"We must bring in bigger names and more popular international players if we're going to be the league we want to be," MLS commissioner Don Garber said today, four days before the North American league kicks off its 15th season.
Beckham enters his final season with the Los Angeles Galaxy this season while Henry begins his first full campaign with the New York Red Bulls. Garber said signing Beckham has been a great success for the league but more blockbuster deals are needed to boost the league among global rivals and improve football's status among US sports leagues.
"You will start seeing more and more name players coming into MLS because we can afford to pay them," Garber said "The best players in the world for the most part are not here. In order for us to compete... we're going to have to grow a business so that some of the best players in the world are here.
"We hope we will move our league closer to our goal of becoming one of the top soccer leagues in the world," her went on. "We feel good about where we are but we know we still have a long way to go."
The 18-team league features new clubs debuting in Vancouver and Portland this season and an expansion team in Montreal next year.