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The USL Restructures & Rebrands

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2 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

And nor should they.

 

We need significant investment in the sport's infrastructure.  That only comes with stability.

 

Soccer has had more money poured into its 'infrastructure' than any other sport in U.S. history.  Money's not the answer.  If it's not stable enough by now?  It's never going to be.  

 

That said I'm in favor of pro/rel in all sports, not just soccer.  Let the likes of the Orioles fall to AAA ball based on their ability to compete on the field or the likes of a Peoria Rivermen (or whatever) rise to the ranks of the NHL.  Put provisions in their governing documents that allow a team that wins the right to "move up to the big league" to keep its player contracts, instead of being beholden to their Major League counterparts.  Let chaos reign!

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43 minutes ago, Mac the Knife said:

That said I'm in favor of pro/rel in all sports, not just soccer.  Let the likes of the Orioles fall to AAA ball based on their ability to compete on the field or the likes of a Peoria Rivermen (or whatever) rise to the ranks of the NHL.  Put provisions in their governing documents that allow a team that wins the right to "move up to the big league" to keep its player contracts, instead of being beholden to their Major League counterparts.  Let chaos reign!

 

With the exception of maybe hockey, the only sport in North America that could do pro/rel is soccer. Baseball is structured for development inside 30 organizations, so letting the O's drop to AAA while moving the Memphis Redbirds up to play at the Cardinals' level would make zero sense. Basketball and football have basically no minor league system (excluding college ball) and no real competition.

 

Hockey could work if affiliations between NHL and AHL/ECHL teams were dissolved, but for the love of all things holy, don't allow Peoria of all teams to move up. That media market already thinks they're God's gift to hockey.

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2 hours ago, Bradbury said:

 

With the exception of maybe hockey, the only sport in North America that could do pro/rel is soccer. Baseball is structured for development inside 30 organizations, so letting the O's drop to AAA while moving the Memphis Redbirds up to play at the Cardinals' level would make zero sense. Basketball and football have basically no minor league system (excluding college ball) and no real competition.

 

Hockey could work if affiliations between NHL and AHL/ECHL teams were dissolved, but for the love of all things holy, don't allow Peoria of all teams to move up. That media market already thinks they're God's gift to hockey.

That’s not even possible because most if not all AAA baseball teams are now owned by their parent team. 

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3 hours ago, Mac the Knife said:

Soccer has had more money poured into its 'infrastructure' than any other sport in U.S. history.  Money's not the answer.  If it's not stable enough by now?  It's never going to be.  

 

First of all, that’s patently untrue. Organized Baseball has been pouring money into its infrastructure for the better part of a century, from stadiums to scouting networks to minor-league organizations to facilities and beyond.  And you can’t seriously be suggesting that MLS and the USL have put more money into soccer than the NCAA schools have into basketball and football programs.

 

Second of all: oh, piffle. 

 

We are only twenty short years into the only stable professional soccer league in American history.  And that stability has only been possible thanks to the Professional Standards that require, in part, that owners of clubs at a certain level have to be sufficiently capitalized. And that leagues must maintain a footprint appropriate to their division.  We are closer to the start of the journey than its end. 

 

I understand the emotional appeal of pro/rel. I love the last day of the Premiership. But there are substantial differences between the two countries that makes their system wholly inadequate for our needs. Our relative lack of infrastructure  coupled with direct competition from four high-level major leagues (each representing the highest level of competition in their sport on the planet) makes such a system unworkable at best, irresponsible at worst.

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3 hours ago, Bradbury said:

With the exception of maybe hockey, the only sport in North America that could do pro/rel is soccer. Baseball is structured for development inside 30 organizations, so letting the O's drop to AAA while moving the Memphis Redbirds up to play at the Cardinals' level would make zero sense. Basketball and football have basically no minor league system (excluding college ball) and no real competition.

 

Hockey could work if affiliations between NHL and AHL/ECHL teams were dissolved, but for the love of all things holy, don't allow Peoria of all teams to move up. That media market already thinks they're God's gift to hockey.

 

26 minutes ago, kmccarthy27 said:

That’s not even possible because most if not all AAA baseball teams are now owned by their parent team. 

 

The two of you are of a fixed mindset - that simply because that's the way something is means that's the way it must continue to be.  Babe Ruth wasn't brought up through the minor leagues to play for the Boston Red Sox in the 1910's - his services were acquired by them from the Baltimore Orioles, much in the same way European soccer has transfer fees.  There's nothing ingrained in professional baseball's structure that a carefully crafted anti-trust lawsuit, or simple evolution, couldn't undo.  I'm not suggesting it would happen or is even likely - but any sport can go to a pro/rel system if there's proper motivation for it to do so.  In North America, there's simply no motivation in any existing sport to pull it off.

 

14 minutes ago, Gothamite said:

First of all, that’s patently untrue. Organized Baseball has been pouring money into its infrastructure for the better part of a century, from stadiums to scouting networks to minor-league organizations to facilities and beyond.  And you can’t seriously be suggesting that MLS and the USL have put more money into soccer than the NCAA schools have into basketball and football programs.

 

Second of all: oh, piffle. 

 

We are only twenty short years into the only stable professional soccer league in American history.  And that stability has only been possible thanks to the Professional Standards that require, in part, that owners of clubs at a certain level have to be sufficiently capitalized. And that leagues must maintain a footprint appropriate to their division.  We are closer to the start of the journey than its end. 

 

I understand the emotional appeal of pro/rel. I love the last day of the Premiership. But there are substantial differences between the two countries that makes their system wholly inadequate for our needs. Our relative lack of infrastructure  coupled with direct competition from four high-level major leagues (each representing the highest level of competition in their sport on the planet) makes such a system unworkable at best, irresponsible at worst.

 

Am I suggesting that?  Not on as broad a scope as you pose the term 'infrastructure,' no.  But with the possible exception of pro basketball have you seen any sport (not league, but sport as a whole) make such a concerted effort to ingrain itself into the public mindset as soccer has during the past half century?

 

And FWIW, I never said anything about the potential mechanics of promotion and relegation.  I'd think that in any sport that tried pro/rel, you'd have to have one of two things in place - either a system whereby a team wouldn't qualify for promotion without meeting certain non-competitive metrics (e.g., attendance, capitalization) or where no matter who winds up at what level, the per-club revenues would be standardized and pooled to great extent, in a manner that ensured that teams operating at the 2nd tier in a pyramid were assured of revenue at levels of say 90% of Tier 1, Tier 3 90% of Tier 2, and so on.  I know that could be achieved, but only by a new venture that started from Step One with that kind of financial system in mind.

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The ONLY way it would work for baseball, is if you got rid of the NAPBL, which basically allows MILB teams to be subservient to MLB. And it's allowed because MLB has an antitrust exemption.

 

If you did go to a European model where MLB teams 'owned' the players themselves and then simply 'loaned' them to the minor league teams, in a way European teams do all the time. The problem is that most MLB teams want all their players to learn the same system, so as they move up, they're not learning new systems each stop. Baseball is a much more nuanced game and pitchers take, sometimes, many years of grooming to be major league ready.

 

IF you tried to shoehorn it into the current structure, you'd need to accommodate the NAPBL and the team structures.

 

My thought would be:

 

The winner of the PCL and IL would advance to the NL and AL, letting the two major leagues 'pick' which team they wanted based on some sort of standard, such as who lost the World Series gets to pick their new team. Once a team drops down, their contracts are automatically held by MLB and awarded to either of the two new teams that jump up (like an expansion draft). Their PDC with their parent club is negated and the new team that drops will fill in for PDC or they can go independent (independence would mean AAA would need to expand by two teams to allow the two current MLB teams that drop to maintain independence while still having 30 PDCs for AAA teams (MLB team that is now AAA would have their highest development team be AA, or a Mexican League team).

 

An MLB team that is dropping, that just lost their MLB contracts (they could keep them if the minor league teams were unable or unwilling to assume the contracts), would experience ticket sales and television viewership losses that would make their roster required to be smaller and cheaper anyways. Just like in Europe.

 

 

The other option would be the "Guest Spot" setup.

 

MLB wants to go to 32 teams. Take the winner of the PCL and IL and give them the 16th spot in both the AL and NL. No matter their result in MLB, they will have to defend their spot in MLB against the new winners of the PCL and IL. Such as in a 5 or 7 game series. If they win, they stay up. If they lose, they go down and are replaced. The other 30 MLB teams will always be MLB teams. A minor league team could BUY the MLB spot from another team and the former MLB team would take over the guest spot, and run the risk of getting bumped down. But not immediately losing their team.

 

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Wow this thing has taken a complete sidetrack and wound up in an entirely different town.

 

Regarding the rebrand, I like that they're going back to a unified theme throughout the levels like they did back in the early Oughts

USL First Division logo.svg USL Second Division.png Premier_Development_League_old.png United Soccer Leagues W-League Logo.png

 

The one thing that bothers me overall is the Primary Branding for the umbrella USL organization.  The soccer ball with motion lines looks extremely amateur.  Like some rinky dink baseball league or team that phoned it in for the graphics and used "moving ball" as a justification for the design.

Corporate.png

This looks really bad honestly.  Not even the standard hexagons and pentagons to denote that it's a soccer ball?  it's very basic.

 

Along with the horizontal versions of the new branding, there appears to be a "stacked" variant that will likely be used on the uniforms due to being easier to apply to arms

Image result for USL Championship logo

 

I don't think it's a bad rebrand and restructuring, but is very soulless in the designs.  having just USL, (whatever the D3 was intended to be called), and PDL gave them some insight as to where they stood. Obviously this dips into the whole Pro/Rel aspect which i'm actively trying to avoid in the LOGO DISCUSSION THREAD. It's unified yes, but it's bland at the same time.  The stenciled font that USL has been using for a few years now never grew on me and looked out of place, and now it's even more prominent. 

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