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Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by jquintero10, Jan 14, 2012.
Panama is in Central America ....
Also technically Panama, Colombia and Venezuela can be considered part of the Caribbean (at least their coastal regions).
Lacrosse is the Fastest Growing Sport in the US
This line was weird "but for kids under the age of 13, the most popular sport is gymnastics. Outdoor soccer is in second place."
I hope many will agree with me when I say that I'm past caring whether MLS will become one of the "Big Three" in the near future. Association football has put down such good roots that we'd be capable of competing from time to time, even if we never win the "Big One" (i.e. World Cup finals). That goes for both men and women (though we are one of the most peculiar nations in the sport where the female team is considered better competitive than the male). One must understand that North American culture is such that preconceived ideas about sport that are commonplace elsewhere don't apply here.
For example, we're one of the few countries to place much emphasis on university (read: college) and high school sports. We don't even realize how peculiar that is. If aliens landed tomorrow and want to find out what's strange about Terran culture, I will bet a good dollar that one of the things they'd find strange is the plethora of facilities that are dedicated to "amateur" sport across the USA. Most sports facility elsewhere are: owned/operated by private interests; mostly built for one/two sports a nation considers important/vital (i.e. rugby for New Zealand, cricket for India, baseball for Cuba, etc.). A few other places like Canada, Japan, England, Germany may rival us for the diversity of sporting disciplines but only in the USA would we consider not only separate facilities for different sports but for even different codes of the same sport (i.e. college and professional gridiron). Much of that stems from historical wealth but also from incompatibility of demands from different sporting organizations. We tried the multipurpose venues in the 1960s and 1970s but abruptly moved away from that idea by the 1990s. Now the fad is that soccer teams get their own purpose-built facilities, albeit smallish to reflect current demand.
The point of all this is to say we're a country that has prided itself into not wanting to be herded following one sporting event or another. Even with the Olympics, it won't be hard to find people who will never watch them. So with that one must take a few steps back and be impressed that there are a considerable number of people who are glad to watch big-time association football, whether it is EPL, World Cup, La Liga or the Euros. If this was 30-40 years ago, the Frank DeFords and Jim Romes of the world would have much more power to do damage, as the country was only coming to know about the sport and its illustrious history. Today, their power has been greatly diminished, partly by demographic changes but majorly by technology. People have the ability to follow a team through means, legal and illegal. There's no strong filter, like a newspaper columnist or a Howard Cosell-type TV personality that can stop everyone from checking out what's "out there." Those individuals still retain some power with those who still view them as some authority on sports coverage.
With all that said, I say that there are just too many things going on for MLS to break well above the niche category. There will continue to be a couple of things that will hold domestic soccer back, be it financial capacity, league structure, demand or lack of quality players at critical positions. We'll continue to struggle in Concacaf club competitions for years to come until more fans start taking them more seriously.
its true, and i never understood the motion that the MLS neccesarily needs to be a top 3 league in popularity in this country. The fact is, i doubt it will surpass the NFL, MLB, or even the NBA any time soon in terms of overall popularity. But honestly i could see scenarios where MLS could become much more popular. I mean you get one team to win the CCL and play a manchester united, real madrid in the club world cup, and maybe pull an upset, you could definitely spark a bit of a bandwagon moment that could definitely get people to take notice. I think a lot of people don't watch it because its not a top tier league right now, but if it showed it can be competitive with the best in a non-friendly format, even if its only in a one or two game basis, people will probably be more inclined to give the mls a chance
Here's something that I thought was pretty cool. I was in a local family restaurant/sports bar type establishment the other day. I was sitting near the bar area and there were 3 tv's on. One was on the Galaxy/NY Redbull game, another the Rays game, and the other the NBA playoffs. Two kids, about 12-13 years old or so walk past this area, with one wearing a USA soccer jersey. They stop and go "Hey its the Galaxy game, let's watch! Oh...there's Donovan!.....There's Beckham! Wow, why didn't they put pressure on that...." and they continued on discussing the game. They stood there and watched for about 10 to 15 minutes, not commenting on the other 2 games ONCE. Oh, and this is on the Space Coast of Florida, HOURS away from the closest MLS team.
Nothing amazing, but I thought it was pretty cool... you would have NEVER seen that 5 years ago.
Kids under 13 probably mostly care about whatever sport they participate in. After that age, participation in all sports (unfortunately) drops way off, and then your "favorite sport" is much more likely to be whatever local team you (and your parents and your peers) watch. You become a spectator and a "fan" rather than simply loving whatever sport you happen to play.
EDIT: That said, I knew gymnastics was growing (there are like three "gyms" within walking distance of my house here in northern VA), but I didn't know it was THAT big.
You really think winning the CWC would garner more long-term interest?? I think the key word in your paragraph is "upset". Translation: they won but still nobody believes they are in the same class. If the MLS team actually was as good as Man United then, yes, people would watch more MLS. But just beating Man United won't have any impact IMO.
there are different levels off passion for soccer in this country ranging from the passive World Cup viewer to the die hard Timbers fan.
also there is a difference between soccer fans and MLS fans. I know about 20 people who are soccer fans. Not one of them follows MLS. Not living in a city with MLS likely has a lot to do with this. Then again they don't live in EPL cities either and they follow the EPL religiously. A lot of this has to do with how exciting the EPL season with all the intrigue between who's going to win the league, who's going to finish in the top 4 to qualify for CL, and who's going to be fighting relegation.
what people don't seem to realize is is that the American soccer fan actually views the sport through the euro-centric narrative. So when they see stuff like conferences,playoffs, MLS draft etc it really turns them off.
MLS will not overtake one of the big 3 until there are a number of new owners with deep pockets. There's a key difference between MLS and the big 3 leagues, in that owners of an NBA or NFL team do not own the team solely to make profit, or even rely on profit, but rather most do it as a hobby and status symbol.
I like MLS as it's our domestic league and I support it. Something which keeps popping up in the MLS forums is when someone proposes to raise the cap, or buy this player or that player, or attempt to compete in the transfer market, a poster will come back with "well, why don't you write the check, you're not the one losing money".
While that may be true, it's never heard in the big 3 leagues, as the owners have more wealth, don't panic over what would be minuscule losses to them and have enough other lines of revenue outside the sport that losing a million or two a year isn't much of a problem, and if it is, sell the team and get an owner who can afford it.
If an MLS owner legitimately can't afford to buy two good DP's, that owner simply can't be compared to an owner of the big 3 sports. I appreciate MLS owners and what they've done, but as an example the GS Warriors, a non NBA playoff team, sold for 450M two years ago, and the owner new owner can not only afford that upfront payment, but a roughly 50M per year roster on top of it, along with the other expenses. MLS doesn't need owners that wealthy, but owners with even half that wealth who have the capital to spend big and not worry about losing 500K here or 700K there will make a huge difference. Nothing is holding back a number of MLS teams from getting good to great DP's other than the owners being cheap and not willing to write the check.
Whats been said already is spot on.
Owners can spend money on DP's for a few years of "extra" fans and maybe contribute to the paving of a bigger path for the future but it's not going to be instantaneous.
There are soccer fans and there are fans of their own clubs/countries. The latter being the larger.
I've been living in Chicago for as long as the Fire came into play and never attended a game at Soldier Field cause i already had the bad experiences with massive crowds in silly locations.
I was confused why Toyota Park was built as only a 20k seater.
It's cause 60k didn't show up to SF to watch their sport. Only 14k-ish.
Soldier Field will sell out a match between Mexico vs small island pub team though. Sell out Manchester United vs Fire.
In today's world, we stay to true to our heritage because, this country specifically allows it. Even if it's not our heritage.
MLB attendance up 6.7% this year.
Glad to know what I'm thinking. Never realized it before.
Speak for yourself.
Only if this happens:
There are so many problems with a proposal like that.
Well less problems than the other scenarios.
Not at all, it sucks ... just like the rest.
It will very difficult for MLS to pass the big three American sports, Maybe Baseball it can surpass, hell that sport is bloody boring and having attended MLB games in the past I have noticed most of the people in the stands are barely paying attention to the action on the field. Like Homer Simpson said, "Without Beer this game is sure Boring." Even up here in Canada The Impact in there frist year have had some huge crowds at the Big OWE in Montreal I think they have averaged about 40000 per game. Vancouver also have had some great crowds at the newly renovated BC place , I think they are averaging about 22000, and with all there troubles which are many , TFC is still getting about 18000. The problem with the media here in Canada, and I am sure in the States it is so Hockey centric, like the U.S is Football centric and some of media clowns here in Canada when they do report on Soccer tend to make fun of it or stick there nose up to it. 2 examples are when Canada beat the USA IN olympic qualifieing with the exception of the Sports Channels, and the CBC it got little to no coverage on the media networks. And when TFC hosted LA Galaxy in front of 48000 at the Rogers centre in Toronto again the Toronto Maple Leaf game which they ghot thumped by the Boston Briuns was the nuber 1 sports news that day. Kind of Pathetic when you think about it.
Rather than letting in some second-tier teams for free, I imagine the current MLS owners are going to keep doing what they're doing and only let first-tier quality teams into the league.
Why should MLS want teams that aren't on the same level as our recent crop of expansion teams?
what do you mean same level?
MLS wants teams with stadiums in the 20K or so range, owned by deep-pocket investors who can afford to hire quality DPs (and of course pay the multimillion dollar expansion fee). And those teams need to be located in attractive media markets. The teams also need to be able to fill up their stadiums, or close to it, throughout the season.
you really don't understand how association football works around the globe do you?
You clearly don't understand the realities that soccer has to deal with in the United States. You're like all the other pro/rel mouth-breathers. You ignore the fact that pro/rel is a solution to a problem that we don't have. You rely on the myth that there are all these investors sitting in the wings, waiting until there's pro/rel to invest. You ignore that MLS is the most successful soccer league this country has ever had. You ignore the huge gains the league has made over the past few years. Wake up. Pro/rel would be cool. That doesn't mean it's practical or smart.
I understand how it's done in other countries, sure. Not sure how that's relevant to MLS, though.
MLS should build trailer home style stadiums, that way every time a new market study for media markets comes out, they can just move the stadiums to the top 20-24-30 markets in the USA, also NY is so huge as a market they should have 5 teams there.