Some topics in and around MLS have been covered to death, so I'm going over a few of them one more time to gauge validity.
Invalid: Stadium location complaints
Is there really any point to railing about the locations of MLS stadiums once they're actually built? They're not going to tear them down now.
Granted, I'm still griping about Toronto FC's surface, and I don't think they're planning on changing that any time soon.
Very little validity: Promotion/Relegation
I suppose the fact that MLS eliminated the shootout gives proponents of promotion and relegation in the States some hope (a few have implied to me that Sounders FC, as the USL champion team, is getting promoted - no they're not. They are simply folding the USL team and forming an MLS one with a similar name. It's not promotion in any sense. It's that they had the money and paid to become the next MLS franchise.) that MLS is moving in the direction of pro/reg. Don't hold your breath there. Few owners would ever fork over 40 million for a franchise that might slip down to a lower level.
A little validity: Marketing the league better will bring in more fans.
It makes sense on the surface, but on the other hand, soccer fans can be fickle. Red Bull New York pulled the stops out when they first took over the team, and yet the core NY attendance remains not great. Chivas USA has trotted out a host of promotions and came into the league with the most sponsors, but there are challenges, there, too. The bottom line is that the example of TFC pretty much wipes out much conventional wisdom on this topic. People will come for a fancy stadium, said some - TFC's is simple. People will come for a winning team - TFC lost in record fashion. People will come for a big name - who had ever heard of Danny Dichio before? People will come when the MLS standard of play improves - MLS remains a growing league. Thing is, TFC fans come for the most basic and profound sporting reason of all - they have claimed their team, and they care. No amount of marketing enticements can replace or create that.
Valid: The salary cap debate
"Raise the cap!" seems a simple enough proposition, but it's a bit trickier when one notes the millions of dollars most MLS owners continue to lose every year. There's also no guarantee that raising the cap wouldn't just lead to more spending on the higher end of the scale. Financial responsibility to the league itself and to the players in it is going to be a tough balance, so this is a worthy argument, with solid points to different sides.
That's my take on a few of the topics that seem to be on a continual discussion turntable. What MLS issues do readers consider most relevant now?