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What value do summer friendlies have in the US? World Soccer Talk Podcast

World Soccer Talk is the weekly soccer podcast on the topic of watching soccer on TV, online and apps.

In the NEW episode, number 36, Kartik Krishnaiyer and Christopher Harris cover a range of topics including:

• America’s love-hate relationship with summer friendlies, whether they’re good for soccer in the US and how meaningful the matches are or not,

• Discussion of FOX Sports’ coverage of the Gold Cup,

• News about ESPN’s commentators for the International Champions Cup,

• The latest word on the TV ratings for soccer games on United States TV

• Plus questions from YOU, the listeners and much more.

Listen to the show via the player above or via this link.

To enter to win tickets to el Clasico Miami between Real Madrid and Barcelona, go to 11miami.com/clasico. First place wins two ultra-premium VIP seats with all-inclusive food and beverage in the 72Club, inside the Hard Rock Stadium. Second place gets two tickets for the PSG vs Juventus game July 26 at the Hard Rock Stadium. Third place receives VIP Bottle Service for up to 6 people at ROOFTOP AT E11EVEN for the El Clasico Viewing Party on Saturday, July 29. The deadline to enter is Monday, July 24!

Send in your questions, comments and feedback via e-mail web@worldsoccertalk.com, via Twitter (@wsoccertalk) or Facebook. We’ll read them out on-air in the next episode.

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• Subscribe to the World Soccer Talk Podcast on Stitcher,
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. uday kumar

    July 29, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Hello Christopher and Kartik,

    Great job in creating your podcasts. I am a regular listener to your podcast along with MLS ETR, and Soccer Nation. All three are fun to listen to.

    With regards to your most recent podcast on Summer Friendlies, MLS, and Pro/Rel, I value your opinions, but I have some friendly disagreements:

    a) I think MLS has done a decent job in trying to make USA a top soccer country. The business model they have chosed is a direct consequence of the past bankruptcy of NASL. In the 1980’s, NASL was the top league, but they completely misread the soccer market, over committed financially, and went belly up. What revived the top soccer league in USA is the 1994 World Cup, and USA winning women’s world cup in USA. This created organic interest in professional soccer in America.

    When MLS was created, they made a brilliant move by going through a conservative business model with tremendous parity in the league, I must say no other soccer league in the world, has the same parity as MLS. This is great for all the teams, because the games are competitive and entertaining.

    The current MLS business model will be successful until they reach their full capacity of 28 teams, or may be 32 teams just like NFL. So we need to be patient until that point is reached.

    After that point, we do need to introduce Pro/Rel to take it to the next level. But we have to compensate the teams that got into late to MLS and put $150 million franchise fee.

    b) Pro/Rel should be tried out at Div 2, 3, and 4. Let’s see how that works, and learn from it under American conditions. I think there is already some effort going on this front. I fully support this.

    c) Friendlies:
    I live in the Bay Area, and have watched the Earthquakes, USA in Copa and the Gold Cup, and a friendly. The crowd that you get in the summer games that are not MLS, can be very deceiving. In the summer there is no competition from college sports, NFL, NBA, and NHL. The friendlies attract die hard foreign club fans, and some fans like me who are very curious to see top league teams play. But crowd size that you see at the Univ. of Michigan, is not a true guage for a sustainable local club. The crowds that you see at Atlanta FC, and Sounder FC are true indicators because this is organic local interest. These are people born in America, mainly young people who are more interested in “Made in America”.

    People like you are “elite” soccer watchers, and can distinguish the nuances of Barcelona’s level of play vs. Galaxy.

    But for people like me, I want to watch a competitive match that is entertaining.

    So the interest that we are seeing in the friendlies, is a false indicator. these are one time events per year, and that is why people are willing to pay higher ticket values. Ask the same people to pay the same amount for 20 games a year, and I double we will be able to full NFL stadiums.

    We have to be patient for the game to grow organically.

    Cheers,
    Uday
    San Francisco Bay Area

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