NASL / USL
Posted 20 September 2017 - 07:40 AM
The NASL officially filed a lawsuit against US Soccer yesterday, claiming anti-competitive activities.
Posted 20 September 2017 - 10:12 AM
The only winners to come out of this mess is the lawyers. The root problem is that its hard for the US to financially support 3 pro leagues without some method of team shuffling up and down. Notice I didn't use the R word.....lol
Hard to fathom how we can have two different leagues both at the second division level. Yet no way NASL will accept dropping back to D3. Problem for them is that MLS and USL are tied together and there is zero value to them in letting NASL play in their sandbox.
Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:05 PM
The NASL's problem is that they are probably about five years too early to make a real battle. MLS is going through their expansion boom, and clubs (and fans) are being created with the expectation of creating enough hype to draw the higher league's attention when new expansion slots come up. However, that boom will not go on forever.
Once MLS stops expanding, unless they decide to create some weird internal P/R divisions, those clubs will have nowhere to go. Once places like Cincinnati and Pittsburgh and Sacramento see that they don't have a chance to get with the top clubs, they may be more willing to jump leagues and fight it out for first-division status. Plus, in another half-decade, there may be more owners interested in the potential of US soccer and willing to buy in like the owner of the Cosmos did.
Right now, they are probably too weak to make it work. That's a shame, because they are fighting the good fight.
Posted 20 September 2017 - 04:40 PM
DJMC I agree its a shame because they are doing what, long term, would be the best for soccer in this country. But I also get MLSs point and the reason they are structured they way they are. Its just a tough issue and not sure there is a win-win solution.
Posted 20 September 2017 - 06:42 PM
MLS is structured the way it is because it was trying to survive as a sapling in a mature growth forest. It needed to survive the bad times--and there were some very close calls over the years--and has successfully done so. However, that time is past, or at least passing quickly.
I've seen people describe the current business model of MLS as a pyramid scheme. They are basically trying to allow smaller leagues to cultivate new markets, get owners in those markets to pay the league's giant expansion fees which get spread around the current owners, then use the lure of those fees to get new markets (and owners) interested. As I said above, that is not a sustainable plan.
While they are likely mature enough to survive long-term without further expansion beyond a certain point, leaving too many owners and markets out in the cold may lead to a revolt. That has happened at least once in the history of each of the major sports leagues in the US, and in some cases multiple times. In most of those wars, merger/expansion was offered as a prerequisite of peace, but if MLS can't offer that, it could be bad for them over time.
Their best bet would be to put in motion a plan to create a legitimate tiered system with P/R over time, break up the league-wide regulation a bit, and encourage competition. That's how they will be able to draw the best talent from all over the world (before they are looking at retirement homes), and that is how they will continue to grow the sport (and their revenues) in the US.
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