The topic of promotion and relegation in US soccer is a divisive one, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe that it’s possible to have an intelligent discussion regarding the topic without comments threads being plagued with soccer fans calling each other names.
But what I am interested in hearing and reading is what your opinion is regarding promotion/relegation and whether you believe it has a place in US soccer or not.
In a presentation today in Manchester, MLS Commissioner Don Garber discussed the growth of MLS and how it’s becoming more relevant, not just in the US but also abroad as the international audiences are tuning in to watch the games more than ever before.
But there was one quote, in particular, that caught my eye — which is included in the image above. It’s Garber’s claim that promotion/relegation would destroy MLS. It’s a scare tactic that I’m sure he hopes that soccer reporters and fans in the US will regurgitate without thinking through what he’s saying. Yes, MLS as we know it today would be severely impacted if promotion/relegation was instituted, but it would be the investors who would be the ones panicking. For soccer fans, it would arguably make it a more competitive and enjoyable league.
My biggest beef with his quote is his mention of “an immature market.” It’s directed at NASL, but to call the US soccer market “immature” is wrong, in my opinion. MLS is not at risk of going out of business — far from it. But even if the worst possible scenario happened and MLS went bust, soccer would continue to thrive in this country and a new league would sprout up overnight. A league going out of business is never going to stop the popularity of the sport especially among the youth and growing Hispanic population.
But what do you think? Share your opinions in the comments section below, or on social media.
Should promotion/relegation happen? Is Garber correct in what he’s saying or is he a scaremonger? Share your opinions below.
Plus, if you’re interested in the topic — either for or against — be sure to check out this Thursday’s edition of Divers and Cheats, featuring an interview with Ted Westervelt. Listen to it live on Rabble.tv from 9-10pm ET.