can compete in.
The down side of this is how do you create clubs that can compete in many if not all of them while also not NASLing it for those other teams.
I have some proposals for rules that will help clubs be better, please help MLS and myself parse these out.
1.) Create a deeper roster by adding more positions. Each additional roster slot can be filled by any type of player (they can be sr to minimum) and each slot comes with additional salary cap of the median wage of an MLS player for the previous year. Don't use that slot dont get the money. I would hope that the number of slots would be around 5-8, enough to provide depth and sign a few more development players while also allowing more depth in the middle band.
2.) Expand number of DP's in a similar way that the 2nd and 3rd slots worked way back when. You can have up to 6 DP's first three work under current rules, next two have a buy in of $500k and if you have slot 6 filled one of those DP's must be an American or Canadian. The fee would get dolled out to teams that have 3 or less DP's as T/GAM.
3.) Give TAM and GAM of significant amounts to teams that have "robust" development academies. These would be teams that have at least three levels of development and get those players significant minutes at least at the second, third and fourth tiers of US soccer (and CA to I guess)
4.) Teams that compete in CWC, COCACAF, and other international competitions get tam/gam and are allowed to start training earlier
5.) completely bifurcate the conferences and have a balanced schedule. This will likely mean two shields, as there could be more teams in one conference than the other. This would also reduce travel and make it easier on teams who have to truck around a lot. For those execs that feel it might lower revenue I will tell them that they end up getting more hell is real and cascadia cup games throughout the year, they can also turn the MLS cup into a neutral event or a home and away, giving greater possibility of a large event finale.
6.) Institute a mechanism for ensuring that teams that spend a lot are not running themselves into financial ruin. This would be a fairplay/financial wellness bit to help prevent over spending to compete.