MLS 2019

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The simple problem is that Americans have no interest in something if it isn’t the best. Nobody here really follows pro basketball in Spain.
True dat, yet more than a few of us don’t really follow the nba nor any pro basketball nor baseball anywhere on this planet.
 
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The simple problem is that Americans have no interest in something if it isn’t the best.
The exception to that rule is "unless they have a rooting interest". Why do people care about college basketball? It's not the best.

That's my main argument for pro/rel. I couldn't care less about MLS. When I have PSG and Barca on my DVR I'm not watching MLS. But if my team had a path to MLS, no matter how slight, I would become a fan overnight. That's the only way I see to grow the league. You read how it has no chance because of all the money MLS franchises cost. That's probably true. But the current cost isn't what the franchises are worth. And I think that worth will keep dropping with continued slow/no growth.
 
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.... That's my main argument for pro/rel. I couldn't care less about MLS. ..... But if my team had a path to MLS, no matter how slight, I would become a fan overnight. That's the only way I see to grow the league. ...
I agree that promotion / relegation creates fan interest. It makes almost every game count towards moving up or avoiding being demoted. I follow a team in Germany that in a matter of about eight years has been demoted from 2nd division, demoted from 3rd division into 4th. After one year in the 4th division they entered a playoff among 5 other Regional league times and moved back to the 3. Bundesliga. That year they came in third and won a playoff with the third to last team from the second division (1860 Munich) to move back to the 2. Bundelsliga. The constant tension for the last two years has been to reach the 40 match points it usually takes to maintain second division status - the much coveted "Klassenerhalt". I wish the USL would get such as system started at 2nd and 3rd division level to introduce this exciting aspect of the game.
 

ZooCougar

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I agree that promotion / relegation creates fan interest. It makes almost every game count towards moving up or avoiding being demoted. I follow a team in Germany that in a matter of about eight years has been demoted from 2nd division, demoted from 3rd division into 4th. After one year in the 4th division they entered a playoff among 5 other Regional league times and moved back to the 3. Bundesliga. That year they came in third and won a playoff with the third to last team from the second division (1860 Munich) to move back to the 2. Bundelsliga. The constant tension for the last two years has been to reach the 40 match points it usually takes to maintain second division status - the much coveted "Klassenerhalt". I wish the USL would get such as system started at 2nd and 3rd division level to introduce this exciting aspect of the game.
I would like to see the USL do this as well. And I think the NPSL will do it sooner rather than later with their new pro division.

I can’t believe that K-Town fell all the way down to the German 3rd Division. That’s a really big club that has fallen far.
 
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I also agree that USL should do it.

With MLS growing larger than they really should be with number of teams, they should split the league into two parts and do some sort of pro/Rel between those two parts. So basically no one leaves MLS. However, maybe make the upper tier receive a higher cut of the revenue? I don't know. I think just introducing it is a start. It is one thing to do it in USL or NPSL but no one really follows that league. I know the MLS thing is not going to happen but it guarantees that none of the precious owners lose any large chunks of money.
 

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Forgive the soccer noob who basically follows only the Bolton Wanderers in their UConn-like death spiral. but why couldn't MLS add two "flex spots" to the league for relegation/promotion? All current MLS franchises are guaranteed eternal life in MLS, but each year two teams can be promoted/relegated from those two "open slots" through some kind of play-in tournament between the current occupants of those positions and the challengers from below?

This would build regional interest and open about one billion marketing opportunities.
 
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Forgive the soccer noob who basically follows only the Bolton Wanderers in their UConn-like death spiral. but why couldn't MLS add two "flex spots" to the league for relegation/promotion? All current MLS franchises are guaranteed eternal life in MLS, but each year two teams can be promoted/relegated from those two "open slots" through some kind of play-in tournament between the current occupants of those positions and the challengers from below?

This would build regional interest and open about one billion marketing opportunities.
This is a good idea but I think it's crap that MLS teams get to stay. I'm assuming that in your plan MLS teams can't go down and only the USL,NASL, NPSL teams can do that through those flex spots? So let's just say that Hartford Athletic gains one of these promotion spots and finishes middle of their division while someone like DC United wins 3 games. HA then has to play in the Pro/Rel game because they aren't a MLS member? That would suck for them.

I like the idea but it would suck for those teams that bust their butts to get up there, and then have to play a game to stay up when MLS teams have worse records.
 
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I would like to see the USL do this as well. And I think the NPSL will do it sooner rather than later with their new pro division.

I can’t believe that K-Town fell all the way down to the German 3rd Division. That’s a really big club that has fallen far.
Right, Kaiserslautern has such a great history in the Bundesliga. About the time I was becoming aware of the Bundesliga Köln played Kickers Offenbach in a German Cup match. Now Köln and Hamburg are both in the Second Bundesliga this year and Offenbach is in a Regional league - division IV. 1860 was in the 4th div. only last year (now third). The mobility up and down creates great interest and tension during the entire season.
 

ZooCougar

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Right, Kaiserslautern has such a great history in the Bundesliga. About the time I was becoming aware of the Bundesliga Köln played Kickers Offenbach in a German Cup match. Now Köln and Hamburg are both in the Second Bundesliga this year and Offenbach is in a Regional league - division IV. 1860 was in the 4th div. only last year (now third). The mobility up and down creates great interest and tension during the entire season.
I was living in K-Town when they got sent down. You could hear the whole city grinding it’s teeth at once during the process.

I don’t think the US will ever have anything like that in sports.
 

Purple Stein

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This is a good idea but I think it's crap that MLS teams get to stay. I'm assuming that in your plan MLS teams can't go down and only the USL,NASL, NPSL teams can do that through those flex spots? So let's just say that Hartford Athletic gains one of these promotion spots and finishes middle of their division while someone like DC United wins 3 games. HA then has to play in the Pro/Rel game because they aren't a MLS member? That would suck for them.

I like the idea but it would suck for those teams that bust their butts to get up there, and then have to play a game to stay up when MLS teams have worse records.
It does suck, but it’s all about the dollars. MLS is never going to be a meritocracy in the context of other leagues.
 
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Revs fans were annoyed Kraft was listed as only the Patriots' owner in the press when his primary problem was reported :)
 
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Just more proof it's not the Patriot Way, it's the Belechick Way.
 
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Meanwhile down south, Miami will now play in a 'temporary, 18,000 seat stadium down in Ft. Lauderdale (why they don't just use FAU's 29,000 seat stadium is beyond me) before moving to the 'planned' stadium in Miami that is scheduled to be opened by 2022. I have friends in S Florida who insist that Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are two separate markets. Odds on any of this ever happening?

Beckham bid gets nod on Ft. Lauderdale site
 

ZooCougar

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Meanwhile down south, Miami will now play in a 'temporary, 18,000 seat stadium down in Ft. Lauderdale (why they don't just use FAU's 29,000 seat stadium is beyond me) before moving to the 'planned' stadium in Miami that is scheduled to be opened by 2022. I have friends in S Florida who insist that Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are two separate markets. Odds on any of this ever happening?

Beckham bid gets nod on Ft. Lauderdale site
Yup. They will play in Lockhart Stadium. Former home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Miami Fusion.
 
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Meanwhile down south, Miami will now play in a 'temporary, 18,000 seat stadium down in Ft. Lauderdale (why they don't just use FAU's 29,000 seat stadium is beyond me) before moving to the 'planned' stadium in Miami that is scheduled to be opened by 2022. I have friends in S Florida who insist that Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are two separate markets. Odds on any of this ever happening?

Beckham bid gets nod on Ft. Lauderdale site
It's right up there with the Revs getting a real stadium. Problem is, NE is a set team, whatever Miami is, has not been established or has played a game on any pitch. I'm still skeptical they even become a team.
 

ZooCougar

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Yup. They will play in Lockhart Stadium. Former home of the Fort Lauderdale Strikers and the Miami Fusion.
Lockhart’s field has actual trees growing on it.


 

ZooCougar

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I doubt Friedel is getting fired. The Revs don't care, he's the face of the franchise.
I hope they don’t he’s sort of becoming MLS’s village idiot. Alexi Lalas is jealous.
 
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I have been to both USMNT and Red Bulls (lord, how much I can't stand the name) matches in Harrison both from the city and from the burbs. From the City, basically take the PATH from WTC (about 20 minutes) to get there and its a 10 minute walk from the Harrison PATH station. Technically, its about a 15 minute walk from Newark's Penn Station for people who take NJ Transit; but, its rare to do as its Newark, though the route would take folks from two of the safest neighborhoods in Newark - the business district and upper Ironbound. With respect to driving, I usually park at the PATH station garage and walk over, again simple, and the immediate area around the Arena has become nice with new residences, hotels, and basic restaurants driven by the recently re-built PATH station. The challenge is that while the area immediately around the Arena has been built, the space in between the Arena neighborhood and the highways (I-280 and Route 21) has not. That space is not dangerous; but, its tricky to navigate, especially at night. The Arena itself is nice as its designed for soccer, so the sight lines are good and the roof keeps the sound in. Much better that NYCFC's use of Yankee Stadium. Simply stated, I think this biggest issue for Red Bulls is that its in Jersey and not NYC proper and that impacts people's perception of the team. The Red Bulls are also a bit nervous in that NYCFC has developed a training facility on the west side of the Hudson in Rockland County NY, which historically been considered Red Bull territory. The big question thus becomes where will NYCFC build its own stadium.

A shout out to the town of Harrison, its a small, tough, factory town of about 17,000 people with a lot of soccer heritage. It's high school, which has about 700 students, has won over 25 state (NJ) soccer titles. I think its a national record or something. Harrison High also has a really bitter soccer rival with next door Kearny High school (1,600 kdis), which is the hometown of Tony Meola and John Harkes.

The World Cup is an obsession in North Jersey cradle of American soccer
Good write-up. Harrison has done some good work on that area. It was always blue collar and relatively safe. Some of my Newark law school classmates lived there. My son plays at the field directly across the river that you can see in the picture in this thread. It's really cool to see the Red Bulls stadium in the background while playing a youth soccer game.

Red Bulls (I agree that the name sucks) could make the location work. It's a hotbed of soccer culture and is not too hard to get to from most areas of north and central NJ. From what I've seen they've done an okay job with their academy and trainers, but NYCFC has definitely encroached into what they believed was their territory. But watching a game at Yankee Stadium is a bad experience.

Kearny was awesome in the past. In high school, my JV team used to be their sacrificial lamb at their tournament to give them an easy first win. We beat them one year and I'm not sure we knew how big of a deal it was. Kids were on the ground crying. Kearny's demographics have changed and their youth program is mediocre.
 

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