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Is the MLS entertaining ?

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Old
03-10-2012, 03:36 AM
  #51
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Originally Posted by Cruiser008 View Post
Well I love hockey and I don't think I would watch the AHL when the NHL is on TV every week (save for maybe the Calder Cup). Same with MLS when the EPL is on TV every week.
I watch both. European games are always in the morning and afternoon here. MLS is usually at night. Plus I get to actually support a local team.

And the AHL comparison doesn't work because the NHL is also a North American league. Would you watch the AHL (or juniors) instead of the KHL?

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03-10-2012, 04:52 AM
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The MLS season barely even conflicts with the EPL season.

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03-11-2012, 12:32 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Cruiser008 View Post
Well I love hockey and I don't think I would watch the AHL when the NHL is on TV every week (save for maybe the Calder Cup). Same with MLS when the EPL is on TV every week.
It's different. Chicago offers both levels of hockey live. Chicago doesn't offer me live Barca.

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03-11-2012, 12:54 PM
  #54
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Remembered this goal when I watch it live;

Red vs Green? That's a color blind's nightmare...

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03-12-2012, 01:29 AM
  #55
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I didn't watch much, if any, MLS before Vancouver got there, but found matches pretty entertaining for the most part last season. Planned my Saturday around watching the opener vs. Montreal. I followed the Whitecaps since their USL days, so there was no question I'd be supporting them when they moved up.

As for players making picking MLS over higher tier leagues, I still can't undestand Robbie Keane. He's making what, $3 million a season with LA? Surely he could have easily made that in England, it's only 36K pounds per week. Freaking Abu Diaby is making more than that!!

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03-12-2012, 08:25 AM
  #56
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Originally Posted by Rocko604 View Post
As for players making picking MLS over higher tier leagues, I still can't understand Robbie Keane. He's making what, $3 million a season with LA? Surely he could have easily made that in England, it's only 36K pounds per week. Freaking Abu Diaby is making more than that!!
One word: Lifestyle.

Same reason Landon Donovan isn't playing in England. Same reason Clint Dempsey is still at Fulham. Same reason Thierry Henry chose the Red Bulls and not Columbus or Salt Lake.

For a lot of people, the 4th and 5th million dollars isn't worth living in a crap environment, especially when you already have 10-20 million stashed away. If you haven't seen England firsthand, don't let the "glamour" of playing in front of the Kop or the Stretford End fool you. Basically every English city except for London sucks. They are cold and rainy much of the year, the press and tabloids are oppressive and the socio-cultural diversity drops off dramatically when you start talking about cities like Birmingham or Newcastle. Manchester United FC would be a dream. Living in the city of Manchester 10+ months a year and playing soccer in December and January ... ask Carlos Tevez.

Los Angeles? New York City? Chicago? Boston? I know I basically just surrendered the weather point with Chicago and Bosotn, but to play in a good-and-getting-better, summertime soccer league in America? Where there's 1/10th as much off-the-field nonsense and the salary is still damn good? Robbie Keane would have to be a lunatic to choose Wolverhampton Wanderers or Aston Villa over the LA Galaxy.

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03-12-2012, 02:16 PM
  #57
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Anyway, during winter, they're in their home countries and when they come back, they go to training camps where it's hot. Look at the Impact, some players were "complaining" about the snow but in the end, they spent about three weeks here since the beginning of the training camps. They started it here in Montréal for three days, went to Mexico for two weeks, came back for barely a week before leaving for LA, came back for a couple days before leaving again for Orlando. What's not to like? Now, they play here this week and guess what? It's sunny, snow is melting and the summer is quite nice up here. So your weather point is still pretty much valid even with cities like Montréal, Boston, Chicago, Toronto and New York. I just won't mention Columbus because, well, it's Columbus.

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03-13-2012, 01:36 PM
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck26 View Post
One word: Lifestyle.

Same reason Landon Donovan isn't playing in England. Same reason Clint Dempsey is still at Fulham. Same reason Thierry Henry chose the Red Bulls and not Columbus or Salt Lake.

For a lot of people, the 4th and 5th million dollars isn't worth living in a crap environment, especially when you already have 10-20 million stashed away. If you haven't seen England firsthand, don't let the "glamour" of playing in front of the Kop or the Stretford End fool you. Basically every English city except for London sucks. They are cold and rainy much of the year, the press and tabloids are oppressive and the socio-cultural diversity drops off dramatically when you start talking about cities like Birmingham or Newcastle. Manchester United FC would be a dream. Living in the city of Manchester 10+ months a year and playing soccer in December and January ... ask Carlos Tevez.

Los Angeles? New York City? Chicago? Boston? I know I basically just surrendered the weather point with Chicago and Bosotn, but to play in a good-and-getting-better, summertime soccer league in America? Where there's 1/10th as much off-the-field nonsense and the salary is still damn good? Robbie Keane would have to be a lunatic to choose Wolverhampton Wanderers or Aston Villa over the LA Galaxy.
Very good point. Perhaps using England was a bad example, but even if I were to say France, Spain or Italy, the off field issues would be a factor, which you also touched on.

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03-13-2012, 02:22 PM
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck26 View Post
One word: Lifestyle.

Same reason Landon Donovan isn't playing in England. Same reason Clint Dempsey is still at Fulham. Same reason Thierry Henry chose the Red Bulls and not Columbus or Salt Lake.
Uh... No.

Keane is in LA because the Irish national team needs him to play regular minutes. He's already looking to go back to England. Landon Donovan isn't in England because he's under contract to MLS and they don't want to sell him. Clint Dempsey has made it clear that he wants to win trophies and he's prepared to leave Fulham to do it. Henry chose the Red Bulls because they offered the best deal.

None of this is a secret. www.google.com.

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03-13-2012, 11:35 PM
  #60
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Originally Posted by GirouxGiroux View Post
Uh... No.

Keane is in LA because the Irish national team needs him to play regular minutes. He's already looking to go back to England. Landon Donovan isn't in England because he's under contract to MLS and they don't want to sell him. Clint Dempsey has made it clear that he wants to win trophies and he's prepared to leave Fulham to do it. Henry chose the Red Bulls because they offered the best deal.

None of this is a secret. www.google.com.
Wouldn't Keane get regular minutes at Bohemians or Sligo? Why go all the way to America? The point about LA vs Other Cities In The Same League stands.

The only recent Dempsey rumor I found in my (admittedly very brief) google search involved ... Arsenal. Another, bigger, London team. Is he the only superstar who is headed TO Arsenal? Why wouldn't he leave London in search of Champions League soccer in Dortmund or Valencia?

(By the way, I would f'ing love Dempsey to replace the moody, petulant #23 they have now)

But I surrender the third point, because you're right, Landon Donovan would break precedent and be the first player to ever demand a transfer from his club team to a bigger one.

I'm not saying no player would ever want to play in a crap town, I'm saying it makes a difference. There's a reason "glamorous" designated players (Beckham, Marquez, Blanco, Henry) in MLS have ended up in LA, New York, Chicago and New York, while "unglamorous" ones (Ferreira, Saborio, Chara) have ended up in Dallas, Salt Lake and Portland. It makes a difference.

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03-14-2012, 12:26 PM
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ck26 View Post
One word: Lifestyle.

Same reason Landon Donovan isn't playing in England. Same reason Clint Dempsey is still at Fulham. Same reason Thierry Henry chose the Red Bulls and not Columbus or Salt Lake.

For a lot of people, the 4th and 5th million dollars isn't worth living in a crap environment, especially when you already have 10-20 million stashed away. If you haven't seen England firsthand, don't let the "glamour" of playing in front of the Kop or the Stretford End fool you. Basically every English city except for London sucks. They are cold and rainy much of the year, the press and tabloids are oppressive and the socio-cultural diversity drops off dramatically when you start talking about cities like Birmingham or Newcastle. Manchester United FC would be a dream. Living in the city of Manchester 10+ months a year and playing soccer in December and January ... ask Carlos Tevez.

Los Angeles? New York City? Chicago? Boston? I know I basically just surrendered the weather point with Chicago and Bosotn, but to play in a good-and-getting-better, summertime soccer league in America? Where there's 1/10th as much off-the-field nonsense and the salary is still damn good? Robbie Keane would have to be a lunatic to choose Wolverhampton Wanderers or Aston Villa over the LA Galaxy.

Same could be said for USA with LA and NY being London. I don't see your point. Do you honestly think any good football player would move to Boston or whatever if they didn't get a HUGE raise?

I sure do wonder how the EPL is even alive at this point, why doesn't everyone just bail after they got some millions?

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03-15-2012, 01:45 AM
  #62
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Originally Posted by worstfaceoffmanever View Post
As to the OP, MLS is on par with leagues like the ones in Denmark, Greece, or Belgium, maybe the Eridivisie. I think that's about where we'll end up, in that group with the Netherlands and Portugal and Russia, and I'm perfectly fine with that, because a very high level of soccer is being played in those countries.
Sorry to contradict you, but I'm a Belgian who also likes to watch the MLS (Go Impact!). The North American teams would be demolished in our First Division. At the moment, the pace of most MLS teams is quite low. The opponent is being given way too much time to control the ball and find the free man. These games remind me of those played between relegation candidates in our league. Ugly football, lot's of bad passes and no pace whatsoever. There's only one big difference: in our league, those teams put up a defensive wall which is very hard to penetrate and then hang on and wait for the chance to counter attack. In North America on the other hand, it seems it's much easier to find gaps in the defense. But then off course, you also need a reliable striker. Something that's most of the time missing in both of our leagues... I'd say your top sides would be equal to our number 7 or 8. Our traditional "giants" Anderlecht, Standard and Club Bruges and Genk are certainly stronger: no MLS-team would take the max. of the points in their poule of the Europa League nor make it to the group stage of the Champions League.

Also, some of you people here are heavily underestimating the English Championship. It's the sixth richest behind EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A. Sorry, but to say that North-American teams could compete with them is IMO preposterous, when our teams are defeated by them (Club Bruges - Birmingham this year).

PS: Any Whitecaps fans here? I wonder what went wrong with Jarju in Vancouver. In Belgium he was quite decent: scored nearly 20 times in the second division before leaving our country. Looks like he failed miserably in Canada, but now he's back at his old team. Although it seems like he has lost his talent. Jarju barely played since new year.

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03-15-2012, 08:20 AM
  #63
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Originally Posted by ck26 View Post
Wouldn't Keane get regular minutes at Bohemians or Sligo? Why go all the way to America?
Two reasons: (1) Money. (2) MLS is a higher level of competition than Ireland.

Quote:
The point about LA vs Other Cities In The Same League stands.
Yeah, that's why the Kings win cup after cup, right? Because good hockey players don't go anywhere else.

Quote:
The only recent Dempsey rumor I found in my (admittedly very brief) google search involved ... Arsenal. Another, bigger, London team. Is he the only superstar who is headed TO Arsenal? Why wouldn't he leave London in search of Champions League soccer in Dortmund or Valencia?

(By the way, I would f'ing love Dempsey to replace the moody, petulant #23 they have now)

But I surrender the third point, because you're right, Landon Donovan would break precedent and be the first player to ever demand a transfer from his club team to a bigger one.
The choices aren't "be 100 percent content" or "demand a transfer." Most players that have a good relationship with their club feel at least some sense of loyalty and propriety. Donovan hasn't demanded a transfer because he recognizes the reasons MLS doesn't want to let him go. Also, I'm sure he's comfortable enough in LA. He can both prefer to play for Everton and still be relatively happy in LA.

Same with Dempsey. His contract is up next summer. He'll probably go to the highest bidder that has a chance at international trophies, wherever that is. Maybe another English club, maybe not.

Quote:
I'm not saying no player would ever want to play in a crap town, I'm saying it makes a difference. There's a reason "glamorous" designated players (Beckham, Marquez, Blanco, Henry) in MLS have ended up in LA, New York, Chicago and New York, while "unglamorous" ones (Ferreira, Saborio, Chara) have ended up in Dallas, Salt Lake and Portland. It makes a difference.
Location is a tiebreaker in most cases, not a reason for going. Money is king, followed by level of play. Where does Samuel Eto'o play again? Millionaires can make themselves comfortable just about anywhere.

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04-07-2012, 11:15 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by GirouxGiroux View Post
Where does Samuel Eto'o play again? Millionaires can make themselves comfortable just about anywhere.
Your LA Kings point is dumb for lots of reasons you already understand, your Clint Dempsey point is well-taken, we'll see what happens to him (and to Keane for that matter). My understanding of Samuel Eto'o's situation is more-or-less, "I've won everything there is to win, I've proven everything there is to prove, I have one big contract left and there are in upwards of 100 people back home in Cameroon who are relying on this money to take care of them long-term, so whoever is offering up the most coin gets my services." Anelka is already at this point (he's in China, right?) minus about 90 people. Drogba will be soon.

I can't offer up a really strong argument why Beckham's situation is lifestyle / cultural (not a money grab) and Eto'o's is strictly a money grab, but it feels self-evident to me. If Aleksander Hleb would have quit Arsenal for Anzhi back in 2007, that would have felt cultural, not a money grab, just like Arshavin's loan to Zenit does now.

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04-21-2012, 04:19 PM
  #65
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Beckham, Henry and Blanco were looking for places to retire and to maximize their exposure. Beckham played the vast majority of his career in Manchester, which is just as drab as any other city in the north of England in spite of it's attempts to be the English answer to Chicago. He played in Madrid, which is like Ottawa with sunshine. I can buy that foreign stars have no interest in plying their trade in Kansas City, but the only reason that's true is because playing in KC would run counter to what those types of DPs want to get out of the US and MLS. There's also a knowledge thing at play... most people overseas have only heard of 3 or 4 American cities and they would naturally want to go to the ones they're familiar with instead of whatever "Denver" is. With players going to England, it's different because they don't have any sort of leverage.

If Kansas City could offer the same money that Aston Villa could, Kansas City would be kicking some ass. If Landon Donovan hadn't flamed out in Europe as a kid, he wouldn't give two ***** about the temperature or "socio-cultural diversity" in Los Angeles right now. If Robbie Keane could start for a team in a real European league (ie. not the League of Ireland), he wouldn't be in MLS right now. Everyone has their reasons for everything and it's a lot more complex than generalized and ill-defined lifestyle concerns.

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04-21-2012, 05:30 PM
  #66
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Yeah Aston Villa plays in such a joke of a league. Did you forget Keane's success in his loan spell in the EPL with Villa?

What about Henry?

Don't forget Donovan too. Oh and Beckham in Milan a few years ago.

It's so nice of these ****** leagues like the EPL and Serie A to allow MLS stars keep in shape in their leagues during the offseason.

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04-21-2012, 06:58 PM
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Donovan played very well in his recent loan to Everton, the team just didn't have the money to bring him on.

Fire - TFC game was a great example of why MLS can be entertaining. Incredibly sloppy game, but back and forth action with both goalies making big stops and showings of technical ability.

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04-21-2012, 09:09 PM
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All TFC games are entertaining because they decline to play defense.

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04-22-2012, 03:00 AM
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All TFC games are entertaining because they decline to play defense.
Arsenal fans say the same thing about THEIR club!

... and people doubt me when I say MLS inches closer and closer to the European leagues every year ...

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04-25-2012, 10:17 PM
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Henry chose the RB because of New York. Read an interview with him where he said he had wanted to live in New York since he was a teen. They pay him well, but the deal was not exclusively about money. I believe that in ten to fifteen years, the MLS will be in a position of having to resist the temptation to become a retirement league. Attendance is going up, TV revenues are going up. The league is on the rise and soon they will have the cash to spend on guys that land at mid-table to lower-table teams.

Take a guy like Kenwyne Jones. Do you think he would rather spend the summer playing in Montreal or the winter playing in Stoke-on-Trent? Aside from the nice weather, he doesn't run the risk of ending up in a relegation scrap (not that Stoke at risk of the drop this year). Compared to other leagues, MLS is pretty stress and (as mentioned) offers some nice places to live.

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04-25-2012, 10:34 PM
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Henry chose the RB because of New York. Read an interview with him where he said he had wanted to live in New York since he was a teen. They pay him well, but the deal was not exclusively about money. I believe that in ten to fifteen years, the MLS will be in a position of having to resist the temptation to become a retirement league.
Maybe it's semantics, but I don't think Henry is here for the retirement league golden parachute.

Was MLS ever going to win his services when Barcelona came calling in 2007? Of course not. But as evidenced by his loan deal to Arsenal, plenty of really good European teams would have room for him in their rotations. A 37 year old who comes to the US for one year and kinda sucks is one thing ... a player who comes over in his early 30's, plays multiple years in the US, dominates and proves either on off-season loan or internationally that he's still got it is something else.

I would expect off-season loans to stop before "resisting the temptation to take on past-their-peak-but-still-really-good superstars" happens. Players like Henry and Beckham and Keane and Blanco are too good and too marketable to pass up.

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04-25-2012, 10:58 PM
  #72
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Maybe it's semantics, but I don't think Henry is here for the retirement league golden parachute.

Was MLS ever going to win his services when Barcelona came calling in 2007? Of course not. But as evidenced by his loan deal to Arsenal, plenty of really good European teams would have room for him in their rotations. A 37 year old who comes to the US for one year and kinda sucks is one thing ... a player who comes over in his early 30's, plays multiple years in the US, dominates and proves either on off-season loan or internationally that he's still got it is something else.

I would expect off-season loans to stop before "resisting the temptation to take on past-their-peak-but-still-really-good superstars" happens. Players like Henry and Beckham and Keane and Blanco are too good and too marketable to pass up.
I guess what I mean is you can have a few of those guys. But as the money comes into the league, those will be the low-hanging fruit to bring over. I don't think Henry is here as a playing retirement. But if they get too many guys on the back-end of their careers, the league will start to look like a retirement league.

So I guess it is semantics.

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04-26-2012, 04:50 AM
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Henry's loan deal to Arsenal had nothing to do with Henry's abilities at this point in his career, come on. They desperately needed bodies and they brought him in because of his legendary status with the club. I don't think he sees MLS as a retirement league in the sense you mean but the guy has clearly lost more than a couple steps and probably thinks it's more dignified to go be a big fish in a small pond (and live in New York) than wind down his career on a mid-table French side. Keane's career was dead in the water before he landed in LA and now that it's been resurrected he is desperate to go back to England. Again, though, the question of why they are where they are is still a lot more complex than you were making it before. Remember, in the NASL days the highest bidder always won and you could go see Gary Bannister and Trevor Francis in their primes playing for a team in Detroit.

I've always maintained that the top out for MLS in terms of quality will be Portugal or the Netherlands. And that the future of the DP is in younger kids from Africa and Latin America instead of European stars. MLS will never be able to pay Premiership wages... it would take 50 years at current growth levels for MLS to even hit the current NHL salary cap, which is significantly below what clubs in the top Euro leagues pay out. The level of quality in the Eredivisie is totally attainable and would probably be good enough to cement MLS as a major player in the domestic market.


Last edited by Brodie: 04-26-2012 at 04:58 AM.
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04-26-2012, 10:21 AM
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Henry's loan deal to Arsenal had nothing to do with Henry's abilities at this point in his career, come on. They desperately needed bodies and they brought him in because of his legendary status with the club. I don't think he sees MLS as a retirement league in the sense you mean but the guy has clearly lost more than a couple steps and probably thinks it's more dignified to go be a big fish in a small pond (and live in New York) than wind down his career on a mid-table French side. Keane's career was dead in the water before he landed in LA and now that it's been resurrected he is desperate to go back to England.

I've always maintained that the top out for MLS in terms of quality will be Portugal or the Netherlands. And that the future of the DP is in younger kids from Africa and Latin America instead of European stars. MLS will never be able to pay Premiership wages... it would take 50 years at current growth levels for MLS to even hit the current NHL salary cap, which is significantly below what clubs in the top Euro leagues pay out. The level of quality in the Eredivisie is totally attainable and would probably be good enough to cement MLS as a major player in the domestic market.
I'm not suggesting Arsenal will look to fill a void next January by taking another 0.5 GPG striker from MLS ... clearly his priors with the club played a huge role, but Fredrik Ljungberg, Robert Pires and Alexandre Hleb have all been very available at various times over the last few years and none of them were deemed worthwhile. 2 goals in 4 games is a small sample size, but I don't think Wenger had him back just to sell replica #12 kits. Also, I may be selling Lopez, Gomis, Remy and Gignac short, but Henry could play for any team in France. Lyon, PSG and Marseille would all find him a useful buy if they were short a striker.

Eredivisie is a good medium- to long-term goal in terms of quality of play, but I think the ceiling/potential will always be higher in the US. I can't see a scenario where Holland or Belgium or Portugal ever gets significantly better than they currently are, and, your 50 year projection aside, there is still plenty of growth room in the USA in cities without teams or with teams in USL. Some sort of cohesiveness (promotion and relegation, despite all its flaws) is needed to expand the MLS catchment area; as it is there are just too many parts of the country that are not within reasonable distance of an MLS stadium, even if it was an MLS2 or MLS3 stadium. I can't speak for Charleston Battery fans, but I feel like playing in MLS2 with a shot at promotion would be a much more attractive option than playing in USL. And people without an MLS team are left watching soccer on TV anyway, and televised DC United is fighting an uphill battle against televised Ajax Amsterdam.

Agree totally on the best / most likely course of action for future designated players, and this is already happening to a degree. Plenty of good young Central American players are plying their trade in MLS, and, again, while we're not beating out Barcelona for a kid's signature, playing time for a couple years in MLS is more attractive to many than playing time with the Athletic Bilbao reserves. Selling on young DP's is a delicate juggling act -- you get cash but lose a star but convince other young players that MLS is a step in the right direction and maybe retroactively convince your fans that it's a top league. I do think the league is largely missing the boat not with Anglos vis-a-vis Europe, but Hispanics vis-a-vis teams from their home / ancestral country. The point where the level of play amongst the top MLS teams is such that they can consistently beat Mexican teams in the CONCACAF Champions League should be a significant moment, and hopefully young DP's, both with their current skills and the revenues generated by shipping them off to Europe -- can help fuel those victories.

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04-26-2012, 02:56 PM
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Brodie
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Promotion and relegation in MLS is never going to happen. It's a non-starter. The day FIFA tries to force the issue is the day the billionaires who run MLS pull out and the league dies. It is an American league first and a soccer league second and it will live and die by the American system.

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