Unpopular USMNT or US Soccer Opinions

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by GiallorossiYank, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    I think the point was that the Cosmos, by being a thing, kind of lit a fire in the Northeast New Jersey area. That all the following came from that: Ramos, Berhalter, Meola, Harkes, Reyna, and possibly Bob and Mike Bradley. The youth soccer that started in response to the cosmos continued after the NASL folded and you got Lloyd, Auerbach, Heath, Altidore, Bedoya, and many many others in that next generation.

    Our Senior NT and U20 Head Coaches both went to the same school a few miles from where Pele played and undoubtedly heard talk of Pele in the same conversations as Tom Seaver or Reggie Jackson or Joe Namath. Ramos was from an immigrant family, but I doubt Berhalter plays soccer without the Cosmos.
     
  2. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    Dream Fantasy League = Every Other League in the World.

    Your imagination underwhelms.
     
  3. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I very much remember the landscape of the 70s through the 90s. I was season ticket holder to NASL games in a small market and the attendance was actually quite impressive. I got to regional and national youth tournaments in the mid 80s and the quality of players that were apart of the ODP program. I also witnessed the rise of College soccer in the late 80s. I also saw A league games in the early 90s with a few thousand fans in small towns. When people off handedly throw out that the NASL folded, they seem to miss how the level of American player accelerated quite a bit in the next 10 years.

    Europe doesnt care about the game in the US, but they do care about quality americans that they own. I am still not certain how much MLS cares about soccer in the US. Early in the league, it felt like the owners really did care about the game and Anschutz is a saint, but things have evolved to being more about profits. Sure that is why people go into business, but it would be nice if there was more focus on the game. Dallas and NYRB seem to get it, but there are still many teams that dont understand they need to develop players.

    I never suggested that it should be abandoned. I also think that things are finally changing, at least at some clubs. My view has a good chance to change in a few years, but the "wins" by the league are still not commonplace. The league has made a lot of progress in building infastructure, but still has a very long way to go. The league has made many misteps along the way and could have been much further along in helping our national team to this point. The commisioner and owners are naive, arrogant, and very short sighted.

    I have no desire to kill the league, but very muich want it to change. However, I see that as very unlikely. They have oversold what they are for so long, it is hard to see them accept where they really are in world football. The talent from top to bottom of the league is well behind the leagues MLS fans think they are on par with or even better. MLS fans rave about the culture, but there are huge problems with it. They have failed or even pushed away the most knowledgeable fans. They struggle in some of the biggest markets.

    MLS fans are absurdly defensive and I havent seen any of them try to understand my argument. I just dont see players out of MLS that wouldnt have had options abroad based on the growing interest in our players in the early 90s. The country had create a professional league in 1994, whoops 1996. It could have started much cheaper and been more focused on developing players and cultivating fans... starting with the soccer fans already in this country. People talk about NASL failing and how smart MLS is. If the folks in MLS were so smart, why were they so concerned about failing? Why did the team contract after just handful of years? MLS overspent unessarily in the beginning. If they had started much smaller (ie not in football stadiums) and focused developing players, the league could have improved at a rapid pace. I also suspect soccer fans would have come out to watch games instead of staying away because the product was no where near what was being marketed.
     
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  4. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I would be the same would go for many other areas of the country. Northern Texas was dominant in the southern region and is one the hottest areas in the country for developing players. The Tornado had the best american player at the time. How many of the foreign players from that team stuck around and began coaching in the metroplex. Did the Aztecs and George Best have an impact on the game growing in southern california?
     
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  5. Patrick167

    Patrick167 Member+

    Dortmund
    United States
    May 4, 2017
    When we look back in 10 years, it could be that the turning point was one fan research study by MLS. From that study, MLS learned (and they had no clue) that what they needed to do was compete with LigaMX and overtake LigaMX. Not worry about USMNT players or Europe or keeping players or bringing in this type of ex-star. Consistently winning in the CCL is what matters to fans.

    To do that they needed money, so TAM. TAM and DTam directly came from that study. Calendar changes in the CCL and MLS have been made and more are coming. They have figured out they need more money, so the development and selling of players. But to sell them, you have to play them. The next step is more TV money. But MLS ratings are atrocious.

    IMO, the ratings are down to a lack of compelling national stories. The forced parity and playoff randomness has never allowed any one team to really get known nationally. Beckham/Donovan/Keane LA Galaxy were the closest but it didn't last long because of forced parity.

    Look at all the current big TV sports. They all had teams that captured the imagination because they dominated for long stretches. They were usually in big cities because money spent wisely and in excess leads to domination. The Celtics then Lakers, Canadiens, Giants then Packers, Yankees and Dodgers. To this day, ESPN or whomever, will show a Yankees game whenever possible. The NFL, NBA, and NHL have no global competition, so once they made it, they could squash player salaries with salary caps. That MLS started with a cap was probably a mistake as no team has every risen to attract the best talent and drive TV.

    MLS cannot compete with Tigris or Monterrey as it currently stands. This year, those teams took CCL seriously for the first time and they wiped the floor with MLS. As Vermes said, the payrolls are ridiculously nonequivalent. Could Atlanta, with 70,000 fans and Arthur Blanc become a team that could rival these Mexican teams? Yes, they probably could. But all the shackles and forced parity has to come off. I think they will be very soon since the TV deal is up in 2022 I believe.
     
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  6. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    well lets start with the easy part...is it mls fault that wondo missed a tap in?

    the argument is easy....it allows hundreds of americans to play in organized competition at a level better then the level they'd be playing at if mls did not exist.
     
  7. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    this sums up how delusional ur position is.

    if mls doesn't care about soccer in the us what do they care about? hockey in eastern europe? rugby in south america?

    is the deep state running mls as a front since HRC's pizza place didn't work out? maybe Q could answer ur question for you.
     
  8. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    #1058 Mahtzo1, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    First I will start off by saying that I agree with you in the sense that NASL had a very important impact on soccer. I am not so sure that the growth through the 80s-90s was caused by NASL or just the continuation of the growth that began in the 60's (in my area) and continued to gain momentum through the 70s, 80's and through to the present. I also disagree with you that MLS has been a net negative.

    As far as George Best, I would say that the Aztecs were actually somewhat in decline by that point. The excessive salaries and move to the Rose Bowl were the beginning of the end. Their maximum point of impact/influence (in my personal experience) was when they had Uri Banhoffer and Julie Vee and played in the stadium at El Camino College. I remember that Aztecs team with Vee and Banhoffer playing the Cosmos when Pele was first signed with the team...the Aztecs won. When Best joined the Aztecs, the team almost entirely consisted of DII & DIII (and some lower) English players and George Best. (no Premier league then....DI, DII, DIII etc.).

    Best definitely had an impact in the area but other than a bar in Hermosa beach "Besties" that became a common gathering after Sunday league games he didn't really have a huge lasting impact (IMO). This is not to say that he had no impact at all, or that he didn't help accellerate growth in So cal but it does mean I don't think it was a monumental moment in So Cal soccer. Soccer had been growing previous to the NASL, continued through the NASL and continued to grow and improve at an increasing rate through it all...to the point where it is growing significantly faster now than it was when my son began playing organized soccer 14 years ago. Some of this increase in the rate of growth is due to MLS' footprint in So Cal and some is just the natural progession that was occurring before MLS (and before NASL) were in existence. It was accellerating as more and more kids became involved in soccer and more and more parents had experience playing soccer as kids. (kids are influenced by their parents...)

    By the way, the Galaxy and now LAFC have a far greater footprint in US sports (IMO) and have more influence than the Aztecs ever did...same also goes for Chivas and you know how important they were in MLS.

    Again...NASL was a extremely important and should not be underestimated but it is also important to remember that it was primarily a foreign league with a few token Americans (three per team if I remember correctly). One of those three was almost always a GK. We complain about how MLS isn't developmental enough and how they don't emphaisize/promote/play US players etc but how does that stack up to the NASL? We are progressing. We progressed through NASL and we are continuing to progress with MLS.
     
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  9. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    Harkes, Ramos, Meola all came out of Kearny NJ and Ramos at least (if I remember correctly) was a ball boy for the Cosmos but that was already a hot bed of soccer in the US. Obviously being a ball boy for the Cosmos would have an impact. The Cosmos had Pele, Beckenbaur, Chingalia etc and were the Barcelona or Real Madrid of the day so I am sure that they had a large impact on that region but the Cosmos were really not the NASL in general. The NASL was a bunch of teams that struggled financially due to a lack of interest and eventually folded, That being said, the Cosmos did have an impact...they didn't just have an impact in the US but globally. Unfortunately it was just a flash...a bright flash but a flash. As far a Bob Bradley, he was born and began playing long before NASL was founded.
     
  10. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    None of this addresses anything in my argument. I dont blame wondo or MLS for missing a tough shot.

    None of those hundreds of americans have helped our national team get to higher level. I would suggest if the top ones had gone abroad like the guys did in the early 90s, they would likely be better players.
     
  11. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    They care about making money. They care about marketing the league to naive people who think the level is better than it is. Their attempts to improve the quality on the field has been to the detriment of the american player.

    I know making arguments are new thing to you, but these last two were quite poor.
     
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  12. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    this reply shows how you lost the plot

    ur entire argument is that mls is a 'net negative' for the usmnt to date.

    a) there is no way to prove that argument is actually true
    b) you can disprove it easily by saying its allowed hundreds of american's to play at an organized lever higher then they would've and allowed other players to reach for something that is attainable and that in itself raises the level of soccer in the country as a result.

    so you are wrong and that is the end of that.

    you then argue that four 'main' things that are pushing the usmnt to a higher level...one of which hasn't been a factor for years in the nasl which of course is a joke a world cup 25 years ago, a sports channel that technically doesn't exist and you can't just say fox soccer because that airs...mls so that has to be part of the 'net negative' and a single player who isn't even one of the 15 most popular players in the country. I am all for sarcastic posts but come on atleast make a list that is funny.

    I mean the funniest part of the last statement...where did pulisic come up from?

    the us soccer set up of which mls is a part of lol. I mean what you are saying is that the country would somehow benefit from mls just ceasing operation...more then half the national team pool wouldn't have club teams tomorrow...how in the world would that benefit the usmnt?

    the guys who played overseas before the mls that you feel 'benefited'...its because they had no options they had to go overseas lol the pool was tiny because of it. the us benefits simply because mls allows the pool to be larger and guys who can't get euro passports to come through academies instead of going to college. Its literally like you don't know how the thing works.
     
  13. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I agree completely that it was mostly a foreign league and no interest in the development. Interesting background on the Aztecs and Best. People tend to mock the excessive spending and growth, but it did generate a buzz for at least a couple of years. The organic growth would have been nothing like it was without the NASL. Is El Camino is a JuCo juggernaut?

    What do you think MLS has done for the national team to make them better than if we wouldnt have improved our semi-pro leagues and the top players gone abroad. I definitely wouldnt argue the MLS clubs in LA have a bigger connection to the community. I just dont think it has led to players for the national team to date. I do think that will likely change very soon.
     
  14. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    I've made my point I'll wait for ur reply

    what is mls promoting if not soccer? what is garber's end game? making hockey popular?

    you missed on 'making money' because right now to make money all of their money is tied up in soccer atleast from what I can see so to make money they'll need soccer to grow. what you are saying is there is another secret motive...what is it?
     
  15. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    Just because having the MLS is better for the national team than not having a domestic league at all does not mean that the MLS is, or has been, actually good for the national team.

    The problem with the MLS is not actually the skill level in the league, but it still is pretty bad, but rather it is that the quality of the MLS overall (structure, play and refereeing) is quite low. The players in the MLS learn how to play badly and like thugs and still seem to excel and that is what hurts the US national team. We only look sometimes good because we play in CONCACAF the 2nd poorest conference in FIFA, Maybe we could get relocated to Oceania and then we could possibly dominate even with our poor league.
     
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  16. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    There were many other areas that flourished as well. Seattle had a team for 10 seasons and averaged over 15k for 7 of them with a few over 20k.
     
  17. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006
    yeah we should just get george best and give him a billion dollars to start a club and that will be the future of the sport in a new nasl thats what we need....oh he's been dead for 24 years? my bad dude

    you're entire argument is a silly 'everything was better 30 years ago', I prefer small fields with 150 people watching to these big stadiums with crowds and lines that was real soccer. We used to walk to the games uphill both ways.
     
  18. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    #1068 juvechelsea, May 16, 2019
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
    my argument is really not complicated. the league has consistently existed from 1996-2019, 23 years. during that time period we have missed the world cup once, 2018.

    amount of MLS players on USMNT:
    1998 -- 16/22
    2002 -- 11/23 **
    2006 -- 11/23
    2010 -- 4/23 **
    2014 -- 9/23 **
    2017 TnT game (since we didn't make it) -- 15/23
    2019 (last friendly) -- 11/20

    with the exception of 2010, when we had 8 English league players (not all first division), MLS is routinely the biggest supplier of talent to the roster. this is whether you like it or not. it is the backbone of the callups and the major contributor.

    there might be an argument that when more players go abroad the team is better (2010), however is that saying MLS sucks or is it saying good teams export more players? intellectually that runs into the chicken and egg conundrum of whether that made the team better or instead recognized that a group already had talent and the demand led to the result of more abroad.

    for example, i think a lot of current MLS could go abroad like Adams. this is a young and interesting team foreign clubs might want players from. ok, few years maybe that 11/20 flips heavy europe. the snobs cherry pick the end result. is that what really happened?

    the anti-argument also tends to cherry pick the players on the top end. of course you want to claim Pulisic. but where does Wood factor in your argument? and in england it's so topsy turvy i think the few in EPL are junk and some in championship aren't. how does that compute? so it's like you pick the few players you like and don't discuss the mass of career pros in the German 3rd dvision and whatnot who maybe get 1 call maybe nothing. does it work for them? but they don't count.

    it would be nice if we had a pile at ManU and whatnot but reality is we're not deciding between ManU and RSL. there is a short list of players at those type clubs, mostly on loan back out, or residing on the bench. we then have players scattered on down to relegation and lower divisions.

    i think there is an argument to be made historically that when our players are in more high level demand abroad the team shows better. but that also begs the question/cherry picks the result. it doesn't explain how you get to that point. of course a team with better talent is more in demand. did you analyze how many abroad players "graduated" from MLS in 2002 or 2010???

    like i said, there is an anti-MLS 2018 argument but it's more like we listened to the snobs to chase their ticket sales and now most of the league's starters aren't eligible here. the argument is precisely backwards. the further you push that the more we will be clearing out potential NT and returning to a quasi 1990 state of having to go abroad to be a professional.

    to me what pushed this team along for decades was Bradenton as the development spine and MLS as the senior pool spine. steady flow of talent plus the international players who turned out well. we have now farmed out the development to clubs and are deliberately undermining our home league's utility to the national team. y'all love EPL well we are repeating their "bet" which results in inconsistent NT results. one of the best leagues in the world but only so much room for English players.

    right now, where can you consistently go to find NT players? exactly. if you say MLS that is being structurally undermined. if you say B.1 or EPL that usually doesn't consider bench or loan situations, and doesn't actually count the numbers. if you say B.2 or Championship the numbers become truer but the quality dips.

    and at least part of this feels like it operates on "snap your fingers and you're EPL" which is laughable. they have to want you. most of our players can't go there til 18. so there is a hint of cherry picking. and even then the whole point is you don't magically decide to be an English player instead of MLS. someone signs or buys you. we can't make that attractive and the work permit rules place finite limits on how many non dual national players qualify, and almost render the argument circular. you have to have the bona fides to meet the rules to go. in other words, already be NT. "but count how many EPL we have!" circular. germany is different but they are also signing YNT U20s and stars from MLS, not any old yokel.
     
  19. FanOfFutbol

    FanOfFutbol Member+

    May 4, 2002
    That is pretty much a meaningless statistic because to make the WC all we have to do is finish above the likes of Panama, Jamaica, T&T Guatemala and other third world countries. Our only real competition is Mexico (Canada is another near worthless soccer nation) and if we finish behind or ahead of Mexico we go to the WC.

    The apparent situation is that it "should" be easy to qualify out of CONCACAF and it becomes hard only because our ineptitude makes it hard.

    From that it seems clear that there is no indication that the MLS has helped or hurt the USMNT. However it also seems clear that the MLS has helped many of the other third world nations in CONCACAF.
     
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  20. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    You are struggling to make coherent arguments...

    a) it is to prove and disprove which makes it funny that you dont think it is up for debate. A made a couple simple assumptions that might be debatable, but not unreasonable. First, we were required to create a professional league by FIFA. That could have been done by making a significantly lesser investment in the semi-professional leagues around then. That environment would improve steadily. The more Americans that went abroad and succeeded, the more interest there would have been in our our players and the boom in interest we are seeing now would have happened sooner. Our top players have improved much more abroad than those who have stayed in MLS. Finally, as I have stated before, there have been very few MLS players to make a significant impact for the usmnt and those were youth internationals who would have had options abroad.

    b) participation in low level soccer doesnt have anything to do with i,procing our national team. Guys like Nagbe, Villafana, Zardes, etc are the cream of the crop. Those guys wouldnt have made the 1994 team. The rest are even lower. The league has yet to develop quality players for the national team while bringing many home to have the level of play drop off.

    I dont believe I am wrong and you definitely havent added anything to disprove it.
     
  21. juvechelsea

    juvechelsea Member+

    Feb 15, 2006
    the merit argument might work if there were no work permit rules and you could start where-ever would sign you and work your way up. that also assumes pay is no object, since lower division pay is like USL ball or worse. but the reality is that jay demerits with an EU passport are rare, and with the willingness to start in the 7th division and work up. most players want to be well paid which eliminates all but the top 2 english divisions. the work permit rules also implicitly rule out the lower divisions since most players who could make the rules are too good to bother (except, say, gooch, and he's dual like demerit). you then add in that we are becoming more expensive as we are more in demand which takes away some of the chance to go there as a cheap add we used to live off. and then the top few teams are often snobby about non academy americans. so where is the window for participation here? not very wide, and generally cherry picking talent already demonstrated. very few players get to work up on a pure merit basis as children. they are signing people already on the NT. meanwhile you want to act like that's how to improve the NT, when their rules are based on you playing x% games for the NT before you arrive.

    but our league is useless.
     
  22. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    I have already explained the first and think the WC in 1994 is self explanatory.

    I said FSC, but meant it broadly in terms of having access to high quality games. MLS was an incredibly poor level at the time. Any American could now see the best players of the game on a weekly basis. Kids like Pulisic were able to watch their heros, Figo in his case, and then go out in the yard to work on his moves.

    Pulisic looks to be a game changer. You seem to not realize that we dont systematically develop players in this country. The majority of our top players come from families where the sport is ingrained. After those guys, the next come from areas where the culture is strong. CP got his initial love for the game from his parents (same as reyna 25 years earlier) and had it further stoked by spending a year in England. His club and YNT helped but the family and experiences are what drove him. His success has been pivotal I the flood of players abroad. Mckennie, Sargent, and Adam's have all spoken about it.
     
  23. bsky22

    bsky22 Member+

    Dec 8, 2003
    Straw men!!!
     
  24. a_new_fan

    a_new_fan Member

    Jul 6, 2006

    this is exactly what I was hoping you would say because it really ends it.

    1)you admit your side is based on assumptions while my side is based on real world facts. So I've clearly come out on top that mls has benefited the usmnt and soccer in this country because as of yet you have not come up with a single fact proving the earth is flat...I mean mls hurts the national team.

    2)you make this crazy statement about small investment it semi pro teams instead of a full professional league. that makes zero sense at all having no major sports league in this country would never allow the sport to grow. If you want proof...look at the past because thats what they did. they had a small league...nobody cared and interest in the sport has grown greatly in the last 20 years in this country...I wonder whats also changed in that last 20 years? I mean think about this...if tomorrow adam silver had a press conference and said he was disbanding the nba and all other pro basketball leagues and instead making small investments in semi pro leagues and that lebron should go play in germany...do you think that would help or hurt the sport in the us? I mean sometimes common sense is a good thing.

    3)just to help you out with ur thinking that players overseas is leading to a 'boom' I'll just throw this website out to you.

    http://worldsoccertalk.com/2019/05/11/watched-soccer-games-us-tv-april-30-may-6-2019/

    has tv ratings for matches from that week

    let me just help you out with it a little the top watched match with an american player in it from overseas. pulisic's match at 25th...behind 9 liga mx matches, 9 premier league matches, and even more shockingly...3 mls matches. you are confusing those leagues being more popular in the us then mls is with there being a 'boom' because of american's going over there.

    4)just because a player improves more abroad then he did in mls doesn't make mls a net negative(this is an example of you moving the target because you are getting killed in the debate) you're point is that mls is a net negative that is what you are yet to prove.

    5)participation in low level soccer has everything to do with producing national team talent. you need the league at the top but you also need the small leagues and youth teams/leagues that is what will help grow the game from the ground up. there is no trickle down magic in sports. Not to mention you just argued they should eliminate the pro league and go with small lesser talented semi pro leagues...but now those leagues don't help the us at all make up ur mind.

    6)Nagbe, villafana, Zardes very interesting names to go with so you think they wouldn't have made the 94 team. good take...just curious...what world cup team did they make? So clint dempsy wasn't a quality player? Tim howard wasn't quality? donovan? Tyler adams? Mckennie? these guys all started in mls/mls academies...I could come up with more. The point is that I think you need to do more research and then come up with ur opinion instead of just throwing an opinion out and trying to make up things to make it true despite the facts saying otherwise.
     
  25. Mahtzo1

    Mahtzo1 Member+

    Jan 15, 2007
    So Cal
    El Camino, at the time, had one of the better soccer programs around (in So Cal for sure...don't know how they compared to teams from St. Louis etc). they are still good, I believe, but they have lost ground to many of the local Jr. colleges and many areas outside of the LA area, of course, have improved greatly as soccer has grown across California and the nation.

    At the beginning, even with the pathetically low wages it provided, MLS gave US players a chance to play and extend the time period before they had to give up the game. In that time, some where able to make a profession of it and some (a few) were able to become USMNT players. If I remember correctly, Eddie Lewis, was one that I felt fit that mold. He wasn't exactly a household name out of college (that I remember) like Reyna, for example. MLS gave him a start and he was able to establish himself in MLS before moving abroad. It is possible that he would have gone to Europe without MLS but probably a bit less likely. A bit later we had Dempsey....who knows if he would have gone to Europe right out of college? Possibly but he wasn't the most heralded player in the USMNT system (understatement I believe) and he would have had to start at the very bottom in Europe. Perhaps he would have made a very good career in Europe, but it is impossible to determine if he would have ever made it to the level he did if he had to start at some obscure team in a lower European league...he wasn't a Donovan or Reyna that the foreign teams new about. Clint Mathis was another. He got his start in MLS, made it to the national team and got interest from Bayern. This was in the period where MLS was blocking transfers (they did it to Dempsey too). Mathis made it to Germany but a combination of his brash behavior, the knee injury, a watch incident and his infamous training/professionalism did him in. In the past, the best path to Europe was to first make a name for yourself with the USMNT. If you were a top name like Reyna, you didn't need MLS' help. If you were a lesser, more unknown name, like Dempsey or Lewis, you might benefit from MLS.

    In the middle portion of their existence, MLS was barely hanging on but it still gave players a place they could start and it gave some hope that they could make a living out of it. The nature of their existence, however, (barely avoiding bankruptcy) made it extremely difficult to address development but considering that MLS was filling a void as it is, that isn't/wasn't a negative and making it through that stage was absolutely necessary to get to the point where development can (and is) becoming a priority with many teams in MLS. I also believe that MLS is very important in improving the coaching in the US. We talk about Marsch coaching in Europe or Bradley's experience in Europe but how many of our coaches got their first experience in Europe? (Cherundolo?). Probably some more that I am not aware of but you get the point. I am not saying we have world class coaching but I think you would be hard pressed to say it isn't significantly better at almost every level than it was 20 yrs ago. Some, not all, but some of that is due to the experience that US coaches have had in the league, the training they have had in Europe (paid for by MLS) and also the trickle down as MLS teams spread their expertise to the lower levels and as former players (even those that barely saw the field) enter into the coaching ranks at all levels. (remember, the best players don't always make the best coaches...some of the best coaches will be players that never close to being a start but experience playing in MLS gives those coaches a far greater perspective on the game than they would have had if college or semi-pro soccer was the highest level they had experienced.

    In my mind, MLS has some warts but is far from a negative. Quite the contrary.
     

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