US SOCCER

Discussion in 'SoCalScene' started by Dominic, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. coachsamy

    coachsamy

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    A little glimpse of what could happen if MLS goes into P/R...

    - Current MLS owners/execs will suffer. Look at Columbus Crew ownership pulling a Spanos to the city of Columbus in favor of quick money down in Austin.

    - Players contracts will belong to the actual club and not the league, so player sales are in the books of the individual clubs.

    - LAFC, LAG and NYCFC would become the perennial top dog$ in the league. (i.e. America, Chivas Liga MX, Real Madrid, Barcelona La Liga, Juve, AC Milan, InterMilan, Serie 1, etc.)

    - A grassroots like Chula Vista FC would become something like a 3rd - 2nd division perennial player builder maintaining budget of player sales.

    - A grassroots like Albion Pros could become something like a Leicester City, well managed nothing flashy and surprise in first division every now and then, or just once in their existence.

    - Owners would learn how to really manage their money and know that the day they choose to get greedy (Spanos) their whole operations will go bankrupt. Yes I know Spanos is not going bankrupt but in a P/R system that fool would be another homeless down in East Village...

    - Its cheaper to develop than to buy in the vast majority of the clubs. Look at Liverpool, Spurs, PSV, Young Boys, etc. These clubs flip players quicker than a burger from MCD's, so smaller clubs can make their living by flipping players after a good run and then invest on cheaper ones. Let LA and NY deep pockets overpay for the sexy names, everyone else builds on quality.

    I know that this would cause mad chaos and break the status quo so why bother...
     
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  2. younothat

    younothat Silver

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    I like nostalgia but what clubs are referring to?

    MLS club never where in CSL that I can recall and Premier didn't start until like U16 when my boy started

    Arsenel, Albion, West Coast, Real Socal, Pats, Strikers played CSL at some point I remember

    Now there the same Albion, Boca Jrs, Fullerton, Oxnard, DMS teams plus news ones like TFA, Golden State, Santa Barbara, AC Brea, Valley United and Premier starts at what U14 now.

    On the boys side yeah DA expansion has seemed to cause more dilution but has SCDSL really changed that landscape for boys CSL Premier much ? DA clubs seem to be putting in there calendar year split teams back in CSL just as much as SCDSL.

    On the girls side yes CSL was raided for ECNL, DA, SCDSL, etc.
     
  3. younothat

    younothat Silver

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    Ok back on topic :D

    Why isn't the U.S. better at soccer? It's all about the Benjamins
    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/isnt-u-s-better-soccer-benjamins-153935158.html

    "America has either priced out or spooked out many talented children from diverse backgrounds. That’s according to an array of coaches, top players and soccer parents Yahoo Sports spoke with for this story.

    “People of different incomes and diversity groups are being left out,” says Michael Fitzgerald, who runs the Saints Soccer Academy only a few miles from Nike headquarters in Oregon. “A lot of families are priced out.”

    Fitzgerald has made a concerted effort to make his club affordable to everyone, whether through volunteer coaches or scholarships for players, but he sees obstacles ranging from immigrant groups who “don’t want to be on record” to language barriers to simple perception.

    “Some of the Hispanic community here, they have access but they don’t pursue it,” Fitzgerald says. “Because of the perception that it’s a rich man’s sport. They don’t chase it. They see all the rich kids playing soccer. They say that’s not for us. There’s no pathway.”

    A study on the subject that was referenced in Time last year cited the “maximum” cost to a soccer family as $5,500 per child, but it was not hard to find families with promising kids whose costs blew way past that. One soccer mom in North Carolina, who asked to remain anonymous so she could speak openly about family finances, said she spends $5,200 per year on club fees alone for her 14-year-old boy. That doesn’t include costs for uniform, health care and summer training. “You can keep going and going and going,” she said.

    The women’s national team is far more successful than the men, winning the World Cup in 2015 and likely favored again next year, but that doesn’t mean the same issues don’t arise on that side.

    “I don’t think it’s any secret or any surprise to anybody that soccer in America has recently been a very affluent, suburban sport,” said Crystal Dunn, who has played for the national team and now stars for the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage. “The next level of growth is to include everybody in urban and rural populations and make sure everyone has access to the game, both boys and girls.”

    Dunn is African-American, but she grew up in a mostly white neighborhood.

    “For me, everyone I saw was white,” she said. “That’s just the reality of it. My parents made good money and worked really hard and it’s not always that way for people, I think, of my complexion. I think I was really fortunate.”

    Her former teammate, goalkeeper Hope Solo, made headlines recently by calling soccer in America a “rich white kid’s sport.” She said if she had come up in this era, as a working-class child from Washington state, she would have been looked over or priced out.

    U.S. national team star Alex Morgan had not heard Solo’s comments, but she didn’t disagree.

    “I do feel like there is a problem in the U.S. with younger kids having to pay to play,” Morgan said. “I wish it was more available to all kids.”

    There are many efforts underway to reach across barriers. Operation Pitch Invasion is dedicated to building soccer fields in non-traditional places “so that kids of all ages have high-quality and safe playing surfaces to enjoy the beautiful game.” America Scoresoffers a unique combination of “soccer, poetry and service-learning” to give inner-city youth better after-school options.

    But it’s not just about introducing and developing the game at the grass-roots level. It’s also about helping talented kids compete in a world that’s top-heavy in top-earning families. “I don’t know if you have to be traveling all the way to California for good matches when you’re 14 years old,” says U.S. national team member Heather O’Reilly, who contributes to America Scores.

    The U.S. is a capitalistic society, proudly, and the goal for many is to be profitable as well as to be helpful. So as the interest in soccer increases, so will the interest in the business of soccer. That may make the effort to diversify even tougher, when it seems like it should be the opposite.

    This might be the No. 1 challenge for new U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro. He was born in Bombay and moved to Miami as a teen, but he’s considered an insider in the soccer world. He attended Harvard Business School and he was a partner at Goldman Sachs. As part of his platform, he wrote about the need to “invest new resources to make soccer more affordable for youth, especially in our cities and underserved communities.”

    It’s only been a few months, but Fitzgerald hasn’t seen much of a change yet.

    “I wish there was a bigger braintrust focusing on this,” he said. “I haven’t heard a single word about it since our new president took office. There are a ton of kids who are getting overlooked. And this is Portland; I can only imagine what L.A. is like.”

    Find those kids in those cities more frequently, and the U.S. might still be playing at this stage in the 2022 World Cup. After all, the populations of L.A. and Portland add up to roughly the size of Croatia.

     
  4. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    I’m not sure where Albion Pros is going to find $66 million for annual payroll or money to build it’s own 35,000 person stadium like Leicester.

    I think MLS owners are doing a decent job managing their money, including protecting their investment by not giving free loaders the opportunity to take their share of the $90 million in tv deals they worked hard and took years to secure. Regardless, why does anyone think that replacing the last place SJ Quakes and it’s really cool stadium (with the largest outdoor bar in North America I might add), 20k per game attendance and share of tv viewership with Albion Pros improves soccer in the US. Their mistake for stupidly investing money in soccer, including its youth academy, I guess. No one will ever make that mistake again. Much smarter to create a system that will only generate enough revenue to pay players beer money.

    If P/R is the best way for a sports league to excel, why is EPL revenue is dwarfed by the NFL, MLB, and NBA? Actually, that gives me a brilliant idea, as long as we’re proposing unrealistic theories about making soccer great here. First, find 32 people willing to invest roughly $3 billion each. Second, buy every team in the NFL. Third, change sports. You don’t even need to change the league name, and the teams already have the infrastructure, both of which provide a massive cost savings that you could never realize any other way. Plus, you’ve killed off the main competition for sports dollars and opened up a new pipeline for youth players as kids flee a dead end sport with no future.
     
  5. mahrez

    mahrez Silver

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    Avaya stadium is nice, if the quakes played in a P/R league they would either have to be more competitive or deal with the economics of regulation like the rest of the soccer world does.

    The owner's had deep enough pockets to buy the old airport land from the city and bulid that stadium /wo public funds, his last place team is losing $ hand over fist & his main sponsor Avaya is bankrupt so if another team say newly-promoted Sacramento Republic took over what would be the difference? capitalism at work.
     
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  6. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    That's bunk. Having spoken to many such families (in Spanish no less.....my kid did tryouts on a minority-majority team, we're church mates with one family, we've chatted with families in an Oxnard latino league, know some coaches who do cut-rate club fees for this community, have chatted with Hispanic club team families and talked to families for some of the big clubs at LA Galaxy games), that's not the reason. It's actually a little insulting (implies we Hispanics are too dumb or scared to pass up an opportunity because it's a rich man's sport). If the kid is talented, the opportunities are there. The problems are: 1) info access (many families are poor, stressed and find it difficult to navigate the club system....hell I couldn't make sense of the alphabet soup when I first jumped in and started learning from you all....one family we talked to on a family picnic didn't even know about club soccer), 2) the families are so stressed with either work schedules, double jobs, and unreliable vehicles, that getting to practice (let alone long distance games) are difficult (the minority-majority club my son tried out with wound up having to cancel many practices at the last minute due to car breakdowns/not enough kids getting rides so unable to show up) and 3) at the higher levels, tournament and college showcase travel costs. At one club which they are able to make it work, for example, a lot of the players were church mates at the pastor wound up doing a lot of the driving to practice.
     
  7. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    It's not just P/R. It's the salary cap too. The NBA has been dominated in the past by a few teams (Lakers/Celtics, Bulls...maybe the Lakers/Warriors going forward). Reason they can do it is you only really need a marquee player and 2-3 supporters to build a dominant first string squad with only 5 players on the field on the time. The MLS salary caps are very severe for supporting players...you are limited to 3 designated players and get some targeted allocation money that has to fall under the thresholds for the 3 DPS. You cannot build a dominant squad and recruit European level talent from around the world with just 3 DPs. For those not in DP or TAP money, the salary is just too low to tempt a US-born player away from the security of a college diploma (but it IS enough to tempt someone from T&T or Panama or Costa Rica, which is why those countries have become much more competitive in recent years).

    The rest of the world does not have salary caps as severe as rigid as we do for the MLS. The result is that in La Liga, for example, 2 teams are dominant year in and year out. Same with Italy and Germany. The Premiere league is it's own special beast but is also in the middle of a shakeout right now, as is English soccer (though the Premiere League by any standard is a much more global league since it's nationality caps aren't as rigid).

    Fixing P/R alone, however much of a pipe dream, wouldn't be enough. You'd have to remove the salary caps so you could build some franchise teams here willing to bring top talent to the US and offering US grown talent and incentive to turn pro.
     
  8. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    Instead, they deal with the economics of reality and Sac Republic stays where it belongs next to the River Cats. Funny how capitalism actually works.

    I’m certain my plan makes more financial sense.
     
  9. mahrez

    mahrez Silver

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    A last place team losing 5million+ a year on only 34mil in revenue with a bankrupt sponser makes sense, yeah that's a good capitalist plan. Please
     
  10. Dr. Richard Hurtz

    Dr. Richard Hurtz Bronze

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    Ok look... I’m tired of this pay to play issue being brought up as an excuse for Americans underperforming. That’s not why.

    Can someone google how many kids here in America are registered to play youth soccer this year? I’m guessing it’s a hell of a lot of kids. It has to be a huge number. My point is... we have so many kids who are registered playing soccer that you can’t tell me that only the poor kids who can’t afford it are the only good players; and that’s why America sucks. Anyone who believes this as the reason for the United States failures don’t know shit about soccer. Yea, I said it.
     
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  11. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    This keeps getting better and better for the guy who’s looking to invest in the future
    of soccer in America. You pay $350 million build a stadium and another $150 million to start up your new soccer club. There’s a 10% chance you will lose your entire investment every year, unless you pay an additional 100 million a year to players good enough to protect your investment but even then there’s still a 5% chance you’ll go bankrupt by way of relegation. But this is definitely a sound investment because you’ll generate $30 million in ticket revenue if you sell out every game at $30 a ticket. If every single person in Sacramento also buys 5 jerseys at $5 profit per jersey, and you add in your $2 million share of the tv deals with MLS, you’ve almost made payroll for the players. No idea how you pay debt service, taxes, adminstration, utilities, $4 million for an academy, etc.

    If you have a system of P/R, it isn’t possible to ever get past paying beer money to Albion Pros, who are playing in front of maybe 1000 friends, family members, the local youth club that got free tickets, plus a handful of crazy dudes whose idea of a good time is to get drunk and bang on some drums. In a P/R system in the US, the value of a professional soccer club is about $0. You can never obtain players of sufficient quality to obtain a tv deal, which is the lifeblood of a successful sports league.

    My idea of buying the NFL still makes the most financial sense.
     
  12. InTheValley

    InTheValley Bronze

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    You really are stupid aren’t you. How much do you think that little plot of land they’ve got is appreciating? How are Albion Pros doing with their field. That’s right, they’re renting.

    You’re also lying about their losses. Regardless, a last place team averaging 20k fans a game and $34 million in revenue seems like the best possible argument against relegation. Let’s see Albion Pros do that.
     
  13. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    You've hit the third leg of the stool which is transfer fees. The European system only works because of a 3 elements: P/R, transfer fees, loose salary caps. A small club can shove off stadium costs on local government (and get nothing too fancy....besides they are mostly built now in major/medium markets) and make it's business off the transfer fees.

    And as outlined in "Soccernomics", soccer is not a good investment. With a handful of exceptions for the winning/dominant clubs, they are a money losing proposition. The remaining teams in contention exist because of dumb money looking to smooth an ego. That exists in the NFL and NBA too...Clippernation anyone?
     
  14. mahrez

    mahrez Silver

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    Yeah your right their losing even more $ on the financing of the stadium and the +$4 million in losses since Avaya hasn't been paying for the sponsorship.

    Who cars about Albion pros, if it wasn't for the sunstone investors and there other profitable real estate holdings the quakes would be facing bankruptcy just like there main sponsor.

    Hardly anybody body but locals care about San Jose quakes or the Oakland A's either but at least there near the bay area. Too bad there both one of the wrost draws in the league on the road. Heck Minnesota United in thier 2nd yr outraws the quakes but don't let the facts interfere with your perceived reality. Oh yeah 100m in construction cost for that stadium not 350.
     
  15. LASTMAN14

    LASTMAN14

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    Your right. Pay to play is not the problem. It’s so much more. But it does serve as a filter.
     
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  16. coachsamy

    coachsamy

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    @InTheValley I feel you are missing the point about P/R and Albion Pros. The whole Albion Pros is a hypothetical example of a grassroots program ran by a savvy businessman, I mean after all NG is the poster child of all tracksuits! Albion Pros if P/R would happen won't jump overnight into D2 or D1(MLS). They would have to move their way up from D5 which is what they are now and along the way they would need to make right investments and attract the right sponsors. Maybe Primos won't be able to sponsor them past D3, but Classy has the revenue along with other local VC's that have close ties to NG.

    NG built the entire Albion empire out of nothing, he sugared up thousands of families to believe that giving him a mortgage payment and putting at risk their children alongside gophers and pervs in the shithole known as Robb Field, just imagine what he would be able to do if P/R was a thing. And getting to what I'm trying to convey is that there are many situations like this in which a small group of people are passionate about their local team and eventually makes it to the bigs, and because they started from scratch, their economics are not as complicated as you have many times communicated that are the factor why MLS has to protect the investment of the current members.
     
  17. coachsamy

    coachsamy

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    You are right! However between cronism, politics and mid level club raiding is causes the lack of exposure to some kids that are just as good as DA players.

    The ship started sinking when Klinnsmann made the stupid decision to leave Landon Donovan out of the WC in 2014 in favor of Julian Green.
     
  18. younothat

    younothat Silver

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    Ok enough with the P2p, getting old but ever articles has to mention it.

    Here's the real reason why the US men's soccer team didn't qualify for the 2018 World Cup
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/opin...ccer-team-youth-kids-sports-column/768826002/

    "Pundits may place blame at the highest levels — the president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, or the coach of the national team. But maybe the problem is not at the top. Maybe it's at a local field, where kids practice in fancy uniforms under the eyes of anxious parents, hands-on coaches and vigilant referees. Kids stand in line kicking balls through cones, listening to lectures about technique and tactics.

    They are not playing soccer, they´re practicing it. But soccer is a game. To learn the beautiful game, they need to play it"

    Many kids are left behind in a pay-to-play system that excludes huge swathes of America´s youth. Those who can pay find themselves in ever fancier uniforms, participating in ever-more-tightly organized practices. Our kids travel for hours, often across state lines, and even across the entire country in search of “outstanding” competition, sometimes spending more time travelling than playing. What skill are they learning?

    How to sit in the car.

    Of course some may obtain a college scholarship, which in men´s soccer might cover the cost of books. An even tinier sliver may make it to the pro ranks. But any fan watching our men's national team in action can recognize that the products of America's "soccer industrial complex" lack the creativity and skill on the ball to be world-class.

    This could be the solution
    Just maybe, the keys to getting a U.S. men’s team to the World Cup and a child’s happiness are the same. Perhaps the quest for perfect equipment, perfect fields and perfect competition in an adult-driven system has prevented our kids from developing the skills, instincts and creativity to master the beautiful game.

    To become a soccer-playing nation, we need to rethink how the game is learned and played at the grassroots level, even if it means not playing on grass at all. Because what we´re doing right now isn't working. No wonder participation has declined by around 24% in recent years.

    With soccer, less may be more. In the early years, forget the drills, equipment and travel. Let the kids play on the speedy blacktops, concrete and hard-packed dirt abundant across the fruited plain. Let younger kids learn by copying older kids. The simple supervision of a YMCA, parks and recreation program or local club is all the organization needed.

    The same countries where kids first learn a "shoeless" game have carefully controlled systems at higher levels. But at the grassroots, their kids are playing. Ours are not. Their kids are winning. Ours are not.

    The solution is simple. The cost- and time-savings are staggering. And the organization and infrastructure already exist. Let's strip off the gear, throw out the expensive system and take soccer back to the creativity of the streets. Like Pele, let's go "shoeless."

    MLS math not adding up

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-soccer-baxter-20161029-story.html
    - Major League Soccer says it drew more than 7.37 million fans this season, ... Although the league has yet to turn a profit in 21 seasons, it says ..
     
  19. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    It's just one data point, so to be taken with a grain of salt, but the shoeless nations didn't do so well in the World Cup (if that's the goal). Brazil and Argentina are hardly shoeless anymore and have increasingly been switching to an academy system but neither made it to the semis. The true shoeless ones in Africa (though many of their players have picked up European training later in their careers) all got snuffed. Panama and Costa Rica didn't do great, and largely have brought up their game in recent years because of the participation of their top players in the MLS (which is attractive to them because for them those salaries are high, unlike our players).

    It will be very interesting to hear all the arguments if it winds up being England v. France in the finals. France plays a possession style (but not like purists Spain that set a possession record but was unable to penetrate) also heavy with the counterattacks. France's success has largely been credited to immigrants and the academy system. England's gone the other way in recent years. Their youngers play worse boot ball than ours (I've posted video's from my son's little English friend before (Henry Save-all)...they are all about the punting at very young ages). Where their focus and scoring has been has been on set plays (which much of the world, including many of our coaches, ignore). The coach even credits the NFL/NBA for inspiration. https://sports.yahoo.com/nfl-nba-helped-inspire-englands-world-cup-semifinal-run-072743703.html

    I'm really hoping England advances (they probably won't because I want them too). Not only will we see a recreation of the 700 years war, but it will lead to fantastic arguments over the next 4 years and a reevaluation of the possession game. Besides, France v Croatia would probably be a snooze fest.
     
  20. MWN

    MWN Silver Elite

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    The European model has serious challenges in the American market (and a 150 year head start). While each of the 1000's of clubs across Europe has their own beginning story, many sprung from Sporting Clubs. These Sporting Clubs were community organizations, owned by the community focused on providing the youth and adults an opportunity to meet, socialize and exercise. Others clubs started as just small community based businesses, financed by a few community leaders and many even offered shares to the citizens of the town. They all played in local leagues and the "investments" were minor in the grand scheme. 100's, then 1,000's would watch the matches, and the stadiums grew gradually from a few bleachers, to a few more, to a few more.

    When the English Football League was established in 1888, it started with the idea of "election" to continue in the league (a form of pro/rel) in order to compete with the other leagues and to market the league as providing best/better teams. The EFL was not closed and would add clubs to fill the holes if clubs were not elected. In 1889, a competing league was formed, the Football Alliance, which later merged. The EFL made up the 1st division and the FA became the 2nd division, later in 1920, the Southern League merged and became the 3rd tier. There wasn't pro/rel yet, but the system required reelection.

    What made all of this work were two factors: (1) investment into the various clubs were equal; and (2) each of the clubs were "independent" entities, competing against the other clubs. The idea of "re-election" was fundamental to being part of the league, thus, investors in the clubs assumed this risk and managed the risks appropriately. Please note, the MLS doesn't do this.

    Over time, re-election turned into pro/rel and other leagues were added to the pyramid, which each league and club coming in having similar facilities and similar investment to the tiers above and below. The owners of these various teams/communities bought into in the FA's concept of the football pyramid.

    U.S. Soccer / MLS - USL

    Professional soccer in the US is really getting started about 110 years after the soccer party started. The MLS began play in 1996. The NASL had a run but folded because it was an economic disaster for its owners. It's model was that investors "owned the team" and played within the league. If the teams didn't turn a profit they were sold to another investor group and/or folded. The league eventually folded.

    Because the sporting culture of the US is not a "soccer" culture, the European model of similarly financed community clubs coming together in local leagues and forming a soccer pyramid through mergers, etc., is a non-starter.

    Former USL's Pro/Rel Petition System
    The USL in its previous form did adopt a Pro/Rel system of sorts in that it was voluntary. Clubs that couldn't make it financially at the top level (due to financial demands of being at the top level) could petition to go down. Clubs at the lower levels could petition to move up. Kinda based on merit, but more out of financial stability.

    MLS is a single closed entity
    Unlike the rest of the world, the MLS formed in 1995 with the intent to actually survive by taking into account the problem with the NASL ... controlling costs, its growth, sharing most of the profits (if any) between the teams through a single entity model, and eventually engaging in a pyramid scheme funding model (franchise fees rise and are shared with the senior members). Its a "slow growth" model designed to ensure survival for its multi-millionaire and billionaire investors. These Owners made their millions/billions because the are actually pretty smart, they know how to manage risks and will fight tooth and nail to preserve their investments.

    Arguing ... heck ... even considering the thought that the MLS ownership would adopt Pro/Rel with and risk their investments in the current landscape is absurd. Its a non-starter (in today's economic environment). Unless and until the MLS perceives an economic threat to its model it has no motivation to change.

    Role of the USL
    Could the USL provide that threat? Not for a very, very long time because its owners are not on the same financial level as the MLS owners. Moreover, the USL is infected by the MLS. This was not by accident. The MLS understood that the only potential threat is the USL and have placed their second teams (Galaxy II, NY Red Bulls II, Real Monarchs, etc.) AND its mutually beneficial to the MLS to work with the USL because it allows MLS teams to hang on to talent that it couldn't under the MLS roster rules.

    Pro/Rel in the USA - A Potential (but unlikely) Option
    The current landscape is not fertile for the idea of Pro/Rel to take hold. The only way that I see it happening is that the another independent league, unsanctioned by the USSF must be formed in the U.S. by billionaires with the goal of taking on the MLS. The only potential investors in this league are going to be European clubs that bring the Pro/Rel model and attempt to capitalize on existing goodwill of their international clubs and attempt to capitalize on the USSF's failure to adopt FIFA training and solidarity payments, which fosters the P2P system for elite athletes.

    This will not happen until one of two things occur:
    1) the US is ready for it. It will require MLS stadiums to be filled with 40k fans, TV contracts to be in hundreds of millions (and not $60M per year) and the 2nd level to be profitable, or
    2) the MLS collapses and leave a void, at which point the top European teams and Latin American teams owned by billionaire groups enter the market (at a much lower price) and offer a deal to the USL owners to join as the 2nd level.

    Ultimately, soccer in the US has to stand on its own as a business model. Until it does, its not a good investment and the smart money will sit on the sidelines.
     
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