A missing level out west?

Discussion in 'United Soccer Leagues' started by amancalledmikey, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. amancalledmikey

    Oct 27, 2003
    I have a bindle at this point...
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Does anybody think that the USL should be getting pro-active with forming a Western Division for the USL D-2? Looking at the situation with the California Victory, a local takeover and a move down to D-2 would have been the likely resolution had the team been based in New Jersey and not California, so they wouldn't be stuck in limbo looking for a new owner to fund what is a difficult model.
     
  2. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm sure they have been actively pursuing groups to build the level in the west. The problem is, to really make a go at that level your going to need a min of 5 - 6 teams to come on board at the same time. They have done a pretty good job at expanding the PDL out in the west. This seems like a good level to build the USL 2 teams from. The level of investment is a lot less then USL 1 and it gives groups an opportunity to get their feet wet while not losing a ton of cash.
     
  3. amancalledmikey

    Oct 27, 2003
    I have a bindle at this point...
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    Can we be sure? Right now, the PDL sells itself but it's strikes me that, at the pro level, the people who are best qualified to run the thing are the more successful franchise owners.
     
  4. HSEUPASSION

    HSEUPASSION New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    Duck, NC
    I'd like to see it but it's so, so important to get it just right. You have to find good owners, suitable stadia, ect.
     
  5. adoptedsooner

    adoptedsooner Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Norman
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Plus I hear they are focusing their efforts on expanding USL D1 out west not D2. To me it makes more sense as they can link the Far West and East based teams together with a few expansion clubs. The new Austin team is the first step in that direction.
     
  6. VioletCrown

    VioletCrown Member

    FC Dallas
    United States
    Aug 30, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Club:
    Austin Aztex
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Probably a wise decision. At some point, there will be enough PDL teams with enough history and experience to make the jump up appropriate and natural. USL-1 is a lot tougher, being national. And also, in many ways, easier to focus on.
     
  7. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Ok, so how is it easier for owners to bring in 5 - 6 new ownership groups in one season then it would be the league to do so? Also, with the Victory thier owners pretty much pulled out in the middle of the season. And the management pretty much pulled the team through the remainder of the season. How, would having more USL 2 teams in the west coast made it easier for the team to continue untill new ownership was in place. Either way they had no ownership and needed to bring someone in.

    With the USL 1 teams your looking at budgets of 1.5 to 2.5 mil, with USL 2 under 1 mil, with PDL 50k to 200k. I think if your in the USL 2 budget range, it's better to start with in the PDL, build your oragnization and then when expansion of USL 2 comes your in a much better position. I think some of the PDL groups are in that group and moving towards either pro level. I think Fresno and Ventura are examples of those group. However, your really going to need 5 - 6 teams to do that.
     
  8. amancalledmikey

    Oct 27, 2003
    I have a bindle at this point...
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    No, my point was that at a pro level, what seems to decide success or failure is very dependent on your ownership group. The league itself seems to make little difference.
     
  9. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Tacoma is working towards 'moving up' too.

    They are looking for more investors and want some kind of working relationship with Seattle's MLS club.

    A West Coast D-2 would fit them really well.
     
  10. adoptedsooner

    adoptedsooner Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Norman
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    While I'm glad to see teams looking to move into the professional ranks, I wonder if D-1 would be better. I heard that Seattle's MLS team wasn't going to be called the Sounders. What if the Sounders played in Tacoma as D-1 in 2009 or 2010?
     
  11. GOALSeattle

    GOALSeattle Member

    Oct 13, 2007
    Seattle
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It makes sense, therefore I don't see it happening. :D

    Tacoma Tide FC own USL territorial rights to Tacoma. Could the clubs merge? I suppose.
     
  12. HSEUPASSION

    HSEUPASSION New Member

    Apr 16, 2005
    Duck, NC
    Wasn't there talk of Fresno possibly going professional?
     
  13. The Marquis

    The Marquis Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Washougal, WA
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think there was some talk. I suspect that one of the clubs owner is a regular BS poster, maybe he'll chime in.

    I think Fuego would be great in USL2. Maybe even USL1. They have the support to pull it off. I think Des Moines would be another good expansion choice for USL2 or USL1. I'd prefer both in Division 2, but Hell, 4 more clubs in Division 1 and we have a realistically awesome even schedule.
     
  14. SJJ

    SJJ Member

    Sep 20, 1999
    Royal Oak, MI, USA
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I have a completely different view on this. That point being: USL-1 and USL-2 should merge into one professional league. The current situation in the West could well be the prototype for the USL in a few years. The USL doesn't need two pro league that struggle to keep 20 teams between them. A single pro division would be best.
     
  15. The Marquis

    The Marquis Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Washougal, WA
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem with USL 2 merging with USL1 is that most of the Division 2 clubs cannot keep up finacially with USL1.
     
  16. adoptedsooner

    adoptedsooner Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Norman
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well after I wrote that I watched the Tide's new promo video and was pleasantly surprised. Also, the Sounders' owner said the team had about 6 to 8 MLS level players. So what happens to the other guys? I know they have first rights to sign them, but I don't see that happening. Instead, the others could form the core of a new USL 1 team in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area.

    I couldn't have said it better myself. The fact is USL-2 is designed as a regional professional league at this point. Plus if you combined both leagues they would be too many teams and you'd have fixture congestion. Plus, it looks like the league is focused on expanding the First Division.
     
  17. amancalledmikey

    Oct 27, 2003
    I have a bindle at this point...
    Club:
    West Ham United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    England
    I think there could be a case for regional professional leagues without a national league above it. So merge D-2 and D-1, lower the thresholds for entry and regionalize.
     
  18. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Part of the appeal of USL2 is the vast reduction in travel expense. If USL HQ merged USL1 and USL2, my guess is that certain teams would then drop to the PDL or MPSL, or just fold altogether rather than continue.

    The USL2 teams would be faced with the prospect of keeping their current salary structure and losing most of their games with added travel costs - or spending a lot more money with no guaranteed that there would be any additional revenue streams to cover said costs.

    Such a move might land an additional USL1 team, but the real result would be fewer players playing professionally.
     
  19. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I'm sure Nike will take a look at league operations once they complete their takeover of Umbro.
     
  20. The Marquis

    The Marquis Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Washougal, WA
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just ask any of the D1 owners who are doing well (Portland, Montreal, Vancouver, Atlanta for instance) if thats a good idea. They had to pay good money to enter the league. Lowering the threshold is not an option to them. The value of their club would plummet and for a healthy club, that's BAD. For a hurting club that's alright because its better than liquidation.
     
  21. Paul Schmidt

    Paul Schmidt Member

    Feb 3, 2001
    Portland, Oregon!
    Portland's first real "build-up" year was 2004, and if memory serves correctly, there was still an east-west format in use at that time. To say that a regional approach would stunt the Timbers growth is short-sighted IMO.

    Historically, the big crowds show up for S**ttle games. MLS S**ttle might be a bigger factor in the continuation of the Timbers in USL than anything else. I simply believe Portland and Vancouver will not stand as the only sides out west for long. They'll either move out or shut down.
     
  22. The Marquis

    The Marquis Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2007
    Washougal, WA
    Club:
    Portland Timbers
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, Seattle matches until last season usually drew more, but last season it seemed that the end of the season, people started to catch on. I'll tell you what draws at PGE.. U.S. Open Cup, which is our best shot at playing Seattle after this season.
     

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