Gothamite

North American Pro Soccer 2018

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18 minutes ago, DG_Now said:

The idea that USL is a better product than MLS seems rooted more in contrarianism than in fact. USL is a valuable product, but can't ever compete financially with MLS. And it really shouldn't.

 

In 20-40 years there may be a pathway to pro/relationship among the four American soccer leagues, and that seems like a reasonable goal. But that's about as close you can get to the idea of USL surpassing MLS.

I agree completely. The MLS has done a lot to grow the game and its fan culture in the U.S., but I'd argue that leagues like USL play an even bigger role. It's remarkable to me that a league that includes large metros like Indianapolis, Charlotte and Pittsburgh also includes smaller metro areas Bethlehem and Harrisburg, Pa.; the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; Reno, Fresno and Tulsa. Those are markets MLS can't reach on its own. 

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3 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

MLS has done a lot to grow the game and its fan culture in the U.S., but I'd argue that leagues like USL play an even bigger role. It's remarkable to me that a league that includes large metros like Indianapolis, Charlotte and Pittsburgh also includes smaller metro areas Bethlehem and Harrisburg, Pa.; the Rio Grande Valley of Texas; Reno, Fresno and Tulsa. Those are markets MLS can't reach on its own. 

 

True, and MLS shouldn't be reaching those markets on its own.  That's not what they do.  But soccer wouldn't be viable in those smaller markets without MLS paving the way.  I remember the implosion of the original (real) NASL, and it did incalculable damage to American soccer all up and down the leagues.

 

I don't want to minimize the contribution of the USL, showing that lower-league soccer can have a viable business model.  And their geographic reach is larger, scattered across three leagues, so their role will continue to be invaluable.  Soccer needs local clubs in small- to mid-size cities just as much as it needs large marquee clubs in major markets.  But people wouldn't be investing Bethlehem, Reno, or Tulsa if MLS hadn't stabilized the sport in our country.

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On 9/24/2018 at 4:20 PM, Corvus said:

Can the Whitecaps please just fire Robbo now and move on? 

 

 

Well, that worked. 

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According to an unnamed source quoted in a piece in today's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the administration of Governor Mike Parson of Missouri is interested in "working on a stadium proposal" in order to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to St. Louis. Reportedly, officials with the State of Missouri's Department of Economic Development met with MLS representatives as recently as yesterday.

Soccer stadium talks back on again in St. Louis

 

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So long as Mr. Peacock isn’t allowed anywhere near the project, they might have a chance. 

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FC Cincinnati have clinched the 2018 USL Regular Season Championship with their win over Richmond Kickers tonight. They have now won 9 straight (tying a USL record set last year by Real Monarchs SLC) and are now unbeaten in 20 straight (since May 26th). The record for unbeaten games in the USL is 22 set by Richmond back in 2013. Cincinnati has three games remaining. They clinched home field throughout the USL cup playoffs. Tonights win also breaks the modern USL record for most wins in a season (22) and points in a season (72). These guys are definitely leaving the USL with a bang.

 

 

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Sorry for the double post

 

Congrats to the Houston Dynamo on winning the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tonight defeating Philadelphia Union 3-0. They now qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League

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So it seems the league is gonna forget about stopping at 24 teams as I heard. MLS is now 26 teams strong, including clubs that haven’t played yet. I hope St. Louis gets one. I’ve been a huge fan of this hypothetical team since the conversation for one began about 10 years ago. I remember when they were talking about building the stadium in nearby Collinsville, IL. That plan went nowhere pdq.

 

I sat by and watched other cities get tapped by the league over us... Seattle, Philadelphia, Montreal, Atlanta... Each time I got more worried that we would lose our chance at having a top-tier team of my new favorite sport. I wish there was something I can do, but I live on the Illinois side of the river, and landing a pro team in St. Louis is a Missouri issue, so I’m not certain what kind of voting power I would have.

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On 9/26/2018 at 10:21 PM, Dilbert said:

Sorry for the double post

 

Congrats to the Houston Dynamo on winning the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup tonight defeating Philadelphia Union 3-0. They now qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League

Boo to this.

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I wouldnt be suprised if they went a NL/AL method. Get up to 40ish teams, but not have interconference play until the MLS cup final

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Just now, DiePerske said:

I wouldnt be suprised if they went a NL/AL method. Get up to 40ish teams, but not have interconference play until the MLS cup final

 

Split along East/West lines, I had this exact same thought recently. 20 teams in the East, 20 in the West, traditional home/away 38-game schedule, and then conduct a postseason from there.

 

The obvious concern would be talent dilution. I wouldn't concern myself too much with that personally. It's soccer, for g-d's sake. There's no shortage of people across the world playing it, and so if there's any sport that could have it's top domestic league "withstand" being expanded that much without diluting the talent across the league too much, it would be soccer. 

 

If you had 20 Eastern markets and 20 Western markets, odds are you would satisfy just about every city that's clamoring for the sport by that point. 

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Just now, Kramerica Industries said:

 

Split along East/West lines, I had this exact same thought recently. 20 teams in the East, 20 in the West, traditional home/away 38-game schedule, and then conduct a postseason from there.

 

The obvious concern would be talent dilution. I wouldn't concern myself too much with that personally. It's soccer, for g-d's sake. There's no shortage of people across the world playing it, and so if there's any sport that could have it's top domestic league "withstand" being expanded that much without diluting the talent across the league too much, it would be soccer. 

 

If you had 20 Eastern markets and 20 Western markets, odds are you would satisfy just about every city that's clamoring for the sport by that point. 

Yeah, the traditional arguements of talent dilution dont apply. Hockey has only a handful of countries, baseball the same. NFL only really has the US.

 

Soccer has the world, and it isnt like there arent already a million teams or so.

 

Besides, and I know the talent level is going up, MLS isnt on the same level as top flight in Europe (at least top five). With 40 teams, you can make MLS a proving ground for young players. Better that than the old vision of it being a retirement ground.

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On 9/28/2018 at 5:27 PM, BigRed618 said:

So it seems the league is gonna forget about stopping at 24 teams as I heard. MLS is now 26 teams strong, including clubs that haven’t played yet. I hope St. Louis gets one.

 

Nobody ever seriously thought they were going to stop at 24.

 

As for St. Louis, you had a great shot at a club.  But your billionaire would-be owner threw a fit when denied a mere $60M in public money. Shame. You need to find a better class of owner. 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:

 

Nobody ever seriously thought they were going to stop at 24.

 

As for St. Louis, you had a great shot at a club.  But your billionaire would-be owner threw a fit when denied a mere $60M in public money. Shame. You need to find a better class of owner. 

First the cap was 24, then it was 28. I think we will definitely pass that cap but the expansion process will be extremely difficult and not awarded until everything is in place. Not gonna have a situation like Miami again.

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2 minutes ago, Dilbert said:

Not gonna have a situation like Miami again.

 

Of course not - the league was contractually obligated to treat Beckham as they did. That’s not going to happen again unless Messi signs.

 

But nobody seriously thought that MLS would stand pat at 24 clubs.  Just as nobody seriously thinks they’ll be done next december when they announce #s 27 and 28.  The league doesn’t have specific plans to expand beyond that at the time, so they don’t talk about it.  But that silence shouldn’t be confused for a vow not to expand any further. 

 

When all is said and done, and MLS really has stopped expanding, they’ll be closer to 40 teams than 24. 

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27 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

Just as nobody seriously thinks they’ll be done next december when they announce #s 27 and 28.

I dont even think they will be ready to  announce 27 and 28 next December. I think they will take their sweet time on the next two.

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Another win by FC Cincinnati tonight defeating Indy. Most of their starters had the night off but with a stellar bench it was hardly noticed. They have now won 10 straight (a new USL record) and are now unbeaten in 21 straight (since May 26th). They have a chance to tie the record (22) next weekend at Pittsburgh. They broke the USL regular season single game match attendance with 31,478 in attendance (beating their own record set last year)

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You guys are talking about 40 club deep MLS. Exactly which cities are you guys imagining come into the fold to get to 40 clubs? My cut off for all thing North American pro sports in 32 teams, thank you NFL.

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