To be sure, it's a controversial decision that will no doubt anger those who believe that developing home-grown talent is the best way to improve the quality of soccer in the U.S. Will the rule change deny promising young Americans their opportunity? Are we now headed down the same road as the English Premiership where on any given Saturday just 30 percent of those who play are English?
No, says Yahoo Sports' Martin Rogers, the salary cap guards against this. Eight foreign players per team instead of seven (due to the smaller talent pool in Canada, Toronto was given a special dispensation of 10 slots, two of which must be filled by American players) will not drastically change things, although there will surely be more foreign imports in MLS in the years to come, he says. Moreover, the pie is growing bigger, especially as the league expands to include more franchises. All the rule change does is provide clubs the opportunity to bring in more talent from Central and South America, foreign players who will be spread around a greater number of clubs.