BEN KNIGHT'S NOT THE DULLEST KNIFE IN THE TFC DRAWER BUT THIS LUDICROUS PIECE might make you think so.
Basically, he's saying that while the current MLS structure is responsible for the fact that the league, you know, still exists, it would nevertheless be great if it got blown up.
What's more, he still can't let go of the Canadian Wet Dream that they call "The Two Tier System" idea, which recommends that some MLS teams ("some" in this case being a euphemism for "Toronto FC") be allowed to spend whatever they want on however many players they want while others can choose to stay within the salary cap system.
This idea, which is patently absurd for reasons which it shouldn't even be necessary to spell out, is what passes for a brilliant idea in Canada.
(And of course as a Canadian he is functionally incapable of understanding that MLS does not have "franchises" and that, in reality, MLS L.L.C. owns 51% of his beloved TFC, but you can try to explain it to them if you want. I've given that one up as hopeless.)
(And I'm not even going to get into his claim that PDL "develops" players or that there is something called "the North American Soccer Pyramid". I don't have the strength today.)
He then goes on to hit all the other now-familiar staples of the Canadian soccer complaint: how he'd "love" to see "the pro game in Canada and the United States busted out of the MLS straitjacket." and how "without a salary-cap increase – or a two-tier system where the league actually lets ownership groups pay extra money for players – we could be looking at years and years of continual bureaucratic life support and limitation", whatever the hell that means.
And in case you missed the point, he tells us that "we have MLS teams that are not able – or allowed – to compete for players with real soccer set-ups."
Would someone please, for the love of Gaia, explain to these people that MLS is the FIFA-sanctioned First Division Professional League in the United States?
That USSF permission is required, after getting FIFA approval, for a Canadian team to gain admittance?
That this continual "top league in North America" crap is not only insulting to Mexico but patently false?
That Toronto FC is not some independent soccer club but rather a local branch of a larger corporation, with said corporation being the actual "owners" of the team?
And that all this "Take the Shackles off of Toronto FC" crap is childish, ludicrous and wildly unrealistic?
It isn't MLS that's "holding back" TFC. It's the fact that TFC is run by MLSE and Mo Johnston, who have done a signally bad job of assembling a team. That, much as you get angry with me for saying it, the truth is that any number of good players have refused to join your team because you play on plastic grass. That your previous coach was an idiot and the new guy, while at least not cetifiably insane like the last guy, doesn't really have a handle on what it takes to win in MLS.
Other MLS outfits have found a way to win under the current system. LA has done it under a couple of different regimes, as has DC United. Seattle seems well on the way. Houston continues to win. New England is up and down but knows what the deal is. Columbus is doing fine. Chicago gets it too.
But that's not good enough for Toronto. They always want someone to change the rules because they can't figure out how to win under the existing ones. And if they can't get the league to change the rules for everybody, then how about if they just change the rules for them?
Maybe then, operating under special "Toronto Rules" they could find a way to beat somebody, and it's only American meanness and MLS leaguewide stupidity that is holding them down.
Take a look around BigSoccer someday. What you'll discover is that nobody much is exactly thrilled with the current MLS corporate arrangements, but grownup non-whiners understand that it is the way it is and it's not going to change much in our lifetimes, so we have two choices: go along in the interests of building something or lay down and cry about it.
TFC fans remind me of the kind of people who buy a house underneath the runway approach to a major airport and then demand that someone do something about the noise. This is the league you joined, guys. You don't like it? Start your own.