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2 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

Except the name was mierda. It sucked for about 30 years and it’s good it’s finally gone.

 

Just out of curiosity, who are you to decide that the Montréal Impact identity "was mierda" that "sucked for about 30 years" to the point that "it's good" that said brand is "finally gone"? Are you a supporter of the club? Do you attend its matches on a regular basis? Do you live and die with the team? If not, shouldn't it be left to the actual supporters of the club to determine whether or not the identity that's graced the team for 27 seasons across a variety of competitions is worthy of being preserved? 

Your "get with the rest of the world's traditions" and "not using the North American naming conventions" comments earlier in this thread seem to bespeak an attitude that you're of the mind that much of the history of the sport of soccer in the United States and Canada is disposable. That it can't possibly measure up to the traditions and conventions of the sport elsewhere around the globe. Therefore, many aspects of U.S. and Canadian soccer culture - certainly its branding - should be jettisoned in favor of simply aping the more "authentic" traditions of European or South American soccer culture. After a certain point, it all seems to come off as... pandering. It's as though we're so desperate to be accepted as part of "The Beautiful Game" clique, we should be willing to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater and fashion our top domestic league into a carbon copy - right down to the branding aesthetics - of the various European club competitions. 

So, in the case of dumping the Impact brand, what should it be? Obviously, a Ligue 1 club should be copied, oui? Mais lequel? Montréal Saint-Laurent? MOSC (Montréal Olympique Sporting Club)? Olympique de Montréal? Olympique Montréalais? Stade Montréal?

😛

Look, soccer is an international phenomena... "the world's game"... global in scope. Guess what? The United States and Canada exist on the globe in question. Therefore, the history of the sport in said countries - up to and including team branding - is part and parcel of the Beautiful Game's authentic traditions and conventions.

Don't get me wrong. You're certainly welcome to your personal opinions, including your thoughts regarding the Montreal Impact club's brand. Opinions are the lifeblood of a community such as this one. That said, there are folks in this community who seem to be of the mind that the only way for professional soccer in the United States and Canada to establish its bona fides on the global stage is to mimic foreign domestic competitions right down to the club names and badges... even when it means casting aside identities that have existed for decades.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: you can't build authentic soccer tradition in the U.S. and Canada by abandoning the history that's already been established.

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Incidentally Montreal Olympique was their NASL entry for three years in the 70s -- the real NASL, not that weird new one. Great weird modernist logo, MLS would never have let it fly but we can dream. All things being equal it'd be great if this was the current brand for the team, but all things aren't equal.

 

montreal-olympique-dallas-tornado-may-16

Olympique%2072%20Home%20Jersey%20x%20(1).JPG

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On 12/1/2020 at 2:40 PM, Digby said:

Well, here's some news. A gutless and terrible call.

 

 

Shocked Pop Tv GIF by Schitt's Creek
A another “FC” called team. How uninspiring. 
Olympique Montreal sounds a much better name, right?

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Relax, dude. It’s just my opinion. I think the name was terrible (like, worse than Minnesota Wild) and that you don’t have to be a fan to say that the name is garbage (you wanna insult my character like that?).

 

48 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Your "get with the rest of the world's traditions" and "not using the North American naming conventions" comments earlier in this thread seem to bespeak an attitude that you're of the mind that much of the history of the sport of soccer in the United States and Canada is disposable. That it can't possibly measure up to the traditions and conventions of the sport elsewhere around the globe. Therefore, many aspects of U.S. and Canadian soccer culture - certainly its branding - should be jettisoned in favor of simply aping the more "authentic" traditions of European or South American soccer culture.
 

 

Yes, outside of the teams that carried on NASL legacies (Sounders, Fire, Timbers, Whitecaps, and Earthquakes) and MLS teams with storied histories (Galaxy, Rapids, and Crew - because those aren’t bad names). It’s not pandering, it’s keeping with the rest of the world’s traditions. 


We do have an authentic tradition here in North America. It’s a mixture of North American, European, and South American naming conventions (more English as time goes on, but that’s now a shared tradition) alongside no pro-rel (it should never come to North America), limited hooliganism, and an intimate fan culture. Rapid expansion to the point of Ponzi scheme comparisons is also part of the heritage, along with several failed leagues. There’s plenty to honor all of that.

 

Like, if England started an American Football league, I think the team names would follow North American naming conventions. The inverse should apply to association football.

Edited by SFGiants58

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4 hours ago, DG_ThenNowForever said:

 

Depends on what you mean by "here." In French-speaking Canada, they absolutely do call it "football."

 

I've never heard anyone say football around here and my area is as French-speaking Canada as it gets...

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20 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:

Yes, outside of the teams that carried on NASL legacies (Sounders, Fire, Timbers, Whitecaps, and Earthquakes) and MLS teams with storied histories (Galaxy, Rapids, and Crew - because those aren’t bad names). It’s not pandering, it’s keeping with the rest of the world’s traditions.

 

So you're allowed to break "tradition" if you started in 1975 or 1996, but not 1993. Logical.

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4 minutes ago, Digby said:

 

So you're allowed to break "tradition" if you started in 1975 or 1996, but not 1993. Logical.


But the name sucks. That’s why I’m glad they’re changing it. If they picked a better name, I’d be more upset. Instead, I’m glad another ‘90s doozy of a name is gone.

 

If New England Revolution became New England FC or New England United, I’d be more OK with it than not. If a Cascadian franchise tried it, I’d be pissed. 

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51 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Just out of curiosity, who are you to decide that the Montréal Impact identity "was mierda" that "sucked for about 30 years" to the point that "it's good" that said brand is "finally gone"? Are you a supporter of the club? Do you attend its matches on a regular basis? Do you live and die with the team? If not, shouldn't it be left to the actual supporters of the club to determine whether or not the identity that's graced the team for 27 seasons across a variety of competitions is worthy of being preserved? 

We might as well shut down this site if we're only going to be able to comment on teams we're fans of. 

 

52 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Your "get with the rest of the world's traditions" and "not using the North American naming conventions" comments earlier in this thread seem to bespeak an attitude that you're of the mind that much of the history of the sport of soccer in the United States and Canada is disposable.

Well the hard truth is that... a lot of it is. The NASL is probably the peak of North American soccer pre-MLS and it didn't accomplish anything. I know a lot of old timers refuse to accept that and make the same arguments any time a MLS team doesn't adopt their locale's old NASL name, but that's the truth. The NASL was a failure. 

 

I'd even argue that MLS, prior to the late 2000s, is disposable. Their attempts to "Americanize" the game- including some of the worst team names/logos to grace a top flight league- left them mostly irrelevant. It was only when they began to embrace actual soccer/football traditions that they gained a sustainable niche in the North American sports marketplace.

 

And if that means Toronto FC and Atlanta United FC endure while the Toronto Blizzard and Atlanta Chiefs fade further into obscurity then ok. 

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13 minutes ago, SFGiants58 said:


But the name sucks. That’s why I’m glad they’re changing it. If they picked a better name, I’d be more upset. Instead, I’m glad another ‘90s doozy of a name is gone.

 

See, this is where we're getting into territory that's arbitrary even for this board. Considering the unique linguistic culture present I'd rank Impact well above Crew (and Revolution above either of those) -- but more importantly the history of each, such as it is, wins out.

 

 

8 minutes ago, IceCap said:

We might as well shut down this site if we're only going to be able to comment on teams we're fans of. 

 

Well the hard truth is that... a lot of it is. The NASL is probably the peak of North American soccer pre-MLS and it didn't accomplish anything. I know a lot of old timers refuse to accept that and make the same arguments any time a MLS team doesn't adopt their locale's old NASL name, but that's the truth. The NASL was a failure. 

 

I'd even argue that MLS, prior to the late 2000s, is disposable. Their attempts to "Americanize" the game- including some of the worst team names/logos to grace a top flight league- left them mostly irrelevant. It was only when they began to embrace actual soccer/football traditions that they gained a sustainable niche in the North American sports marketplace.

 

And if that means Toronto FC and Atlanta United FC endure while the Toronto Blizzard and Atlanta Chiefs fade further into obscurity then ok. 

 

I'd dispute a lot of those characterizations of old NASL and modern MLS, but more pertinently I think the key difference is here is that the Impact can trace an actual ownership/franchise lineage through the past 30 years and several leagues (not to mention their current run in MLS). I'd say breaking an active 30-year streak is a tougher sell than starting as a completely new and fresh club 20 years removed from your top-flight predecessor, even if that's opening a Browns or Hornets can of worms.

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54 minutes ago, jp1409 said:

 

I've never heard anyone say football around here and my area is as French-speaking Canada as it gets...

 

What should I trust? Your firsthand experience or Bing Translate?

 

Kidding -- thanks for the info.

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16 minutes ago, ManillaToad said:

 I get ditching the old name but why didn't they just pick a good one to replace it?


they did.  😛 

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1 hour ago, Gothamite said:


they did.  😛 

I'd say it's expedient, but not good because it's boring compared to the previous name. I also wonder if this is an attempt to ward off CPL competition in the area and they decided that switching to a more commonly used name for a soccer team was needed to do that. Montreal Olympique or Olympic Montreal would sound better, but unless they were playing in Olympic Stadium full time I wouldn't use it. 

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10 hours ago, SFGiants58 said:

 

Indeed! Even in the context of the time, compare "Impact" to "Revolution," "Wizards," "Rapids," "MetroStars," and "Mutiny." It really doesn't hold up. It's "Clash" and "Burn"-tier.

It might just be my strong disapproval of this name change talking, but I really don’t think it’s quite so terrible, considering the constraints of wanting to appeal to both English speakers and French speakers. Just that excludes the vast majority of classic North American plural naming conventions. Impact sound almost like an Americanized version of Dynamo in the same vein that Union is an Americanized version of United. It is very 90’s and kind of minor league, but IMO that’s part of the charm and kind of the point, they were a 90’s minor league team. It’s not uncommon for minor league names that are clearly dated being brought to the big leagues- the Nets have been in the NBA for almost 50 years. Is it really so bad if we have some teams that aren’t shiny examples of marketing and just have campy 90’s names? 

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8 hours ago, Digby said:

I'd dispute a lot of those characterizations of old NASL and modern MLS...

You can have nostalgia for something and still admit it wasn't a success. 

The NASL crashed and burned. That's not my opinion. That's just a fact. 

 

8 hours ago, Digby said:

but more pertinently I think the key difference is here is that the Impact can trace an actual ownership/franchise lineage through the past 30 years and several leagues (not to mention their current run in MLS). I'd say breaking an active 30-year streak is a tougher sell than starting as a completely new and fresh club 20 years removed from your top-flight predecessor, even if that's opening a Browns or Hornets can of worms.

What I think you and Brian in Boston are missing is that SFGiants58 just thinks the name "Impact" is bad. 

It's a subjective opinion, yes, but welcome to discussing sports aesthetics. It's all subjective.

 

You and BiB are coming at him like he's actively laughing while pissing on "thirty years of history" when he's not. He's saying that, in his opinion, the old name is bad. That's all. Not everything is an assault on something holy. 

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10 hours ago, IceCap said:

Well the hard truth is that... a lot of it is. The NASL is probably the peak of North American soccer pre-MLS and it didn't accomplish anything. I know a lot of old timers refuse to accept that and make the same arguments any time a MLS team doesn't adopt their locale's old NASL name, but that's the truth. The NASL was a failure. 

 

I'd even argue that MLS, prior to the late 2000s, is disposable. Their attempts to "Americanize" the game- including some of the worst team names/logos to grace a top flight league- left them mostly irrelevant. It was only when they began to embrace actual soccer/football traditions that they gained a sustainable niche in the North American sports marketplace.

 

And if that means Toronto FC and Atlanta United FC endure while the Toronto Blizzard and Atlanta Chiefs fade further into obscurity then ok. 


Soccer leagues existed in the United States and Canada prior to the launch of the NASL and its single-season precursors, the United Soccer Association and National Professional Soccer League. In fact the American Soccer League of the 1920s and early '30s was tremendously well-organized and featured clubs like the Fall River Marksmen and Bethlehem Steel that possessed the financial clout necessary to lure top players from England and Scotland. That said, even during its "golden age", the original ASL was a regional circuit covering Southern New England, Metropolitan New York, and Eastern Pennsylvania. A number of blows eventually brought the original ASL to its knees: the so-called "Soccer War" of 1928-29, the 1929 stock market crash, and the start of the Great Depression. Subsequently, soccer in the U.S. and Canada became more of a semi-pro enterprise. It continued to operate regionally,   increasingly drawing its player pools and fan bases from ethnic enclaves in the Northeast corridor, St. Louis, and Chicago.


So, when the North American Soccer League arrived on the scene in1968 (a result of the merging of the aforementioned USA and NPSL's strongest operations), it represented the first professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that was truly national in scope. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Its organizers made plenty of mistakes. Examples? Membership was mercurial, with 33 teams folding, 26 expansion franchises being granted, and 17 clubs relocating over the course of the NASL's history. Attendance growth was glacial, with it taking nine seasons for the league to achieve a league-wide attendance average of more than 10,000 fans per game... and peaking at 14,440 fans per game four seasons later. The sport's rules were tinkered with, most notably via the creation of an "offside line" 35 yards out from the goal line, as well as the elimination of tie games during regular season play (initially with a penalty kick shootout, later with a 15-minute sudden death overtime period followed by a penalty kick shootout).

All of that said, there is no questioning the fact that the North American Soccer League laid the foundation for the success that Major League Soccer now enjoys. 

The NASL was the "failure" that managed to survive for 17 seasons, bringing the sport to 33 American municipalities and 5 Canadian cities. As such, it planted a seed of interest in the hearts and minds of nascent soccer fans that would subsequently be passed onto future generations of the sports' supporters in the two countries. Said future generations included the early supporters of Major League Soccer who, in turn, have introduced subsequent fans to MLS.

It was the "failure" that interested Lamar Hunt enough to get him to become owner of the Dallas Tornado (two-time NASL finalists and league champs in 1971) and begin a love affair with soccer that culminated in his becoming one of the original investors in Major League Soccer. Hunt would eventually serve as the investor/operator of MLS teams in three markets (Columbus Crew, Kansas City, and Dallas), have a hand in financing the construction of two soccer-specific stadia for MLS clubs, be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, and have the U.S. Open Cup renamed in his honor. 

It was the "failure" that introduced Alan I. Rothenberg - then an attorney working for Los Angeles Wolves' owner Jack Kent Cooke - to the sport of professional soccer, which resulted in Rothenberg putting together an investment group to purchase the NASL's Los Angeles Aztecs a decade later. Four years after selling the Aztecs, Rothenberg was selected to organize the soccer competition at the 1984 Olympic Games, which put him on FIFA's radar to head up the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Not only did Rothenberg land that gig, he was elected President of the United States Soccer Federation, and actually oversaw the development and launch of Major League Soccer.

The NASL was the "failure" that first brought major pro sports to San Jose, Tampa, Las Vegas, and the State of Oklahoma, as well as the "failure" that established North America's Cascadia trio of markets as pro soccer hotbeds, not only resulting in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver being tabbed to play host to MLS clubs, but seeing all three teams adopt brand identities based upon those that they sported in their old, "failed" stomping grounds.

Here's the thing about failure: it can be a great teacher, provided you're willing to learn from past mistakes. It doesn't matter whether those mistakes are your own, or the gaffes of someone who came before you. Study what hasn't worked, commit to not making those same mistakes again, and try a different tack. You won't be guaranteed that your every choice will be successful, but - by eliminating what's been proven not to work - you'll slowly but surely zero in on the successful course of action.

The NASL didn't vet owners as well as it should have? MLS opted to go the single-entity ownership route and has become increasingly choosy with regard to whom it will grant an investor/operator's slot. NASL teams played in American gridiron football stadia and baseball parks which took away from the quality of play and the atmosphere? Eighteen MLS teams currently play as the primary tenant in a soccer-specific stadium, with three more clubs set to join them next year, Examples of MLS leadership making note of previous NASL mistakes and making course corrections.     

The North American Soocer League helped to build the game of soccer in the United States and Canada. It raised the sport's profile to previously unparalleled heights in both countries. It grew the sport beyond a perception as a foreign game played and followed by immigrants involved with ethnic and industrial teams in urban areas and into a pursuit that could be enjoyed by everyone. Knowledge of the sport and enthusiasm for it exploded as a result of the North American Soccer League setting up shop in America. What's more, amongst the foreign players who came and graced NASL rosters, many stayed in the U.S. and Canada after their NASL careers ended. They coached teams, operated camps, and became missionaries for the sport. In doing so, they helped to develop the homegrown talent that would grace the rosters of clubs during the earliest MLS seasons. 

As for the bulk of Major League Soccer's history "prior to the late 2000s"  being "disposable"because of attempts to "Americanize" the game, shootouts to resolve ties and a game clock that counted down - regrettable as they were - had been jettisoned by the start of the league's fifth season. In other words, before the league had entered the 2000s. And while you'll get no argument from me that many of the inaugural MLS team names and logos were abysmal (Burn, Wiz, Clash, Mutiny, and MetroStars were the worst of the names in my opinion; every original team but the Rapids got screwed when it came to logos), even the vast majority of the worst of that dross had been shown the door by the 2006 season. Which, as part of the first third of the 2000s to date, strikes me as "early". I'd consider the changes to the Galaxy and Rapids logos (both upgrades in my book) as having occurred in the mid-2000s to date, with the Columbus and DC United logo changes (again, both upgrades, though I still consider DC's badge vastly overrated) to be late-2000s fixes.

What, in my opinion, has helped MLS to gain "a sustainable niche in the North American sports marketplace"? Well, it isn't the embrace of Premier League cosplay. Rather, it's the league's decision with regard to stadia. Getting teams into right-sized, purpose-built, soccer-specific stadia whenever possible has built match day atmosphere, effectively communicated the message that teams aren't just a means to fill dates in someone else's building, and - as a result - built supporter enthusiasm and engagement, thus pushing the league up another level.

In 1998, the expansion Miami Fusion entered Major League Soccer playing out of Fort Lauderdale's Lockhart Stadium. If we choose to be generous, it can be said that the renovated facility kicked off Major League Soccer's move to soccer-specific stadia, and one of the league's 12 teams called such a facility home; average attendance in MLS was 14,311. By 2005, three of the league's 12 teams were playing in soccer-specific stadia (Columbus, Los Angeles and Dallas) and the league's average attendance was 15,108  By 2013, the close of the mid-2000s to date, 14 of 19 MLS clubs were playing in soccer-specific facilities and the league's average attendance was 18,807 fans per game. By the close of the 2019 MLS season, 18 of 24 MLS franchises were playing in soccer-specific stadia and average attendance for the league was 21,305 supporters per match.     


Bottom line? The NASL's 17 years of operation laid the foundation that MLS was built upon... and provided MLS with a blueprint of what not to do in some cases. Without the original North American Soccer League having existed, there is no way that Major League Soccer is operating at the level it is today. None.

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44 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

All of that said, there is no questioning the fact that the North American Soccer League laid the foundation for the success that Major League Soccer now enjoys. 

Did it though? MLS floundered until it began to market itself to existing soccer fans. It's not like MLS came into being in the mid 90s and everyone was buying scarves. MLS was, to be frank, a laughing stock. Until at least 2005. The mid-2000s were when they finally figured out that emphasizing global football traditions was what would give them an audience.

 

Does this mean that every pre-mid 2000s soccer-related thing in North America is without merit? No. Cascadia kept the flame alive, for example. The Whitecaps, Sounders, and Timbers all draw on that pre-MLS legacy, but let's not kid ourselves. The Chiefs weren't vital to success of Atlanta United FC. Toronto FC doesn't owe much, if anything, to the Blizzard or Falcons. The most famous pre-MLS team in North America- the New York Cosmos- got told "thanks but no thanks." And while I do have my issues with NYCFC both from a branding and overall culture standpoint? They proved you DON'T need to rely on old NASL nostalgia to make soccer work on this continent. The Cosmos brand is a joke now, while both NYCFC and a team named after an energy drink are doing their things happily.

 

44 minutes ago, Brian in Boston said:

Bottom line? The NASL's 17 years of operation laid the foundation that MLS was built upon...

I'd dispute this, as MLS' first ten years of operation wasn't even the foundation that the modern MLS is built upon, but here's the thing...

 

...it's all academic anyway. Like I said above, SFGiants58 just doesn't like the name "Impact." That's all it is, an aesthetic preference. He wasn't going out of his way to insult the "proud legacy of North American soccer" or whatever. He was just saying that he thought a name was bad. It wasn't meant as an attack on your ethos of keeping North America's soccer traditions alive or anything.

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Back to kits briefly but sticking with Montreal, I'm hoping at least for another blue and black striped primary for 2021. I wasn't a fan of the "fade" look from the current iteration and it felt like too much black for me. I think Montreal should stick to blue as a base primary colour, their 2016-2018 primaries were an almost perfect look.

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3 hours ago, IceCap said:

You can have nostalgia for something and still admit it wasn't a success. 

The NASL crashed and burned. That's not my opinion. That's just a fact. 

 

What I think you and Brian in Boston are missing is that SFGiants58 just thinks the name "Impact" is bad. 

It's a subjective opinion, yes, but welcome to discussing sports aesthetics. It's all subjective.

 

You and BiB are coming at him like he's actively laughing while pissing on "thirty years of history" when he's not. He's saying that, in his opinion, the old name is bad. That's all. Not everything is an assault on something holy. 

 

You nailed it. I don't think Impact is so terrible that replacing it with FC was an upgrade, but I'm not reading this argument as being framed in the same eternal "North American v. Europe naming conventions" debate. Some people just thought Impact was a bad name, and that having a history doesn't change that. I can respect that without it seeming like some sort of an affront.

 

And someone said it earlier, but this wouldn't be generating nearly as much debate had they swapped Impact for something more original. I appreciate the notion of the club developing a fan-generated nickname, but North American sports consumers lack the sort of patience and foresight required for that to work smoothly. 

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4 hours ago, IceCap said:

What I think you and Brian in Boston are missing is that SFGiants58 just thinks the name "Impact" is bad. 

It's a subjective opinion, yes, but welcome to discussing sports aesthetics. It's all subjective.

 

Well, he's also making grand pronouncements about the world's traditions that aren't standing up to scrutiny. Frankly I also think the name "Impact" is quite awful in a vacuum, but, here we are.

 

2 hours ago, IceCap said:

And while I do have my issues with NYCFC both from a branding and overall culture standpoint? They proved you DON'T need to rely on old NASL nostalgia to make soccer work on this continent. The Cosmos brand is a joke now, while both NYCFC and a team named after an energy drink are doing their things happily.

 

I would say that the NASL doesn't need to figure into this conversation at all. The current Impact didn't play in the (real) NASL. The point is not paying tribute to the old NASL, it's that some teams like Seattle and Montreal and Minnesota (hey, remember when "Minnesota Loons" was the rumored MLS name for them?) have interesting histories, and it's a cool thing to be the sort-of same team that gets slowly promoted (in our screwed up North American way) up through the ranks. That has little to do with the broader failures of the NASL.

 

And the reason I harp on that sort of stuff actually is a question of relevance. I don't think anyone will disagree that MLS was an unsustainable joke at the start, led by people who couldn't figure out what they're doing. Obviously there's been a lot of progress in 25 years. But also: TV ratings have not budged very much in 10 years. Attendance is up, but not exactly an inspiring growth curve. MLS is still getting dominated by the Prem and Liga MX when it comes to stateside viewership, and even assuming that we're content with MLS being a second-tier, largely selling league that never literally catches up to the EPL (which I am), I don't know that the level that screams "sustainability!" is there yet.

 

I think the vaunted Real Soccer Fan is smarter than flocking to the nearest club just because they put "FC" in the name. To me there is a stronger value proposition in embracing the history of soccer on this continent, and that doesn't just mean the shootout clock era. I don't think franchising every market with a Your Town FC, modernist trendy font on a black roundel, is the fill-in-the-blank, is the way forward no matter how amenable to Real Soccer Fans it is. If we have 24/7 access to all the world's best soccer even from continents away, what is the value proposition of MLS, beyond simply existing and being recognizably soccer?

 

(Also like... not just the history books but the fanbase! Montreal is getting dragged by their own fanbase all over the internet right now. How do you build sustainability if you keep alienating the people who made it this far with you?)

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