The NBA isn't in decline, quite the opposite, and this is coming from a frustrated Portland fan, but that discussion is for a different thread.
After reading the article, the allocation is both confusing and arbitrary, but let's not pretend the MLS can deviate from their business model. It's still in it's infancy and has wisely followed the NFL's model (easily the best run league, in any sport, anywhere in the world). The NFL does have parity, but individual franchises' success is dictated by how well they are run (Steelers w/6 SB wins, Lions and others ZERO SB appearances).
As opposed to the Prem or La Liga or Serie A etc. where basically the same 2 teams play for the title every year, 2 or 3 more to fill out the CL spots, and the rest looking to stay in the league. I'm a Fulham fan and will never change, but it does kinda suck that I have as much chance to walk on the moon as my team does at winning the league in my lifetime.
The MLS will eventually loosen up on player movement, but right now the health of the league as a whole is priority one.
Cinderella story, out of nowhere, former assistant greenskeeper, about to become the Masters' champion...Carl Spackler