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Kelly Gray: MLS Growth Comes Down to Money
Goal.com, April 29th, 2008 6PM

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In his weekly column for Goal.com, Colorado Rapids midfielder Kelly Gray weighs in on the issue of changes that MLS needs to make in order to grow soccer in America. In his opinion, it's simple: it's all about money. "I understand why the league was originally set up as a single entity, and think that it was important that it was done that way back in 1996," Gray says, but "the problem is that now we are at a point where that is not necessary.

"With an influx of new owners and the amount of money that they are pouring into new stadiums and different sponsorship deals, there is no reason why the clubs should have to be a part of a single entity," he says. "We need the different owners to start competing with each other.  They need to start doing everything in their power to give their club the greatest advantage.  They need to start marketing all the players and not just marketing a few for the league.  Basically they need to spend more money."

If MLS wants to become a competitive league on a global level -- where, let's be honest, it's all about who has the most money -- Gray says the league needs to get rid of salary caps and other restrictions it imposes on its teams. MLS needs to let the investors step out of the shadows and invest more money in better players and developing new talent. If you build it, they will come, Gray says -- the crowds and TV revenues, that is -- but it will take hefty investment and a bit of patience.

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