Last week when LA Galaxy teammates Omar Gonzalez and Juninho joined the likes of Portland Timbers defender Jorge Villafana and Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil in transferring to Liga MX, fans on social media and forum threads cried foul, bemoaning the loss of quality talent to our friends across the border.
And when rumors emerged of Tigres courting MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin, some supporters went into panic mode.
But should MLS fans be worried? Nope. Here's why.
Mexican clubs targeting MLS clubs is a sign of the league's improvement.
It wasn't that long ago the league was losing players to Scandanavia. I like Norway as much as the next guy, but Liga MX is a step up in quality and prestige.
MLS clubs want to sell
There's a big difference between losing talent you want to hold onto versus letting go of players you wish to sell.
And MLS clubs are in a position to sell. Portland sold Jorge Villafana for a reported transfer fee of around a million dollars then literally replaced him hours later. Luis Gill was not a starter for Real Salt Lake and will not be missed. LA have may been reluctant to give up Gonzalez and Juninho, but the moves were necessary for the club to retool and rebuild. (There had been rumblings Juninho had wanted out for some time as well)
These are mutually beneficial moves.
MLS is doing just fine attracting talent
After all, 2015 was an unprecedented year for the league's growth as a flood of new signings made their way to American shores. From international stars like Sebastian Giovinco and Kaka to vital pieces such as Kei Kamara and Laurent Ciman, even mid-season additions like Didier Drogba entertained in a big way.
That being said, the league has also been successful in signing players with serious interest down south. Diego Valeri, Ignacio Piatti and Claudio Bieler are just a few of the names the league was able to woo in the past despite competitive offers from Mexican clubs, not to mention the capture of Giovani dos Santos.
And now that the Dos Santos transfer has made it ok for Mexican internationals in their prime to head to America, the rumors are starting to heat up. Fellow internationals Carlos Vela, Alan Pulido and Chicharito have all recently been linked to MLS moves. Expect more El Tri regulars to play in the league, if not now, then the near future.
Healthy competition is good for MLS. We should embrace it, not fear it.