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Eleven Issues Facing MLS


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from the point of view of the US National Soccer Players:

1. Player Relations

2. Expansion Time Line

3. Calendar

4. Officiating

5. Player Development

6. Soccer United Marketing

7. Kansas City

8. Canada

Jingoism aside, Major League Soccer was developed to help improve the US National Team program. Though it's obvious that motivation has changed to reflect a sports league for its own sake, the push north has to be considered an issue.

Let's start with an easily dismissed point: it violates the FIFA ideal of one league per country. The exceptions are countries that can't support their own domestic league. Though Canada has a history of joining US clubs in every major team sport, it's an issue that so many potential Canadian cities are now expansion targets. Simply put, if that many are willing to buy in, why isn't there a Canadian first division?

9. The US Soccer Federation

10. Europe

11. FIFA

http://ussoccerplayers.typepad.com/ussoccerplayers/2008/09/eleven-issues-f.html

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I don't blame the writer. I think Canada (in soccer terms) are better off forming their own league and developing our players instead of joining an American soccer league. MLS is an awful league and it is mostly run by bunch of amateurs (like CSA) who obviously don't know too much about soccer.

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Finally a thread that talks about a Canadian Pro League. I'm convince it's the only way to move forward, we are CANADA, they are the US.

"Simply put, if that many are willing to buy in, why isn't there a Canadian first division?"

I love it. They're finally showing their true colours.

Let's get our own league going and let's be the deciders of our own destiny.

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"We just need some owners to start a Canadian pro league (first division) instead of paying $40 million to join MLS."

Is that all?

Well they are lining up to spend $40+ million each on MLS franchises, I haven't seen much evidence of anybody being willing to spend a dime on an independent top level Canadian domestic professional league for the past 20 years or more. Realistically it isn't going to happen, the best you can hope for is a Canadian division of the MLS and/or USL.

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I don't think that there is necessarily a problem with Canada being in MLS but he makes a good point of course, their should be at least a general Canadian wide league that is not below anyone but MLS. If Montreal and Vancouver can jump ship to MLS maybe the Canadian sides in the pdl would consider joining a Canadian league. The huge problem of course is the same as always that travel expenses will force up the budget of your typical shoestring budget team and the common sense need to find market appropriate venues and ad and tv deals to shore up the smaller markets. Really, everything said here can and should be applied to basketball.

I can't think of any reason why a 40 team, 2 division, subordinate to mls league can't survive here if it were all marketed well, the two keys would be getting even a pity deal from a sports channel to show your product (and of course well edited commercials to go with the first year) and not having a salary cap so a toronto (I think their should be a few teams to the bigger market) or an edmonton team can buy a little talent to go with the real stadiums (an 8 000 - 10 000 seat stadium can be very profitable with cheap tickets (like 10-20$) especially if you sell enough beer or pizza.

The problem is that only a few teams may be able to have access to a market to be a profit on their own this way so there needs to be another strategy for smaller markets who still want to compete.

The smaller markets will also benefit from the lack of salary cap because they don't have to spend money players they can't afford (a few might have some good local talent and make saavy deals but most will probably turn into youth teams) and then they might be able to afford their stadium by selling out a like 500 - 1 000 seat venue but they'll still need revenue for travel and merchandising may not work out enough so I had another idea. Well it's kinda my buddy's idea, we were talking about how there should a Canadian basketball league competing with the D-league below the NBA and he said a good idea for jazzing up the product for tv is to have the smaller venues, build the basic bottom seating (pretty much the part you see on TV) to look the same as the nba but the stadium only holds like 1 000 people. This would mean a small market could make a high quality media product as well as the big teams (if they don't completely suck) which could open the line for revenue sharing in the tv deals in the EPL mould(except of course were comparing peanuts to elephant ****).

and of course it can't be stressed enough how helpful it is to a have owners with good business sense who also want to spend a bit of money on the team. Honestly, think of how minimal some second division clubs are in some european countries, if we can get over the 'no one takes soccer seriously' hump and our big fat ass of a country then it can be done, hell for all team sports that are lagging but have a decent fanbase

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> from the point of view of the US National Soccer Players:

Too funny. I know jocks aren't supposed to be the smartest but most of these guys graduated college so you think they could put 2 and 2 together.

> "Though it's obvious that motivation has changed to reflect a sports league for its own sake"

No its obvious that MLS want cities that can actually sell tickets instead of having sub-USL sized crowds. Reality at MLS headquarters is to blame if you consider it a problem. I don't.

> "it's an issue that so many potential Canadian cities are now expansion targets"

3 is "so many"? TFC are in, Van & Mtl coming possibly Ottawa in the future. No it's an issue as to why they have such deadwood floating in the US that can't draw crowds.

> "if that many are willing to buy in,"

Last count was 3 realistic and 1 maybe in the future. "That many" ?

Innumeracy in society is a real problem ;)

Hey here is a wild idea that will thrill most V's and Americans and best of all piss off MoJo royally!!!

Lets have Canadian players count as domestic in Canadian clubs and foreign in US clubs. US players are domestic in US clubs and foreign in Canada.

As an enticement any Canadian player playing for a US club could be claimed by a Canadian club for the same salary and a 1 year salary buyout to the club. Vice versa for the Americans playing for Canadian clubs.

Our clubs would have a difficult time initially but in short order would field stronger teams of mostly Canadian players. As has been shown this year in the Voyageur's Cup teams with a lot of Canucks do well [8D]

The US clubs would get to develop their players and have "their" league (MLS) doing US player development.

They might even think they would have nothing to fear out of Canada for a decade (especially if we send MoJo on tour complaining about how few quality Canadians there are)!

Plus we could all take a break from the endless complaints from some Americans (I know Seattle want Vancouver in the MLS badly) about why they should let Canadian teams into their league.

End of rant/tirade/spew.

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quote:Originally posted by TFC07

If Australia can start their own league, then I am sure Canada can do the same thing. We just need some owners to start a Canadian pro league (first division) instead of paying $40 million to join MLS.

A league that includes a team from New Zealand.

We are to MLS what the Kiwi team is to the A-League.

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quote:Originally posted by Loud Mouth Soup

A league that includes a team from New Zealand.

We are to MLS what the Kiwi team is to the A-League.

How many more teams from Kiwi land want to join A-league?

Anyway, Canada can start off with 8 teams (2 Toronto teams, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Regina or Winnipeg) and move on from there. Canada is big enough market to support a pro league as long the league market their league right. There's more interest for soccer in Canada than USA (Just look at soccer TV ratings between these two countries). If MLS can survive in USA, then why can't a soccer league survive in Canada as well? Now the question is: how many owners (like MLSE) are willing to invest in Canadian Soccer league?

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If MLS needed such a low salary cap to make the league economically feasible during the first years of its existance, how low would the Canadian cap have to be in order survive, due to the fact that we do not have as many high population centres as the US does?

And will anyone come out to watch a team with such low payrolls? There is not much interest in the "top" soccer leagues in the provinces right now. I don't think dressing it up a bit and calling it Canada's #1 soccer league will change that.

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^ Why then have almost 20 years gone by since the demise of the real CSL with not a sign of anybody being interested in investing one red cent in a new national independent first division professional league in Canada, yet millions are being proffered for MLS rights in four Canadian cities as we speak?

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Problems with MLS:

Fields: every team in MLS should have a soccer specific field on grass

schedule: 1-4 should enter CL and 5-8 should enter SuperLIga so no same team plays in 2 different international competitions

Canada: NOt enough teams up here

Players: Increase salary cap significantly, 2 DP's per team

Draft: There should only be one round, and players brought up through teams academy's cannot be chosen.

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It ia all about that effen media,they don't want soccer to survive.That MLS thing is a real pain in the a,,ss and many media guys are praying it will fail.Our battle is with the media and to solve that problem,well try to convert a catholic to become a protestant.

It is so wonderful beyond my imagination to see the profile of these RPBoys,or the U sector or Voyageurs. We all have that profile of being very committed to the cause,may it be TFC or our National team.These guys are the cream of the crop that Canada has to, offer .I am sure they all have steady and very good jobs.Their enthusiasm is way beyond anything ever witnessed in Canadian circles.So that media not realizing who they are ,will become aware that these guys are not patsies or hooligans. Their idealism which is so extremely pure cannot be ignored by these racoons.

Guys I deeply admire all of these groups and what I saw at these marches and the bars was surreal and a enthusiasm that even a Dutch guy deeply admired and also realized that Canadians are amazing.

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Why do we have to see these presidential debates,simply to convert or attract etc. Richard i strongly suggest that you get of the board I will never let up on the media.So here you have it.I John TV Canada's only media fighter.

Richard I am extremely disappointed in your reply only making reference to my media observations,how about the supporters groups,their aims and results and desires as well as their profiles and showing the cream of Canada.Come on Richard I assume you read it.

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Now why would you think that acknowledging reality is kissing MLS ass. You're the one who blames everything that is wrong or a failure with soccer in North America on the media, does nobody else involved with the game ever make any mistakes or screw up? I say again, give the media thing a rest John.

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quote:Originally posted by Keegan

If there can be a CFL there can be a Canadian soccer league.

I`m not positive on that because the CFL is the oldest football league and it was there before radio and television. A pro canadian soccer league is not as interesting for future owners because the television deal won`t be there. Not too long ago, The CFL was a league that had a quarter of the games on TV. Now, you can watch them all but it took some time and if the league wasn`t established, it wouldn`t be a good investment for owners. Soccer in North America doesn`t have the best track record and I doubt there would be 4 (out of 8) teams who will be able to sell at least 70% of their seats. And if you can`t put butts in the seats, you won`t be able to put butts in front of the little screen.

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