Will the MLS become one of the biggest leagues in the world in our lifetime?

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by End on a Hinote, May 20, 2016.

  1. Pouchkine

    Pouchkine Registered User

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    What it would need : An enormous financial crisis in Europe. MLS teams being allowed to take part in Champions League and Europa League. Baseball or Football having a radical decline in popularity. An intelligent and serious leadership in MLS. I don't see any of it happening. So no no chance at all.
    But MLS should be better and more serious than it is at the moment, I see it regressing in many ways which shouldn't be happening.

    That being said from what I know soccer is the most popular sport in North America in terms of people actually playing it for real. It is in Canada since around 1998. I think it's the same in the US. For me that means much more. I prefer people playing the game they love than "tv fans". For me that's the real thing. Those people sure deserve a better product and more serious one than mls is now.
     
  2. Pouchkine

    Pouchkine Registered User

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    What I mean is that I feel the current MLS leaders are WASTING the huge potential of soccer in North America by giving fans and potential fans a subpar and not serious product. The league is tough to be taken seriously even those who really want to support it and hope like myself that we have the best league we can here and be abble to enjoy our favorite sport locally, not just games on tv from Europe...
     
  3. Roadrage

    Roadrage Registered User

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    IMHO, MLS will not be one of the biggest leagues in the world in my lifetime for various reasons. Too much competition for the same entertainment dollar. Salary cap is way too low to attract decent talent. Too many Americans view soccer as a "weak or not macho enough" sport where everyone falls at the slightest touch.

    Personally, I just can't see how baseball is more exciting then soccer. I play and watch soccer and I've tried to watch and play baseball. I've never actually been to a EPL, La Liga, etc type of soccer game. I have been to 6 different ball parks (Probably like 40+ games) to watch MLB games and have NEVER sat through more then 5 innings total per game as I find it boring.
     
  4. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    It's a pretty simple equation that answers this thread. No CL/EL = no top players in their primes = the MLS never becoming a big league.

    Even if the US started pumping talent out like Spain/Germany/Brazil, without access to european competition, they'd never keep those talents any longer than the Brazilian & Argentinian leagues keep their best kids.
     
  5. Bakayoko Ono

    Bakayoko Ono Registered User

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    Pretty sure it will. The NA is a massive economy, people seem to love sports and the game's popularity is growing. Europe on the other hand is a declining continent split in, relatively speaking, small, mostly struggling economies. You have the Prem and then one or two major clubs in other countries.

    Americans also seem to know how to turn sports into massive, profitable business. Not to mention European soccer stars seem to enjoy the lifestyle major American cities offer.

    The CL isn't going to be the way it is forever. There's probably going to be some sort of a major inter-continental competition sooner or later as MLS gains more popularity and financial might.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  6. Hackett

    Hackett BAKAMAN

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    Not sure what the future holds for this league, but I like what it is today. There's a certain charm to it that I just can't explain. However, the officiating really gets on my nerves.
     
  7. Ivan94

    Ivan94 Registered User

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    Yes. Russians also managed to change their schedule to a 'winter schedule' without playing during winter. The season starts in july and ends in may, with an x-tra long winter break from early december to early march.


    I think MLS can overtake Mexico and Brasil to become the best league outside of Europe. But it depends on the progress of Chinese Super League.
     
  8. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Wasn’t that the transition they went through from “League Shareholders†to “Franchise owners†?

    I think MLS has tons of potential to grow financially, because they ARE a niche league: SUMMER SOCCER, when all they’re competing with is MLB.

    Salaries are low, they’re not competing for players because it’s a different season. They’re not competing with NFL, NBA, NHL for attendance.

    The percentage of consumers that grew up while "Soccer is a Big Five Sport in America" will keep growing and TV Revenue as a byproduct of that. So they should stay summer, keep growing, and use that opportunity to build a war chest (percentage of profits, of expansion fees, of TV money that goes into a central MLS fund, accumulating interest) for an “International Calendar SwitchFund.â€
     
  9. KevFu

    KevFu Registered User

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    Agreed. Hence my belief that the longer they stay in the summer, the lack of competition will create more fans over time so they retain more viewers/revenue when they do eventually shift to the world soccer calendar.

    Well, It’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

    The MLS teams are part of CONCACAF Champions league with Mexico, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean.

    I doubt Europe invites the US for pro an national competition. If they did, it’s probably not smart for us to try and qualify for the World Cup through Europe instead of North America.

    I don’t think there could be a professional exemption for MLS teams, but it’s possible, I suppose. But that’s a long way off.

    The nearer future likely holds a merger of CONCACAF and CONMEBOL for a Confederation of the Americas with our 53 nations. Might take 15 to 40 years, but that probably will happen.
     
  10. KingLB

    KingLB Registered User

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    Except this is factually incorrect. The first 12ish teams are some of the weaker teams financially in MLS right now. The more recent expansion, ie Orlando/Seattle/Portland/Toronto/NYC2/Van are all significantly stronger financially than the Chicago/Colorado/Cbus/Dallas (and 2 of those are top5 markets) of the world.
     
  11. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    I tend toward this point of view, but a lot has to change, and it's not on the horizon. Football people in NA still aren't nearly competent enough. If the US were pumping out talent at the same rates as Spain, Germany, or France, then they would also have the economic power to keep those players in the league. I can't imagine the MLS luring foreign players in the prime of their careers en masse just with money; they need at first to develop their own players. The Champions' League's grasp on the competition isn't nearly as permanent or as hard to assail as, say, the NHL's or NBA's. Traveling methods could also improve to make transatlantic competitions less taxing on players. The MLS won't reach that point just by piggy-backing on the EPL's growing popularity in NA, though.
     
  12. Luigi Habs

    Luigi Habs Captain Saku

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    Agreed. The product on the field is still weak. Sadly the average american soccer player is below average comparing to the average player in Europe.

    The MLS needs to do some changes to improve the product on the field. First I think they should lower the DP rule to one max per team. At the same time they need to increase the salary cap to around 15M and have a max salary for non DP of 1M. They need to drastically improve the average player in the MLS because right now the product is poor.
     
  13. Power Man

    Power Man Grrrr

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    Short answer : lol no
     
  14. theaub

    theaub 34-38-61-10-13-15

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    The optimal scenario would've been to weed out the crap markets (which would've happened rather quickly with no cap) and then move them to actual good markets.

    Of course, if that was the case the league would've never gone to Canada...although that would've been a good thing as well. MLS is pretty much the worst thing for Canadian soccer.
     
  15. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    But the domestic talent will never get to that level. For it to do so would take a tremendous investment that there's no push for. And there won't be a push for that investment until americans feel like they can actually compete at the top level. Which won't happen until the domestic talent improves enough for the NT to make some noise. Enter catch-22.
     
  16. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    But what if European clubs develop enough young Americans into top players that America does get to the point where they think they can compete?

    The (EPL) viewership is obviously growing quickly as well. Whether that fosters a connection with the sport at a grassroots level is uncertain.
     
  17. cgf

    cgf FireBednarsSuccessor

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    Isn't that what they've been hoping for for the past, ever? Sure they may get a pulisic/zelalem and some solid players out of it; but they'll never get even a darkhorse WM-contender like this. And you won't win the american public over, unless there's at least an outside chance of them winning.

    It's not the grassroots that they lack, but the higher level training that the academy systems have provided us; which is where you need the interest to pus through the investments needed.
     
  18. Deficient Mode

    Deficient Mode Registered User

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    Well there's a difference between actually competing at the top level and feeling like they can compete at the top level. The latter presumably precedes the former in the case of an optimistic fan base like the US seems to be (judging by some of the Copa America predictions I've seen elsewhere)...

    They do lack grassroots stuff though. There are no clubs to snatch up talented 10 year olds into academies of course, but the coaching at a youth level is wretched from what I've seen and heard. A lot worse than Germany. I do agree that the club investment is far more important though. The US could afford that on a large scale... MLS teams alone don't want to put the money in though.
     
  19. Brock Anton

    Brock Anton flames #badnwagon

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    MLS academies are all less than 10 years old, of course we're not at a certain level of youth development yet. It's growing pains. MLS is also beginning to realize that investing money at the youth level is what's really going to make the league grow to the heights they claim to want. Signing big name players is great and all (and IMO still needed), but MLS isn't going to really developing into a true top league until the clubs/league REALLY throw money into the academies. I 100% agree that the youth level coaching needs to be better, a HELL of a lot better, but I believe that MLS has lined up partnerships with the likes of the France FA to help development of youth coaches. So you can't say they're not trying.

    I think, in terms of development, the real problem is the NCAA. The college soccer season is far too short, the rules aren't to FIFA standard and the NCAA's stance on amateurism really limits what an MLS club can do with their prospects w/o signing them. Not to mention by the time some leave college, they're already 22-24 years old. Players in Europe are already 6-7 year pros at that age. That's where we're really behind IMO. Though, I think with the MLS/USL partnership growing and MLS clubs investing in reserve sides (and we get better coaching), we're going to start seeing more and more top academy kids signing HGP contracts at 16-17 (or go to Europe) and bypassing college. Again, this is going to take time though. The HGP rule has only been in effect since, I think, 2009. In 7 years, the HGP rule has already seen two players get sold to the EPL (Yedlin, Miazga) and has developed numerous other international quality players for various CONCACAF sides. Not to mention there's been quite a few kids from MLS academies/affiliates who've been plucked by European/Mexican sides. You'd have to think that the more MLS throws $$$ at the academies, the more we're going to see really talented players come up trough the system.

    As for those who find the league to be of poor play and a joke, that's just your opinion. Is it even close to being the best league in North America? God no. Liga MX usually blows our doors off every CCL (the gap is closing however, just not as quick as MLS likes/thinks). But that doesn't make it bad, it's just a lazy, blanket statement. It's not 2005 anymore. Trust me, I've been following MLS since 2002 and I can confidently say that MLS in 2016 is a billion times of better quality than it was 15 years ago. It deserved all the 'lol MLS is a joke' comments in the early-to-mid 2000's... now? Not so much.
     
  20. varsaku

    varsaku Registered User

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    I have been watching MLS for about 5 years now and can already notice a big difference from when I first started watching. This league is still in its infancy but is now rapidly growing in interest and popularity. I don't think MLS will be able to compete with the big European leagues in terms of talent but can compete in terms of entertainment value.
     
  21. Chimaera

    Chimaera same ol' Caps

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    No chance.

    It would take a massive failure by most of the top European leagues for it to even be plausible.

    They'll continue to grow, carve out a niche, but the American sports fan and by association sports dollar is a fickle beast. Sure, there could be a world altering event, like the US men's national team winning the World Cup that spurs growth like we haven't seen, but that's not likely. You had an event like that with the Americans winning the Gold in Lake Placid for Hockey, and that didn't propel the sport to the heights we're talking. When will the MLS have a rivalry that's anywhere close to must see tv? Sure, demographics in the US are changing, more people are watching, but it's not going to be a quick movement.
     
  22. Pouchkine

    Pouchkine Registered User

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    MLS is not a summer league. It runs from March to November. It's too long and yes it competes with all the rest for corporate money and fans money, nfl mlb nba nhl and all the rest.

    The geography thing really hurts, no Champions League no Europa League as many have said = no players in their prime, no big tv money. And NFL and MLB will always be there. MLB it's 162 games...In Europe there's no real competion for soccer.

    One thing they will need to improve in the coming years it's tv ratings. The crowds at stadiums are impressive but the tv numbers are laughable. The problem is games don't seem "important" and or big events. Too many teams in playoffs and all that. When you watch even an average EPL game it seems like a super important game and the intensity level is contagious, then you have the big cups CL EL, national team games...then your famous "Regular Season" MLS game seem so random and almost like a friendly or exhibition game.
     
  23. Ugmo

    Ugmo Registered User

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    Not having great domestic talent hasn't held the EPL back any.
     
  24. Ugmo

    Ugmo Registered User

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    Most games in Europe aren't that important either. In most leagues only 1 or 2 clubs have a realistic shot at the championship, the same clubs get promoted and relegated every year, and the lion's share of the clubs are competing to be the best teams in the middle of the pack. It only seems more exciting to you because that's the system you're used to.
     
  25. chasespace

    chasespace Registered User

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    This is incorrect. Most South American leagues run from early March to November/December.
     

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