As a side project, I developed an ideia of how regional leagues would be in America. I already had some side projects of data gathering and just merged both and had a cool result. I'll share how would it be with you guys. First of all, what is a regional league? It is paralell league to the national league, it works separately and brings together clubs from any national division, you could see New York Cosmos playing against New York City every year for the regional league even them playing in different national leagues. The best example of this kind of league is the state league system in Brazil. The minor state leagues play also a regional league (Copa Nordeste and Copa Verde), and unifying the minor states is also a goal because how interesting would be a Vermont State League after all? Why would it be desired? Let me talk about two major problems of American soccer: level of USMNT and lack of games. Level of USMNT: The main reason of USMNT’s level not being as great as the main countries is there are not enough men playing soccer. But, how could they? USA is a massive country with a huge talent pool but does not fulfil its potential. The scouting and developing are limited by the small number of clubs playing a relevant championship. Many gifted players are playing an amateur local match without any scout. It’s not a lack of scouting by the professional clubs per se. Many cities are hours away from any major club, it is virtually impossible to effectively scout such a large area. The tiny number of professional matches in USA is the main point on development of soccer players. The lack of professional leagues opens space for the prospect going to another sport or just abandoning sports even if he would be a good player someday. There were three professional soccer leagues in USA in 2018: MLS (20 American clubs), USL Championship (33, 18 of them MLS-owned/affiliated), NASL (clubs in hiatus). 53 clubs playing professional soccer league in USA in 2018. There are 32 clubs playing fully professional leagues just in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. 92 only in England. Countries by proportion of professional clubs per habitant in 2018 (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Countries by proportion of professional clubs per habitant in 2018 (open) Countries by proportion of professional clubs per habitant in 2018 (close) Source: ogol.com.br Lack of games: Former coach of USMNT, Jürgen Klinsmann criticized the small number of matches back in 2011 because it had a negative effect on his players. One of the most successful franchises, Los Angeles Galaxy played only 5 official matches in 6 months of 2017 (January, February, March, October, November and December). MLS teams can’t build a match fitness properly for CCL, for example. It is not negative only sportive-wise, playing few games has negative impact in the finances. The sponsorship and television pay the clubs an amount for expected games. If the club average 39 matches by season they will receive less from sponsorship than if they had more matches to show their sponsorship. The same is applied for television, their contract with TV depends on how many matches the television can broadcast, and 41 matches by season for the top clubs is too low considering the mean of other leagues. Average matches played by season in the last 5 seasons (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Average matches played by season in the last 5 seasons (open) Average matches played by season in the last 5 seasons (close) Source: ogol.com.br So how would it benefit USA soccer? Interest of Americans for soccer. Engaging local community to its local team or giving them opportunity to watch the main team of the region in their city. Every region would feel closer to soccer. It would attend regions without any club or with clubs with a bad performance in major leagues, increasing the popularity of soccer there, helping local community to play the sport and also improving the development and scouting of promising players. Some cities would have a major club playing in their city for the first time. This kind of championship stimulates local rivalry, strengthening derbies. Rivalry is essential in sports, the community engagement grows with strong rivalries, strengthening the clubs themselves. Cascadia Cup and Portland-Seattle rivalry are examples in MLS itself. Main matches in each league (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Main matches in each league (open) Main matches in each league (close) To generate players for USMNT. At the begging, there would be 208 clubs playing in a professional league what would be 392% of the clubs playing in a professional league in 2018. For comparative purposes, only 97 clubs played U.S. Open Cup in 2018, a good part only plays 1 game and if a low-tier team make it to the final they would still only play 9 games. They don’t play enough games to show their prospects properly. How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system. (open) How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system. (close) How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system with two divisions. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system with two divisions. (open) How U.S. system would look like if it had a regional league system with two divisions. (close) In a scenario of promotion and relegation system between two divisions of regional league, there would be around 416 clubs playing in a professional league in the United States, filling the gap of professional clubs in the huge area of the country. The greatest benefit though would be having a pro/rel system that works without harming MLS investors. To improve the schedule. How the calendar would get affected by regional leagues is an important subject. One of the points of having a regional league is improving the schedule of MLS clubs what makes illustrating it important. That was the calendar of Los Angeles Galaxy in 2017 (Move your mouse to reveal the content) That was the calendar of Los Angeles Galaxy in 2017 (open) That was the calendar of Los Angeles Galaxy in 2017 (close) Yellow: Friendly Red: MLS regular season Blue: Open Cup That is how Los Angeles Galaxy calendar would look like if they had advanced as much as they could (Move your mouse to reveal the content) That is how Los Angeles Galaxy calendar would look like if they had advanced as much as they could (open) That is how Los Angeles Galaxy calendar would look like if they had advanced as much as they could (close) Green: Regional league Red: MLS regular season Blue: Open Cup Purple: MLS playoffs That is how many matches the clubs would play by season if they were as successful as they are in MLS (Move your mouse to reveal the content) That is how many matches the clubs would play by season if they were as successful as they are in MLS (open) That is how many matches the clubs would play by season if they were as successful as they are in MLS (close) But how profit would it be? In order to answer the main question, I decided to assume that the difference between the television money of MLS to Campeonato Brasileiro represents the difference of the interesting for soccer and the economy between United States and Brazil. Assuming that this difference would be the same for regional leagues, that is the accontability: Matchday: Although some minor teams can actually earn a decent money with tickets, most of them make low money meanwhile major teams can have a great revenue with matchdays in the regional league. That is the proportion of the national league to the state league: Expected attendence (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Expected attendence (open) Expected attendence (close) Source: Globo Esporte: Público no Brasil http://app.globoesporte.globo.com/futebol/publico-no-brasil/campeonato-paulista/ TV: But the main money for the minor teams comes from television contracts. Soccer is more popular in Brazil than in USA, Brazilian TV paid around 315 million dollars to the 20 clubs in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A in 2018. MLS contract is more than three times lower and it represents the interest and financial gap between Brazil and United States. Supposing the same gap would represent the difference of interest and finances at regional league level and also taking into account the league potential of São Paulo state and the league potential of each suggested regional league in America, it is how much is expected by each league after they get stabilized: Expected TV deals (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Expected TV deals (open) Expected TV deals (close) Source: Diário de Pernambuco: As cotas de TV dos maiores Estaduais de 2018, com R$ 306 milhões para 119 times http://blogs.diariodepernambuco.com...ais-de-2018-com-r-306-milhoes-para-119-times/ Gazeta do Povo: Cotas da TV Globo para o Brasileirão 2018 https://infograficos.gazetadopovo.com.br/esportes/cotas-de-tv-da-globo-para-o-brasileirao-2018/ The Philadelphia Inquirer: MLS, U.S. Soccer officially announce new TV deal with ESPN, Fox, Univision http://www2.philly.com/philly/blogs...unce-new-TV-deal-with-ESPN-Fox-Univision.html The format of the championship: MLS clubs average 39 matches per season. The goal of playing between 50 and 60 official matches per season can be assured through regional leagues which should about 14 matches each season. Suggestion: In the first stage the sixteen teams are drawn, with seeding, into four groups of four teams each, with each team playing once against the twelve clubs from the other three groups. After each team has played twelve matches, the top two teams of each group qualify for the quarter-final stage. Quarter-finals are played in a single match, with the best placed first stage team playing at home. The semi-finals OR finals are played in a two-legged home and away fixture, with the best placed first stage team playing the second leg at home meanwhile the other is played as the quarter-finals. Finally, that's the criteria that I stipulated for the potential of the regional leagues: 0 – 15 clubs: Low; 16 – 18 clubs: Medium; 19+ clubs: High. Criteria for formation of the leagues: • The minor region is a single state; • Regional leagues must be the smallest possible; • Any state with low profit potential must join a regional league OR decrease the number of clubs in the league. I opted to include even UPSL, USL2 and NPSL teams to give a panorama, it doesn't mean that amateur teams should be allowed in this type of league.