Percentage of MLS players eligible to play for U.S. team?

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Scotty, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. RalleeMonkey

    RalleeMonkey Member+

    Aug 30, 2004
    here
    They don't need to count green card players and that would probably be some kind of U.S. labor law violation. But, they can easily reduce the number of int'l slots, in recognition of the fact that there are a lot of GC guys that aren't U.S. eligible.

    They know all this They are betting that "quality of play" trumps "interest in U.S. soccer" for drawing viewers. They're smart people; that must be the case. But, man, I watched the beginning of the Red Bull/DC match last night - as I wanted to watch Adams play (1st MLS match I've watched this year). The quality of play is not ...... good.

    If I have a hankering to watch a soccer match, just to watch a soccer match, there's no way I watch MLS. There are too many way better options out there.

    The only reason I would watch MLS is to watch guys that play for, or might play for, the NT. And, the way they run the league, there are precious few of those. Young U.S. players are getting choked out of the system. If my kid had pro level talent, I'd tell them to play USL for fun for a year or two, or go abroad as soon as you possibly can. Why stay in MLS just to be practice fodder?
     
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  2. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    #452 adam tash, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
    exactly. the only way this dwindling level of us-eligible involvement would be worth it is if MLS was champions-league level good...and it's not.

    pouring money into MLS and making it a competitor of champions league is an option they must have considered and might indeed be planning for sooner rather than later...but it seems like for now they are trying to find the lowest possible level of play that will still draw viewers interested in "quality of play"...with dubious results.

    a lot of the foreign players taking up spots arent noticably better than the americans they are playing over, imo.

    i think part of it is that wages of american players are suppressed by the MLS system and that, in turn, MLS thinks these "higher value" low level foreign players will help raise the quality of play...because they make more money in other leagues, they must be better (you can see it in how much more MLS pays americans who have returned from abroad than if they had never left MLS)...but it isnt holding up to the eye-test, imo. the reality is that MLS undervalues americans, imo....which is just really weird when you look across the global soccer landscape ...most domestic leagues overvalue their players, if anything.

    sure there are bargains out there and a lot of the foreign players do add value to MLS...but there are just as many who dont move the needle nearly enough form a quality of play perspective to justify choking out americans.

    all that said, there are some MLS games that are entertaining and watchable depending on the matchup....but there are many that are snoozefests.....makes the whole illusion of "parity" which underlines a lot of the rules and regs mls has put in place seem farcical.
     
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  3. big_pole57

    big_pole57 Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    King George, Virginia
    Club:
    Fulham FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  4. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    @Balerion , any chance you can post the percentages after this opening weekend of the season?
     
  5. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    37.18% minutes went to USMNT-eligible players, by my reckoning.

    2018 finished with 40.24%, but Week 1 last year was only 34.80%.
     
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  6. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    wonder what % of those players have any chance of actually being on/meaningfully contributing to the USMNT moving forward.......
     
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  7. Heist

    Heist Member+

    Jun 15, 2001
    Virginia
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Chris Durkin played a couple minutes for DC United at the end of the game.
    Arriola and Canouse played most/all of the game too. They looked more than ready.
     
  8. adam tash

    adam tash Member+

    Jul 12, 2013
    for that matter...what % of that 38% actually started and didnt get subbed on late.....? seemed an inordinate % of americans were late game subs in week 1
     
  9. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sounds like a work project.
     
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  10. kingshark

    kingshark Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    In CCL, Tigres starting 11 only has 4 Mexican players; Santos Laguna starting lineup also only has 4 Mexican players. So I'am not too worried about the figure. For domestic league, the improvement of quality is the most important thing. If fewer but more good level of domestic players develop in the league, it's a good thing.
     
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  11. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Per WS, 89 of the 264 for 34% of the opening week starters were US eligible. 89 is, imo, a good number, as it gives good odds of solid prospects or good NT performers being found in each position.
     
  12. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As the league keeps growing teams the % isn't quite as important as the total number of Americans should rise and if the league is simultaneously improving then there will be more Americans who are better and not even counting the increasing numbers in Europe.
     
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  13. largegarlic

    largegarlic Member+

    Jul 2, 2007
    That's what I was thinking too. Even if teams are still starting on average 4-5 Americans, when the league gets to 28 teams, that's, let's say, ~120 Americans who are good enough to be starters at what will presumably be a little higher level than where MLS is now. Throw in another ~20 guys playing at MLS level or better abroad, and it seems like that should provide plenty of options to put together a pretty good team team by USMNT historical standards.
     
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  14. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Yeah, that's what I was implying.
     
  15. Poachin_Goalz

    Poachin_Goalz Member

    Jun 17, 2002
    Athens, GA.
    The tougher positions to fill are striker, A-mid, LW and LB. Only when we start getting talented depth at these positions will US Soccer start making dramatic steps forward. What percentage of strikers, A-Mid, LW and LBs were USA eligible?
     
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  16. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    I think plenty of strikers, some LWs, and senior citizens AM Benny and Sacha. Though Benny is wearing #6 now.
     
  17. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    LB: 12/23
    AM: 5/17
    LW/LM: 1/21_Corey Baird
    Strikers: 9/27
     
  18. Scotty

    Scotty Member+

    Dec 15, 1999
    Another way to look at it though is that they're making up only one-third of the league. Those are the kinds of percentages you're seeing now in England and Italy, and they have their national team coaches and FAs very worried.
     
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  19. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To add to this, MLS isn't as good as the top leagues in Europe so a domestic % that is equivalent to a top European league doesn't compare favorably. MLS does have four more clubs than the EPL/La Liga/Ligue 1/Serie A and six more than the Bundesliga, but still.
     
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  20. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But how many players do England and Italy have in other top leagues? Especially English players seem to stay home. US is sending so many young players to top leagues and they are starting to break through. Not all Ami’s apples are in MLS.
     
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  21. Balerion

    Balerion Member+

    Aug 5, 2006
    Roslindale, MA
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That's a good point.
     
  22. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    and yet another way to look at it is that we (US) are completely different than any other top country (I know...we aren't really a top country yet) in that we do not have a well developed infrastructure. It is growing fast but still has a long way to go. When in the past have we had the kind of numbers that we are beginning to get (young Americans) in a decent to good developmental system? I don't believe we have ever had it in the past with Europe and it sure hasn't happened in the US,

    We are only now beginning to see MLS, MLS academies and USL as a coherent system for developing young Americans from youth soccer to professional soccer. In that context 89 (one third of the league) isn't so bad...even when you take into account that young Americans make up a far smaller fraction than 1/3. (also remember that the quality of the league has been improving relative to the rest of the world while the PL quality has been relatively constant.
     
  23. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member+

    Apr 20, 1999
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    Could add that our infrastructure is catching up but our population is much higher than most. We don't need to squeeze every drop out of a turnip since we have more turnips than the WC winners.
     
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  24. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    that too. If we get anywhere near 50% efficiency of most countries we will be unstoppable. I don't think that is possible nationwide but in pockets our "efficiency" could probably approach some of the major powers. High density is one of the keys I believe. It eliminates travel as an obstacle.

    An example of a "pocket" that I am referring to is LA county. LA county is a relatively large area with almost as many people as a country like Belgium approx 10M in LA county and 11M in Belgium but in about half the area. Taken in that context, the potential talent coming out of LA county alone is stunning...and that isn't the only area in California or the rest of the country with that type of potential.

    Currently, even in the areas where there is a high pop density, top players (even good but not elite players) must travel significant distances for competition at their level. Aside from the time and inconvenience, it introduces severe economic costs....
     
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