Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Can't change this feeling, way out of touch ...
MLS is in a very interesting position. Sure, we have our B-team boys being blown out in Saprissa, and perhaps we're not developing players as fast as we thought and the Landon-Bones-Gooch generation really is as much an anamoly as the Golden Generation was in Portugal (which means we need to get to the nickname makin' quickly).

But two things are happening today and tomorrow that make me wonder exactly what MLS is going to look like in the future.

This afternoon there'll be a conference call to say that Toronto is going to be in for 2007. That's exciting news! And they'll have their own stadium which means any team MLSE puts together is already ahead of the fiscal schedule as compared to someone like, say, D.C. United (who need their own stadium in the worst way).

The other news is that tomorrow RSL will hold a press conference to announce that the Monarchs will be building an FC Dallas-like facility in Sandy, a southern suburb of the Utah capital. That means that in the start of 2008 (granted, that's two years away) only three teams will be without their own stadium deal: San Jose, United and the Wizards. And, certainly a lot is going to change with San Jose and K.C. over the winter and United could end up with a stadium at any moment.

Which is why I should feel good about MLS, right?

However, I just feel like it's a constant struggle for MLS. For example, I was talking to someone about MLS Cup and how we both hoped it was FC Dallas versus D.C. United because then we'd get a sellout. Or even the Galaxy versus United and how we hoped it wasn't a Colorado - New England final because is it a championship game if no fans attend?

Which begs the question: if no one outside of its cult fans (myself included) care about a league, does it have real hope for the future and will any of us be alive to see that future?


Blogger Mr. Fish said...

A good question, but more SSS will lead to more $$$, which will allow MLS to bring in better, more recognized stars, which will attract more of the Euro/SA/Central American soccer-loving crowd. That's how we move the league beyond cult status. With more revenue streams, the need to push into the sports mainstream diminishes. We don't need to be the NFL. We'll survive to benefit...us!

2:59 PM  
Blogger incendiarymind said...

Here's the thing though. Find me a sport in the United States, besides the NFL, that could have a championship game in a neutral city and sell it out (if you put a theoretical Cardinals/White Sox World Series in San Franciso no one is going to show up). The whole idea of trying to make MLS Cup like the Super Bowl ignores the demographics of the league fans. Unless they're banking on people making it their family vacation, it's a losing proposition.

Once all the SSS are in place, hopefully MLS will abandon the terrible idea of a neutral site MLS Cup.

4:40 PM  
Blogger D said...

Props to the incendiaryfootcermind, and total agreement as well. The neutral site thing makes no sense to me. Either give one side home field, or give it to the Supporter Shield winner.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Eric PZ said...

I've probably been my usual minority of one on this, but I've been saying for years that if the league wants a playoff, they should take the East Champ vs the West Champ in a home/home matchup. However, MLS does a lot of marketing/sponsorship around a single game playoff final so don't expect to see any changes (including half full stadiums) any time soon.

4:52 PM  

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