All right everyone, let’s get serious right now. We all know what’s on your minds when we discuss what a real football league should be. Or those who think we should be following the model of European Football. Let’s start with something easy like Single Table. Yes it is time to get rid of the two conference standings and have a giant single table.
I believe Red Bull NY proved it last year as they got the final playoff spot, excuse me I should say backed into it and entered the Western Conference playoffs by taking care of both Houston Dynamo & Real Salt Lake. I also believe that it will help to see who makes the playoffs for the MLS Cup.
We all know that the top points winner at the end of the regular season will get the automatic spot for the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League, but we shouldn’t worry anymore about playoff spots going to two west teams, one to each or two east teams. Single table for MLS should be implemented as soon as possible and it looks like with Philadelphia entering the league next season and if the Barcelona Miami side is coming as well then it should be interesting to see.
Now here comes the part where I have to tell you guys that are begging or drilling into our heads that Promotion / Relegation has to be implemented a.s.a.p.. Have any of you taken a serious look at the situation with both MLS & USL sides? Of course you haven’t. All you guys can do is scream & shout WE WANT IT! WE WANT IT NOW! WE WANT PRO/REL NOW! Well guess what kids, it’s not going to happen now. It’s not going to happen for a very long time.
Do you guys want to know why it’s not going to happen for a very long time? The answers are so easy & simple it’s starring right in front of your faces. It’s not so much that Major League Soccer clubs need their own stadiums, the United Soccer Leagues in their 1st & 2nd divisions need their own stadiums as well. We all know that Red Bull Arena is in the middle of construction in Harrison, NJ and the old Bannister Mall has been demolished in Kansas City, Missouri to create the new soccer complex, city & stadium for the Wizards. But no one wants to take a look below the MLS level and see what’s going on in the USL.
I have compiled a list and the clubs that are playing in certain stadiums or fields. I want you intelligent folks out there that come to this web site and see what I see.
USL-1ST DIV CLUB: STADIUM
Austin Aztex Nelson Field = High School American football
Carolina Railhawks Wake Med Soccer Park = Not owned by Railhawks
Charleston Battery Blackbaud Stadium = Owned by the Battery
Cleveland City Stars TBD (Former Home Krenzler Stadium)
Miami FC Blues Tropical Park Stadium = Athletic Complex
Minnesota Thunder National Sports Center = Athletic Complex
Portland Timbers PGE Park = Timbers and minor baseball same owner
Rochester Rhinos Rhinos Stadium = Owned by the Rhinos
USL-2ND DIV CLUBS: STADIUMS
Charlotte Eagles Restart Field at Charlotte Christian High School
Crystal Palace Baltimore U of Maryland of Baltimore County
Harrisburg City Islanders Skyline Sports Complex
Pittsburgh Riverhounds Chartiers Valley High School
Real Maryland FC Richard Montgomery High School
Richmond Kickers U of Richmond Stadium
Western Mass Pioneers Lusitano Stadium
Wilmington Hammerheads Legion Sports Complex
Now outside of Charleston, Portland & Rochester that own their own stadiums and the owner of the Portland Timbers also owns the Minor League Baseball team Portland Beavers who are affiliated with the San Diego Padres, the rest of the clubs are paying rent to use the facilities to have a season down in USL. Would you look at the Cleveland City Stars. They started two seasons ago in the USL-2nd Division, won the title last year and with the departure of the Atlanta Silverbacks got promotion to USL-first. Their home was at Krenzler Stadium which was on the campus of Cleveland State University and now they are homeless.
If you go to the Cleveland City Stars website or their section on the USL website those three letters TBD (To Be Determined) have popped up. This has fallen to the number one reason why it happened. It’s called rent money. If everyone of you that’s screaming for Pro/Rel to begin a.s.a.p. to start, all levels of pro soccer could end or worse, MLS could end right away.
Every time I see the Fox Football throw up, I keep hearing these fools that call into the show and keep on saying we need to have Promotion / Relegation. Could you imagine if the Charlotte Eagles in 3rd Division of US Soccer wins the title, gets promoted next season to 2nd Division & win that title get promoted to MLS, how much money do you think that high school will charge them to see MLS clubs that are not involved with US Open Cup matches. What would happen if the Eagles get relegated? Their rent would never go down because the high school knows they could go back up through promotion. That’s why I believe USL sides should also concentrate on building their own stadiums. Why do you think in England these clubs below the Premiership & Championship have small grounds, because they own them.
Of course there are those who think that MLS can create their own second division just to quench their thirst for Pro/Rel to happen. This would never work either. MLS is too concerned about their own league to create a second league. That’s why the stadiums must be built in MLS to have financial stability. I also think that if Pro/Rel does happen here the USL sides must be involved. I hope USL President Francisco Marcos can find a way to persuade the rest of the pro sides to construct stadiums no matter how big or small they should be.
If you want my take on this it’s very simple. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing Pro/Rel happen. But I’m not a fool or blind to the fact that MLS needs to survive for a good long time before any of this happens. That means I will support The Playoffs to help make this league grow. We need to have the playoffs right now to keep things dare I say, American at the moment.