Does the USMNT need their own version of a superclub in MLS?

Discussion in 'USA Men' started by beerslinger23, Apr 10, 2017.


How do you feel about a USA-centric policy for an MLS club?

  1. Good idea

  2. Not a good idea

  3. Interesting

  4. What are you smoking dude?

  5. It's about time

  6. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. beerslinger23

    beerslinger23 Member+

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have been doing a little thinking about my position on Chivas Guadalajara and their dual national policy. I hope this topic is thread-worthy.

    Would it serve the national team to have a club in MLS where, in effect, only US nationals are brought in to train and play? A place where we could cultivate our national team prospects, ensure they and only they get minutes and time together?

    How would this go over in the fandom and media?
    Would we see a tangible benefit on the national team or in other words, would the relationships, culture, familiarity and style being cultivated at the club level translate to the national team camps. Could this serve to protect US player development from the effects of an increasingly global league when you have strong foreign talent coming in and taking spots that might otherwise go to US youth?

    Every league seems to have a club or two where national team members seem to congregate for whatever reason and those clubs are often the best in the league.

    Italy:Juventus/AC Milan
    England: Spurs/Man U
    Portugal: Big Three

    I could go on for a while but you can see my point.

    I am not saying I support this but I want to see what the USA fan community thinks about this.
  2. Lucho305

    Lucho305 Member

    Inter Miami CF, Junior de Barranquilla
    United States
    Jul 9, 2008
    Miami FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Isnt LA Galaxy somewhat the super club in MLS? They been mentioned in movies a couple times, like big screen movies.

    I always thought they should do a super club with only american born talent, there was a team like that in the old NASL days, team america i believe.. I always thought they should rebrand the New England revolution make them like team america and move to boston, one of the original 13 colonies... Thoughts?
    beerslinger23 repped this.
  3. wellno

    wellno Member+

    Jul 31, 2016
    Rich European teams buy the best players from smaller players in their countries, which leads to their concentration of talent, MLS has mechanisms in place specifically to stop that happening. How would a club make itself genuinely super without breaking the rules on wages? Having the team as a place for the best US talent to congregate and having the team as a developmental team seem like contrary aims, there's obviously a middleground but if it was a development focused team it would perform very poorly in the league.

    Your selection of example clubs seems a bit all over the place, does England really fit the pattern you're trying to build? The last England squad had 3 Spurs players & 3 Manchester United players. The last Mexico squad had 2 Chivas players, the last Italy squad had more Inter players than Milan players, the last Germany squad had one BVB player....
    TOAzer and beerslinger23 repped this.
  4. beerslinger23

    beerslinger23 Member+

    Jun 26, 2010
    Sure you can point to recent changes and yes my OP is handwavy because I lack the requisite knowledge of today's european club rosters and performance to really build my point the way I'd like to here. I guess I need to put this idea into other words.

    You raise good counterpoints and have identified some problems with my examples.
    My question is not so much about implementation and feasibility but of existence and (theoretical) utility. In recent history these superclubs are where the best national team players tend to end up and maybe that is a consequence of the strength of the clubs being an attractive thing for the respective nations' best talents, that being said, you only looked at where the list failed. What about where the list was right on? Bayern? Barcelona and RM? You suggest I don't have much of a point but I think there is enough of a discernible pattern here to make the point. Chivas may have been a poor example but Barcelona was certainly not. I agree that right now such a team would be middling at best but who is to say that such club wouldn't become a destination in the long run? The kids drafted by, transferred to or sold to the club would be national team prospects so it makes sense that they are the material from which great players are developed right?
  5. beerslinger23

    beerslinger23 Member+

    Jun 26, 2010
    I wouldn't say LAG are the MLS superclub although I can see your point in bringing them up. They have been a source for the national team and send many youth players to youth national team camps and events but they are small fries compared to what I am talking about. I am getting visions of a full scale incestuous relationship between a single MLS club and the US national teams.
  6. wellno

    wellno Member+

    Jul 31, 2016
    #6 wellno, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    IMO the correlation to international success is having players who are good enough to make an impact at the biggest and best Champions League caliber clubs. Beyond that it doesn't matter if they're spread about between different clubs in different countries. Bayern had 3 players in the last Germany squad but then you had others in the same squad at Man City, PSG, Real Madrid, Barca. Brazil and Argentina both have a history of success despite exporting all their big talents to clubs dotted over Europe.

    Not long ago people thought exporting your biggest talents, and getting that diversity of experience was the route to success because Spain were exporting so many players to England and Germany. Again, nah. It's all about the quality it doesn't matter if they're spread about between different clubs in different countries.
  7. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The format I want to see in MLS is where teams can build their own super club, but only by means of investing in their youth academy.

    In other words, if, for example, Atlanta can boast that they have the best talent because they invested so much into the infrastructure of developing their youths then they should be allowed to be the best in the league.

    Ultimately, the country is so large geographically that it doesn't make sense to limit ourselves to 1-2 super clubs that win every year...however, if a club wants to be the torch bearer in youth development, then everyone else can step up their game or get left behind. In the end, what will happen there, is increased fan support due to regional rivalries that are born into fans and also a greater pipeline of talent for the USMNT.
    TOAzer and beerslinger23 repped this.
  8. QuakeAttack

    QuakeAttack Member+

    Apr 10, 2002
    California - Bay Area
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sure. As long it's the Quakes, I'm good with it.
  9. jond

    jond Member+

    Sep 28, 2010
    Levski Sofia
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Legislated as such? Won't happen. But you touch on a point I've talked about before, that being in many leagues outside the top 4-5, the NTers who do play domestically often congregate on the top 2-3 clubs in that league. And that's a good thing and for our domestic MLS NT contingent, of course it would be quite a positive.

    But MLS doesn't allow it due to a multitude of reasons. When there's true free agency, true competition for signatures, buying/selling allowed within the league, tiers naturally form, etc, then it will happen. MLS is set up to prevent anything of that nature though.

    I'd say more concerning is the restrictions on youth/development. Say FCD proves to be the hands down top academy here. We should then want as many of our elite youth to go to FCD to get the best education they can stateside. That's probably the better way to get NTers on the same MLS bringing in future NTers and developing them together. MLS won't allow that either though.

    It's not just Liga MX though, this pattern repeats itself throughout Central/South America as well as across 2nd tier Euro leagues.

    I believe you're conflating topics. One, the best should keep climbing the ladder until they meet their ceiling. Two, the rest of the NT pool who doesn't go overseas for whatever the reason would benefit from being concentrated over a handful of domestic clubs rather than spread across an entire league. Never mind quality of team matters. You want you best playing with the best domestically.

    A big problem here is we don't have tiers nor a ladder. Overseas many players start at smaller clubs, then climb the ladder domestically, there's clear tiers and the big boys snatch you up, and you rise until you're at an elite club in your league and then if quality enough, you get bought and move to a bigger/better club in another league.

    We're missing that entire dynamic. Hurts both the NT and player development.
  10. jaxonmills

    jaxonmills Member+

    Aug 26, 2011
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand the desire for relative competitive equality so that smaller market teams stay relevant and supported by their fans, but I think MLS needs to relax a bit on this front. There's nothing wrong with allowing some clubs to be bigger clubs than others. I don't like that clubs with the willingness to really spend money are really only able to channel that into 3 players.

    I don't think that's what you're talking about, but it's what I'd like to see. Juventus, Barca, etc. aren't really team Italy, team Spain, etc., they're simply the some of richest clubs in their respective leagues. It's natural for top domestic talent to funnel their way.
    beerslinger23 repped this.
  11. Marko72

    Marko72 Member+

    Aug 30, 2005
    New York
    Everything else aside, a Chivas-like arrangement would probably violate labor laws.
  12. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When Malaga played Barcelona on Saturday, Malaga started seven Spanish players and Barcelona started three. The top clubs are going to have players from many countries. Clubs like Malaga can't afford the best players in the world, so they have more players from the country the club is in. Half of the 16 players with at least 10 goals in La Liga are Spanish, but Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata is the only one of them on one of the top six clubs. There are three French players with at least 10 goals for one of the top six clubs in La Liga.

    Manchester United's top all-time goal scorer is Rooney, but most of their other top scorers in the last ten years were not English. They include Dimitar Berbatov, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie, Carlos Tevez, Javier Hernandez, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
  13. nobody

    nobody Member+

    Jun 20, 2000
    Didn't really work so well in the past.
  14. skim172

    skim172 Member+

    Feb 20, 2013
    #14 skim172, Apr 11, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
    I'm not sure Real Madrid - the team of "Los Galacticos" - really holds up as an example here. And I would say, by and large, the national teams at the very top tend not to be "one-club" sides. There are examples throughout history, but I would argue these are the exceptions rather than the norm - a result of a single dominant team in a domestic league having the most money and the most prestige and the ability to attract and buy all the best players in their country. And in modern times, it doesn't last very long.

    For one, there will always be a handful of players who outshine the rest on any club side. Whether it's because the system benefits them or because they genuinely are a step above, the others will not seem as impressive in comparison. Your talented fullback might look like just a regular work-a-day player. Whereas another club has a player of equivalent skill, but because of the weaker team, the system is designed to favor his skills and thus makes him into a star.

    For another, in those rare cases where the country's best players are all on one team - it takes a lot of money to pay all those top players. And soon enough, other teams will come calling - clubs who're willing to pay a lot of money to get this one guy on their team. My tiny club might only have $20 mil in salary - but we're willing to devote $10 mil to one player. Your super-club has $100 mil to play with - but you can't pay $10 mil to every player just to keep them. (And of course, they always might get poached by a "Galacticos" team who've got more money than God.)

    While you could say that having one domestic superclub for your national players benefits team cohesion and chemistry, there are possible downsides. You could also argue that having a diversity of experiences better prepares them to face a wide range of opponents once they come together as a national team. Players from different tactical mindsets who can lend different strengths - or players who are familiar with your opponents or opposing players - or (let's face it) players who are from a higher competition level in quality. Additionally, having a one-club side, that plays the same way at club and country, could lead to stagnation, resulting in a team that can only play in one way and isn't flexible - while tactics and strategy are ever evolving. What worked some years ago isn't as effective today and trying to do the same thing as you did before won't yield the same results (*cough* Arsene Wenger *cough*).

    It might also end up being sort of a self-fulfilling cycle - people assuming that a player is good enough for the Nats because they're on the super-club, rather than being on the super-club because they're good for the national team. "Most of the US MNT players are from one club, Real Wichita City FC" can lead to "Well, this guy must be international-level, because he's playing for Sporting Wichita United" and "That guy looks good... but he's not playing for Borussia Wichita Inter Porto, so I'm not sure he's really that good."

    And then there's always the chance that the opposite could happen - that the players don't get along and the tensions generated at club-level boils over onto the national team. Two teammates who don't get along might be inclined to grit their teeth and bear it when they're called to represent the country - but if the environment is the same as their club team, then they might just be willing to let it all out.

    So - positives and negatives, I think.
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