Sir Alex on growth in America

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Fort Rapid, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. ossieend

    ossieend New Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    derby u.k.
    As someone who's grown up with European type names I know what you're saying. However, MLS is in a country where names like Wizards 'Magic', Fire 'Heat', Rapids 'Rockies', Galaxy 'Astros' etc. are the norm. Therefore, I don't see the American sports style names keeping away American sports fans.
  2. st mirren till i die

    Jul 14, 2007
    Saint Mirren FC
    Nat'l Team:
    How do you expect to make any money if teams are only going to be playing 14 games per season o_O? Or how do you expect to retain players for that matter?

    Like it or not, MLS has to compete with the main FIFA nations, and therefore each team would be playing at least 38 matches per year.

    I can see how the distances involved would be a problem, and that the argument for splitting into at least two conferences would be a good idea. There's no reason why an MLS season with 4 conferences couldn't end with a knockout tournament to decide the overall champions. But that's not going to work with only 32 clubs (unless you are talking 16 teams east and west).

    My personal, idealistic vision for the US league would be 64 Clubs split into 4 leagues of 16. The top two of each would enter an 8 team knockout competition for the championship. That sort of infrastructure would take decades to build though so it's pretty unrealistic at the moment.
  3. touch line

    touch line New Member

    Jul 3, 2007
    The name thing holding anything back has been slightly over-blown over the years.

    Still, those milk and cookie childish names do factor in on some level in a negative way. At the same time, I see typical American sports fans rolling their eyes at FC's or ReAL names. It has a very wannabe feel to it.

    Why we have to copy or pose is beyond me. How about SC (its called soccer here) or the Highlanders in Utah. Both American, both adult, origional, still traditional and it's not copying or posing.
  4. st mirren till i die

    Jul 14, 2007
    Saint Mirren FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Real Salt Lake is pretty cringeworthy to outsiders, I can see how it would be even more cringeworthy to those who actually follow the US game.
  5. BlackburnRover

    BlackburnRover New Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    Who's that then, Italy have a lot of teams, so do Spain ... surely you can't mean England's Football League? Last time I checked it was the biggest league in the world with 92 teams and 4 divisions! You don't really understand our sporting culture do you, looks like you've got sucked in by the EPL marketing hype. 92 teams crammed into a small country dragging thousands of fans from game to game week in week out, all hurling verbal abuse at each other and sulking for a week if they lose.

    I think what Fergie (and god forbid I'm actually defending him) was trying to say is that your huge country has different challenges to developing football than we did. Our biggest rivals aren't actually in the Premier League (amazing I know) but a league below us. It's a small town called Burnley of 90 000 and we pray to get each other in the cup games because we can't play them in the league as they're too crap to get promoted. But that small town of 90 000 bring 8 000 to the game, they'd honestly bring 25 000 if our ground could hold them. And yes we're lucky that they're only just a few miles away, but when they turn up at the groud there's a huge rivalry, waves of hatred between the fans, horrendous abuse at full volume. And this isn't one of the big city derby games. Might seem a bit sad, but that's football here, and it's brilliant to go to. Then whoever loses has the pleasure of working with some of the other fans and being reminded of it every day until you play again. That breeds passion and pride, and that's what keeps you going week in week out for the rest of your life, whether your in the EPL or you get relegated.

    Unfortuantely you've not got that opportunity through no fault of your own unless you grow your league and I believe that was Fergie's point.

    And you can't really say a middle aged Scot who's won the Champions' League and 9 League titles in the biggest League in the world knows nothing. Believe me, I'd love to criticise him and his team, but they're pretty good.:(
  6. Wildcatter Orange

    Wildcatter Orange New Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    I think time is a big factor.

    For most people, passion for a team and a rivalry with another side takes time to develop.

    Some people can turn it on right away ... but for most people it's something that doesn't develop in a year or two.

    MLS is just now getting to the point where there is some history there, but of course every time a new fan is added, the process starts all over.

    For example, lots of posts on this thread describe NFL rivalries from the 1970s. That's 30 years ago ...
  7. Sinter

    Sinter New Member

    Oct 12, 2003
    New York City, U.S.A
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Honestly if we want to promote regional rivalries I feel a 20 team league with 2 conferences and 2 divisions per conference would be ideal. Not to mention I think it would be the most ideal set up for a 20 team MLS based on the size of the continent. It would be set up as so:

    Eastern Conference:
    Atlantic Division:
    1. Red Bull New York
    2. New York City
    3. Philadelphia
    4. New England Revs
    5. DC United (Scum)

    Northern Division:
    1. Toronto FC
    2. Montreal
    3. Chicago
    4. Columbus
    5. Detroit/St. Louis

    Western Conference:
    1. Kansas City
    2. FC Dallas
    3. Houston
    4. Colorado
    5. Real Salt Lake

    1. LA Becks
    2. Chivas
    3. San Jose
    4. Seattle
    5. Las Vegas/Vancouver/Portland

    You can slot other teams in and move around like say Atlanta instead of a Montreal and move the Revs to the north, but that wouldn't be ideal to keep already established rivalries.

    Anyways, the format. 3 games against divisional opponents for a total of 12. 2 games against in conference, non-divisional teams for 10 more games. Finally 1 game against each opposing conference team, split evenly 5 home and 5 away games. That would bring the total number of games to 32, which would work fairly well and not cause for an overloaded schedule. We can play early march thru mid june take a 1 month break and come back and finish in november or, start in late august go thru mid december come back in march and play thru late may. Either works for me as long as we start having a break for the major summer tournaments.

    Playoffs top 2 teams from each divison makes it 1st play in say the Northern would play 2nd place in the Atlantic, etc. and pretty much stays the same as it is now once you make the playoffs.
  8. CBusCrew12

    CBusCrew12 Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Here's how my idealistic league would be set up:

    Eastern Conference:
    1. Baltimore
    2. Boston
    3. Buffalo
    4. Charlotte
    5. DC
    6. Montreal
    7. New York 1
    8. New York 2
    9. New Jersey
    10. Philadelphia
    11. Quebec
    12. Rochester

    Midwest Conference:
    1. Cincinnati
    2. Chicago
    3. Cleveland
    4. Columbus
    5. Detroit
    6. Indianapolis
    7. Milwaukee
    8. Minnesota
    9. Pittsburgh
    10. St. Louis
    11. Ottawa
    12. Toronto

    Southern Conference:
    1. Atlanta
    2. Birmingham
    3. Charleston
    4. Jackson
    5. Jacksonville
    6. Louisville
    7. Memphis
    8. Miami
    9. Nashville
    10. New Orleans
    11. Orlando
    12. Tampa

    Western Conference:
    1. Calgary
    2. Bay Area
    3. Dallas
    4. Denver
    5. Houston
    6. Las Vegas
    7. Los Angeles 1
    8. Los Angeles 2
    9. Portland
    10. Salt Lake City
    11. Seattle
    12. Vancouver

    Each conference can be grow to be bigger than 12, of course. There are many other cities of consideration out there. I let the likes of Kansas City, Phoenix, San Diego, and San Antonio out.

    Basically, the seasons would be 22 matches, and one game per week. 22 weeks is plenty of play, and leaves plenty of room for other events like the SuperLiga with the Mexican Premira, CONCACAF Champions Cup, Copa Libertadores (if anyone would make it), US Open Cup, etc..

    When the season ends, the top two teams from each conference will take part in the "MLS Champions League", in which the 8 teams are drawn into 2 groups of 4. The top two move on to play in legged semi-finals, 1st place v 2nd place style.
  9. DamonEsquire

    DamonEsquire BigSoccer Supporter

    Sep 16, 2002
    Leeds United AFC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Now that is a mighty fine list and the one to strive for. Although that also might be too many for a league. 48 teams could be too much but it is very fair. I like the Tennesee Valley Authority. Includable states of West Virginia and/or Virginia there is some decent soccer through there. You know. If you but one in Buffalo I don't know if New York desvers a second one. That could be the West Virginia and Virginia could house somewhere else. I don't know but its a mighty fine list indeed. Could breach the billion dollar threashhold there...
  10. nbtc971

    nbtc971 Member

    Dec 26, 2006
    I realize you said 'idealistic' but man, the quality of play would blow. 48 teams. Even the EPL's level of play would suck for a lot of teams if it was expanded to 48. That's too many and a very big pipe dream.
  11. CBusCrew12

    CBusCrew12 Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Ohio, USA
    Chelsea FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, that way I see it is, if the USA and Canada had soccer in the Top 3 of their favorite sports, they would pump out as much quality talent as Weastern Europe. If just the home grown talent was at that number and quality, the league would be a very high quality league inwhich players from lal over would want to play in. So, once include all of the foreign players, 48 teams would be just enough. Again, this is a very idealistic idea, and I'm 99.999% sure it can never happen, but it's fun to think about.
  12. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    It's not names like Astros, Rockies, Rapids, that make our skin crawl, it's more like Clash, Burn, Mutiny, Fusion, Crew, Courage, Beat, and Reign that make us (me, anyway) want to throw up.
  13. DavidP

    DavidP Member

    Mar 21, 1999
    Powder Springs, GA
    There is no way in heck that we could come close to supporting that many teams. We'd be lucky to handle as many as 24, which was the max expansion of the NASL. I like the idea of two 10-12-team conferences, though, if we ever get that far.

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