What D.C. United’s depth says about MLS rosters

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Brian Straus has a sharp piece this morning on all the positive things going on at D.C. United – so much of the upswing owing to a new wealth of depth now found at RFK.

This could well drum up a fresh round of “I told you so” from supporters and media who feel MLS has long been too passive in pursuit of highly weaponized rosters. The calls have been long and strong for more players of quality or, at very least, more players.

Which seems to make perfect sense but for one little detail: someone has to pay for it. (Straus, by the way, isn’t advocating for the same in this piece; I’m just saying that his report on D.C.’s rise through superior depth will be heralded as Exhibit A of the initiative.)

Major League Soccer’s development has always been a delicate balancing act. For instance, a lot of people thought MLS should go XXL on player rosters and acquisitions all along. Only, if that had happened there would be no MLS today. Seriously.

Progress in player development (and the attached, assumed boosts to elusive success in regional competitions) must walk a parallel path with revenue streams of greater flourish.

This business of quality control is all a work in progress, one that deserves careful management, prudence and patience.