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.


1 thought on “US Soccer’s Big Chance To Do It Right

  1. Couldn’t agree more, MCZF1. Unfortunately, this is the USA, where the kind of risk/reward, pass/fail meritocracy you are talking about that is exercised in the club system that is futbol internationally would just be considered a class/caste system. The problem with soccer in the USA in particular and team sports in the USA in general is that it is actually a form of socialism that in any other instutution and as it is practiced in a large part of the industrialized world would be ridiculed and despised. The USA didn’t have the kind of proletariat socio-political subculture that much of the rest of the world had for most of its history A.D. That ultimately is why “soccer” is not a major sport in the USA — and never will be — and why the “franchise” system and not the “club” system is standard practice.

Leave a Reply