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USL-PRO Releases Playoff Format, Zings NASL

usl soccer field1 300x197 USL PRO Releases Playoff Format, Zings NASLThis week USL PRO continued its development as a USSF minor league by releasing its playoff schedule. Last week it had released a season schedule and division format outlining how its clubs would compete in its first year of existence as USL PRO.

The playoffs will consist of three rounds, with the top three seeds from the American and National Divisions and the top two seeds from the International Division making the playoffs. All matches will be single-elimination played at the site of the team with the better record, and teams will be reseeded after the quarterfinals. The championship will take place between September 2 and 4.  The press release can be seen here and our story on the league format can be seen here.

Also interesting is this line at the bottom of the release: “USL PRO is the strongest, best operated and most sophisticated North American men’s professional soccer league below MLS, both on and off the field.” This of course was released after it was reported the NASL was losing its provisional sanction from the USSF. I personally don’t believe in coincidences, but maybe it was just a  coincidence that the line was included.

What do you think?  Can MLS learn something from the USL PRO playoff structure, and is it reasonable?

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, USL and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

52 Responses to USL-PRO Releases Playoff Format, Zings NASL

  1. soccerreform says:

    What a farce. NASL is being punished for trying to be the best soccer league in the US, and USL is being rewarded for being subordinate.

    Another indication that we’re not growing toward open leauges, but continuing on our backasswards MLS McSoccer path.

    • Robert says:

      I love your blog soccerreform! keep up the good work and spreading the word

    • Charles says:

      Not saying I disagree with anything you say here and I appreciate your viewpoint.

      But did you really need another indication that:

      “we’re not growing toward open leauges, but continuing on our backasswards MLS McSoccer path.”

      MLS is on the verge of selling a franchise rights to NY for $75 million.
      The valuation of LA was put at $100 million three years ago. Sounders have to be way higher than that.

      Sounders in USL ? They were sold to Hanauer for $1 million in 2002 as part of USL.

      $1 million dollars !?!?!?! And they were the crown jewel of the league !

      MLS McSoccer is here to stay….or nothing of substance will ever stay.

      • soccerreform says:

        You’re really comparing franchise values in a USSF mandated caste system? The Sounders value would have skyrocketed if USSF had the balls to move towards promotion and relegation – along with every D2 club. MLS reincarnation is only the tip of the iceberg.

        MLS has been given enough time to prove that club soccer can exist on a single entity respirator. Artificial scarcity and virtual apartheid may work for NFL and other American sports vis a vis minor leagues and market control. MLS may have figured a way to delay the collapse of of our third major top flight soccer league attempt in 100 years.

        The only thing we need to do to set our club soccer free is to stop believing MLS can blow it all up if they don’t get their way. Can you ditch your hostage mentality?

        • Dave says:

          NASL flopping proves that pro/rel can’t work. You can’t promote or relegate from crap. And D2 here is crap. America isn’t England. The is no large scale demand for soccer here. Now go get a new act. Everyone is tired of your BS. And stop trolling MLS blogs. For a league you claim to hate, you won’t shut up about it.

          • soccerreform says:

            You’re kidding right? Can you name one example of a thriving lower division soccer league in a closed league system anywhere on the planet or in history? Our caste system is the impediment to our D2 clubs reaching their potential.

            Indeed, MLS, NASL and USL are not touching their potential. No closed soccer pyramid ever has. I know there’s a tendency to lump soccer in with our other sports, but we better start accepting the differences.

            Imagine a day when a century of failures in US club soccer can finally be assigned to a grossly inappropriate business model. We will vindicate our history.

            None of our failures are the fault of soccer. All we have to do is reassign the blame to the real culprit: Our domestic sports model, and a federation that can’t lead US club soccer out of a paper bag.

          • soccerreform says:

            BTW, your definition of the demand for club soccer discounts 99% of US v Ghana viewers.

            Keep runnin’ with that glass half empty attitude. That’s what keeps MLS alive.

        • Jpeg says:

          Soccerreform

          i love your blogs and you speak the truth. keep speaking it man, too many people are conformed with the mediocre state of our soccer on the field and structuraly or “product” as they like to call it.

      • soccerreform says:

        On top of that, the Cosmos will need a collective brain scan if they give Don Garber the rights to their name, and $75 million, to play in MLS. Nobody profits from the beginning of an open US soccer pyramid, and the end of the MLS pyramid scheme, more than the Cosmos.

      • Robert says:

        Charles, please read the history of the J-League and see what promotion/relegation did for their league + attendance. If Sounders had 36k in Qwest field when they were in the USL I would be the first to say that promotion and relegation is not needed but that wasn’t the case.

        • Jpeg says:

          If anything J-league is more alike to MLS than any other league. they started roughly the same time as us. in case any of you conformist buttholes are to lazy or ignorant to look it up let me give you a quick run down of j-league history. they started around 93 after a failing attempt to start a pro league out of a bunch of amature leagues with a open club model with no single entity.they later made a second division and added pro/rel. since then both leagues have been expanding at a very healthy rate. they already produced several AFC club champions (how many times have a mls club won CCL?) that sent several clubs to the FIFA club world cup (how many mls franchise clubs won the right to go?). the j league grew into the top 20 best rated leagues in the world according to IFFHS (mls ranks between 40-60.) A-league is in planning of doing the same as j league and so is k league. why are we waiting for stuff like this to happen and still proclaim that we are doing good? MLS isnt the only league that we should care about.

    • Tim says:

      Ted, I actually had a discussion with a Big 4 Exec recently. I brought up Pro/Rel. He says that most executives love it. It creates something fun late in the season. It punishes bad teams. There are several issues that he brought up and you failed to address.
      -Stadiums. Most teams need tax assistance to build a stadium. Very few stadiums are 100% privately finances. Try convincing a local government to invest in a 20k stadium for a second or third division team.
      -Attendance. Would people turn out? Sure the loyal fans would, but Americans love winners and as one see by attendance of any sports team in America, the better the winning percentage, the better the attendance. Sports teams, as he put it, are no longer a local brand, but rather worldwide. The Yankees, Red Sox, Giants, and Dodgers used to represent a community and not a brand. Today they need to represent something larger to make money to lead to winning.
      -Ownership. What owner wishes to invest in a team that is not the best? There are no longer chairmen who funnel money into teams for their pleasure. Sports are businesses now and the owners want to make money first and win second; usually both are correlated.

      Your idea is noble, but naive. To create what you want, you first need a change in sports mentality by the people with the money, not a change in the system.

      • bradjmoore48 says:

        Tim – I think you bring up the 3 major issues with instituting a pro/rel system, I may be a little more optimistic about how those 3 could work (operative word being “could”). First, you seem to assume that D2 and D3 teams have to have 20K seat stadiums when they start, and I don’t think they do. The head of what is supposed to be San Antonio’s NASL side had the right idea, a stadium that is now about 5,000, but could be expanded to 18,000 should the team ever reach MLS. It’s no doubt tough to privately finance stadiums, nor to get public financing for it, but it may be an easier sell to start low and aim high, as it were. The top-flight can set criteria in place that any team in the top flight has to have at least a 12-15k capacity, so if a hypothetical D2 team is promoted, they would have to build up for it. I think ownership will turn up to finance D2 and D3 if they have the carrot in front of them that they could have their shot at the top-flight. I think you may also see more grassroots support initiatives, maybe see teams owned by supporters groups, and likely more soccer-minded owners who love the game and know pro/rel is accepted around the world as a model.

        As for attendances, D2 and D3 will not have as much as D1, but that’s how it is everywhere. If we are using the J-League as a model, J-League 1 (top flight) average attendance is about 19,000, so just slightly above MLS. J-League 2 attendance is around 6,500, and then the regional leagues that make up the 3rd tier of Japanese soccer average around 1,000. And keep in mind, soccer is not Japan’s most popular sport, that still belongs to baseball. Teams in an American hypothetical D2 and D3 would have to be well organized and run to survive, but finding a core of 7-8k in some of the markets not served by MLS now, which include 7 of the top 20 metropolitan areas of the country, with the a D2 team in place that has a shot at D1, I think you can build a core base of fans from that.

        But coming back to reality – if that exec says others like the idea, that at least is promising, but unless USSF gives a mandate to re-align the soccer pyramid with pro/rel, it ain’t happening, and right now, Sunil is way too much in Don Garber’s camp to let it happen. I would love to see pro/rel instituted, because I do think it could work, but as you said, Tim, the mentality has to change….and/or we need a new USSF boss who will light fires under the ass of the American soccer system….

        Good comments though.

        • Tim says:

          You seemed to ignore the potential of say a NYRB or Philly Union getting relegated, when they have too large of stadiums to remain well off, that was the exec’s biggest fear.

          • bradjmoore48 says:

            Philly and NYRB don’t need to sell every seat in their stadium to break even on game day, in most cases 1/2 to 2/3 full is the breaking point. Stadiums can still be used for other events, Dallas only fills 1/3 of its stadium for MLS, but is profitable because they rent their stadium out for HS football games. Most new stadiums would have to be multi-purpose, and outside activity would generate a new set of revenue. And what’s to say if those teams go down there still won’t be say 12-13k attendances, or more, that still show up in D2. I don’t see that as a good reason to not have pro/rel down the line. I do think you’ll have to throw those teams a bone that do go down, so, personally, if I ran USSF, I’d give a “parachute payment” to any MLS pre-pro/rel era team that was demoted with a one-time refund of their entrance fee into MLS. Teams should get by with $20-$40M in D2.

        • soccerreform says:

          brad – pro/rel is a looney concept if you think you can gear it in a way that sways entitled MLS owners. By the time you’re done compromising with them, you may as well call it Gulatimotion and Garberagation, because all of the positive effects of risk and innovation will be bled out of the system.

          No buy ins. Independent clubs. Promotion and relegation to sort ‘em out.

          - and a federation not run by an MLS exec who appears to have no ethical dilemma about his blatent conflicts of interest.

          • Roger says:

            Soccerreform
            you nailed it right on the head!

            I keep saying! The rooth on our soccer stagnation is the USSF!

        • CoconutMonkey says:

          bradjmoore48 -

          Good points on the J.League. It’s a great success story. They have a lot to be proud of.

          I’d just like to point out that the standards for J2 membership are stricter than D2 membership in a lot of ways: stadium (10,000seat minimum), youth structure, joining fee ($200k), annual fee ($200k), a 3k average attendance in the JFL, etc. It ain’t cheap (not sure about bond money though). In comparison, the USSF’s standards aren’t really that bad.

          http://www.j-league.or.jp/eng/jclubs/

          That said, I’m not quite sure the J.League model would work well for the US. Even MLS doesn’t like the kind of travel they put their clubs through. I think we’re going to have to think outside of the box when it comes to lower division soccer.

          P.S. Sagantosu FTW!

      • soccerreform says:

        Tim

        Your naivete trumps mine. There is no negotiation with a monopoly that results in the breakup of that monopoly. MLS benefits from one thing above all others: Control. You think, even if guaranteed 5x more TV viewers, MLS would negotiate a single entity breakup? That’s naive.

        Soccer is blessed with one thing that keeps cartels like MLS from controlling soccer in most of the world: Independent federations. I only ask ours to do what’s right for the sport, and not to confuse that with what’s right for MLS.

        With EPL passing MLS in the ratings last fall, I’m pretty sure there’s not going to be a big “duh?” from US soccer supporters when this goes down. It’s going to increase passion – and support – in every corner of the pyramid. US sports have been moving away from a system in which supporters are intrinsic to the success of their clubs. This takes us back to the days when every single one mattered – we won’t just being used to service MLS debt.

        Structured the right way, the transition to pro/rel can generate the interest needed to sway investors, owners, and governments to build the facilities we need to grow the sport.

        Your “Americans love a winner” theory is as stale as Wonder Bread. Englishmen don’t love ManU, or Germans Bayern Munich? Or for that matter, Americans don’t hate the Yankees?

        American owners invest in soccer clubs in open leagues that don’t finish first right now. Owners want to build the best possible clubs – but you don’t have to guarantee them their clubs will be winners.

        I appreciate the “noble” label. Personally, I can’t wait to vindicate US club soccer history from the idiotic business model that has suffocated it since the 19th century, and cash in on it.

        Leagues don’t decide to subject their clubs to relegation. Federations do. I don’t have to convince MLS owners of anything. They’re welcome to forfeit their sanction if they want to continue on as a chain of discount soccer outlets.

  2. Geess says:

    If the 3rd place team in the International Division has a better record than any of the other 3rd place teams, I think they’d have a valid argument that the system is unfair. I wonder why they didn’t do two Wildcards for the 3rd best finishers? This setup seems very unfair to me.

  3. Dan says:

    USL sucks

  4. Charles says:

    I don’t like the one game playoff.

    MLS should learn that this is a VERY bad system and should go to a three game series for every round.

    • CoconutMonkey says:

      I’m not a fan of the one game playoff either. It seems like too much of a crap-shoot to me.

      The 3-leg approach is kind of cool. However, if a team were to lose the first two matches, they’d have a pretty insurmountable mountain to climb as they would have to score at least 3 goals to even have a chance. With an advantage like that, I think you’d be in for some unattractive soccer.

      The other option could be a best of 3 series, but I wouldn’t want to go down that route either as you’d inevitably run into the situation of clubs playing more matches on less rest then their competition.

      I prefer the Mexican approach: two-legs, draws go to the higher seeded team (except in the final). Even better if you re-seed the clubs after the first round IMO. That way, you don’t have the possibility of a 1v4 – 6v7 semi-final.

      • Charles says:

        The Don doesn’t want the home and home for one reason….and I agree. Advancing on a loss is just dumb. Goal differential, away goals, and other patch jobs for the ties stink at best.

        I am not against re-seeding, leagues are trening towards that but noone can disagree that having a league that puts the emphisis as MLS does on MLS Cup should be adding games to the regular season while keeping the playoffs at 1 game per round. Just doesn’t make sense.

  5. Dan says:

    I don’t think MLS is behind the USSF pulling the sanctioning away. From what i heard is that Mr. Marcos of USL has some very close friends on the USSF board.

    So far MLS has been very supportive of NASL and wants to see it succeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if MLS pulled some strings to help the NASL.

    The whole Pro/Rel thing, well its less about them not that they don’t it, It’s more about D2 stability and the Stadium Issues. Also at this Moment in time US soccer is just not ready for it yet.

    NASL and MLS have been talking very closely between each other as partners more then anything.

  6. Ultra says:

    The NASL’s schedule/playoff system is the best in all of American sports. Single table balanced regular season, the best kind of regular season, to decide the seeding for the postseason, then single-elimination quarterfinals and home & home aggregate series for both the semi’s and the final. Now let’s hope the Supreme USSF Council lets them play and work towards building a sustainable, stable D2. Just ask MLS if you can build a stable, sustainable league in 10 YEARS, let alone the 6 months the NASL was given to fulfill the new D2 standards.

  7. riccardo says:

    Hi mate…best regards from Italy, i’m Richard, a soccer reporter in rome. First of all i would say that you have a so nice blog….then why don’t we make an exchange of links? visit mine and let me know if you like it…you find me on Twitter and facebook…have a good day and thanks again
    STADIO GOAL (http://stadiogoal.com)

  8. Sancho says:

    Nothing against USL praising itself, if this is only marketing. It’s good for the fans, and makes the tournament look more important.

    I like the single-game playoff format, although I am a fan of three-game series. Home-and-Away is very good for knockout tournaments, but in leagues, it just kills the Regular Season by not allowing home field advantage for the best teams.

    Having said that, I don’t like that one division get less spot in the playoffs disregarding the Regular Season. I would make a playoff either with six teams (2 form each division, with the best two with a bye) or 9 teams (3 form each division, with the worst two playing a wildcard round).

  9. ExtraMedium says:

    Single-elimination is too flukey. USL should go geograpical with 3 divisions…Question. Why hasn’t the USL, which kept pro outdoor soccer alive as the A-League, merge with Puerto Rico and Canada, then get D1 status from PR/Canada? PR’s 1st divison has 9 teams. The Canadian Soccer League has 11 non-MLS academy teams, and the Pacific Coast Soccer League has 6 non-MLS academy teams. That’s 31 clubs right now.

  10. ExtraMedium says:

    Oh. My. God. Puerto Rico has pro/reg. Via Wiki:

    The Puerto Rico Soccer League or PRSL is an soccer league in Puerto Rico. It is the first unified football league in the island’s history, and has a total of 9 teams. Soccer has been growing in popularity in recent years, and this is an attempt to further develop the game on the island. The previous highest league in the country was the Campeonato Nacional de Futbol de Puerto Rico. Now the relegation to the league is the Liga Nacional…The Second Division is divided in 2 Groups of 8 teams each. Relegation and promotion between the First and Second Divisions is expected to start in 2011. The Second Division is called Liga Nacional de Futbol de Puerto Rico. In 2009 the Second Division changed from the 2008 season and officially became a league with 16 teams. The League is split into 2 groups of 8 teams.

    1st division: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Rico_Soccer_League
    2nd division: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liga_Nacional_de_Futbol_de_Puerto_Rico

    • Roger says:

      Puerto Rico, and Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobagos, and Surinam and very much almost all of the catibean Islands!!

      Ohh my god! How can they practice promotion and relegation without stadiums on every city? How do they do it ? How come their clubs get relegated and still survive? Do they have big TV contracts in Martinique? How many Red Bulls Arenas do they have in Grenada?

      I am so confused ?!………..sarcastic, of course!

  11. Estefan says:

    No playoff scheme is “the best.” Why negate a months-long regular season schedule with a second chance program for “also rans?” If you can’t cut it during the season, why do you get another chance after the season is over?

    Has anyone considered that the reason that many quality teams don’t do well in the playoffs is because they’ve been busting their tails all season long – to be the best? What of the “star” players who end up on the D.L. at the end of a long season and can’t be there with/for their teams when the “second” season finally rolls around 7-8 months later? Playoffs are garbage!

    Where USL / NASL is concerned, kudos to USL! They had a good, viable system in place. Some smarmy, know-it-all owners thought that they had a better idea(s), defected to a “league” that was poorly thought-out, ill-conceived, and in the end, not only poorly executed, but unsustainable. F.C. St. Louis is bankrupt – gone, Carolina Railhawks are from all appearances – in trouble, and Montreal Impact was never staying with the “league” to begin with! What do you build on? Miami F.C.? They had the worst attendance in all of organized soccer!

    Kudos again to USL for weathering the storm, keeping their league and teams afloat, securing a t.v. contract (which NASL also hadn’t done), and remaining interested in the game, not in coddling multi-millionaires!

    • ExtraMedium says:

      Th USL is a danger to the American closed franchise model because that model has team owners also act as league owners, therefore, they do what’s in their interests, not the game’s interest. USL deviated and separated league ownership from team ownership. The USSF sided with American tradition and is trying to crush the USL. I say defect to Puerto Rico and get D1 status there and form an “anti-MLS.” I’d support that.

      • Estefan says:

        Sounds like we’re in agreement. Hadn’t thought of the Canadian/Puerto Rican D1 idea before I read it in your earlier post, but it sounds like a decent idea.

        As for the conflict of interest between owner’s interests and the interests of the game, I couldn’t agree more! Of course the owners need to make money, that’s what they’re in business for, and no one begrudges them that right, however, when their personal business interests begin to trample the best interests of the sport, then they have to be held in check! Playoffs – especially excessive playoffs (a.k.a. half or more of your league’s teams qualifying – winning record or not) make a mockery of the game.

        RSL was a good example. There are many debates about whether the team just got hot at the right time and whether or not they deserved to be there, but my argument comes down to one point – they were the first team in United States professional sports history to be named “Champion” that did not have a winning regular season record!

        We could laugh at MLS for being the first to have this happen, but let’s emphasize “first.” The other major sports franchises (especially Hockey & Basketball), are just a circumstance or two away from this same scenario repeating itself… playoffs make a mockery of the game, and they are in the best interest of the owners, not of the teams, the fans, or the game in general!

        Good chatting with ‘ya!

      • Jpeg says:

        i dont like the american closed franchise system. correct me if im wrong but isnt MLS club “owners” (really investors/operators) are also part owners of the league? every single owner of a mls club is a share holder of MLS so they do what they want and not whats good for the game. also since its single entity if every club does well but one or two clubs do bad every single club is going to feel that negative pinch. also the clubs doing bad mooch of the clubs doing good. i think thats what you were trying to say if so im sorry for being redundant. but i agree there should be a seperation between league ownership/operation and club ownership/operation. just like seperation of church and state.

      • Jpeg says:

        I also agree with you estefan. plus further proof of owner manipulation of the game in MLS is NFL intrution of MLS. think about it, a former NFL europa exec, don “garbage” garber, is running the league. serveral club owners are NFL owners including Revolution, Sounders, FC Dallas/Columbus Crew. also many clubs are part of ownership groups that have stakes in other more valuable sports than soccer, how are they going to let MLS trample over their vaulable nfl/nba/nhl franchises? makes you think….

        • Dan says:

          If it weren’t for certain NFL guys like the Hunts we wouldn’t have MLS. Lamar Hunt risked losing his Kansas City Chiefs when started up the Dallas Tornado back in the old NASL. The played from 1967 to 1981.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dallas_Tornado, plus The Crew, FC Dallas, and Kansas City would have folded with out Hunt.

          • Estefan says:

            Dan:

            Agreed, and that was a point that I was going to make in response. My family and I are metro-Detroiters, and with no pro-team in our area, have become Columbus Crew fans, making the 188 mile trip once each summer to see “The Crew” at the Ohio State Fairgrounds – in person. We’re not very happy the Hejduk and Schelotto (along with some others) aren’t there any longer, but we enjoy the opportunity to see a beautiful pitch in person, and watch a fairly quality team on it (we’ll see what they look like this year)! So, yes, thank you to Lamar Hunt and his family, otherwise, we probably have no MLS.

            The article, however, was about USL Pro (indirectly NASL), and the “playoff” system(s), which I still think are garbage! If I’m not mistaken, with a single table, Columbus would now have had 3 MLS championships to it’s name, and L.A. Galaxy would have been Champs last season. Instead, we get fourth, fifth and sixth seeded teams in the final. Don’t like that, and it’s totally and completely owner (extra-profit) driven.

        • Roger says:

          It also makes me think how those kind of questions are allways avoided!

          If we start moving towards a open, promotion and relegation “soccer system”; with the potential of a pyramid that could create literally thousands of clubs all around the nation; coul such reality be a threat to the “American Sports Elite” interests, and the closed systems they have sold us like the only choice in america?

          Of course it will!

          All of a sudden a group of NFL people loves our game, and have decided top “invest” on it! ?!?!?! VERY VERY SUSPICIOUS!?

          Our game true potential is definitly a threat. I think we have wolves in charge of the chicken safety!

    • Charles says:

      I guess Salt Lake and Columbus were not quality teams when they won MLS ?

      Kind of bizzarre as they are still going in CCL.
      Someone better alert CONCACAF that 1/4 of the teams left for the 2010 championship are not quality.

      Do you think maybe, just maybe there is a LOT of parity in MLS. As inI read that only 4 teams have made both the playoffs in the last two years.

      • MLS is living proof that the search for profit is not always a search for popularity. It’s great that MLS teams are still alive in CCL. It’s sad that we’re sending them there under a unique set of arbitrary restrictions that no other clubs in the world must face.

      • Estefan says:

        Charles:

        Don’t know if this post was directed my way or not, but in case it was, I never said that they weren’t quality sides. One) Columbus has been amongst the class of American soccer for a few years now. Two) RSL proved to be a good side AFTER they (unjustly in my opinion) won the MLS Championship.

        They were NOT, however, a good side throughout much of their regular season – as mentioned – unable to attain even a winning record, and therefore, should have never been in a position to play in a “playoff” scenario. Such practices make a mockery of the regular season, the game, the fans, the league, and throw months of achievment out of the window.

        My response to the article was exactly in that vein, essentially saying that I’m sorry to see that even USL Pro will be following a “playoff” model. Bad idea in my estimation, and an encouragement for indifferent ownership to field a marginal team. After all, you don’t have to be great (or even .500)to make the “playoffs!”

        • Charles says:

          It was directed at you and you DID say the MLS Cup champions were not quality teams. MLS is a parity league, the 8th seed Salt Lake team was very close to the Columbus 1st seed team…very close.

          I am for less teams making the playoffs ( ten is a joke ) and for the playoffs to be way longer (best 2 out of 3 all the way through ), which would negate your two very valid concerns of regular season teams that didn’t do well winning it all.

  12. At the end of this conversation, here’s the stats: 87 or 103 lower division clubs have expired since 1996. You con find a list of 430 defunct US soccer clubs at Wikipedia. Even MLS has a 10% failure rate. Yet, USSF is contemplating the elimination of another entire league.

    You may believe that MLS is the only set of clubs that matters in the US soccer pyramid. It’s pretty clear the current leadership at our federation agrees.

    If we have such a glut of teams that USSF thinks they’ve got room to relegate entire leagues, haven’t we arrived at an organic moment that should be sprouting real promotion and relegation, not an arbitrary version of it applied with the interests of one league in mind?

    I’m sick of USSF working so hard to avoid the appearance that our system is broken – in order to protect the interests of a tiny minority of soccer investors in the US.

    It may be natural for our domestic sports guys to crush the competition into dust. That attitude has been fracking up US club soccer since the 1920s. Our local system and the ineffectual federation governing it are to blame – not the sport. I believe it is time to vindicate soccer from this mess. Not to be noble, or to be like europe, but because our “system” …..does not work for soccer.

  13. Don Garber is going down says:

    If you must watch live football, don’t support Garber’s league. Go see the Railhawks or whatever. I know many here get enough football fix with the EPL, and that’s fine. But if you want live footy action, don’t give your dollars to Garber. He runs a ponzi scheme.

  14. Roger says:

    What if a group of fans decide to organize and create the first promotion /relegation american soccer league?!

    *A web page,
    *a few adds,
    *clear public criteria needed to be met in order to join league.
    *very reasonable, affordable fees (not 40M!)
    *at the begining just one level of regional leagues so that clubs save on travel * + play offs
    *set higher criteria for upper division (first brake)
    *as soon as a certain number of clubs meet criteria for higher division, execute the “first split”
    *and build from the buttom up, by setting different criteria for the diferent levels, and creating those higher divisions as soon as a certain number of clubs meet that criteria (16 clubs , axample)

    To build the base of the pyramid first and allow it to organically grow is the idea.
    At the begining the clubs will be very humble, but by keeping the traveling distances as short as posible they will have a chance to survive. In order to accomplish that, the pyramid’s base will have to be as regional as posible. Not the nonsense of having a new club travel from LA to the caribean!?

    I think it is posible! Specially on a continent with thousands of cities without any sport teams at all!

    Think about the support such idea will get from the international soccer community! It can definitly be HUGE!

    As far as getting USSF sanctioned?! I would not worry about it.
    The creation of such a league would be the result of fans not recognizing this USSF as a legit defendant of our games interest.
    So, we do not sanction them either!

    I think if fans organize and work, such idea is posible!

    Thoughts?

    • soccerreform says:

      You’re forgetting that a majority of the US Soccer board believes they owe the very existence of the club game to a group of entertainment moguls and owners of other pro sports called MLS – aka SUM.

      In this bizarro world, all common sense must be subordinated to their financial needs.

      If we could only abandon this hostage mentality, common sense could be restored, and logical arguments like yours could gain traction.

  15. Terrific review! This is exactly the type of blog post that needs to be shared around the internet. Shame on the Bing for not positioning this post higher!

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