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Canadian Division 1A - Why We Need It


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What I mean is this:  The Canadian MLS teams are self sufficient without getting a major national TV contract.  An all Canadian division featuring those teams plus the other Canadian markets has the potential to get CFL-like TV ratings.

 

Would Vancouver, Montreal & Toronto fans stop attending games if they were playing Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa & Hamilton instead of playing Kansas City, New York, Portland and Columbus?  I don't think they would.  In fact I believe there's a chance for better rivalries to develop there.

 

Now would more TV viewers tune in for a Toronto-Hamilton game or a Toronto-New York game?  I'm fairly positive that more would tune in for a Toronto-Hamilton game.

 

Sponsorship dollars go to where TV viewers and attendance go.  So the established MLS teams wouldn't lose sponsors as long as the games are on TV and people are in the stands.

 

 

i agree with you, Hamilton-Toronto would likely get better ratings. But with respect to MLS's ambitions, they're banking on the fact Toronto-New York would get better ratings and a ton more cash from a cut of US TV deals in 5-10 years than Hamilton-Toronto could ever get.

 

With respect to SUM, given the single entity status, I'm under the impression every team gets an equal cut. 

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If, big IF, the league takes off and starts to really make a TV draw and good attendance; Do you think that the MLS teams would join it at a later time?

 

 

No.  The value of an MLS franchise today is between 70 million (what Orlando & Atlanta paid) to 100 million (what New York FC paid).  MLS is bringing in more and more star players now - Kaka and Villa this year, with a rumored Xavi and Lampard.  MLS is capable of becoming the top soccer league in all of the Americas within 15 years (please read my post in the MLS/US thread).  Even with a nice TV deal, no Canadian domestic team will be able to chase the valuation of an MLS team.  

 

The owners of our MLS teams in Canada are running a business at the end of the day.  You don't make money by removing your team from the fastest growing sporting league in North America and settling for a 2nd division league in a much smaller market.

 

By the way, you can't assume that MLS television revenues won't grow during the same period.  MLS's new TV contract averages $90 million per year, up from the $18 million per year they were getting before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Soccer_on_television).   The reason so many rich businessmen are lining up to get an MLS franchise is because they project the MLS will become part of the "big 5" one day.

 

In a nutshell, you're pitting the Canadian market against the American market and when it comes to $$$, it's obvious which market has more $$$.

Edited by football_world
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The owners of our MLS teams in Canada are running a business at the end of the day.  You don't make money by removing your team from the fastest growing sporting league in North America and settling for a 2nd division league in a much smaller market.

 

Whether or not they would simply choose to make that move is of little consequence to whether or not they eventually will. CSA could simply cease to sanction MLS if the Canadian league could handle the financials of integrating the three MLS sides.

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Whether or not they would simply choose to make that move is of little consequence to whether or not they eventually will. CSA could simply cease to sanction MLS if the Canadian league could handle the financials of integrating the three MLS sides.

 

See this I only see happening if another league takes off. The question then becomes, does the USSF and MLS respect the CSA's call if and when that did happen. If yes, then the MLS teams are left with no choice, if no then realistically there isn't a lot that can be done other then disqualification from the Canadian Championship. That is unless FIFA and CONCAAF really get behind the CSA and say "If MLS continues to play with unsanctioned teams from Canada, they are out of the Champion's League as well."

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CSA would never de-sanction the three MLS teams. And at this point it would be hard to fathom why. If indeed the trajectory is the best league of the Western Hemisphere why on earth would the CSA and its quota (however small right now) decide to take this measure? It would only serve to remove the opportunity of all players in all three academies to play at that level. They would be either forced into the inferior Canadian league or again ply their trade in Europe's lower leagues.

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There is absolutely zero chance the three Canadian MLS clubs will opt out of MLS or the CSA will unsanction their participation.  The only scenario it would work is MLS buys the clubs out at thei market rates which would never happen.

 

What the CSA could do or do with the blessing of the CDN MLS clubs is participate in the collective bargaining process at the end of this season to allow the the CDN MLS clubs to have their reserve teams play in the Canadian NASL division.

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There is absolutely zero chance the three Canadian MLS clubs will opt out of MLS or the CSA will unsanction their participation.  The only scenario it would work is MLS buys the clubs out at thei market rates which would never happen.

 

 No kidding, that idea is just plain silly. Who knows what the future will look like 20 years from now but until then we have to deal with reality.

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CSA would never de-sanction the three MLS teams. And at this point it would be hard to fathom why. If indeed the trajectory is the best league of the Western Hemisphere why on earth would the CSA and its quota (however small right now) decide to take this measure? It would only serve to remove the opportunity of all players in all three academies to play at that level. They would be either forced into the inferior Canadian league or again ply their trade in Europe's lower leagues.

You're presupposing that a Canadian league would inevitably and always be inferior to MLS. Without Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, MLS loses a good chunk of its most popular teams, and it's not as though the ownership groups of those clubs would suddenly lose the money or location to attract major star DPs.

 

Seriously, what things do Kansas City and Salt Lake City have going for them that Edmonton or Winnipeg don't? Are Portland and Houston regarded throughout the world as some jewels of North America that players from far and wide would flock to?

 

No. The US has LA and NY, and a few other big cities that are considered the kind of beautiful, world class cities that can attract the likes of Thierry Henry. We have several in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. The presumption of inferiority in a Canadian league that starts small and builds in the same manner MLS did to become a major league in its own right is just another example of the presumption of inferiority of all things Canadian to all things other that leads our best to choose other countries and keeps the CMNT from drawing serious support to important matches.

 

It's a bullshit attitude. We have one of the world's largest economies, we've got a country steeped in rich culture, and we have the talent to produce great athletes in any sport. If an all Canadian league ever reached a financial ground where the integration of the MLS clubs made sense, particularly with the vote on our hosting the world cup being in 2022, I can't imagine the CSA getting a pass from FIFA on continuing to sanction MLS in Canada, and FIFA's made no gripes about criticising MLS in the past. It's not really a sacred cow outside of USSF.

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Honestly, best case would be to have two teams in Toronto (I can't speak for other Canadian MLS cities) which one of them play in Canadian league while other plays in MLS.  

 

As for MLS, right now they're getting a lot of money thanks to SUM  and crazy expansion fees investors are paying to get into MLS while MLS ignore their SSS requirements.  Now the question is when will MLS reach it's "potential"?  Only reason to stick with MLS due to huge US market and potential to get monster TV deal.  But as right now, MLS TV ratings in USA is awful and Canada is doing better (per capita) than USA.  If nothing change in MLS landscape in 10-20 years time while Canadian league is still around, then I am sure Canadian MLS clubs will give more serious thought of joining Canadian league.  

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You're presupposing that a Canadian league would inevitably and always be inferior to MLS.

 

No, you are being unrealistic and evasive with the time frame.

 

I will concede that maybe someday it might be possible but you have to concede that that time is not now, nor for a minimum of a decade.

 

This means that any further talk of the MLS teams switching from MLS to the new league is simply pointless.

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You're presupposing that a Canadian league would inevitably and always be inferior to MLS. Without Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, MLS loses a good chunk of its most popular teams, and it's not as though the ownership groups of those clubs would suddenly lose the money or location to attract major star DPs.

 

Seriously, what things do Kansas City and Salt Lake City have going for them that Edmonton or Winnipeg don't? Are Portland and Houston regarded throughout the world as some jewels of North America that players from far and wide would flock to?

 

No. The US has LA and NY, and a few other big cities that are considered the kind of beautiful, world class cities that can attract the likes of Thierry Henry. We have several in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. The presumption of inferiority in a Canadian league that starts small and builds in the same manner MLS did to become a major league in its own right is just another example of the presumption of inferiority of all things Canadian to all things other that leads our best to choose other countries and keeps the CMNT from drawing serious support to important matches.

 

It's a bullshit attitude. We have one of the world's largest economies, we've got a country steeped in rich culture, and we have the talent to produce great athletes in any sport. If an all Canadian league ever reached a financial ground where the integration of the MLS clubs made sense, particularly with the vote on our hosting the world cup being in 2022, I can't imagine the CSA getting a pass from FIFA on continuing to sanction MLS in Canada, and FIFA's made no gripes about criticising MLS in the past. It's not really a sacred cow outside of USSF.

 

Yes it would be inferior to start and have a whole lot of catching up to do. Realistically, how long will it take for an all Canadian league to generate a sizable TV contact that MLS currently has, to attract the talent that MLS currently has and to generate the gate and attendances that MLS currently has? Believe me I'd love to see Canada have a superior league to MLS, but even if the 3 Canadian MLS clubs jump ship, you cannot realistically expect the same pull if they were in MLS. We are tied at the hip to the US economy, and that economy is MASSIVE. In reverse, the damage to MLS if those three clubs left would be minimal. Cascadia would still have Portland-Seattle, which MLS cares about anyways. Who's Montreal's rival? Is MLS going to shed a tear over the loss of Toronto-Columbus?

 

Plus MLS's strength is with SUM and it's collective arrangement with ownership, contracts and marketing. Therefore clubs like SKC and Columbus can benefit from the pull of, NY, LA and Chicago. 

 

Again, I'd love to to see Canada have a top league in the world, and I believe we have the potential to do it. However at this point in time, I'd be happy with a Danish Super Liga next door to a German Bundesliga, 

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No, you are being unrealistic and evasive with the time frame.

I will concede that maybe someday it might be possible but you have to concede that that time is not now, nor for a minimum of a decade.

This means that any further talk of the MLS teams switching from MLS to the new league is simply pointless.

I'm not being evasive, I just don't see Fifa awarding us a world cup without our own top flight league, and I don't see them accepting the "1A" designation from us either. Do you think Wales or New Zealand have a realistic short at hosting a world cup?

They have the infrastructure from rugby in NZ, but their top clubs all play in Australia. Countries whose pro soccer can't stand on their own won't get a world cup. Which do you think the CSA will care about more when making promises come 2022, MLS or their bid?

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Can someone clarify this designation stuff for me please? If we have a national league, and it's our only fully national league, wouldn't it by logic be a Division 1? Wales has a premier league when it's top clubs play in England....

Edited by Danny Boy
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I'm not being evasive, I just don't see Fifa awarding us a world cup without our own top flight league, and I don't see them accepting the "1A" designation from us either. Do you think Wales or New Zealand have a realistic short at hosting a world cup?

They have the infrastructure from rugby in NZ, but their top clubs all play in Australia. Countries whose pro soccer can't stand on their own won't get a world cup. Which do you think the CSA will care about more when making promises come 2022, MLS or their bid?

 

Point the first, this has nothing to do with a WC bid. We are speaking of a new "league" that could start play in 2015. Even if it was a part of a WC bid that would be 2026 so we have a few years to deal with the issue.

Point the second, MLS was created AFTER the '94 World Cup as part of the bid. It started playing in 1996 so it IS possible to get the bid first before a league.

 

Point the third, actually I would give New Zealand a better chance than us to host in 2026 but hopefully they won't bid. ;)

 

Point the fourth, I agree with you that FIFA could give a rat's ass about the absurd, stupid political theatre involved in the "1A" concept.

 

 

Can someone clarify this designation stuff for me please? If we have a national league, and it's our only fully national league, wouldn't it by logic be a Division 1? Wales has a premier league when it's top clubs play in England....

 

This designation stuff is all stupid theatrics.

MLS is recognized as D1 in Canada.

 

NASL is recognized as D2 in Canada.

 

All else is marketing and inflated self-importance.

 

The CSA, USSF and FIFA all agreed that Canada would be better off as part of the MLS rather than trying to make a top-flight national league. This proposed new league simply continues and extends that understanding.

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Point the first, this has nothing to do with a WC bid. We are speaking of a new "league" that could start play in 2015. Even if it was a part of a WC bid that would be 2026 so we have a few years to deal with the issue.

Point the second, MLS was created AFTER the '94 World Cup as part of the bid. It started playing in 1996 so it IS possible to get the bid first before a league

Point the first, I'm not saying the league launching in 2016 is a finished product that the mls clubs would instantly join, nor that they would have to join BY 2022. Rather, I'm saying that this new league would be laying ground work for this to happen at some point.

Point the second-and-also-kind-of-first-still, I don't doubt that we could host without the mls clubs coming over by 2026 so long as a timeline were provided for it to happen a la 1994. Although if I'm not mistaken, mls actually did incorporate in 1994 and launched play two years later.

MLS is obviously still Canada's first division, but I think this NASL Canada league is meant to one day evolve into something else. Yes, it's largely speculation, but seeing as I'm not one of the CSA, NASL, CFL, or Fifa execs, I feel like I should be able to speculate without being accused of being evasive about a timeline I can have literally no tangible impact on.

Edited by Redcoatsforever
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I'm not being evasive, I just don't see Fifa awarding us a world cup without our own top flight league, and I don't see them accepting the "1A" designation from us either. Do you think Wales or New Zealand have a realistic short at hosting a world cup?

They have the infrastructure from rugby in NZ, but their top clubs all play in Australia. Countries whose pro soccer can't stand on their own won't get a world cup. Which do you think the CSA will care about more when making promises come 2022, MLS or their bid?

 

Yeah, FIFA doesn't bat an eye at slave labor building billion dollar stadiums that will literally never be used again in a country where the average daily temperature prohibits even being able to play soccer...but not having a D1 league is a deal breaker.

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Yeah, FIFA doesn't bat an eye at slave labor building billion dollar stadiums that will literally never be used again in a country where the average daily temperature prohibits even being able to play soccer...but not having a D1 league is a deal breaker.

The kind of bribery required for Qatar to host is not the kind of bribery that happens in Canada.

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I'm not being evasive, I just don't see Fifa awarding us a world cup without our own top flight league, and I don't see them accepting the "1A" designation from us either. Do you think Wales or New Zealand have a realistic short at hosting a world cup?

They have the infrastructure from rugby in NZ, but their top clubs all play in Australia. Countries whose pro soccer can't stand on their own won't get a world cup. Which do you think the CSA will care about more when making promises come 2022, MLS or their bid?

This is not true, there is only one NZ team in the Australian A league, the Wellington Phoenix. Adding to the trickery of having a NZ team in the A league is that NZ and Aussies are in different confeds. So the nix are therefore not allowed to join the AFC champions league.

 

However NZ does have its own premier league (ASB premiership) with 8 teams across the country and semi professional. 

I worked with a guy who was on team Wellington, and he got paid pretty good (somewhere in the area of 60K a season), but was also allowed a full time job, he had arrangements made with work to take time off if needed, most of the games were weekends.

 

Two teams form the ASB Premiership make it to the OFC Champions league and the winner of that advances to a world club play in. 

Could NZ host a world cup? Maybe, they did an outstanding job hosting the Rugby world cup, but apples and oranges.

 

This is why I can see Canada successfully form its own (A1, premier, what ever) league, we DO NOT have to play second fiddle to America. Yes it will take years to grow, Yes it will not be as  big/fluid/quality of play as MLS to start, but it will grow. No one is talking like this has to be as big or bigger then MLS in its first year, or ever for that matter. We have the cities/population and economy to support this and we have TSN wanting/needing TV content to fill out its new stations. Its about giving our kids a chance to play, it's about building depth it's about trying to consistently make the hex and give us an honest shot at World cups. 

 

I also believe that teams should be put in the 3 major cities. If the whitecaps, TFC and Impact want to continue in MLS let them, I'm all for it I do not have a problem with that at all, even more places for Canadians to play (or sit on the bench). However I think the CSA should take away their ability to represent Canada at the CONCAF Champions league, if they want a spot ask the Americans to give them one.

The Canadian league should be the one to send a representative team or two from Canada, it will create an even greater ambition and goal for our youth to strive towards. 

 

Its time to stand on our own two feet.

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Good post ob1.

 

One other thing with respect to standing on our own 2 feet.  The Jersey sponsors for TFC, Whitecaps and Impact are all for approximately $4 million per year each.  These sponsorships are each for approximately 350k in person attendance per team and 720 million TV views equivalent (100k viewership x 40 games x 180 30 second views per game).  It's really all about the TV views.

 

What do you think jersey sponsorships are worth if every NASL Canada game is broadcast nationally on TSN (who sponsors the Whitecaps BTW)?  Don't be surprised if ratings exceed MLS ratings.  Those jersey sponsorships will be worth a bunch of money.  The CFL has the business connections to get those sponsorships and fund the league if they have TSN (and Bell) as a partner.

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Yes it would be inferior to start and have a whole lot of catching up to do. Realistically, how long will it take for an all Canadian league to generate a sizable TV contact that MLS currently has, to attract the talent that MLS currently has and to generate the gate and attendances that MLS currently has? Believe me I'd love to see Canada have a superior league to MLS, but even if the 3 Canadian MLS clubs jump ship, you cannot realistically expect the same pull if they were in MLS. We are tied at the hip to the US economy, and that economy is MASSIVE. In reverse, the damage to MLS if those three clubs left would be minimal. Cascadia would still have Portland-Seattle, which MLS cares about anyways. Who's Montreal's rival? Is MLS going to shed a tear over the loss of Toronto-Columbus?

 

What Danny Boy said.  A top flight Canadian Domestic league can't compete against a top flight US league because it comes down to $$$.  In a nutshell, it's pitting the Canadian economy vs the US economy and Canada can't outspend the US.  This is why MLS can afford Villa, Kaka, Henry, Keane, Cahill, Dempsey, Donovan, Beckham, and now with Xavi and Lampard in the rumors.  The DP slots for MLS will only increase in the future when attendance/revenue grows - a Canadian domestic league simply can't afford to spend that type of money.

 

We haven't even considered the cost for Soccer Specific Stadiums yet.  Throw in the cost for building Soccer Specific Stadiums and there is no way a Canadian league can outspend the MLS.

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You're presupposing that a Canadian league would inevitably and always be inferior to MLS. Without Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver, MLS loses a good chunk of its most popular teams, and it's not as though the ownership groups of those clubs would suddenly lose the money or location to attract major star DPs.

 

Seriously, what things do Kansas City and Salt Lake City have going for them that Edmonton or Winnipeg don't? Are Portland and Houston regarded throughout the world as some jewels of North America that players from far and wide would flock to?

 

No. The US has LA and NY, and a few other big cities that are considered the kind of beautiful, world class cities that can attract the likes of Thierry Henry. We have several in Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. The presumption of inferiority in a Canadian league that starts small and builds in the same manner MLS did to become a major league in its own right is just another example of the presumption of inferiority of all things Canadian to all things other that leads our best to choose other countries and keeps the CMNT from drawing serious support to important matches.

 

It's a bullshit attitude. We have one of the world's largest economies, we've got a country steeped in rich culture, and we have the talent to produce great athletes in any sport. If an all Canadian league ever reached a financial ground where the integration of the MLS clubs made sense, particularly with the vote on our hosting the world cup being in 2022, I can't imagine the CSA getting a pass from FIFA on continuing to sanction MLS in Canada, and FIFA's made no gripes about criticising MLS in the past. It's not really a sacred cow outside of USSF.

 

Yes, a Canadian domestic league will most likely be inferior to the MLS because we can't outspend the US.  Look at my post above.  Based on salaries alone, there is no way we can afford all the DPs currently in the MLS.  Throw in the cost for building Soccer Specific Stadiums and it's quite apparent the gap in spending between a Canadian domestic league and MLS.  

 

You should look at the population of the biggest metro areas in US & Canada:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_North_American_metropolitan_areas_by_population

 

There are quite a few cities in the US with a metro population of over 2 million the MLS can still expand to.  That's 2 million or over - so a market with a minimal size of Vancouver or larger, that doesn't have an MLS team yet in the US.

 

While Canada's economy ranks 11th in the world by total GDP, we're far behind the US: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal))

 

US nominal GDP: 16.2 Trillion

Canada nominal GDP: 1.8 Trillion

 

Yeah, that's right, the US economy is almost 10x the size of Canada.  With bigger metro cities and a much larger economy, there is no way a Canadian domestic league can match the spending of a US domestic league, unless soccer becomes more popular than hockey in Canada (which isn't happening anytime soon).

 

By the way, there is a huge difference between Salt Lake City and Winnipeg other than the fact that Salt Lake City metro is larger than Winnipeg metro: MLS cherry picked Salt Lake City despite its low population because it already had strong soccer support.  Real Salt Lake averaged 19K in attendance last year (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_League_Soccer_attendance).  It also hit its maximum attendance capacity of 20K for a US vs Honduras World Cup qualifier match (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_FIFA_World_Cup_qualification_%E2%80%93_CONCACAF_Fourth_Round).   To put things into perspective, if we held a Canada vs Honduras qualifying match in Winnipeg and magically planted a soccer specific stadium there exactly like the one Real Salt Lake uses, do you think it would get an attendance of 20K?

Edited by football_world
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Does the current Canadian NHL contract, which is more than double the NBC contract mean that we could outspend the US 2-1 on hockey? Seems to me that GDP doesn't mean shit if one culture cares about the sport and the other doesn't. $90 is a piss poor TV deal relative to any other sport in the US. And $15m comes from Spanish language broadcasting.

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Does the current Canadian NHL contract, which is more than double the NBC contract mean that we could outspend the US 2-1 on hockey? Seems to me that GDP doesn't mean shit if one culture cares about the sport and the other doesn't. $90 is a piss poor TV deal relative to any other sport in the US. And $15m comes from Spanish language broadcasting.

 

Please read what I wrote more carefully:

 

unless soccer becomes more popular than hockey in Canada (which isn't happening anytime soon)

 

 

Obviously, we can outspend the Americans if soccer ever became more popular than hockey.  As it is now, the popularity of soccer for the average Canadian is probably behind the average American, especially when you factor in Latinos in the US.  This is another reason why the MLS is growing so quickly - the growing Latino population in the US.

Edited by football_world
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Does the current Canadian NHL contract, which is more than double the NBC contract mean that we could outspend the US 2-1 on hockey? Seems to me that GDP doesn't mean shit if one culture cares about the sport and the other doesn't. $90 is a piss poor TV deal relative to any other sport in the US. And $15m comes from Spanish language broadcasting.

You'll have a point when soccer rivals hockey in terms of a cultural shift. By the same logic if the same cultural shift happens in the US what would the MLS look like with an NFL sized contract?

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