Potential rival USL league

Discussion in 'NWSL' started by SiberianThunderT, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain

    There are probably several reasons they might now want to buy into NWSL:
    --Dislike of the league's management specifically or structure generally
    --Simply think they can do better, or at least would fair better riding out the current "WoSo wave" on their own terms
    --(Potentially) there's been indication that NWSL does not want to expand fast enough to include them all

    Whichever of those reasons it might be, all are misguided IMO. And I don't see NC or LOU backing out of NWSL - they've got something they know works, so why change? The only complicating factor could be if USL tried to make a decree that all USL-associated WoSo teams *must* be in their league, at which point I assume several lawsuits would follow.
    Yeah, USL teams are generally an order of magnitude "less than MLS" on many accounts. If you want to use attendance as an outside-looking-in proxy of wealth, less than a third of USL draws above 6k average, and of those 10 teams, two are going to MLS (SAC and NSH) and one (LOU) is already committed to NWSL. Anyone left is, on average, highly unlikely to be bringing much capital to the table.

    = = = = =

    I mentioned this in the other thread, but the idea that this league might benefit from USSF allocation in the same way that NWSL had is silly. Sure, NWSL is getting out from under USSF, but that probably just means allocation is going to be phased out. Plus, why would USSF want to invest in this new league? NWSL already exists and is proving to work fairly well*. What does USSF stand to gain? And I thought that the current WNT CBA specifies NWSL, i.e. not necessarily giving the option for WNT players to allocate to another potential D1 league.

    Honestly, if this league does move past the brainstorming phase, I wouldn't be surprised if USSF goes through a "professional league reevaluation" just like what happened when NASL and USL began butting heads (and NASL tried to go D1).

    *The Sac announcement is going to be late into the offseason, of course, and we still don't know where Sky Blue will play next year, etc... Plus the league still needs a comms person. But there's been plenty of good recently, too.
     
  2. cpthomas

    cpthomas BigSoccer Supporter

    Portland Thorns
    United States
    Jan 10, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If there is a significant "buy in" price for the NWSL, perhaps this is a negotiating ploy of USL on behalf of some of its teams that are potential NWSL teams. Sort of extorting a reduced "buy in" NWSL price by threatening otherwise to create a rival league.
     
  3. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    We've never heard of an expansion fee for NWSL yet... I guess I wouldn't be surprised if there was one, but I would be surprised if the fee is significant at all. At least for MLS, a big chunk of the expansion fee goes toward compensating the other owners for the decreased share of the "MLS pie" that happens when dividing up the total league value to a new owner. Even though the pie is diluting a lot now with so many teams, it's still a big enough pie (with overall value and TV contracts and such) that each new slice is still a significant chunk of money. NWSL may have fewer teams, so each expansion is a bigger slice percentage-wise, but the pie is much, much smaller overall.
     
  4. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Side note:

    Remember months ago how we were hearing about the possibility of NWSL moving from being under USSF's umbrella to being under USL's umbrella?

    I guess we know how those discussions panned out.
     
    lil_one repped this.
  5. toad455

    toad455 Member+

    Nov 28, 2005
    just seems like a ploy to challenge the NWSL. Two D1 leagues won't work. Don't see this panning through.
     
  6. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Its good to know the NWSL players share my point of view:

     
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  7. Klingo3034

    Klingo3034 Member

    Dallas FC
    United States
    Oct 11, 2019
    Attempting to take some of the NT players to USL from NWSL. That would kill some of the popularity. But at the same time, it would expand the number of clubs that exist. Bringing in more women domestic and foreign to the states. I would say they should have an NFC vs AFC style championship. But establishing a league in 2 years is too quick. Fans wouldn't even know who is who or where. Or if teams have fans in the first place.
     
  8. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member+

    Jun 9, 2004
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Nat'l Team:
    Sweden
    If one wanted to this is the perfect opportunity to create a promotion/relegation system in US WoSo. It is very similar how one was introduced in English soccer back in 1892.
     
  9. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    That assumes that both leagues would survive long enough to merge systems *and* that one league would be clearly inferior enough to accept becoming the effective second division. Also, you still really run into the problem of the USA's franchise system - whichever league is superior would still be unlikely to accept the possibility of including relegation in the first place.

    Honestly, if pro/rel was ever to begin in the US, it would be through one of the amateur leagues self-stratifying, not through rival pro leagues forcing it. Heck, rival pro league in the US are more likely to do a straight merge (think AFC+NFC=NFL or AL+NL=MLB) than stratify.
     
  10. JanBalk

    JanBalk Member+

    Jun 9, 2004
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Nat'l Team:
    Sweden
    #11 JanBalk, Dec 11, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019
    They are alive now, running the leagues as now and adding a promotion/regulation from NWSL to USL at the end of the 2021 season should be easy, to do it for the 2020 season somewhat of a challenge.
    Seems to me that currently one IS clearly inferior, since they don't have a top level league.

    So, US club owners as a rule is stupidly greedy and shortsighted?
    Of course the best for the NWSL owners would be ro continue as now, but you say that put into the choice that either have a direct competition that would hurt revenue and possible (but unlikely) in long term replace them as the leading league and the choice of each years accepting that leagues best team their worst they would all without any doubt take the first alternative?
    The only likely way for club owners to accept promotion/regulation is to avoid a competing league, which seem to be the current situation. It is of course possibly that a USL isn't a threat to NWSL and thus accepting them as a 2nd tier isn't really worth it, but if there as you express it isn't really clear who is the top one it certainly seems they can be a threat.
     
  11. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    I don't think you mean what you think you mean? USL, as an organization, is alive now, but they certainly do not currently have a women's league - only men's leagues. They used to run an amateur women's league but shuttered it four years ago.

    Are you thinking of WPSL or UWS? Because neither is run by USL.
    Greedy? Probably - pro sports are the playthings of the rich. Shortsighted? Absolutely not. They're looking at MLS, and to a degree looking at NFL/MLB/etc. - the franchise model is a safe and lucrative system. There's absolutely no reason to destabilize the system as a whole or let individual teams take the fall to accept pro/rel.
    I said absolutely no such things.
     
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  12. SiberianThunderT

    Sep 21, 2008
    DC
    Club:
    Saint Louis Athletica
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    One thing the people also often seem to forget about soccer in the US is the long history of bad blood. There's an entire chapter of soccer history in the US known as the "American Soccer Wars" that quite literally killed the first professional (and fairly long-lived) men's outdoor league in the US and ended the early days of US soccer power - yes, we had an amazing soccer culture before bad blood killed the sport's popularity in the country and put us into the always-playing-catch-up mode the US has been in with regards to men's soccer. More recently, there's been the rise and fall of the new NASL, who broke off from USL in a bitter schism, then tried to challenge MLS for D1 sanctioning, which led the the MLS-USL partnership that let USL challenge NASL for D2 and ultimately killed NASL. On the women's side, WPSL and the old W-League never cooperated, which is part of the reason for the old Women's Open Cup withering and dying, and it seems like the same thing has lingered with WPSL vs USL.

    I bring this up because
    Any notion that these USL leaders would want to work with NWSL at all is ludicrous. Neither side wants to cooperate in a merged league or strike a pro/rel relationship.
     
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  13. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The USL has hired Angela Hucles as a senior consultant in their efforts to get more involved in woso. (Athletic article)

    She makes it look like she won't be looking to start a rival league: “I believe the overall goal is to play a part in creating more opportunities for girls and women to achieve their dreams through the lens of soccer. This can be in the way of supporting existing groups, organizations, and opportunities within this space, but ultimately doing what is beneficial to the larger ecosystem of women’s football. We’re looking to be proactive....
    "We’re coming from a very open space. Obviously, the NWSL is here, U.S. Soccer Federation. Knowing all those people and being in the mindset of, we’re looking to better women’s soccer. This isn’t about the USL trying to capture a market of something, you know? It’s: how can we all live in this space together, work together, figure out what will be in the best interest of the player and the game itself?”
     
  14. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    #15 Cliveworshipper, Feb 12, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2020
    The usl model seems to be as a second division for now but eventually breaking into the top tier by forcing promotion/ relegation. ( there are FIFA laws about such things)
    They have a long way to go.
    A women’s league would have longer to go.
     
  15. Smallchief

    Smallchief Member+

    Oct 27, 2012
    Club:
    --other--
    I pay little attention to soccer wars, managment, etc, but --

    The NWSL is still fragile. KC and WNY proved to be failures as locations for teams; Houston, Orlando, and Sky Blue don't look like secure franchises to me.

    In other words, my initial response to the idea of a new USL league is no, please, no!
     

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