USL General News thread

Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by thefishy, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Owen Thornhill

    Dec 22, 2012
    Club:
    Cork City
    I prefer T2 over Thorns as it's cheaper again and higher quality of play (although T2 are going backwards so the gap is closing). I would love a Thorns vs T2 preseason game every year.
     
  2. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    T2 would slaughter the Thorns. Doesn't make it "better", and it certainly doesn't make it a better fan experience. College basketball and football are incredibly popular despite their inferiority.
     
  3. hipityhop

    hipityhop Member

    Jan 10, 1999
    Somewhere near the Swope Park Rangers!
    Club:
    SønderjyskE
    Country:
    Botswana
    RGV charges MLS ticket prices. The suites and their seats are on the ground. You go up a level to get to bottom seats. I was in Row 5 and it was a long way up to top seats steep steps. In row 5 I could just see to touch lines. Nothing on my side . The stadium had wide seats and a very nice scoreboard screen. The price on big screens must be way down.

    In front of row one and the railing 20 feet off ground level you see the suite level seats all 5 rows of them. 20 feet below and no protection for them from hurling projectiles or cups of beer.

    Crowd announced as 6k. It was at best generous to say 50% full. Very generous. Also parking cars they must have used the entire Edinburg police force! Every parking position filled with regular cop.

    Short on restrooms, 2 men and 2 women in main concourse.

    Overall a pleasant experience, in contrast to attending a Swope Park match. Hope to hit a FC Cincinnati match this summer.
     
  4. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

    Aug 5, 2008
    Madison, WI/Chicago, IL
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Country:
    United States
    Would be better if they mixed the squads.
     
  5. C-Rob

    C-Rob Member

    May 31, 2000
    Prior to the Thorns being in existence, the Timbers reserve team would routinely draw 5 digits. I think that the Thorns have made such a possibility for T2 very unlikely. At this point, T2 exists in a pretty saturated soccer market.

    Of course, if they charged about what they do at pubs for beer for T2 games, I suspect you'd see attendance rise markedly. It is Portland, after all.
     
  6. C-Rob

    C-Rob Member

    May 31, 2000
    The U16 Timbers Academy team would make it a competitive game.

    I'm not saying that to sound misogynistic. Even the USWMNT routinely loses to U17 and U18 academy teams.
     
  7. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Right. I've probably seen around 50 WNT games in person, I saw 18% of all WUSA games, the WPS logo was based on one of my photos of Mia Hamm, I'm the North Carolina Courage team photographer, and I've shot around 200 NCAA women's soccer games.

    I would guess a U16 Timbers Academy team would beat the Thorns. A non-select U16 boys team would probably make for a decent game.

    The women generally completely outplay the boys, but that's about the age where the speed and strength of the boys begins to swamp what the women - as a team - can keep up with.

    For me, a more interesting experiment would be what second division Mexican club Celaya was trying to do a number of years back when they tried (and were not allowed) to sign Maribel Dominguez. A technically gifted and skilled player on a team doesn't - by themselves - need all the speed and strength. At the end of his career, Valderrama rarely left the center circle, and certainly wasn't getting "stuck in."

    But 11v11 men vs women quickly because a mismatch.
     
  8. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Well, they drew 14,121 for a game against Vancouver on August 26, 2012 and averaged 8,200 (supposedly) that season. With only five home games, if they drew 41,000, that means they averaged about 6,500 for the other four. That impressive, but neither 5 digits nor routine.
     
  9. Owen Thornhill

    Dec 22, 2012
    Club:
    Cork City
    And T2 lost to Swope Park Rangers with our old player Karlton Belmar scoring both of the goals. Even if he had a bad season last year, we were still gutted to lose him. But the T2 is becoming a u23 team which is good for development but not for results. I wouldn't really call T2 a reserve team anymore.
     
    Blando13 repped this.
  10. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Country:
    United States
    With the news out today that the USL may roll out a D3 in 2019, could you see the current T2 in D3 with U23's and a "reserve" type team in Boise? MLS use the Rio Grande Valley model for their D2 teams (or affiliates) and the MLS2 model for the D3 leagues?

    Sporting KC has started an academy kid in the midfield in both games this year. He's an 18 year old not on a professional contract, committed to Akron. They're one of the younger teams in USL this year as well, although they still have a few 24-26 y/o types as well.

    Sporting KC has interest in Omaha and I could see them do a Rio Grande Valley type of scenario there and keep Swope Park in D3 to allow some of their U18's a chance to play professional games prior to going to college (or possibly showing them that they're ready for this level and signing them prior to them going to college). They'd have 2 teams they could loan MLS players to (D2 affiliate or D3 local club) depending on the length of loan/reason for loan/level of player.

    It's very interesting. The MLS2 clubs then become more of an extension of the academy and they still have a place that they can send the players (from both their D3 club and MLS) that is more competitive (hopefully) in their D2 affiliate.

    Europe has effectively dismissed their U23 teams in favor of a U19 team ... and anyone who graduates from that U19 team but isn't ready for 1st team goes on loan. You could see something like that in the US pyramid in the coming years.
     
    C-Rob repped this.
  11. C-Rob

    C-Rob Member

    May 31, 2000
    The Timbers brass has intimated this previously, although that wasn't exactly though standard soccer media and pretty vaguely stated, IIRC.

    I think the Boise thing is going to happen. It makes a lot of sense for everybody. As for also having a D3 team, that's a bit more questionable. The Timbers academy isn't exactly brimming with prospects, and although they have brought in developmental guys luke Williams, Damraoui, Hanson, Bautista, Arboleda, and Clarke, they would have to sign quite a few more to make things worthwhile. They would be weakening both teams, and T2 is already pretty weak.

    Still, at least those developmental guys have a chance to become quality players. A lot of the guys that played against T2 the first two games are probably Division 2 lifers. Portland has some of those too, of course, but clearly development is T2's primary focus rather than winning. I personally feel that is the correct choice, but the results are going to suffer because of it. At the very least, if T2 was trying for a balance between development and having a cohesive team capable of winning, they haven't achieved it.

    At the very least, having the Timbers and other MLS teams participate in USL3 would make such a league feasible. Otherwise, you'd be hoping that bumping up PDL and NPSL teams to the pro level would work, and that is not exactly a promising base on which to build a pro league.
     
  12. C-Rob

    C-Rob Member

    May 31, 2000
    Yeah, it's definitely developmental. As Blando13 pointed out, reserve teams are falling out of favor in soccer, understandably so.

    When I was growing up, the best baseball players generally went from AA to the pros, skipping AAA. Perhaps it is still this way, but I haven't followed baseball in years. AAA was mostly for guys you need to bring up for a 15-day contract and who otherwise bounced between AAA and the bottom of the major league roster. AAA was functionally the reserve team and AA was the top developmental team. Kharlton Belmar is a great example of this. He is a very good Division 2 player, but if he was good enough to me important to a MLS first team, he'd be on one. Augustine Williams is functionally the guy that replaced him at T2, and although he may never become as good as Belmar, he also has a chance to be much, much better..

    Soccer doesn't seem too much different. There's value in a reserve team, but if a kid shows he has the ability to become a star, then there's good reason to throw him out there with the first team rather than waste time with the reserves. If a kid isn't ready mentally or physically, stay with the developmental team. If he is ready, get him on the first team.

    Obviously for T2, they are being treated like a developmental team, and are taking their lumps accordingly. I suspect AA teams would lose to AAA teams more often than they win, but that doesn't mean that the AAA team has better prospects.
     
    song219 and Blando13 repped this.
  13. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Country:
    United States
    I wouldn't assume that from Swope Park Ranger's team. We loaned down a few MLSers to get minutes, started a player on an academy contract, another couple were signed directly out of our academy and are in their 1st/2nd year of being professionals (19 years old). It's a mix. A couple of 2017 draft picks played as well.
     
  14. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    The stars, yes. The balance of the roster, no.

    Even then a fair number of Tampa's stars have done time in Durham. David Price did a couple of stints with the AAA Bulls.
     
  15. SierraSpartan

    SierraSpartan Member

    Jan 25, 2007
    Club:
    Sacramento Republic FC
    With the baseball analogy, more often then not there's just a logjam at the position on the big club, so they put the up-and-coming kid at AAA - ostensibly to get "reps" rather than filling his ass with splinters in the Majors. But, when there's a vacancy at the Majors level, the AA kid (if he's really good) can and will make the jump.

    My most vivid example is Joe Panik, who pretty much went straight from Richmond in AA up to the Giants, and spent very little if any time at AAA Sacramento.

    Meanwhile, Buster Posey spent about a season and a half at AAA Fresno before the Giants figured out that he really was ready to go - but the Giants also had a logjam at Catcher at the time.

    I am curious if this USL-3 thing will set up a true AA-AAA-MLS system in American Footy. If that truly does take hold, then the pro-relots' heads are going to explode.
     
  16. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Back in the early 90s, when the Bulls were the Braves A-Advanced farm club, Andruw Jones started the year in low A Macon. He spent a a couple months there, then a couple weeks in Durham before the end of the split season, when he went to AA Greenville. He spent less than a month in AA Greenville, never set foot in AAA Richmond, and finished the season for the playoff bound Atlanta Braves. that was a bit unusual.

    More normal was a season each at low A, A-Advanced, and AA. A lot of the "expanded roster" players at the end of the MLB season come from AA, not AAA. I would agree that the future stars skip AAA as often as they hit it (for more than a very brief jaunt).

    But normal players (most of the roster) usually move through AAA, and the end of the MLB bench and the top part of the AAA roster often swap back and forth as MLB teams fine tune their roster, or send kids down for some match fitness.
     
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  17. hipityhop

    hipityhop Member

    Jan 10, 1999
    Somewhere near the Swope Park Rangers!
    Club:
    SønderjyskE
    Country:
    Botswana

    I would like to see them instead put the D2 team in Wichita rather than Omaha, close for Tulsa and Colorado Springs. I think they would get decent support in Wichita, I don't think so in Omaha.
     
  18. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    I have never and may never figure out the hardon people have for Omaha.
     
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  19. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Two other things pertaining to baseball (well, a third, which is that I think bypassing AAA entirely was only slightly more common than skipping the minors entirely, but I would have to check):

    The Arizona Fall League did not exist when I was growing up. That is, in many cases, "finishing school" for prospects who are very close. They may not make it to the majors the very next year (like a Gary Sanchez), but it is not rare to see it. (There is no soccer equivalent, partly because our offseason is so short, and an Arizona/California winter league could not get significant games in, where they can play 34 or so baseball games.)

    And I do not know how long the "keep the star like Kris Bryant in the minors for two weeks and save a year on his free agent clock" move has been a thing, but I know nobody thought about it back in the 80s that I remember. (Maybe that came out of the '94 strike?)

    Anyway, that has an effect, too. If they make an MVP level player like Bryant go to Iowa, your basic good player is going to be there, too.
     
  20. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

    Sep 2, 1999
    Out West
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    (Baseball digression.)

    Top ten position players by career WAR who made their debuts in each season from 1984-1993 and the number of AAA games they played prior to their MLB debuts:

    1984
    Kirby Puckett (21)
    Eric Davis (71)
    Mickey Tettleton (0)
    Kevin Mitchell (120)
    Terry Pendleton (91)
    Stan Javier (32)
    Danny Tartabull (116)
    Alvin Davis (1)
    Glenn Davis (146)
    Milt Thompson (149)

    1985
    Devon White (66)
    Jose Canseco (60)
    Lenny Dykstra (58)
    Paul O'Neill (137)
    Andres Galarraga (121)
    Mike Greenwell (117)
    Ozzie Guillen (122)
    Cecil Fielder (0)
    Mike Gallego (147)
    Steve Buechele (229)

    1986
    Barry Bonds (44)
    Rafael Palmeiro (0)
    Barry Larkin (103)
    Mark McGwire (78)
    Will Clark (6)
    Fred McGriff (254)
    Jay Bell (0)
    Wally Joyner (126)
    Robby Thompson (0)
    Bobby Bonilla (0)

    1987
    Edgar Martinez (149)
    Ellis Burks (11)
    Matt Williams (56)
    BJ Surhoff (116)
    Ron Gant (0)
    Ken Caminiti (0)
    Lance Johnson (116)
    Randy Velarde (58)
    Jay Buhner (134)
    Shane Mack (58)

    1988
    Roberto Alomar (9)
    Craig Biggio (77)
    Gary Sheffield (57)
    Mark Grace (21)
    Brady Anderson (72)
    Darryl Hamilton (72)
    Chris Sabo (220)
    Sandy Alomar (93)
    Hal Morris (121)
    Luis Alicea (78)

    1989
    Ken Griffey, Jr. (0)
    Larry Walker (114)
    Sammy Sosa (23)
    John Olerud (0)
    Robin Ventura (0)
    Omar Vizquel (40)
    Steve Finley (127)
    David Justice (185)
    Albert Belle (0)
    Juan Gonzalez (0)

    1990
    Frank Thomas (0)
    Luis Gonzalez (0)
    Moises Alou (90)
    Ray Lankford (132)
    Travis Fryman (87)
    Tino Martinez (128)
    Mike Bordick (247)
    Delino DeShields (47)
    Bernard Gilkey (132)
    Carlos Baerga (144)

    1991
    Jeff Bagwell (0)
    Jim Thome (41)
    Ivan Rodriguez (0)
    Kenny Lofton (130)
    Bernie Williams (78)
    Chuck Knoblauch (0)
    Reggie Sanders (0)
    Mo Vaughn (69)
    Rey Sanchez (260)
    Royce Clayton (0)

    1992
    Mike Piazza (94)
    Jeff Kent (0)
    Tim Salmon (118)
    Brian Jordan (104)
    John Valentin (197)
    Jose Valentin (139)
    Javy Lopez (0)
    Ryan Klesko (123)
    Bret Boone (118)
    Damion Easley (108)

    1993
    Chipper Jones (139)
    Manny Ramirez (40)
    Jim Edmonds (145)
    Carlos Delgado (1)
    Shawn Green (0)
    Raul Mondesi (147)
    Rondell White (37)
    Cliff Floyd (32)
    Carl Everett (35)
    Jeromy Burnitz (186)

    Twenty-three of those 100 players (23%, obviously) went from AA to their first major league game (though some did end up going back to AAA after their debuts for a little more seasoning). And those were the 10 players in each season who wound up with the highest career WARs, so it stands to reason the rank-and-file (or even decent players) rate was probably under 23%.

    Hall of Fame types like Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey, Jr. didn't, but Mickey Tettleton jumped from AA to the majors, too. (Catching has long been said to be the quickest way to the majors.)

    Team need also factors into this. A bad team might have a bigger incentive to bring someone good from AA than a good team.

    (end baseball digression)
     
  21. Blando13

    Blando13 Member+

    Dec 4, 2013
    Lee's Summit, MO
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Country:
    United States
    Reason I mentioned it with a connection to SKC is because one of our owners has before, as well as being where the Royals AAA team is located.
     
  22. 30King

    30King Member+

    Jul 22, 2013
    Rocklin, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Sacramento installed digital sign boards around the field.

    Any other USL or NASL teams do that?
     
  23. Burr

    Burr Member+

    Jul 8, 2014
    Tampa, FL
    Club:
    FC Tampa Bay Rowdies
    Country:
    United States
    Rowdies had some for the Florida Cup but it was a temp thing.
     
  24. Sting111

    Sting111 Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    So the USL is going to split into a 2nd division and a 3rd division. Hasn't that been the USL's MO the past 25 years or so? Over-expand everywhere, have a league with an incredible number of teams, split the league into different divisions, and then start counting all of the teams that fold. I know that the USL has been around practically forever, but when will they stop making the same mistakes over and over? That's minor league soccer in the US!
     
    Owen Thornhill repped this.
  25. Knave

    Knave Member+

    May 25, 1999
    I haven't seen any discussion of a split. What I've seen suggests the 3rd division would be a new, upstart league.

    And if you think the USL is making the same mistakes today as they were decades ago, then you aren't paying attention to the reality of today's USL.
     

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