9/5/07: No Vacation

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by GPK, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

    Oct 14, 1999
    Good interview with Cliff Illig. He paints a very rosy picture, but it sounds like the ownership group is highly, highly committed to make KC work. It all sounds good to me!
  2. denver_mugwamp

    denver_mugwamp New Member

    Feb 9, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    Perhaps the national team rules work differently in Canada. The Canadian FC asks for a player and Mo can tell them them no?
  3. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
  4. Andy_B

    Andy_B Member+

    Feb 2, 1999
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    From the Illig interview

    "The league does a great job of managing a number of soccer-related assets, for instance the World Cup broadcast rights are owned by MLS, so it gives MLS a chance to really have an influence broadly on the role soccer plays."

    Is this statement true?

    MLS did own the rights to 2002 and 2006 but the rights to 2010 and 2014 were purchased directly by Disney and Univision I believe. MLS TV rights got bundled into those packages but I don't think MLS/SUM has any hold over the rights anymore like they did back in 2002 and 2006.

  5. rocketeer22

    rocketeer22 Member+

    Apr 11, 2000
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I wondered about that as well and chalked it up to: 1) A new owner as of last year and therefore joined MLS/SUM after the current round of WC negotiations, and 2) He is more focused on soccer at the club level.

    Here is a Soccertimes summary of the newest deal:

  6. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm glad SAF appeared to be objective and not frothing at the mouth ignorantly like some foreign pundits are about MLS. That said, I think some of his analysis is off.

    1. The distance has impact. But not b/c rival supporters can't travel. NFL football has great fan support and rival supporters rarely travel to away games--they probably couldn't get tickets to most away games.

    2. Timing is everything. When Aberdeen was playing in the US as part of the NASL-predecessor, soccer was something that a few ethnic leagues did and that was it. Now it's a widespread youth sport across the entire country, major college programs, lots of ex youth and college players are parents. Internet and cable mean that there are substantial numbers of Euro-snobs in the USA. Doesn't mean they're all die-hard fans for MLS. But the times are different. I attended a Dinamo Kiev-Borussian Moenchengladbach match at RFK back in the 70's. Oleg Blokhin (fresh from Euro player of the year was in that game for Kiev). That was when players like Jupp Heynckes and Berti Vogts played for Moenchengladbach. My memory could be wrong but I thought this was after Gladbach had won the UEFA cup. At anyrate, this was the equivalent of a ManU-AC Milan exhibition here in the States b/c Gladbach and Kiev were teams of that caliber back in that day (when Euro clubs could start 11 players not of their nation). And RFK drew about 7,000 fans and that was considered a good draw. Now you put two big Euro teams at RFK (or FedEx field or the Meadowlands or another big football stadium) in the summer in an exhibition and anything less than 50k is a disappointment. The US fanbase is simply more soccer savvy and has more soccer experience. And that doesn't even address the impact of hispanics who have exploded as a percentage of the US population in the past 30 years (since SAR was in the USA).

    3. SAR's position that the best US youth are leaving MLS so that will hold the league back is provincial. He assumes that all the talent is leaving. He ignores that by having Dempsey come to Fulham, it provides credibility about the USA (which makes it more likely that a foreign talent like Edgar Davids will consider coming to MLS). I think it would be bad if all of the best youth players left the US. But there is a reasonable argument that the best way to develop soccer in the US is for our starlet youth players to mostly go overseas and MLS to bring in talented foreigners to upgrade the level of play in the league (that's a generalization folks--I don't mean it absolutely).

    4. Finally, it isn't Beck's position to upgrade MLS. What he does is raise the visibility and make it credible for a Abel Xavier, Cocu, Figo, Angel, Veron, Blanco, or Rivaldo to come to MLS. And when each team has a player like that, then MLS is possibly a much stronger league (in terms of level of play, skill, attendance and viewership--possibly, I'm not trying to simplify a complex issue here).

    Now I'm not arguing that by signing Beckham, success is just around the corner. For instance, the US could fail to develop skilled difference-makers: we could end up with a nation of Twellman-Hejduk-Wynne-Armas's (guys who try hard, run hard, are athletes but don't have great creativity on the ball). There are lots of stupid things that MLS and USSF could do. I also like that Ferguson was apparently objective and thoughtful with his comments. But I disagree with many of them--he's got some myopia going on.
  7. Shopping Cart Man

    Sep 21, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I agree with your post for the most part (I have some problems with your opinions of selective American players, but that's not important).

    As for SAF's "American Exodus", I used to have a serious problem with seeing some of our best players leave MLS, but I now realize that this is just a part of the business of soccer. High profile players often move from one club to another, even when fans plead for them to stay. Rumors about Henry changing clubs have controlled the last couple European offseasons, and Ronaldinho transfer rumors are picking up pace as well. As long as we replace quality with quality, our best Americans are free to go wherever they wish.
  8. MightyMouse

    MightyMouse BigSoccer Supporter

    Jun 19, 2003
    Island paradise east of the mainland
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agreed, but SAF also made a mistake in saying Brad Friedel, McBride and Dempsey all came to the Premiership "early" when in fact that is completely false. Friedel had a season in MLS I think but McB and Demps did their time before making it to the bigtime.

    Back to what you were saying, quality with quality, its hard to tell who will become quality sometimes. Also MLS's rookie pay is not helping bring in the best American talent every season. The Needham article on ESPN is just the tip of the iceberg sometimes as MLS can't boast to having ALL the best AMERICAN talent playing in its league. In a way the terrible rookie pay is what helps keep USL-1 afloat by bringing in some decent quality American talent that don't want to be making $15k a season in MLS. :eek:
  9. Chris '66

    Chris '66 New Member

    Aug 9, 2007
    Brooklyn, NY
    This guy Illig sounds pretty cool. Like Cooper in St, Louis, we have a local businessman who is energetic and enthusiastic about making his hometown team a success. He talks as if the soccer bug has got him and his partners, and says he is up for the challenges ahead. I just hope the company has enough cash to withstand the lean/transition years they face andthat, obviously, this stadium/mixed use plan gets the AOK!
  10. JoeW

    JoeW New Member

    Apr 19, 2001
    Northern Virginia, USA
    1. Friedel floated around (Turkey for instance as well as MLS) and definitely didn't go to England "young." Neither did McBride (wasn't he 28 when he signed with Fulham?).

    2. There are a bunch of young Americans who have signed with European teams as young players (ie: their first pro team) but the only ones who have amounted to anything at this point are:
    --Kasey Keller (and he's aging now)
    --Claudio Reyna (and he's aging)
    --Michael Bradley (some might argue that's a "reach" by saying he's amounted to something yet--I include him on this list b/c he's a consistent player for the NT now)
    --Landon Donovan (who returned to MLS)
    --Bernie Feilhaber (I list him b/c he's probably our starting central mid of choice at this point even though he doesn't start for Derby County at this point)
    --Gooch Onyewu (a candidate to start at CB for the US and a bunch of caps).

    The rest of the signees (Simek, Spector, Kobayisson, Yi, Davies, Pearce, etc.) will hopefully amount to something but that this point you never know.

    3. And the other players signed in Europe AFTER getting time in MLS or USL (Hahnemen, Bocanegra, Beasley, Convey, Adu, etc.).

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