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MLS IN Toronto - Acquire an Existing Club?


Ian Kennett

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I know, for example, that the the MLS Kansas City Wizards are for sale. I also fully understand that a Toronto MLS club would have to be made up primarily of Canadian players. That's a given.

Would the following scenario work?

The Maple Leaf Group acquire the Kansas City Wizards.

The new Toronto club gets to keep any three players from that Wizard team.

MLS holds a special dispersal draft of the remaining former Kansas players

Toronto stocks the club with all the suitable Canadians that are needed, and, for the first year, the three "kept" players are the designated imports or however MLS designates them.

I wonder if this would prove to be more economical. Certainly Toronto would be a better soccer market than Kansas City.

What say you?

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Kanasas City is a better market for soccer than Toronto. Population means nothing when it comes to filling a park. There are 250 000 former residents of Jamica in TO. There are close to 300 000 Italians. And countless brits.

So where are they on game days? probably watching champions league on tape or coaching their kids.

Immergrants look down on the domestic game.

And that is why KC is a better market. More 7 and 8th generation locals willing to go to the park and watch locals play.

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Toronto is not a better soocer market then kc like it or not.Point and case take the lynx they get not nearly enough support showing that toronto is not a great soccer city.Now it would make no sence at all for mlse to buy a culb based in the states they would have to dump most of the american players.It would aslo be a alot cheaper for them to go after a expanson team.

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I didn't know we had Kansas City experts on this forum ! :)

Maybe you guys should head over to the MLS forums on BigSoccer where KC is getting raked for it's pathetic crowd for a CONCACAF Champions Cup match this past week. Reports (exaggerated though they may be) put the crowd at about 50.

If it was up to me, I'd rather try to sell soccer to soccer fans than non-soccer fans. Getting over the snobbery of local fans may prove to be easier that getting over the generations of disinterest in middle america.

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A better question is why would MLS go for this? It would eliminate almost a whole roster of American players from a league that is supposed to develop American players.

Of course, if I were MLS I wouldn't put a team in Canada at all.

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MLS won't move KC since moving a former champion and strong fan base would do more damage to MLS and repeat the history of the NASL. They'll look for an owner and if not will run the team themselves. If it does pan out, the team will be folded.

Same goes for San Jose.

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I suppose it's possible. Don't know if it's likely. As has been mentioned it would just look bad, and it's going to be pointed out in the media that it looks bad. Dumping a mostly American squad for a mostly Canadian squad in MLS. Yikes.

And why would MLS surrender a 10 million dollar expansion fee? Purchase costs would probably equal that expansion fee so I honestly don't see any advantage in taking on an existing franchise and moving it to another city. (Of cource MLS execs may rather KC move onto Toronto for whatever reasons, but I'm sure they'll guard their expansion fee dollar for dollar no matter how they collect it).

One way or another there is going to be a dispersal draft. And like it or not Toronto MLS is going outside of that dispersal draft for the bulk of the players.

Truthfully I don't see any advantage. To either MLS or a Toronto entry.

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DoyleG - I like how you say moving a former champion would damage the MLS but in the next sentence say that if local ownership fails, they will fold them. Don't you think folding a team would do more damage than moving one?

At the end of the day I think it is clear that MLS would prefer to keep the side in KC (as moving them would mean they lose an expansion fee on another market) but failing that, I think their owner may have a say in whether the team is folded or not. And their second preference would be to move it (with sound ownership), rather than fold it.

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quote:Originally posted by ABEL

why is it that we cant start our own league.Why do we have to do everything together with the americans.

You need to read the 7 pages of the 'New Canadian League Thread... ' - and the 10+ pages on the same subject that regrettably were deleted and irretrievably lost in error by one of our esteemed administrators :-(
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Back to the original post...

quote:Originally posted by Ian Kennett

I know, for example, that the the MLS Kansas City Wizards are for sale. I also fully understand that a Toronto MLS club would have to be made up primarily of Canadian players. That's a given.

Would the following scenario work?

The Maple Leaf Group acquire the Kansas City Wizards.

The new Toronto club gets to keep any three players from that Wizard team.

MLS holds a special dispersal draft of the remaining former Kansas players

Toronto stocks the club with all the suitable Canadians that are needed, and, for the first year, the three "kept" players are the designated imports or however MLS designates them.

I wonder if this would prove to be more economical. Certainly Toronto would be a better soccer market than Kansas City.

What say you?

I would suggest dispersing the entire team, and using the 3 imports for either 3 decent Jamaicans, Italians or Croatians. For Toronto to be a success in MLS, I think their best shot is as the Blizzard with a player of Bettegga's (sp?) pedigree to attract the fans.

History always repeats itself, doesn't it?

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quote:Originally posted by An Observer

DoyleG - I like how you say moving a former champion would damage the MLS but in the next sentence say that if local ownership fails, they will fold them. Don't you think folding a team would do more damage than moving one?

Moving a team will destroy the history as it will get swallowed up by the history of the new venue.

Folding the club will allow the history to be preserved.

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quote:Originally posted by ABEL

why is it that we cant start our own league.Why do we have to do everything together with the americans.

There is a pathetic colonial mindset of some people in this country who think we can't do anything on our own. Which is wrong. These are the same people, who when they go to the bathroom, need an american to wipe their a*ss because they can't do it themselves.

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Toronto doesn't support the Lynx. The fact remains that the MLS need their heads read if they award a franchise to Toronto.

The best way to blend into the MLS would be for a GOOD USL team such as Vancouver or Montreal to win another few seasons worth of games, lock up some good talent that are overseas to decent contracts here and then move up with a few preseason signings.

The "new" MLS team won't win a title for a few seasons anyway...

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One thing you guys are forgetting about Toronto succeeding in the MLS. MLSE will be running the team. They may not win championships, but they will be successfull. These guys will have the Leafs, Raptors & Baby Leafs all playing in Toronto. They already know all the top corporate sponsors, have an existing marketing/sales team in place, and have TV stations of their own. I'm sure these guys will get people in the seats.

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quote:Originally posted by Manuel

One thing you guys are forgetting about Toronto succeeding in the MLS. MLSE will be running the team. They may not win championships, but they will be successfull. These guys will have the Leafs, Raptors & Baby Leafs all playing in Toronto. They already know all the top corporate sponsors, have an existing marketing/sales team in place, and have TV stations of their own. I'm sure these guys will get people in the seats.

Good points. Hell, we may see the team on Leafs TV in the summer time.

db

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Guest HamiltonSteelers

Given that the MLSE have just given a tremendous nod to the past by rebranding the Baby Leafs the Toronto Marlies (which I thought was very classy and I really like the logo... given that I hate the Leafs), I have no doubt that they are looking into getting the Blizzard. Whether or not they do... well, that is another story altogether.

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Answer : Dairy Queen

Why Toronto's MLS hopes garner so much hype throughout North America is seriously beyond my comprehension...

Fact: Vancouver has had a steady fan base supporting this club for the better part of 25 years. It also has rock solid ownership, and (even though we've pissed and moaned for years) a strong, experienced front office compared to other USL clubs.

Toronto? Pleeeeease.

I think MLSE is under the delusion that Toronto's Euro-soccer snobs will turn out in droves for an MLS club...

I'm not so sure. I think TO is too hockey-football-baseball minded to pull it off. I think TO is **already** pulling in close to the max that the local market will allow, and it's just not good enough for a sustainable MLS franchise.

Forget MLSE - I'm not hearing the same kind of progress in TO that we're seeing here in Vamcouver.

2 new training facilities? check.

new Euro stadium on the way? check.

Should also be pointed out to the MLS (and pro-TO boosters) that our stadium is not an IF, it's a WHEN. Kerfoot's on record (via Lenarduzzi) that he's prepared to bankroll the whole damn mofo in the blink of an eye... how cool is that?! Shove it, Trump!

Not sure if you caught my thread about the Vancouver 2007 bid team - once again, Kerfoot has assembled some serious movers and shakers - absolutely top notch influentials in these parts.

And, as I mentioned before, the fact that the 2010 Olympics are coming here means there is scads of government and corporate dough up for grabs for projects just like this.

Anyone else notice the events Vancouver has been pulling here lately?

2004 U-19 women's world youth cup

2006 world junior hockey championships

2007 men's world youth cup

2009 World Police and Fire Games (believe it or not, this is second in size only to the summer Olympics)

2010 Winter Olympics

Am I forgetting anything?

I know TO has the rep as being the most commonly known Canadian city outside of Canada... it's annoying, but it's a fact of life.

However, it's clear that when it comes to international sporting events - including soccer - Vancouver is clearly kicking TO's ass right out of the spotlight.

I hope the MLS is paying attention - if any Canadian club should be moving up first, it's us... and dammit, let's hope Seattle and Portland aren't far behind so we can keep our great rivalry going.

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I am told (by somebody here on this board so it must be true) that Greg Kerfoot is not interested in giving up 100% ownership of his club in exchange for shares in MLS, whereas MLSE is keen to buy into MLS, has scads of experience running and marketing sports teams and sees a new dedicated venue (York Stadium) being constructed with other people's money. I see plenty of reason to favour TO over Vancouver for the country's first MLS team if it ever happens.

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quote:Originally posted by Johnnie Monster

Answer : Dairy Queen

Why Toronto's MLS hopes garner so much hype throughout North America is seriously beyond my comprehension...

Fact: Vancouver has had a steady fan base supporting this club for the better part of 25 years. It also has rock solid ownership, and (even though we've pissed and moaned for years) a strong, experienced front office compared to other USL clubs.

Toronto? Pleeeeease.

I think MLSE is under the delusion that Toronto's Euro-soccer snobs will turn out in droves for an MLS club...

I'm not so sure. I think TO is too hockey-football-baseball minded to pull it off. I think TO is **already** pulling in close to the max that the local market will allow, and it's just not good enough for a sustainable MLS franchise.

Forget MLSE - I'm not hearing the same kind of progress in TO that we're seeing here in Vamcouver.

2 new training facilities? check.

new Euro stadium on the way? check.

Should also be pointed out to the MLS (and pro-TO boosters) that our stadium is not an IF, it's a WHEN. Kerfoot's on record (via Lenarduzzi) that he's prepared to bankroll the whole damn mofo in the blink of an eye... how cool is that?! Shove it, Trump!

Not sure if you caught my thread about the Vancouver 2007 bid team - once again, Kerfoot has assembled some serious movers and shakers - absolutely top notch influentials in these parts.

And, as I mentioned before, the fact that the 2010 Olympics are coming here means there is scads of government and corporate dough up for grabs for projects just like this.

Anyone else notice the events Vancouver has been pulling here lately?

2004 U-19 women's world youth cup

2006 world junior hockey championships

2007 men's world youth cup

2009 World Police and Fire Games (believe it or not, this is second in size only to the summer Olympics)

2010 Winter Olympics

Am I forgetting anything?

I know TO has the rep as being the most commonly known Canadian city outside of Canada... it's annoying, but it's a fact of life.

However, it's clear that when it comes to international sporting events - including soccer - Vancouver is clearly kicking TO's ass right out of the spotlight.

I hope the MLS is paying attention - if any Canadian club should be moving up first, it's us... and dammit, let's hope Seattle and Portland aren't far behind so we can keep our great rivalry going.

Another major difference between Toronto's bid for a MLS franchise and any possible involvement in the future from Montreal and Vancouver is, that the latter two would more than likely go with their already existing pro-clubs. Having decided to go with new club, MLS&E lacks an established fan base and would consequently divide the already limited (2,000) Lynx fan support base. Initially, I'm sure the attendace numbers will be encouraging, similar to the traditionally high opening day attendances experience by most clubs. However, that wears off real quick and unless the team enjoys early success, traditional Toronto soccer crowds will dwindle to the point where they will not nearly fill half of a 20,000 seat stadium. When was the last time a Toronto soccer team drew over 10,000 paying custumers in a league game? I ask those who always argue that Canada can ill afford to have a Canadian league that fails, can Toronto afford to loose a MLS team after only one or two seasons, after having lost the Lynx to Hamilton in the process? When did Toronto all of a sudden become such a North American hotbed for soccer?

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quote:Originally posted by Johnnie Monster

I think MLSE is under the delusion that Toronto's Euro-soccer snobs will turn out in droves for an MLS club...

I'm not so sure. I think TO is too hockey-football-baseball minded to pull it off. I think TO is **already** pulling in close to the max that the local market will allow, and it's just not good enough for a sustainable MLS franchise.

All I'm going to say is that the same argument was made when the MLS went into LA and started the Galaxy, at the expense of the now defunct LA Salsa. Now they have a packed stadium and two teams.

Realizing that TO is about 1/3rd the market that LA is, I still think they are the place to start MLS expansion in Canada. Who knows, maybe

10 years from now all those Euro-snobs will be supporting Juventus of T.O. as they square off against the New Blizzard. My speculation of this is based on the fact that more and more top european clubs are trying to cash in on their ex-pat communities here in Canada.

Maldini and Del Piero are going to need a place to play in their 40s:)

Just a, ayr provoking, thought.

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Please...please please pleaaaaassssseeee...if they do get the MLS team in T dot, call them "METRO BLIZZARD FC" to combine the heritage of both Metro Croatia and the Blizzard.

And if they're really smart, they'll load the team up with good Canadian kids who's last names end either in "IC" or "NI" (Croatian/Italian)

I'd rather Toronto test the MLS waters first, and once they prove it...the Whitecaps and Impact can move over.

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