Is the MLS one of the big leagues of the future?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by psveindhoven, May 21, 2007.

  1. psveindhoven

    psveindhoven New Member

    May 17, 2006
    What do you think about it? Will the MLS become one of the big leagues like England, Spain and Italy? And IF it happens, when will it be? 20 years, 30 years, never?? Spain has got a huge league, and they only have around 50 million people living in Spain. The US has got around 50 million football FANS, but they (still) don't like the MLS. If this would change, for some reason, the MLS would be HUGE.
    Japan and China also have got a great opportunitie to get a great football league like England.
  2. Fire Lovin' Hoosier

    Fire Lovin' Hoosier New Member

    Aug 1, 2006
    definetely without a doubt in the next 10-15 years, having surpassed NHL AND(THIS IS A BIG AND) NBA, every team with a stadium filling up every game, this of course after the US wins the World Cup in 2010 and hosts and wins in 2014
  3. spidergoose

    spidergoose Member

    Nov 2, 2004
    DC United
    No. It might become more widely popular, but will never be one of the elite leagues in the world. Mexican/Argentine league status is more of a realistic goal to shoot for.
  4. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The US' TV market is massive, and the catchment area for each team in a 24 team league would also be massive. So the potential is there. If MLS were ever to become half as popular, hell, a quarter as popular, in the US as the Prem is in England, the US would probably have the richest league in the world.

    But man, that would really take some doing.
  5. anewsoccerfan

    anewsoccerfan Member

    Apr 15, 2007
    Chapel Hill, NC
    1st the league needs to become more popular. For that to happen, an MLS team needs to win CONCACAF Champions Cup(soon to be league?) and play in the Fifa Club World Cup. Once that happens,people will take notice.

    MLS wont be as good as England, Spain, or Italy until it makes more money. The more money, the better the players..
  6. SideshowBob

    SideshowBob Member

    Jan 12, 2007
    Northern VA
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Amen. I think it's unrealiztic to expect it -- at least for a few decades honestly -- but certainly the US could potentially be an elite league regularly competing with the top leagues in Europe for talent and in terms of quality on the pitch.

    But short term, getting to the level of Mexico/Argentina as stated above is a realistic and attentainable goal. I'm talking within the next decade or so.
  7. TheScarfMachine

    May 1, 2007
    Baltimore, MD
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Honestly, I'm not so sure I want the MLS to start bringing in huge amounts of foreign players on massive salaries... I want the MLS to help propel the USMNT to the next level first, but US-born players will be few and far between (At least for a couple decades) in a big money league.
  8. flippin269

    flippin269 Member+

    Aug 3, 2003
    Houston Dynamo
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I give it 10-15 years. MLS has one thing going for it that most other leagues don't; the American market. If England, Spain, and Italy could do it, America definately can. We've already proven it with MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL that we can turn sports popular in America into international media. If MLS becomes as popular in America as any of the other four leagues, the international market behind it will also be just as high.
  9. zidja

    zidja Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    They'll have to drop that whole team parity thing they've got going on and allow limitless (or less limited) budgets for that to happen.
  10. Wangy

    Wangy New Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    I just don't see soccer propelling in North America. At best, MLS can hope to cross NHL as the 4th most popular professional league but anything after that would be unrealistic. Also, there is so much competition in the international soccer world that crossing the NHL would not make MLS one of the best leagues in the world. It would put us in the category of Norweigien league and such. Probably the Portugese league at best.
  11. Jabinho

    Jabinho New Member

    May 29, 2004
    There will always be plenty of spots on MLS rosters for Americans.. ;)
    If we want more of our millions of young players to stick with the sport, which would surely help the national team, it would help a whole lot if MLS was paying much higher wages. If MLS gets several big stars accross the league it is very likely MLS will get some very nice TV contracts overseas and increase the value of the domestic contracts. This will mean a whole lot more money to pay much better wages. Not just TV revenues would increase with more big names but every revenue stream I can think of..

    These things tend to not be either/or but tend to work together..
  12. SoccerFreak

    SoccerFreak Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    This has always been the theory, big stars = big tv contracts = more money for the league. But what if, the league just spends all the extra money to bring in bigger international stars to make more money, to get bigger tv contracts, to bring bigger stars, but doesn't splash any of that money on domestic players.
  13. RedBulls

    RedBulls New Member

    Feb 19, 2007

    It all depends on one thing: $

    If the league grows, and profits grow, then so will payrolls, eventually if payrols can compete with european clubs, then yes.

  14. krayzie

    krayzie BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Dec 13, 2003
    Paris, France

    Are you talking about Football or Soccer ? I'm confused :rolleyes:

    Anyway, If MLS improves dramatically and serioulsy their youth system RIGHT NOW (with top youth academies all over the country, a strong youth system that is focused on FUNDAMENTALS AND SKILLS, developping street soccer all over the country, making youth academies free for the poor kids, a system that will provide talented players for all the MLS teams). Something very serious, NOT just stupid partnerships with random european teams.

    I think this is possible.

    US soccer lacks a strong youth soccer culture. They struggle to produce world class talents.

    US can potentially become the biggest producer of top soccer players on earth.

    As long as MLS will fail to realize how important the youth system is, I don't see how MLS will become a major league in US anytime soon, and also rival european soccer.

    Big foreign stars won't change nothing in US, what will dramatically boost MLS and soccer are american world class players. This is to me the only way to go.
  15. Bruce S

    Bruce S Member+

    Sep 10, 1999
    for sure. I am 99% sure.
  16. NebraskaAddick

    Aug 26, 2005
    Omaha, NE
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think if MLS aims to be a national sport, by trying to cover all parts of the country, this can keep it from becoming really big.

    But, if they concentrated their efforts in the Pacific northwest, southwest and northeast corridor, I think it can become something big.

    Baseball has been replaced by football(gridiron) as the national pastime, I think because many of baseball's stars are now foreign-born, while most NFL players are American-born. Baseball retains its popularity in big urban centers, but in the small towns they're all talking football.

    I think many Americans have an aversion to anything that isn't "American" enough. Even Nascar fans take offense to Toyota getting involved in their sport. And so I think MLS has the best chance to thrive in areas of the country where there isn't so much xenophobia.

    Soccer won't become a national sport so much. You won't hear Cowherd or Mike and Mike in the morning talk about it, who would rather discuss off-season NFL roster moves 95% of the time, because that's what gets ratings.

    But regionally, like with the Yankees and the Red Sox, I think MLS can aspire to creating something intense like that, which would be quite nice if that were to happen.
  17. TX Bill

    TX Bill Member+

    Apr 3, 2006
    Sugar Land TX
    Everton FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not for 20+ years.
  18. rios

    rios Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    Villarreal CF
    we need some domestic players that would make Eddie Gaven and Freddy Adu look like, well, Eddie Gaven and Freddy Adu. win some international titles, then there'll be people watching the MLS.
  19. da_patriots

    da_patriots New Member

    Mar 3, 2007
    Loudoun County
    Money wise NFL is the biggest league in the world, followed by MLB and NBA. EPL is the fourth. But popularity wise EPL is the biggest league in the world. These facts tell you something about American market. If MLS gets to become even the fourth most popular league in the usa, it will tie with EPL in revenues. The answer to the original question yes, MLS has potential to compete with other soccer leagues. I believe MLS can surpass NHL easily. NHL almost went out of biz two years ago. If NHL did not come back, MLS would have even easier path:D.
  20. HTownSoccerGuy

    Mar 29, 2005
    Houston, TX
    i really hope we wouldnt turn into the Italian league :eek:
  21. GIO17

    GIO17 Member

    Nov 29, 1998
    I think we are starting to see the popularty of MLS coming back. Slowly, but it's coming back. The buzz right now not just talking about Adu starting to succeed or he has failed, and at the same time the upstart striker in young Josmer Altidore is making headlines from the end of last season to the start of this season.

    I truly believe that this coming summer's U-20 World Cup can show the American player can evolve and be that great. Now I hope they can win it, but at the same time I believe a strong showing in this U-20 World Cup can help our press, become a bit better. You have Adu & Altidore. Their stars are shining very bright here and I truly believe they can do damage up in Canada.
  22. I think MLS has all the potential in the world looking 20 years down the line. Look at how much the sport has grown in just the last 15 years. Not to mention the changing demographics of the country. If the league could just even get all the current soccer fans here to follow the league they would be pretty big now. In order to do that, they need to get top flight players. I think if they do that the crowds and tv ratings will follow. The US market is huge and wealthy. If MLS could just get an NHL or NBA level following in 25 markets in the country they would easily be a top 5 league in the world.
  23. Boloni86

    Boloni86 Member+

    Jun 7, 2000
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    If Europe ever intergrates into one Continental League, I fear we'll be left behind forever. The culture there is just so focused on soccer. Asia also will become a formidable competitor in the future. There's a lot of $ in Asia, and the game is very popular there. I suppose we could intergrate CONCACAF, and while that would be huge, it wouldn't match an intergrated Europe.

    But as long as Europe stays splintered, we've got a solid chance to catch up a bit. I'm assuming the next CBA will see a raise in the salary cap to something around $5,000,000 per team with maybe 1 or 2 DP exceptions. That will already put us in the ball park of some pretty respected mid level European clubs.
  24. The Mighty Frog

    The Mighty Frog New Member

    Apr 27, 2007
  25. Ronaldo's Idol

    Jun 13, 2004
    I think it is inevitable that MLS will either fold or blow up to be EPL level within the next 20-30 years, if not sooner.

    America is too big, too rich, and has too many people to have a Norwegian level league maintained for decades. It just won't happen. Either people will start dumping money into and it will pick up steam (or should I say continue to pick up steam), or it will fizzle out.

    Another point is that billionare owners like Kroenke and Gillette are not interested in having mediocre teams in mediocre leagues will small fanbases. They are playing by the rules of MLS for now, but this is all with the incentive in mind that sooner or later the restraints will be removed and they'll be allowed to invest fully in their teams. No billionare is interested in having a team with a 2-3 million dollar salary cap long term. They want fame, they want fortune, they want to win important championships. Soccer is the ONLY sport that will bring them truly international fame and stature as a sports club owner. Everyone knows Abramovich around the world. No one knows Gillette outside the US. And Gillette is not OK with this, I'm sure.

    My guess is that MLS will go with the DP rule for about 10 years, possibly going to two DP's per team and having a 5-10 million salary cap. After 10 years of this, the teams will resemble real quality teams in Mexico or Argentina in terms of pay structure and probably will have about 1/4 to 1/2 the fan base of teams like Chivas and River. But that will mean near sellouts all season long in the smallist 20 K stadia. Then will come the stadium extensions, and eventually, around 15-20 years from now, teams will start to build their own real superstadia with 60K plus per team (or in the case of teams with an owner like Gillette with his own NFL stadium already, the sharing will continue but the stadium will be made more soccer friendly).

    I don't think that MLS will overtake the NFL or NBA in the US anytime within the next 30-40 years. After that, it is possible, but I have no idea what will happen.

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