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Leagues: MLS

Fearless Predictions for 2008

  • The US National Team will rely on two, maybe three thirty somethings to move through the first group of CONCACAF qualification. (the names Frankie Hejduk, Eddie Lewis and Pablo Mastroeni come to mind)
  • Major League Soccer will fail to sign a big name over the hill international, but will scout well and sign a few regular national team members from Latin America.
  • The European Championships will flop on ESPN and ABC without any British Isles nations participating. Our orientation in the American soccer media is heavily skewed towards the Premier League and England National Team almost to the point where England’s team gets as much attention from our media as the US team.
  • The more aggressive and successful USL clubs will see the Seattle model and attempt to climb into MLS by finding more investment and perhaps signing one or two decent internationals.
  • We will begin to see the fruits borne of the partnership between the MLS and Bundesliga. Better TV production, more creative marketing and perhaps more fan participation will be the results of MLS learning from the Bundesliga.
  • MLS will begin to learn its future lies in the alternative soccer based media (like CSRN) and Latino/Hispanic oriented media. Therefore the league will continue to move its product towards the demographic likely to embrace the league. Drew Carey’s marching band idea in Seattle not withstanding, we will see more emphasis on the product on the field and less clever Americanized sideshows around the game.
  • Carlos Bocanegra’s continued poor play will force him out of England and either back to MLS or to Scandinavia.
  • Speaking of Scandinavia, one or two Americans who play there will become national team regulars, since those Yanks play more meaningful regular roles on their clubs than many of the Americans playing in the Premier League, Bundesliga or even in some MLS situations.
  • More young American players will move directly to Holland, Sweden or Germany rather than attend college for more than two years. MLS with its insulting pay scale for developmental players is not an option for these aspiring national team members.
  • Real Salt Lake will be the most improved team in MLS for 2008.
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  1. eplnfl

    January 8, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    I agree with Harvey, I expect the ratings to be good despite the English failure to appear. The US audience just wants to see good soccer at the international level. After all England has been a no show before and the sport still did alright

  2. Danny

    January 8, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    The officiating is bad in MLS but alot of that is on the USSF, not MLS.

  3. Harvey

    January 8, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I could care less about England missing the Euros.

    The soccer driven media here pushes England on us but the bottom line is I see just as many Germany, Italy or France jerseys as England when I walk around Chicago or Washington. That’s the bottom line. England missing the Euros only affects MLS’ ability to market Beckham’s exploits in Europe and co-brand with the England National Team.

  4. Joe

    January 8, 2008 at 10:40 am

    Well said Bandetto and well said Kartik. Insulting is how I too describe the payment of young american kids in the MLS and I agree about needing to pay refs much much more.

  5. football detective

    January 7, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    MLS can bring more players from South America but what does that do for players like David Arvisu?

  6. bandeeto

    January 6, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    MLS must raise the base salary across team rosters and on the development side. It is not worthwhile to stay in the US as a youngster. Just look a David Arvisu. Totally floundering now, but showed so much skill and potential only a year ago. I believe this could in part be due to the lack of value that MLS shows in him, and other youngsters with promise, by the crap pay they are offered. How easy is it to find a full time job that will pay the bills, yet give him all the time off during the MLS season to practice, train, and travel? When he could be gone for weeks at a time?! And what about Ref. pay? it’s a joke. MLS needs quality refs as much or more than another DP. Let’s bring some from south america. Pay them the same, and they no longer need to worry about getting mugged on the field, and/or death threats off of it.

  7. eplnfl

    January 6, 2008 at 9:28 pm

    2008 may well be the make or break year for the MLS. They go into the year with a big carry over from 2007 and more soccer coverage than ever on major US networks. I also thinks the Summer games in China is a good forum for US Soccer since it gives more coverage to the USWNT. They have become a favorite for American Olympic viewers.

    If the MLS can sign another big name and as you report he maybe be already signed, and if Beckham can produce on the field as well as in the media then the foothold that soccer obtained in the US, will become a stronghold, a small one but entrenched.

  8. Danny

    January 6, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Drew Carey’s marching band is the lamest idea in MLS history, and their have been plenty of stupid lame ideas before it!

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