The parity MLS provides is undoubtedly one of its greatest attributes. If we compare TFC to a Cardiff or a Hertha Berlin, the scope of optimism MLS allows is wider than perhaps any league in the world. Fans in Toronto can expect futility now, but they can just as easily expect it to vanish in short order with a couple signings and some good bounces. Conceivably, TFC could be in the playoff hunt next year and it wouldn’t be all that surprising.
But the parity also acts as a tactical leveling agent. The chasm between the most and least efficient teams in the league is as shallow as it is anywhere in the world, which means MLS’ broader tactical sense tends to root out tactical differences and eliminate them like antibodies. The San Jose 4-4-2 is always dangling just within reach for adventurous coaches whose schemes haven’t found their mark.