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Interesting article about the possible impacts of having all MLS games kick off at the same time every week:

https://prosoccerwire.usatoday.com/2023/05/15/mls-apple-tv-deal-sees-most-games-take-place-at-same-time/

I know that has definitely impacted my MLS viewing. I'm not an obsessive MLS fan by any means, but in years past MLS was a good way to kill some soccer-watching time on a weekend. Now, though, I rarely get the chance - I go to Timbers home games, so any west coast start random viewing is off the table, and usually on Saturdays I'm doing other stuff at 4.30 so it's hard to tune in to the east coast games as well.

I also got notified that Apple TV is offering a one month free trial of their MLS channel, which is...odd timing. They obviously don't release viewership numbers, but that doesn't really bode well for how it's all going for them.

I suspected when this deal was announced that it'd be really bad for MLS; giving away free subs to season ticket holders (a perk I do not expect will repeat itself next season) took a revenue opportunity out of their hands, and given the size of past viewership numbers, there really is no such thing as a "casual MLS viewer". Paywalling games, even if there are free options every week, won't change that, and will probably make it worse.

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MLSPA has released the salaries for this spring: https://mlsplayers.org/resources/salary-guide

Several notes I had looking at it:

- McGraw is only on $130,000. Absolute bargain

- Mosquera is only on 184,000. Another total bargain

- We now see Mora’s reduced salary: $120,000. That’s very cap friendly for us, I think using any sort of buyout for him would be a mistake with him taking up such little cap space, even if he doesn’t play this year. He was making nearly 900k last fall!

- Zuparic is making $735k, which feels really high to me. He was only on 375k last fall. Anyone know why his salary went up so much?

- Niezgoda is the highest paid non-DP on the team at 850k. Nathan is the lowest paid player on the team at $68,775. Comparing both of their contributions to the team this year, it’s wayyyy closer than it should be just going off their salary

- Paredes is making nearly double what he was making last fall, putting him at $550,000 now. He extended his contract this off-season iirc, so that’s where that comes from. Feels a tad high, but that’s okay

- Mabiala making $400,000 we know is way too much

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May 17, 2023·edited May 17, 2023

This is a good article from the Athletic ($, but I believe The Athletic allows a certain number of articles free per month) that shows exactly how wide the spending gap between MLS teams is.

https://theathletic.com/4522793/2023/05/16/mls-salaries-highest-paid-players/

It's definitely not the case that MLS is a level salary playing field; the salary budget is the same for every team, but teams' overall payroll, and their ability to work within the TAM/GAM/DP rules, mean a very wide disparity between teams that spend and teams that don't.

I know Portland's in a big ol' salary cap nightmare mess right now, but I can't wait until some of the Timbers' big contracts clear off the books and Portland can move up the MLS salary outlay list further than they are. I don't think they should just dump money on players, but with more flexibility in the cap they can increase their total spend as well, and get towards a more talented roster top to bottom.

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Macario is off to Chelsea, who are also working on a "long-term extension" for Kerr.

Now that we know that Kodos (Textor) and Kang have launched their plan for world WoSo domination, do we think it's more likely or less likely that Horan

- stays with OL? (Kang)

- goes elsewhere in Europe?

- returns to Portland? or

- or reunites with MarPar in Washington? (Kang)

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May 16, 2023·edited May 16, 2023

USL is apparently planning to start another US women's soccer league. They are aiming for it to be USSF Division I to rival the NWSL:

https://justwomenssports.com/reads/united-soccer-league-launch-professional-soccer-nwsl-rival/

Interestingly it will have no salary cap. How many ultra-rich types will step up? Will the league be able to stop teams from spending themselves into oblivion? What players will move to it from NWSL?

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