A proposal for Pro Soccer by 2007

Discussion in 'MLS: Expansion' started by USAsoccer, Sep 4, 2002.

  1. USAsoccer

    USAsoccer Member

    Jul 15, 1999
    Tampa, Florida
    I have kind of thought this through and have come to the following conclusion...

    This is how I think Pro soccer should look by 2007

    1) First, MLS would have to expand to 16 teams:
    The 6 likely candidates as of today (subject to change of course) appear to be

    1) OKC/Tulsa
    2) Houston
    3) Seattle
    4) Philly
    5) Milwakee
    6) ? (Rochester, Tampa, someone else)

    If you went with this, you would have:

    LA, San Jose, Colorado and Seattle

    Dallas, KC, Oklahoma, Houson (very interesting division, could result in a lot of rivalry games)

    Chicago, Columbus, Milwakee, (either Detriot, Tampa, Rochester, St Louis, Atlanta)

    New England, DC, Metrostars, and Philly

    Someone improve on that!

    2) A League would lose Seattle and Milwakee to MLS, but could gain from those major cities without an MLS team (e.g. Miami, and all the teams named above that did not get the 16th team)

    A League should look to become only 16 teams also, same set up, same amount of games as MLS. Each MLS teams should have a marketing agreement with each A League team (kind of like the MLS farm team or B team, play exhibition game at the A league house, etc)

    3) D-3 league should split into two Confernces of 8 teams each and play 28 games (each team plays each other 4 times). One Eastern Conference and one Western Conference, with the Eastern and Western Champs playing for the overall title. Each A League team will affilate with a D-3 team (marketing, and players...kind of like a B team for each A League club). Promotion and relegation would exist between the worst two D-3 teams and the best two PDL teams, one each from the eastern and western parts of the US. The A league affiliation would switch from the relegated club to the promoted club.

    This would have the affect of stregthening each D-3 team.

    4) PDL can remain essentially like it is, with leagues comprised regionally. The two teams that make it to the championship game would be promoted. The playoffs would be designed to bring one team out of the East/south, and one from the midwest/west. Those teams would be replaced by the two teams that finished last in the D-3 eastern and western confernece.
  2. Chris_Bailey

    Chris_Bailey Member+

    Feb 28, 2000
    Columbus Crew
    I would hate being in a conference titled "mideast".
  3. WarrenWallace

    WarrenWallace Member

    Mar 12, 1999
    Beer and Cheese
    I would much rather prefer "Great Lakes" than Mideast. It already hurts that my team is in the NFC North instead of Central.

    People are going to complain if their favorite city isn't in the mix. I don't believe that Milwaukee will get a team. Minnesota would probably be better (as long as they aren't in Blaine).
  4. FootyMundo

    FootyMundo New Member

    Mar 1, 2001
    Why anyone points to Milwaukee over places like St. Louis or Minneapolis/St. Paul or Indy or any number of other places is completely beyond me. Just because they once were driving towards a franchise doesn't mean that they somehow should be a front runner. Their bid was torn to bits and they are on step one. Further, they are a mere 1.5 hours from Chicago.
  5. fireman451

    fireman451 Member+

    Jun 26, 2002
    The Midwest
    MLS should be 12

    MLS isn't near strong enough for 16 teams. But as long as we're talking expansion, I think MLS should move one team and expand by 2; therefore, making the new MLS 12 teams strong. Additionally, move all teams playing in football stadiums to smaller venues (i.e. college stadiums or SSS).

    In my opinion, the MLS should look like this:

    Eastern Division
    New England
    New York (drop NJ from name)
    Philadelphia (expansion)

    Central Division
    Houston (move KC)

    Western Division
    Los Angeles
    San Jose
    Seattle (expansion)
  6. fireman451

    fireman451 Member+

    Jun 26, 2002
    The Midwest
    Furthermore . . .

    I like the idea of allowing the top A- League team (excluding Canadian teams) a chance to play the last place MLS team in a 2 game tourney in order to give the second division champs a chance to join the MLS.

    This would be consistant to other "premier league" arrangements in other countries. Additionally, I believe this setup would keep fans interested in the MLS teams that aren't bound for the playoffs.

    JMO - Mike

    Go FIRE!!!!
  7. profiled

    profiled Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    slightly north of a mile high
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    How can you have them move KC before San Jose?
  8. NICDT Coach

    NICDT Coach Member

    Jul 17, 2000
    Cd'A, Idaho
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Re: MLS should be 12

    Since we're talking hypothetical situations here, my take on it is...

    Eastern Division
    New England
    Metrostars (Maybe put NJ infront, but not NY)
    Philadelphia OR New York OR Carolina OR Rochester

    Central Division

    Western Division
    Los Angeles
    San Jose

    The top two from each division qualify for "MLS Cup", SS winners and runners up get a bye to the semi-final round and home feild in a first to five series, hence giving more meaning to the regular season.


    1 playes lowest remaining seed
    2 playes the other seed

    winners meet for MLS Cup (one game)

    It is almost make too much sense, so we'll probably never see it.
  9. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Member+

    SSC Napoli
    Feb 16, 1999
    Montreal Impact
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Hm, well in my perfect world, MLS would look like this:

    Central Division:
    Move Chicago to Chicago;
    Move the Colorado Rapids, Denver Broncos, and Invesco Field to Aurora, IL;
    Move Peoria, IL to Rockford, IL, Move Manchester, NH to the former site of Peoria, IL, put an expansion team in Manchester, IL, with a nice new stadium next to the Verizon Wireless Arena;
    Move the New England Revolution to Elgin, IL.

    Northern Division:
    Move the Earthquakes to Minneapolis;
    Move the Galaxy and the Home Depot National Training Center to Madison;
    Move the Metros to Milwaukee;
    Move DC United to Ames, IA.

    South Central Division:
    Leave Dallas in Dallas;
    Expansion Team in OKC;
    Expansion Team in Tulsa;
    Move KC to Springfield, IL.

    Eastern Division:
    Leave Columbus in Columbus;
    Expansion Team in Pittsburgh;
    Expansion Team in Cleveland;
    Expansion Team in Cincinnati or Indianapolis.

    Yeah, I know, it's just a dream.
  10. bright

    bright Member

    Dec 28, 2000
    Central District
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think no matter how many teams MLS expands by, we should only have 2 Conferences. If there are 16 teams, then 8 teams per conference.

    - Paul

    NACIONAL New Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Medellin, Colombia
    yeahh sure :rolleyes:
  12. dberg077

    dberg077 Member

    Aug 24, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    Moving Franchises

    KC has had dismal attendance this year. They are certainly holding up the bottom and thus are ripe for the picking--so to speak---for those who want to stop the bleeding before it gets worse.

    The funny thing is that KC has a solid team with two former national team members amongst other good players. However, KC has not taken to them and doesn't seem to appreciate the team as one would hope.
    True they recently had 20,000 at a game against Chicago, but the home game before that they only had 8000 against Columbus and quite a few UNDER 10,000 games this year.

    HOWEVER, I think KC is in need only of a relocation within their city. Arrowhead is a large stadium and people seem to prefer cozy, yet comfortable stadiums, like the Crew currently enjoy.

    WE DO NOT want to get into a situation where we move franchises because the situation is not working at the moment. KC is a good sized city and does have the ability to be a soccer stronghold. Maybe their own little cozy stadium or a site closer into KC would be better for this team.

    PROMOTION, PROMOTION, PROMOTION is what this league needs and DOES NOT GET currently. You have to give your teams a fighting chance and MLS doesn't market their product very well. When the day comes and I see MLS PROMOS on CBS, FOX, NBC, and YOU'd Think ABC, then I would bet attendance figures at all locations would rise as people would see this league as a MAJOR League and not a Minor League.

    I follow the Burn here in Dallas, but I can tell you I rarely see or hear anything about our team on TV or Radio. Fortunately, two of the bigger radio stations here 102.1 The Edge and Mix 102.9 are starting to mention the Burn in their Sports reports and their DJ's are talking them up a little. However, if a team doesn't market itself, it will be a LOOOONNNNGGGG, LONG, LONG time before WORD of MOUTH will fill the stands and bring what so many of us would like to see in the U.S.---A MAJOR, Well-Known, Pro Soccer league.
    Until then I'll keep beating my head on the table wondering when I can win a couple million and offer to help in the Promotion/Marketing process!

    Go BURN!!
  13. dcunited81

    dcunited81 Member

    Jul 18, 2001
    Green Bay, WI
    If MLS expands to 16 teams, I hope they drop the whole conference thing, it doesn't serve much of a purpose other than to give a team some braging rights as to being the best in a conference. However, if MLS does stick with conferences, then they should go with your idea, three conferences are just plain dumb.
  14. WorldGame

    WorldGame Member

    Aug 28, 2002
    I like everything here, but it'd be great if the PDL/Division 4 clubs could be included in the affiliation plan. I thought I'd heard something about this very thing, but there wasn't anything further about it. I asked around with our local PDL club and they didn't have any news. I don't know how any other leagues around the world do it, but maybe this is a good solid model for developing players in the US, just the way baseball does. And it could be added incentive and interest for fans to support MLS teams if their local "farm" club was part of one of the MLS teams.
  15. WorldGame

    WorldGame Member

    Aug 28, 2002
    Re: Moving Franchises

    truer words never spoken!
  16. DigitalTron

    DigitalTron New Member

    Apr 4, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    This will not happen by 2007, but I too would like to see a 16 team league. To me, it's all driven by economics. Teams have a shot at breaking even if they have a decent revenue agreement in place at their stadium. Building the stadia is prohibitively costly, so MLS will need some help. Here's my perspective slanted towards getting that much needed help:

    The 2012 US Olympic Bid candidate will either be New York or San Francisco. If either wins the Olympics, then we have a great chance to get a soccer stadium built that will be partially funded and allow us a revenue stream from parking and concessions after the Olympics.

    Currently San Jose is a little too far away from the San Francisco/Oakland density center to be a good draw. I propose moving them closer inward if San Fran gets the Olympics. They'd have to change their name to something denoting the Bay Area or San Francisco most likely, but it wouldn't really be relocating the team to a new market.

    The problem with the Bay Area, is that they support too many sports teams ... 2 football teams, 2 baseball teams, etc. It's an oversaturated market, so unless you can focus the interest, it's a tough sell. The Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants are both having serious problems with attendance even in good years.

    If New York wins, then it would probably be a good time to expand a second team into NYC, and try to get two stadia, one in Brooklyn/Queens, and the other in the Bronx or Long Island depending upon the Olympic bid.

    Also, If Steinbrenner builds his "Legends Field" Yankees Spring Training ballpark in Tampa, then he'd also build it with soccer in mind. His son is a soccer nut like us, and I think he could be persuaded to become a Tampa Bay Mutiny (resurrected :D) owner.

    To avoid another Bay Area situation, I'd probably give preference to markets without professional teams, such as Louisville, KY, Oklahoma City, OK, etc. Places such as Charlston and Rochester that already have stadiums are in contention.

    Another thought is that sometimes fans will stay away if there is bad weather. Because we play in the summer that would be extreme heat/humidity, so for that reason I'd pass on Houston and Phoenix type places unless they have roofed stadia or some cooling influence. Likewise, I'd play games in Dallas, Atlanta and Tampa Bay mostly at night.

    But, for MLS to expand it needs to do so through TV money, so it needs a footprint that includes most major TV markets. That means Philadelphia, Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle are almost necessary. But until the revenue stream is assured via stadiums or good leases, they're not viable options.

    So here's my ideas:

    DC United
    Columbus Crew
    Atlanta Arsenal (expansion)

    New England Revolution
    NY Cosmos (expansion)
    TB Mutiny (revived expansion)
    Philadelphia Union (expansion)

    Chicago Fire
    KC Wizards
    Dallas Burn
    Oklahoma City Cyclones (expansion)

    LA Galaxy
    Bay Area eQuakes/Clash
    Colrado Rapids
    Seattle Sounders (expansion)

    This separates the two New York teams, keeps the Metros-United rivalry, sets up traditional sports rivalry of NY-New England and NY-Philadelphia with the Cosmos, and balences out the conferences with larger and smaller markets.
  17. Rocket

    Rocket Member

    Aug 29, 1999
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So this field in Tampa would be both a baseball and soccer field?

    From what I saw of the friendly the USMNT played at SAFECO Field earlier this year, I'm not so sure that baseball seating lends itself that well to soccer.

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