It's a worrying trend, and I'd say that even if Lampard came as he's one player on one team. I don't see MLS stopping young players from moving to Europe if they get the chance, that's the big show, yet if MLS isn't buying and bringing in good to top end talent, where is the backbone of a top league in 9 years going to come from? I ask that, because a)I don't think MLS is developing players quickly enough to produce the backbone of a top league 9 years out, and the NTers will not only have opportunities to move to Europe, but will be encouraged too. I also think the more MLS players do well in Europe, the more clubs won't hesitate to bid for them at higher prices, and the transfers out of MLS will only increase. Then the DP's you mentioned leaving only adds to it. The evidence for young Americans not being produced fast enough to be the backbone of a top league is: ESPN recently did a top 25 under 21 Prospects article,and while it might not be completely accurate, if you're not on that list the numbers are against you that you'll be an attraction, draw fans, and have enough talent to be part of the backbone of a top league. But in looking at that list, only six of the 25 prospects are currently on MLS teams(rest in Europe or Mex), with another two in MLS academies and could easily follow the route of Guido/Flores. Those six: Gil Agudelo Kitchen McInerney Villareal Salgado MLS will have a hell of a time keeping Gil more than two years, already turned down Arsenal but wants Europe. Touched on Agudelo above. Kitchen has Bund interest and turned down Anderlecht. Fulham interested in Salgado for two years now. Point being, if these young "starlets" are the next crop to carry the league, MLS will be hard pressed to still have three of them still here three years from now imo. Another gauge would be the U23 NT, guys a bit older. These are the top MLS players on that team not mentioned above or not GK's: Adu Bunbury Okugo Opara Sarkodie Valentin Some good talent, but anything which will move the needle? Is that really a wide enough base, prospects and U23's combined? Of course some guys will appear out of the cracks or NCAA, but it's not something you can count on or correctly gauge. And I bring all this up because developing top American talent to be the backbone of a top league in 9 years sounds nice in theory, but when looking at the actual player pool I don't see it. MLS will also be fighting increased transfer bids as confidence grows in the MLS market. So doesn't MLS need to buy to reach it's goal? Doesn't the transfer window have to be a two way street? And I do like a lot of these young players, the best I don't see sticking around though, and guys like Okugo or Valentin who I'm extremely high on I don't see moving the needle in honesty. And since I only see an increased number of younger "starlets" leaving for reasons mentioned above, I think MLS needs to bring in more players and do it at a much higher rate. Of course the question is how, and it'd be easier without a timeline, but the timeline is 9 years to "go toe to toe with the top leagues quality wise".