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Francisco Marquez

Data Scientist, Football fan, IPA lover

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European leagues are dominated by the rich teams. Rarely a team like Leicester can end up winning a championship. Unlike the major European leagues, the MLS has a system on salary limitations. These limitations exist with the objective of keeping the league competitive and avoid a few rich clubs from dominating.

To keep this analysis simple, I’m going to focus on Base Salaries only and ignore additional payments coming from amortized signing bonus, incentive bonuses, etc.

As we can see, there is a group of 7 clubs with heavy roasters. Toronto and NY Cosmo in particular seem to be on a league of their own.

Quite remarkable is the fact that both Toronto and NY Cosmo belong to the Eastern Conference. In fact, the top 4 spenders belong to the Eastern Conference.

At the bare minimum, clubs aim to make it to the Playoffs. Basically, you clubs have to end up in the top 4 of their conference in order to get a chance to win the championship.

The Eastern Conference:

4 out of 6 Conference Top Spenders made it to the playoffs. New England gets a pass as they’re spending is WORD. Orlando, on the other hand is the 3rd Top spender in the league and failed to qualify.

The Western Conference

4 out of the 6 Top Spenders made it to the playoffs. Based on the difference in salaries (alone) I’m surprised LAG didn’t qualify, they are Conference’s Top Spender after all. RSL and COL missing playoffs is not that bad considering spend.