Tag Archives: USL-1

US Soccer’s Big Chance To Do It Right

Before you say it, this IS a pipe dream…but I have to say it:

Major League Soccer is expanding from the present 14 teams over the next couple of years with new franchises in Seattle (2009) and Philadelphia (2010). At the recent All-Star Game it was announcement that two more teams would be added by 2011.

The key word here is “franchise” since the MLS (like every other major American sport) operates on the franchise system and not the club system used around the rest of the world. This means one critical difference – there is no relegation/promotion process at the end of each season. Until MLS has such a system, it will NEVER be taken seriously by the rest of the world.

It doesn’t even have to be on the scale of the English Premier League where three teams “go down” to the lower Football League Championship. Just have the bottom placed team relegated to the USL First Division, with the USL-1 Champion being promoted to the MLS. It wouldn’t work? Then explain that the 2007 USL-1 Champions were the Seattle Sounders – who will become the 15th MLS franchise in 2009…

The English Premier League operates independently of the Football League, with the clubs being shareholders in the EPL, yet they still have relegation/promotion with the lower tier on the English soccer pyramid. Why can’t the USA be the same? If US Soccer wants to be taken seriously, it has to happen eventually.