What Are The Struggles When Playing In MLS

I wanted to write this article to give perspective. 

Playing in MLS was a great accomplishment. I'm glad I was able to turn a dream into reality. I enjoyed my time in MLS, it was a great experience that I lean on when navigating my life. I know many feel like playing in MLS is all fuzzy, and great, which to an extent it is, but there are struggles that all players who have played in the league have faced. The current CBA is about to expire in January 2020, so it's going to be interesting to see what happens in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement.

1. Travel

Travel is difficult in MLS. America is big and you're not taking chartered flights every week. A flight from Seattle to Orlando will take a toll on you, which makes it difficult to perform at your best. In Europe, bus rides domestically and chartered flights for champions league. Players who have come from Europe have mentioned travel being one of the biggest struggles they faced in the transition. Players should travel like the NBA, NHL, NFL because this is what is necessary for growing the sport and giving players the best chances to perform at their best. 

2. Non Guaranteed contracts

If you're one of the lucky few, you can get guaranteed years on your MLS contract. For the majority, this is not the case. MLS doesn't give guaranteed contracts and this is a problem. Other countries give 3-5 year guaranteed contracts for players. MLS gives something like a 1-year semi guaranteed contract and a 3 years options. Some might ask, " What does that mean?"  That first year of the deal, they can cut you up until July 1st. After July 1st, you're guaranteed until the end of the year. MLS also can make players sign a form saying if they want, they can cut you after the July 1st date, which is criminal. Players have earned the right and should have 3 years guaranteed so they know where they stand for those 3 years. This isn't acceptable and players deserve better.

3. Free Agency

Free agency is difficult to reach in MLS. The requirements are 28 years old and 8 years of experience. I'm letting you know now that that is very difficult to obtain. Very few players get here, and that was by design. Free agency was created to be challenging and to prevent players from having the freedom to move after they play out their contract. Right now, players want to be able to talk with whatever teams they like without having their right held by the former team!