We don't yet have our team - but all signs look like expansion is going to include STL, Sacremento and 1 other market -- a total of 30 teams in the US. As the league grows, game attendance is 20k per game average?, as TV ratings increase, then I assume the league owners will have more money to spend on good players. I understand that the MLS is not on par with those in England, Italy, Spain, etc. but I, as a casual soccer fan, am reading a diverse view of thoughts on this thread. I lived through the days when attendance/league appeared to cater to local highschool/college talent, when reliance on ticket sales was shifted upon local CYC soccer teams run by Moms & Dads and the American sports fan laughed at all things soccer and complained of too many unknown foreigners. No team in STL (or in the MLS) will thrive based upon the same -- all those teams/leagues soon went out of business - even when those teams had success on the field.
No, we appear to be on the verge of something I have not seen in my lifetime -- acceptance and support by the local sports fan and not limited to the soccer die hards. There simply are not enough soccer die hards to average 20k per game. The rest of the MLS does not appear to be relying upon CYC team attendance to watch their local high school players.
With all this said, where does the MLS currently rank compared to the better soccer leagues. And how will further expansion - to 30 teams - affect the MLS? How many good soccer players are even out there? Having a hard time believing the supply of good players will be there for 30 US teams while knowing that the best kids around (including locals) jump at any chance they get for the Premier League, the Budesliga, etc