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please explain MLS to me


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Alright, give me a hand. The hope of a pro league and the possibility of an MLS team seem to be comming up in numerous forums at present. I follow as best I can, but I have come smack up to my own wall of ignorance. I can't take in all the ramifications because, truth be told, I don't really know what the deal is with the MLS. I've been away since march 96 so havn't been around it. I could use help or explinations for the following questions that I don't grasp.

1. I've seen on soccernet that there is a draft. Huh? what is it? does this mean no youth or reserve system? or both?

2. I've also seen 'east' and 'west'. again '?' are these like divisions (1st , 2nd) or is it like other NA sports with playoffs and the like? if so who becomes Champ? league record or playoff tournament?

3. Players owned by leauge? please explain (this one sounds dodgy to me - at least in regards to the development of Can players on a potential Can based team) if i'm playing in NY lets say and i get interest from City lets say, who decides if i go? who gets the transfer fee?

And 4. this is the one Im rally interested in. Where does this league stand in regards to others - I know that is subjective but id be interested in any opinions. for example "higher than Kleague lower than Jleague" or "about the same as league one" etc...

Sorry if I tend to prattle on, but its late for me and I just really wanted to know these things - any help (whole or in part) would be greatly appreciated.[?]

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1. there is a draft. so teams draft new youth players based on league positions - worst to first. some teams such as colorado and chicago have youth teams but not sure how they use them. a reserve league has been developed for this season.

2. east and west are "equal." one is not considered higher than the other. teams in each conference play each other throughout the year, and then they play against teams from their own conference in the playoffs before the winner from each meets in the MLS Cup.

3. the league decides who plays where for who. however, they try and keep disparity amongst teams, and place players in cities that make demographic sense.

4. i'd say the mls is anywhere from lower english "championship" to higher english "championship." not necessarily in skill, but with confidence comes a lot of success and drive, and the americans are inundated with confidence builders.

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Draft: Players, mostly from U.S. colleges, that want to turn pro

are put into a pool and then are selected by franchises

in a pre selected fashion.

East,West Divisions: Six teams in each division, a team plays each

other four times vs teams in it's own division

and twice vs teams in the other divsion

It makes for great end of season runs as you

move towards the playoffs.

Player contracts: The league owns all contracts, the investors share

all league revenues.

Level of play: Hard to judge at this time

Some of this info maybe outdated, Go to www.mlsnet.com for latest


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In regards to level of play I would agree that it is probably similar to the level of play in the Championship. The best MLS players (McBride, Beasly, Donovan) have pretty much become successful in top Euro leagues when they make the jump without become "stars" in those leagues... much like players plucked from the Championship to strengthen a team.

IMHO though one of the hardest and least understood things about MLS is the style of play that has developed there. I hestitate to say it but MLS almost does have its own particular style. Because it's a summer league the pace is much less manic than British soccer but often retains many of the power elements of that game. It's really hard to describe actually and many people don't seem to understand that it makes it hard to compare directly to other leagues.


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quote:Originally posted by DJT

BusanBhoy, please don't post topics in the MNT section that are not about the MNT.

sorry mate, but to be honest I don't relly know what I'm doing yet - I only noticed the difference after you brought it up - i'll be more careful

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I'd say the best MLS teams could survive the Championship and most of the rest are League One comparable. There are a few "stars" who are better than the overall quality of the league, and many more players who would be Championship quality, but the overall balance on any given team is skewed and there are plenty of players in that league who are League 2 or Non-League level players. The pace of the League is slow, which gives an impression that the skill level is higher than it is for some players as no real defensive pressure occurs until the defensive third in most games. Nevertheless, the league improves yearly, there are some very good players in the league who are playing below their "level" in the MLS. I think if you took the top 20 players in MLS, they would be as good as or better than the top 20 players in the Championship. But if you took the bottom 20 players in MLS, they would be considerably worse than the bottom 20 players in the Championship and I think that, more than anything, makes the comparisions difficult. Its really depth of the talent that is the achillies heal of MLS.

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Level of play: MLS

It's really a bogus comparison trying to say that the play is

similar to the English league at any level.

MLS is trying to develop it's own style of play.

It's goal is to be more Mexican or South American in type of play

so it can attract the Hispanic/Latino support.

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