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(ESPN)   MLS marketing tries to build national profile beyond Beckham tantrums by promoting potent rivalries and crazed supporters. Skeptic: "When your hottest team is in Portland, Oregon, it reinforces the perception you are a fringe sport"   (espn.go.com) divider line 125
    More: Obvious, David Beckham, Major League Soccer, Oregon, Seattle Sounders, u.s. soccer, NCAA Football, English Premier League, Major League Baseball  
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517 clicks; posted to Sports » on 25 Jul 2012 at 1:09 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-25 09:54:33 AM  
Indeed, as the NBA is a fringe sport for having one of its top teams in Oklahoma City. The NHL, of course, is huge, because their hottest team is the LA Kings. Football was unpopular until the playoffs last year because the hottest team was in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
 
2012-07-25 10:06:17 AM  
From a global perspective, every American sport is a "fringe" sport.
 
2012-07-25 10:18:15 AM  
As a marketing professional, Handler worked quickly to square the gut emotion of these experiences with research and data. In March, a study by Luker On Trends/ESPN revealed the startling statistic that "pro soccer" trailed only the NFL as the most popular sport for Americans aged 12-24. Handler followed up with the pollsters and was relieved to learn "if you pull out MLS alone, it still ranks No. 4, ahead of Major League Baseball and NCAA football/basketball.

While the above should be a good sign for MLS in the U.S... hasn't that always been the case, although I guess it was always "kids loved to play soccer, but, then didn't become pro fans". This at least seems to show that now the kids are becoming consumer soccer fans as well. The trick will be if all these 15 year old MLS fans are still fans at 30. Then MLS will have "broken through".

But, only a person who wants to have blinders on would argue that the MLS has not grown dramatically since its inception. Whereas in the late 90s and even into the early 2000's, most would have grouped MLS with the WNBA and AFL as "Second Tier" pro leagues in the US, between improved TV contracts and coverage, almost all teams having their own 20-30k seating stadiums, only two teams being shut down in 15 years, and fairly healthy attendance in most markets, MLS is much closer to catching the NHL in the "Big 4" than being in the second tier.
 
2012-07-25 10:21:03 AM  
Look, ESPN already settled this. The only sports teams that matter are in New York, and occasionally LA or Boston.
 
2012-07-25 10:50:13 AM  

give me doughnuts: From a global perspective, every American sport is a "fringe" sport.


Actually, the NBA is wildly popular overseas.
 
2012-07-25 11:09:02 AM  

give me doughnuts: From a global perspective, every American sport is a "fringe" sport.


Exactly. We should've conquered the entire world, enslaved their people, and forced them to play our sports centuries ago if we wanted to have the most popular sports in the world now.
 
2012-07-25 11:34:49 AM  

IAmRight: Indeed, as the NBA is a fringe sport for having one of its top teams in Oklahoma City. The NHL, of course, is huge, because their hottest team is the LA Kings. Football was unpopular until the playoffs last year because the hottest team was in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


Excellence does not equal popularity
 
2012-07-25 12:15:58 PM  
Tom Hanks was at the game last night here in Portland. We can't be *that* fringe.

i470.photobucket.com

It's not like we're talking about roller derby or competitive hide & seek.
 
2012-07-25 01:14:51 PM  
If the NBA is the ideal for mainstream sports, then I'll be over here on the fronge with the MLS, being happy.

/fark the NBA
 
2012-07-25 01:17:38 PM  

penthesilea:

It's not like we're talking about roller derby or competitive hide & seek.


I STILL can't find our local H&S team.

/maybe they're just that good
 
2012-07-25 01:17:55 PM  
Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.
 
2012-07-25 01:22:44 PM  

ArkAngel: Excellence does not equal popularity


I guess other people have weirder definitions of "hottest." To people that actually follow sports, it's based on being good on the field. Apparently to the guy quoted it's based on...not sure what exactly, since Seattle still has a bigger fanbase than Portland.
 
2012-07-25 01:23:14 PM  

seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.


Maybe they were good the previous season?

/Don't watch MLS
//Might someday
///Several years of recereational soccer as a kid
 
2012-07-25 01:24:01 PM  

seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.


These are marketing people, they are talking purely about 'popularity', not 'success'. See: Toronto Maple Leafs,

And the perception, at least, is that Portland is the poster child for a well-supported club.
 
2012-07-25 01:26:30 PM  

chechcal: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

These are marketing people, they are talking purely about 'popularity', not 'success'. See: Toronto Maple Leafs,

And the perception, at least, is that Portland is the poster child for a well-supported club.


Seattle is the biggest draw in the league.
 
2012-07-25 01:27:02 PM  

dletter: MLS is much closer to catching the NHL in the "Big 4" than being in the second tier.


Truth be told the NHL is such a distant 4th, and really has always been, that it's not really a big 4.

The MLS is a fringe league and is awful to watch. And I watch a lot of soccer...and hockey.
 
2012-07-25 01:28:06 PM  

AntonChigger: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

Maybe they were good the previous season?

/Don't watch MLS
//Might someday
///Several years of recereational soccer as a kid


They were not. Finished 6th in the West and 12th overall, missing the playoffs last year. Doing even worse this season.
 
2012-07-25 01:28:45 PM  

seumasokelly: Seattle is the biggest draw in the league


This. 2 1/2 years of consecutive sellouts. Over 50,000 to watch the Chelsea game.
 
2012-07-25 01:30:39 PM  
Quakes got the best record!
 
2012-07-25 01:32:48 PM  
Soccer is the perfect "sport" for all the hipster trash in Southeast Portland that don't follow actual sports.
 
2012-07-25 01:33:31 PM  

KJUW89: seumasokelly: Seattle is the biggest draw in the league

This. 2 1/2 years of consecutive sellouts. Over 50,000 to watch the Chelsea game.


Including 64k for Kasey Keller's final regular season game. IIRC, the largest crowd ever for an MLS game.
 
2012-07-25 01:35:03 PM  
We have realized the league is at a new life stage," he said. "For the past few years, we have been focused on building stadia and expanding into new markets. Now we are ready to build our own profile.

All well and good, but toppling the BPL and CL brands here in the states just seems damn near insurmountable.
 
2012-07-25 01:35:18 PM  
...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?
 
2012-07-25 01:38:49 PM  

IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?


Not going to say that there wasn't some concern, but c'mon France? No way that lead was going to last 75 minutes.
 
2012-07-25 01:39:06 PM  

IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?


USA! USA!
 
2012-07-25 01:39:35 PM  

IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?


I've been watching. Great game so far, bad defending for the first two goals given up, but great resilience and strength for the comeback. Awesome game so far!
 
2012-07-25 01:42:16 PM  

seumasokelly: IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?

Not going to say that there wasn't some concern, but c'mon France? No way that lead was going to last 75 minutes.


The US beat france in the semi-finals of last year's world cup.
 
2012-07-25 01:44:54 PM  

Stimied in a Rut: seumasokelly: IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?

Not going to say that there wasn't some concern, but c'mon France? No way that lead was going to last 75 minutes.

The US beat france in the semi-finals of last year's world cup.


OK. France is still far behind the top 3 in women's soccer (USA, Japan, Germany).
 
2012-07-25 01:44:59 PM  

dletter: As a marketing professional, Handler worked quickly to square the gut emotion of these experiences with research and data. In March, a study by Luker On Trends/ESPN revealed the startling statistic that "pro soccer" trailed only the NFL as the most popular sport for Americans aged 12-24. Handler followed up with the pollsters and was relieved to learn "if you pull out MLS alone, it still ranks No. 4, ahead of Major League Baseball and NCAA football/basketball.

While the above should be a good sign for MLS in the U.S... hasn't that always been the case, although I guess it was always "kids loved to play soccer, but, then didn't become pro fans". This at least seems to show that now the kids are becoming consumer soccer fans as well. The trick will be if all these 15 year old MLS fans are still fans at 30. Then MLS will have "broken through".

But, only a person who wants to have blinders on would argue that the MLS has not grown dramatically since its inception. Whereas in the late 90s and even into the early 2000's, most would have grouped MLS with the WNBA and AFL as "Second Tier" pro leagues in the US, between improved TV contracts and coverage, almost all teams having their own 20-30k seating stadiums, only two teams being shut down in 15 years, and fairly healthy attendance in most markets, MLS is much closer to catching the NHL in the "Big 4" than being in the second tier.



The MLS will never become popular in the US. Americans want action and they want scoring. 1 or 2 goals a game and 85 minutes of passing the ball around won't cut it. And for actual fans of soccer, the MLS is like the JV team....probably even lower...more like a junior high girls team.

I'd bet that most people couldn't name 5 players in the entire league (much less their home team).

With the other sports (baseball, basketball, hockey, Football), there are players who are well known by everyone. I don't even and to say team, sport or league...and everyone knows who I'm talking about...

Heck, I don't even have to give full names....Jeter, Brady, Chara, Rothlesburger, Manning, Crosby, Halladay, Rivera, Bryant, James, Revis, Welker, Moss, Wilson.
 
2012-07-25 01:45:18 PM  

IlGreven: ...as long as this is a soccer thread...how about the comeback by the U.S. women?

Anyone? Anyone?


I was watching the start of that game and saw France's two goals. I turned it off to go to work and then our women started scoring.

You're welcome.
 
2012-07-25 01:45:59 PM  
I've never been much of a soccer fan in the past, but I've found myself tuning in this year to MLS and I've really liked it. They've been around this long and survived, so there's definitely a market for what they're selling.
 
2012-07-25 01:46:16 PM  

IAmRight: ArkAngel: Excellence does not equal popularity

I guess other people have weirder definitions of "hottest." To people that actually follow sports, it's based on being good on the field. Apparently to the guy quoted it's based on...not sure what exactly, since Seattle still has a bigger fanbase than Portland.


New York has a bigger fan base than either Dallas or Green Bay, but is behind both of them in jersey sales. Some teams just lend themselves more to nationwide fan bases
 
2012-07-25 01:48:50 PM  
1. Offer your broadcasts to NBC, CBS, ABC, or FOX for network broadcast on their 'second tier' over-the-air HD channels -- for cheap. (here in ny - 4.2,4.3,2.2,7.2,7.3, etc)
2. Advertise them on the 'main' channels. (2.1,4.1,7.1)
3. PROFIT

/always looking for a footie game in the weekend afternoons at the pub.
//I am sure the pubs would be glad to bookend their 'premium arsenal/ Man U game with 'free' American Soccer.
 
2012-07-25 01:49:43 PM  
I'm the only one at the pub screaming for each USA goal. Some snide farkers at the bar were making fun of me, but haters gonna hate. Love my ladies.

Dammit I have to go back to work
 
2012-07-25 01:51:52 PM  

rubi_con_man: 1. Offer your broadcasts to NBC, CBS, ABC, or FOX for network broadcast on their 'second tier' over-the-air HD channels -- for cheap. (here in ny - 4.2,4.3,2.2,7.2,7.3, etc)
2. Advertise them on the 'main' channels. (2.1,4.1,7.1)
3. PROFIT

/always looking for a footie game in the weekend afternoons at the pub.
//I am sure the pubs would be glad to bookend their 'premium arsenal/ Man U game with 'free' American Soccer.


Don't know where in NY you are, but there's tons of footy pubs in the city. They show all matches.
 
2012-07-25 01:52:52 PM  

seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.


The Timbers blow this year, so I was thinking the same thing.
 
2012-07-25 01:53:09 PM  

ArkAngel: New York has a bigger fan base than either Dallas or Green Bay, but is behind both of them in jersey sales. Some teams just lend themselves more to nationwide fan bases


So you're saying that saying a league is a fringe league because a team from a relatively small city is popular is a stupid statement, also known as exactly what I was saying?
 
2012-07-25 01:53:19 PM  

ArkAngel: IAmRight: ArkAngel: Excellence does not equal popularity

I guess other people have weirder definitions of "hottest." To people that actually follow sports, it's based on being good on the field. Apparently to the guy quoted it's based on...not sure what exactly, since Seattle still has a bigger fanbase than Portland.

New York has a bigger fan base than either Dallas or Green Bay, but is behind both of them in jersey sales. Some teams just lend themselves more to nationwide fan bases


Those teams generally aren't terrible, though.
 
2012-07-25 01:53:59 PM  
And by farkers I meant f*ckers, I don't think there are any Farkers here

END THE FILTER OCCUPATION DREW
 
2012-07-25 01:58:40 PM  

KFBR392: dletter: As a marketing professional, Handler worked quickly to square the gut emotion of these experiences with research and data. In March, a study by Luker On Trends/ESPN revealed the startling statistic that "pro soccer" trailed only the NFL as the most popular sport for Americans aged 12-24. Handler followed up with the pollsters and was relieved to learn "if you pull out MLS alone, it still ranks No. 4, ahead of Major League Baseball and NCAA football/basketball.

While the above should be a good sign for MLS in the U.S... hasn't that always been the case, although I guess it was always "kids loved to play soccer, but, then didn't become pro fans". This at least seems to show that now the kids are becoming consumer soccer fans as well. The trick will be if all these 15 year old MLS fans are still fans at 30. Then MLS will have "broken through".

But, only a person who wants to have blinders on would argue that the MLS has not grown dramatically since its inception. Whereas in the late 90s and even into the early 2000's, most would have grouped MLS with the WNBA and AFL as "Second Tier" pro leagues in the US, between improved TV contracts and coverage, almost all teams having their own 20-30k seating stadiums, only two teams being shut down in 15 years, and fairly healthy attendance in most markets, MLS is much closer to catching the NHL in the "Big 4" than being in the second tier.


The MLS will never become popular in the US. Americans want action and they want scoring. 1 or 2 goals a game and 85 minutes of passing the ball around won't cut it. And for actual fans of soccer, the MLS is like the JV team....probably even lower...more like a junior high girls team.

I'd bet that most people couldn't name 5 players in the entire league (much less their home team).

With the other sports (baseball, basketball, hockey, Football), there are players who are well known by everyone. I don't even and to say team, sport or league...and everyone knows who I'm talking abo ...


The way the MLS has grown in the last few years, and the fact that it has been sustained growth leads me to believe that the league will continue to become more popular. As it does so, more money will be available to sign players, generating a more entertaining and competitive product. Soon enough the structure of the league will need to be changed to allow teams more autonomy to make signings themselves. Fanbases in Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Vancouver & Philly started out strong and growing fanbases is LA, the bay area, KC and Texas make a good case for continued growth. Local televisions deals as well as games of the week with ESPN and NBC don't hurt either.
 
2012-07-25 02:00:41 PM  

TheKnownUniverse: I'm the only one at the pub screaming for each USA goal. Some snide farkers at the bar were making fun of me, but haters gonna hate. Love my ladies.

Dammit I have to go back to work


Come to Seattle. No one at The Atlantic Crossing would ever make fun of a soccer fan.

ts1.mm.bing.net
 
2012-07-25 02:01:54 PM  

seumasokelly: KFBR392: dletter: The way the MLS has grown in the last few years, and the fact that it has been sustained growth leads me to believe that the league will continue to become more popular. As it does so, more money will be available to sign players, generating a more entertaining and competitive product. Soon enough the structure of the league will need to be changed to allow teams more autonomy to make signings themselves. Fanbases in Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Vancouver & Philly started out strong and growing fanbases is LA, the bay area, KC and Texas make a good case for continued growth. Local televisions deals as well as games of the week with ESPN and NBC don't hurt either.


Real Salt Lake got smart this year. All their games are being broadcast in HD on CW or ABC. I think their popularity is REALLY going up as a result. Still behind the Jazz and college football out here, but growing. Agree with everything you've said here.
 
2012-07-25 02:07:33 PM  

ArkAngel: New York has a bigger fan base than either Dallas


Unless you mean NY has a bigger market, I'm going to disagree.
 
2012-07-25 02:13:26 PM  
MugzyBrown: Truth be told the NHL is such a distant 4th, and really has always been, that it's not really a big 4.

It's a regional thing, isn't it? Having the really hardcore fanbases in the NE and upper Midwest is balanced out by.....YOUR STANLEY CUP CHAMPION LOS ANGELES KINGS!

Sorry, I'm still pumped. Of course, us old folks remember a time pre-Magic/Bird/Jordan when the NBA Finals were broadcast after the 11:00 pm news, so things can change. They won't, probably, but they can.

The MLS is a fringe league and is awful to watch. And I watch a lot of soccer...and hockey.

This. So much THIS. It's a league where players from "real" leagues go to earn a big paycheck when they can't get employed in Europe any more because OMG!! he played for Bayern Munich 15 years ago!!!!! It's like watching the sport at half speed. See also: the WNBA.

At least MLS partisans seem to have stopped with the lie of "All those kids playing AYSO = future fans" thing. That was always so embarrassing because most kids in AYSO were there because their parents wanted a few hours break from them, not because it was a feeder league for the MLS.

/Go Kings GO!
//Go Everton, Europe is the goal this year
///Oh, and finishing ahead of the Red Filth again
 
2012-07-25 02:17:54 PM  

seumasokelly: TheKnownUniverse: I'm the only one at the pub screaming for each USA goal. Some snide farkers at the bar were making fun of me, but haters gonna hate. Love my ladies.

Dammit I have to go back to work

Come to Seattle. No one at The Atlantic Crossing would ever make fun of a soccer fan.


Ewwww Sounders fans :)

There are plenty of soccer bars here in DC, I just always go to the bar I used to work at. I get control of at least one TV. When I leave I used to put it on Animal Planet, but AP has gone the way of TLC and History Channel in straying from the original vision.

Also is this Brazil - Camaroon match live? I need to know if my Marta curses are working
 
2012-07-25 02:18:34 PM  
I've been a Dynamo fan since Houston got a team, but what I really want to see are more consistent time slots for MLS games. NFL has pretty standard time slots for most games, MLB does as well. The Dynamo play on almost every day of the week this season. That doesn't help ratings.
 
2012-07-25 02:18:44 PM  
What the guy meant by "Hottest" is that it has an expanding fanbase and is growing in popularity. Seattle and Portland have the best support in MLS. Both of them build national fanbases because people enjoy watching them play at home because the atmosphere is always great. Given the number of areas without an MLS team that have high interest in soccer, lots of people from there probably follow, at least marginally, one of those two over the New England Revolution whose atmosphere is turgid.

Still, the point of Portland being big is that the MLS has stopped catering so much to soccer moms and kids to focus on building building a strong base of supporters. Most of the new teams have great support compared to most US teams regardless of sport or league. The MLS is trying to transition from novelty to a serious sports league and has done a good job. Will it be as big as the NFL anytime soon? No, because it's about 80 years younger than pro football. MLS will continue to grow. Entering into enthusiastic markets like the Pacific Northwest will only help.

People biatching about how bad Portland should remember they're an expansion team.
 
2012-07-25 02:24:45 PM  

IAmRight: Indeed, as the NBA is a fringe sport for having one of its top teams in Oklahoma City. The NHL, of course, is huge, because their hottest team is the LA Kings. Football was unpopular until the playoffs last year because the hottest team was in Green Bay, Wisconsin.


No shiat. They should do like the NFL and make sure that they have a team in all the largest media markets.
 
2012-07-25 02:26:17 PM  

Rodrigo Hernandez: What the guy meant by "Hottest" is that it has an expanding fanbase and is growing in popularity. Seattle and Portland have the best support in MLS. Both of them build national fanbases because people enjoy watching them play at home because the atmosphere is always great. Given the number of areas without an MLS team that have high interest in soccer, lots of people from there probably follow, at least marginally, one of those two over the New England Revolution whose atmosphere is turgid.

Still, the point of Portland being big is that the MLS has stopped catering so much to soccer moms and kids to focus on building building a strong base of supporters. Most of the new teams have great support compared to most US teams regardless of sport or league. The MLS is trying to transition from novelty to a serious sports league and has done a good job. Will it be as big as the NFL anytime soon? No, because it's about 80 years younger than pro football. MLS will continue to grow. Entering into enthusiastic markets like the Pacific Northwest will only help.

People biatching about how bad Portland should remember they're an expansion team.


Sounders have made the playoffs in all 3 full seasons that they've existed and won a trophy each year.
 
2012-07-25 02:34:24 PM  

Crewmannumber6: If the NBA is the ideal for mainstream sports, then I'll be over here on the fronge with the MLS, being happy.


David Stern wont be around forever and he is the only problem with the NBA, unless you just dislike basketball. I think the NFL is the ideal domestically, however.
 
2012-07-25 02:37:10 PM  
I don't know what submitter is talking about. The dream of the 90s is alive in Portland
 
2012-07-25 02:37:12 PM  
MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.
 
2012-07-25 02:37:36 PM  
"Sometimes, the executive suite of sports feels more 'big business' than an expression of authentic fan passion," he said. "The new breed in MLS are as much fans and missionaries for the growth of the sport in North America as they are owners."

And as the league gets bigger, more popular, & older, it will become 'big business'. Just for example, Art Rooney bought the Steelers in 1933 for $2,500. 79 years later, the franchise is being run by the 3rd generation since he bought it, and is worth @$1.2 Billion. An average growth of $15million/year. You bet your ass that's big business, but when it first started, it wasn't. It was a startup franchise run by former semi pro player in a 5 team league.

The history of every big name franchise can be traced back the same way. Give it time, and it'll eventually become big business, which is both good and bad.
 
2012-07-25 02:54:02 PM  

JohnHall: MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.


With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.
 
2012-07-25 02:55:18 PM  

nobius: I've been a Dynamo fan since Houston got a team, but what I really want to see are more consistent time slots for MLS games. NFL has pretty standard time slots for most games, MLB does as well. The Dynamo play on almost every day of the week this season. That doesn't help ratings.


No kidding. I actually have to use the Live Soccer TV schedule (get it emailed weekly) to figure out when and what channels games are on. Nothing ever seems consistent from week to week.
 
2012-07-25 02:57:39 PM  

seumasokelly: With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.


How long do you think it would take for the MLS to be at least a top 10 league in the world?
 
2012-07-25 03:03:17 PM  
I appreciate how MLS is growing, and I really hope they continue to do so. The problem we seem to have here is that most FC Dallas games are broadcast on a local channel, are not in HD, and have production values that make the games look like a high school level AV project. Each team needs to get onto the local regional sports network and all games need to be in HD.

Well that, and FC Dallas needs to win more than one goddamn game per month.
 
2012-07-25 03:07:33 PM  

seumasokelly: With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.


Not really. You're still not going to get top players to play in the MLS in their primes. They want to play in Europe. Just like if CFL offered Aaron Rodgers $30m per year, he'd probably still stay in the NFL
 
2012-07-25 03:08:03 PM  
We get a small MLS crowd in our bar. And by small, I mean like 4 people, but they are intense. They dress up, yell at the screen when nothing is happening, make a big deal out of rivalries nobody else seems to care about, and get offended when nobody takes their sport seriously.

Basically they're the Juggalos of the sports world.

/NTTAWWT
 
2012-07-25 03:14:10 PM  

MugzyBrown: seumasokelly: With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.

Not really. You're still not going to get top players to play in the MLS in their primes. They want to play in Europe. Just like if CFL offered Aaron Rodgers $30m per year, he'd probably still stay in the NFL


For now, you're correct. This shiat takes time and Europe has ~125 years on us.
 
2012-07-25 03:17:45 PM  

MugzyBrown: seumasokelly: With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.

Not really. You're still not going to get top players to play in the MLS in their primes. They want to play in Europe. Just like if CFL offered Aaron Rodgers $30m per year, he'd probably still stay in the NFL


Champions League is a helluva drug.
 
2012-07-25 03:18:31 PM  

give me doughnuts: From a global perspective, every American sport is a "fringe" sport.


Baseball is very popular in Japan, Korea, and Latin America.

Basketball is very popular in Southern and Eastern Europe.

Either way, the four leagues in the world with the highest revenue are the NFL, EPL, MLB, and NBA, so that's saying something.
 
2012-07-25 03:18:32 PM  

TheJoe03: seumasokelly: With increasing revenue comes increased player salaries comes better players comes a more entertaining/competitive product.

How long do you think it would take for the MLS to be at least a top 10 league in the world?


We're competing decently in the CONCACAF Champions league, but still being dominated by Mexico in the knockout stages. As far as Europe is concerned, I'd saysome real progress in that vein could be made, if everything is handled as well as it has been so far, within 20 years. That's not to say we'd be on the level of La Liga, BPL, Bundesliga or Serie A, but I think we could be approaching that by 2030. Premier players have left Europe in to play in Asia (Drogba), South America, etc. Once the US can offer comparable salaries to more then a couple players, more will come.
 
2012-07-25 03:22:32 PM  

JohnHall: MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.


Maybe if there was a local MLS team I'd watch it. Probably not. I can say for sure, though, that I'll watch around 15-20 Chelsea games a year (whatever they put on TV, I watch).
 
2012-07-25 03:24:00 PM  

JohnHall: MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.


Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.
 
2012-07-25 03:25:49 PM  
MLS is catching on.

20 years ago in Vega$ they laughed at me when I went looking for a sportsbook that covered English soccer, 10 years ago I could bet on most any English soccer in Vega$.

Earlier this month I could bet on MLS action. I even made a few $$$'s when the LA Galaxy finally remembered to show up for a game.

In another 20 years MLS will be even bigger.

/sorry haters .....
 
2012-07-25 03:29:12 PM  

seumasokelly: Premier players have left Europe in to play in Asia (Drogba), South America, etc. Once the US can offer comparable salaries to more then a couple players, more will come.


The Chinese Super League is more of a joke than MLS.
 
2012-07-25 03:33:24 PM  

Moopy Mac: Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.


While you might be correct, that is still a vast difference between "our" soccer league and our league in the other four main sports.

But, regardless of that... what is the point people are making? If MLS was lets say had the best players in the world... yes, the league would probably get a lot more attention from overseas, but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case. So, MLS would pick up some Americans who only follow Euro leagues right now, but, other than that, I don't think you'd get a huge ground swell of interest. The issue is still that it is soccer, not that it is "B" level soccer. You have to get more people interested in following soccer, period.
 
2012-07-25 03:36:26 PM  

Henry Holland: MugzyBrown: Truth be told the NHL is such a distant 4th, and really has always been, that it's not really a big 4.

It's a regional thing, isn't it? Having the really hardcore fanbases in the NE and upper Midwest is balanced out by.....YOUR STANLEY CUP CHAMPION LOS ANGELES KINGS!

Sorry, I'm still pumped. Of course, us old folks remember a time pre-Magic/Bird/Jordan when the NBA Finals were broadcast after the 11:00 pm news, so things can change. They won't, probably, but they can.

The MLS is a fringe league and is awful to watch. And I watch a lot of soccer...and hockey.

This. So much THIS. It's a league where players from "real" leagues go to earn a big paycheck when they can't get employed in Europe any more because OMG!! he played for Bayern Munich 15 years ago!!!!! It's like watching the sport at half speed. See also: the WNBA.

At least MLS partisans seem to have stopped with the lie of "All those kids playing AYSO = future fans" thing. That was always so embarrassing because most kids in AYSO were there because their parents wanted a few hours break from them, not because it was a feeder league for the MLS.

/Go Kings GO!
//Go Everton, Europe is the goal this year
///Oh, and finishing ahead of the Red Filth again


GO KINGS GO!!
http://i.imgur.com/CpduM.gif
 
2012-07-25 03:37:06 PM  

oh fark me...

i.imgur.com

there.
 
2012-07-25 03:38:25 PM  

dletter: Moopy Mac: Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.

While you might be correct, that is still a vast difference between "our" soccer league and our league in the other four main sports.

But, regardless of that... what is the point people are making? If MLS was lets say had the best players in the world... yes, the league would probably get a lot more attention from overseas, but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case. So, MLS would pick up some Americans who only follow Euro leagues right now, but, other than that, I don't think you'd get a huge ground swell of interest. The issue is still that it is soccer, not that it is "B" level soccer. You have to get more people interested in following soccer, period.


Except that MLS has already become far more popular over the last 10 years without the "best players". Interest has already picked up. And not just in Seattle and Portland. There are sell-out crowds in Kansas City, Utah, San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc.
 
2012-07-25 03:45:27 PM  

seumasokelly: Sounders have made the playoffs in all 3 full seasons that they've existed and won a trophy each year.


If only the trophy they won was for the playoffs they made. :(

/Lamar S Hunt Open Cup != MLS Cup
//still looking for an MLS playoff win
///Go Sounders!
 
2012-07-25 03:46:47 PM  

KJUW89: seumasokelly: Sounders have made the playoffs in all 3 full seasons that they've existed and won a trophy each year.

If only the trophy they won was for the playoffs they made. :(

/Lamar S Hunt Open Cup != MLS Cup
//still looking for an MLS playoff win
///Go Sounders!


This is true. We did win the 2nd leg of the match against RSL last year, but were screwed by the 3-0 1st leg loss. Sigi called it a win, but I call it a 3-2 loss.
 
2012-07-25 04:09:33 PM  
I'm a Sounders fan stuck in Green Bay. I started liking them when i watched their inaugural game. I saw a Europe style soccer atmosphere in america and it was amazing. Portland has the same type of fan base which is great for the sport here. My son loves playing soccer but hates watching an MLS game not involving either of those teams as at 6 he even knows atmosphere matters. Once he is older we will take in a game in Seattle.
 
2012-07-25 04:23:20 PM  
As long as the spanish speaking population keeps rising in America, so will interest in the MLS
 
2012-07-25 04:25:38 PM  
As far as the rivalries go, they are alive and well in Cascadia. That blow up doll has made it's way to several Portland and Seattle away games

a.espncdn.com

/build a bonfire, build a bonfire....
 
2012-07-25 04:34:55 PM  

Moopy Mac: JohnHall: MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.

Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.


Leagues I'd clearly put ahead of MLS:

In Europe: Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, Netherlands
North America: Mexico
South America: Brazil, Argentina

So, yeah, 10-12 seems reasonable.
 
2012-07-25 04:46:17 PM  
I have a friend who is a huge Portland fan. He kept telling me to watch the Portand/Seattle game. I was skeptical, until I it on ESPN. The crowd for Portland was crazy! I seriously thought I was watching an EPL game.
 
2012-07-25 04:59:24 PM  
Meh. I'm holding out for MLRR (Red Rover) and MLDDG (Duck Duck Goose) leagues get rolling. Then we will see some real action.
 
2012-07-25 05:25:42 PM  

SuburbanCowboy: I have a friend who is a huge Portland fan. He kept telling me to watch the Portand/Seattle game. I was skeptical, until I it on ESPN. The crowd for Portland was crazy! I seriously thought I was watching an EPL game.


assets.sbnation.com
 
2012-07-25 05:26:23 PM  
This one is much better actually:

www.soccercommercials.com
 
2012-07-25 05:32:46 PM  
Or even one without a regrettably easy to miss shop:

blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com
 
2012-07-25 05:36:22 PM  

dletter: Moopy Mac: Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.

While you might be correct, that is still a vast difference between "our" soccer league and our league in the other four main sports.

But, regardless of that... what is the point people are making? If MLS was lets say had the best players in the world... yes, the league would probably get a lot more attention from overseas, but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case. So, MLS would pick up some Americans who only follow Euro leagues right now, but, other than that, I don't think you'd get a huge ground swell of interest. The issue is still that it is soccer, not that it is "B" level soccer. You have to get more people interested in following soccer, period.


Unless the leagues in Europe have a melt down then MLS won't be competing for the top teir talent (like RVP etc) but thats ok. There are alot of players who are still very good who play day in and day out for the lesser teams (like Valencia or Stoke) that MLS can fight for.
What will be really interesting is if one of the really big teams in Europe start using the MLS as a way of giving the younger players on their books match experiance. Typically at the moment the EPL clubs like ManU, Chelsea, Arsenel etc loan out promising younger players to championship sides to get them experiance. So for example if Arsenel start to loan out players like Lansberry to the Sounders instead of West Ham it will increase the skill levels.
 
2012-07-25 05:39:40 PM  

Norfolking Chance: dletter: Moopy Mac: Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.

While you might be correct, that is still a vast difference between "our" soccer league and our league in the other four main sports.

But, regardless of that... what is the point people are making? If MLS was lets say had the best players in the world... yes, the league would probably get a lot more attention from overseas, but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case. So, MLS would pick up some Americans who only follow Euro leagues right now, but, other than that, I don't think you'd get a huge ground swell of interest. The issue is still that it is soccer, not that it is "B" level soccer. You have to get more people interested in following soccer, period.

Unless the leagues in Europe have a melt down then MLS won't be competing for the top teir talent (like RVP etc) but thats ok. There are alot of players who are still very good who play day in and day out for the lesser teams (like Valencia or Stoke) that MLS can fight for.
What will be really interesting is if one of the really big teams in Europe start using the MLS as a way of giving the younger players on their books match experiance. Typically at the moment the EPL clubs like ManU, Chelsea, Arsenel etc loan out promising younger players to championship sides to get them experiance. So for example if Arsenel start to loan out players like Lansberry to the Sounders instead of West Ham it will increase the skill levels.


shiat. Watching the way Kakuta carved us up in the friendly, I'd love to see those 2nd-3rd tier BPL talents in MLS to develop. I think the rash of brutal injuries last season probably scared teams off from those type of loans, though. Also, I'm not sure what the MLS's official position is on that. You'd think we'd have seen some of it already.
 
2012-07-25 05:53:23 PM  

seumasokelly: chechcal: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

These are marketing people, they are talking purely about 'popularity', not 'success'. See: Toronto Maple Leafs,

And the perception, at least, is that Portland is the poster child for a well-supported club.

Seattle is the biggest draw in the league.


It must really burn you that the Timbers Army is consistently called out as the best fanbase in North America by everyone outside S**ttle.

/You sound...butthurt.
//RCTID
 
2012-07-25 05:59:59 PM  

PullItOut: seumasokelly: chechcal: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

These are marketing people, they are talking purely about 'popularity', not 'success'. See: Toronto Maple Leafs,

And the perception, at least, is that Portland is the poster child for a well-supported club.

Seattle is the biggest draw in the league.

It must really burn you that the Timbers Army is consistently called out as the best fanbase in North America by everyone outside S**ttle.

/You sound...butthurt.
//RCTID


I seem to recall ESPN just recently doing a feature on MLS fans in which Seattle featured prominently...Link
 
2012-07-25 06:19:48 PM  

KFBR392: The MLS will never become popular in the US. Americans want action and they want scoring.


Evidently you've have never watched a baseball game.
 
2012-07-25 06:26:44 PM  

JohnHall:
What will be really interesting is if one of the really big teams in Europe start using the MLS as a way of giving the younger players on their books match experiance. Typically at the moment the EPL clubs like ManU, Chelsea, Arsenel etc loan out promising younger players to championship sides to get them experiance. So for example if Arsenel start to loan out players like Lansberry to the Sounders instead of West Ham it will increase the skill levels.


I can see this happening, particularly as the EPL teams keep attempting to reach out to the untapped, but steadily growing, American soccer audience.
 
2012-07-25 06:51:03 PM  
There should be an artisanal football league with only teams from Portland OR, Brooklyn NY, and Burlington VT. They'd play pre-modern era rules, wear striped, hand-knit, wool jerseys, and arrive at matches on fixed gear or double-decker bicycles. Also, there would be mandatory moustaches on the pitch.
 
2012-07-25 07:15:05 PM  

InmanRoshi: JohnHall:
What will be really interesting is if one of the really big teams in Europe start using the MLS as a way of giving the younger players on their books match experiance. Typically at the moment the EPL clubs like ManU, Chelsea, Arsenel etc loan out promising younger players to championship sides to get them experiance. So for example if Arsenel start to loan out players like Lansberry to the Sounders instead of West Ham it will increase the skill levels.

I can see this happening, particularly as the EPL teams keep attempting to reach out to the untapped, but steadily growing, American soccer audience.


It would benefit both sides, gets Americans into EPL teams and watching them and getting players who need field time to develop. I think MLS needs to step up and do this.
 
2012-07-25 07:15:18 PM  

dletter: but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case.


Americans already have. The Cosmos proved it during the late 70s and early 80s during the NASL days. Granted, there were problems with turning what was essentially a glorified beer league team into a major national sport and the NASL put the cart way before the horse. They blew their wad on all the best players in a couple of locations, had no youth development and relied on firecracker marketing to attract interest.

The MLS has built things sensibly with fostering regional rivalries and soccer-specific stadiums being critical to that. The level of play still has a ways to go but it is getting there.

It also comes down to Athletes and the development of the American game. Chad Ocho, LeBron James, Deion Sanders, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods play their respective sports because there was money to be had at the highest level. If there were multi-million dollar contracts and endorsements as available in soccer, you'd see more youth athletes going that route. With the concern over concussions in the NFL, the rise of American players at the highest level and the fact that you can earn a comfortable salary in MLS, you'll see more American players playing soccer. When a star athlete is faced with the decision to make a buttload of money playing soccer, play for 15 years and not be crippled at retirement versus playing 4 years of NFL and being a vegetable, I dont have to tell you what he'll pick.
 
2012-07-25 07:22:19 PM  

o5iiawah: dletter: but, would americans who don't follow soccer now start following MLS because it has the best players? I don't know that that would be the case.

Americans already have. The Cosmos proved it during the late 70s and early 80s during the NASL days. Granted, there were problems with turning what was essentially a glorified beer league team into a major national sport and the NASL put the cart way before the horse. They blew their wad on all the best players in a couple of locations, had no youth development and relied on firecracker marketing to attract interest.

The MLS has built things sensibly with fostering regional rivalries and soccer-specific stadiums being critical to that. The level of play still has a ways to go but it is getting there.

It also comes down to Athletes and the development of the American game. Chad Ocho, LeBron James, Deion Sanders, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods play their respective sports because there was money to be had at the highest level. If there were multi-million dollar contracts and endorsements as available in soccer, you'd see more youth athletes going that route. With the concern over concussions in the NFL, the rise of American players at the highest level and the fact that you can earn a comfortable salary in MLS, you'll see more American players playing soccer. When a star athlete is faced with the decision to make a buttload of money playing soccer, play for 15 years and not be crippled at retirement versus playing 4 years of NFL and being a vegetable, I dont have to tell you what he'll pick.



Trust me, lots of parents in my son's league of 6 & 7 year olds already are "gently encouraging" their son's to steer away from football because of the injury issues. Living here in Green Bay, there are some older Packer players living here (in their 40's & 50's) They are a wreck. Knees, hips, shoulders, arthritis, crappy memory.
 
2012-07-25 07:23:12 PM  

o5iiawah: When a star athlete is faced with the decision to make a buttload of money playing soccer, play for 15 years and not be crippled at retirement versus playing 4 years of NFL and being a vegetable, I dont have to tell you what he'll pick.


For QBs, WRs and DBs, probably.

For your prototypical lineman... they'd better hope sumo wrestling takes off.
 
2012-07-25 07:31:11 PM  

o5iiawah: When a star athlete is faced with the decision to make a buttload of money playing soccer, play for 15 years and not be crippled at retirement versus playing 4 years of NFL and being a vegetable, I dont have to tell you what he'll pick.


You already see that with tall athletes that choose basketball (LeBron could have been in the NFL), so soccer should go after the regular height guys. Then again, football is about strength, so no need for too many 6 ft 250 pd players in soccer. Plenty of shorter guys that can't make the NBA that would work in soccer though, not too many spots for PG's and those guys would fit into soccer more.
 
2012-07-25 07:37:27 PM  

seumasokelly: PullItOut: seumasokelly: chechcal: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

These are marketing people, they are talking purely about 'popularity', not 'success'. See: Toronto Maple Leafs,

And the perception, at least, is that Portland is the poster child for a well-supported club.

Seattle is the biggest draw in the league.

It must really burn you that the Timbers Army is consistently called out as the best fanbase in North America by everyone outside S**ttle.

/You sound...butthurt.
//RCTID

I seem to recall ESPN just recently doing a feature on MLS fans in which Seattle featured prominently...Link


An article that starts with a nod to the fans, then moves on to focus on customers and seats sold...yeah, that's about right.

There's no question S**ttle has the biggest stadium...so why do you suppose TFA focused on the Timbers? Oh, yeah...

farm7.staticflickr.com
 
2012-07-25 07:52:25 PM  
MLS marketing tries to build national profile beyond Beckham tantrums by promoting potent rivalries and crazed supporters.

Well there's your problem.

Instead of promoting tnagential things like the fans or the one celeb player you have, try promoting the sport itself...the exciting play, or the dramatic scoring, or the amazing feats of physical strength involved. Oh, right...soccer. Never mind.
 
2012-07-25 08:24:33 PM  

meanmutton: Moopy Mac: JohnHall: MLB - Best Baseball league in the world (other leagues in Asia, Latin America)
NFL - Only Top Tier American Football league in the world
NHL - Best Hockey league in the world (Other leagues in Canada, Europe)
NBA - Best Basketball league in the world (Other leagues in Europe, South America, Asia)

MLS - At Best, a top 25 league in the world.

As it's easier to watch games overseas, it becomes increasingly difficult to watch local MLS action on TV. That's the hardest thing for the MLS to overcome, and frankly, I don't really see how they ever become a "big 4" league, when the league skill level is simply a massive drop compared with the rest of the world.

I like MLS, and follow my local team, and go to a few games every year. But, It's hard for a casual fan to really get into it when there are far better leagues out there.

Please name 24 leagues around the world "better" (meaning, quality of play) than the MLS.

MLS is probably a top 10-12 league in the world, about equal with the J League.

Leagues I'd clearly put ahead of MLS:

In Europe: Spain, England, Germany, Italy, Portugal, France, Netherlands
North America: Mexico
South America: Brazil, Argentina

So, yeah, 10-12 seems reasonable.


You forgot the Championship, Budesliga 2, Serie B, Liga Adelante,the French and Dutch second divisions and the Russian league. At least.
 
2012-07-25 08:41:23 PM  

drewogatory: You forgot the Championship, Budesliga 2, Serie B, Liga Adelante,the French and Dutch second divisions and the Russian league. At least.


Very hard to judge, really. I'm a MLS homeboy, but I put it in around Championship-level. Which is itself one of the stronger leagues in the world.

But, MLS to me, on average, is around the level of the 'edge of relegation' in most of those top flights. Competitive with Barca or Real Madrid? Hell no. Competitive with Granada or Betis? Ajaccio or Reims? Any MLS squad not run by the Maple Leafs would hold their own. But, the extreme parity means we don't have a Barca or Man U, so the cumulative level is a little lower.
 
2012-07-25 08:44:33 PM  

TheJoe03: You already see that with tall athletes that choose basketball (LeBron could have been in the NFL), so soccer should go after the regular height guys. Then again, football is about strength, so no need for too many 6 ft 250 pd players in soccer. Plenty of shorter guys that can't make the NBA that would work in soccer though, not too many spots for PG's and those guys would fit into soccer more.


Soccer isn't just for guys that are 5'8" and 160lbs. There's some central defenders that come out of Africa and eastern europe that are brick shiat-houses. While being 250lbs is a liability, understand that most Throw-ball players are trained to hit the weight room doing bench presses and squats while footballers focus more on cardio, jumping and core strength. A 6'0" 185lb defender who can run the whole game is going to be a hand-full for anyone.

you're more likely to run by a guy, use technique to get around him, or have better stamina so you can beat him later in the game. There's no advantage to being strong enough to push a guy over. When it comes to pure athleticism, guys who have talent will slim when they have to and bulk when they have to.
 
2012-07-25 08:48:09 PM  
Just for comparison: The average annual basic salary in the Championship in 2009-10 was £211,068, in League One it was £73,320 and in League Two it was £38,844. The overall median salary for MLS players now sits at $80,000 or somewhere in between the English 3rd and 4th divisions. Something like 100 out of MLS's approx. 400 players are paid the league minimum of $40k. So, basically no way in hell is the MLS a top farking 12 league in the world. It's a farking laughable argument. Maybe, maybe, maybe the very top MLS team could somehow stay up in the Championship, but the average MLS team would find itself in League 2 pretty damn fast.
 
2012-07-25 09:09:31 PM  

o5iiawah: Soccer isn't just for guys that are 5'8" and 160lbs.


Well PG's aren't that small and skinny, most are around 6'2 180 I'd say, which is perfect for a sport like soccer. My point really was that I'm not sure football players are the types that would work well when it comes to soccer, since it's a sport that generally requires strength and toughness, while hoops (at least the 1-3 positions) is more about speed, agility, height, and hops (which I believe would all be great assets for most soccer positions).
 
2012-07-25 09:18:48 PM  
For example, Dirk could be a goalie, LeBron could be a defender, Nash could be a midfielder, and Kobe could be a forward.
 
2012-07-25 09:26:13 PM  

drewogatory: Just for comparison: The average annual basic salary in the Championship in 2009-10 was £211,068, in League One it was £73,320 and in League Two it was £38,844. The overall median salary for MLS players now sits at $80,000 or somewhere in between the English 3rd and 4th divisions. Something like 100 out of MLS's approx. 400 players are paid the league minimum of $40k. So, basically no way in hell is the MLS a top farking 12 league in the world. It's a farking laughable argument. Maybe, maybe, maybe the very top MLS team could somehow stay up in the Championship, but the average MLS team would find itself in League 2 pretty damn fast.


Playing the 'average salary' game between leagues without salary caps and leagues with a salary cap gets silly. The starting XI for my home team (SKC, no Designated Players) averages $178k (£115k). But, because of the salary cap business, to get even to that level, you have to fill the rest of the roster with $40k dross. The whole league looks like that... 9-10 players who would be Championship or near-relegation in the Netherlands, and the rest of the roster would lose to a Championship youth squad.
 
2012-07-25 09:46:46 PM  

seumasokelly: KJUW89: seumasokelly: Seattle is the biggest draw in the league

This. 2 1/2 years of consecutive sellouts. Over 50,000 to watch the Chelsea game.

Including 64k for Kasey Keller's final regular season game. IIRC, the largest crowd ever for an MLS game.


The first LA Galaxy home game in the Rose Bowl in 1996 got 69,000. Later that same year, they got 92,000 for a double header with the Mexican national team.
 
2012-07-25 10:00:29 PM  

Balchinian: MLS marketing tries to build national profile beyond Beckham tantrums by promoting potent rivalries and crazed supporters.

Well there's your problem.

Instead of promoting tnagential things like the fans or the one celeb player you have, try promoting the sport itself...the exciting play, or the dramatic scoring, or the amazing feats of physical strength involved. Oh, right...soccer. Never mind.


They just need to market it to insomniacs. It would be a huge hit.
 
2012-07-25 10:00:56 PM  
www2.pictures.zimbio.com

An MLS team was one goal (scored by a Chilean) away from being the best team north of Panama and going to the World Club Championship.

Any other discussion is just a waste of Drew's electrons.

How's a Premiereship team going to do in 90 F heat and 90 degree humidity in Houston? How is Route One going to work in Commerce City or Sandy at high elevation in 85 degree heat?
 
2012-07-25 10:05:27 PM  

Anonymocoso: An MLS team was one goal (scored by a Chilean) away from being the best team north of Panama and going to the World Club Championship.

Any other discussion is just a waste of Drew's electrons.

How's a Premiereship team going to do in 90 F heat and 90 degree humidity in Houston? How is Route One going to work in Commerce City or Sandy at high elevation in 85 degree heat?


Ugh...that was such a kick in the gut.
 
2012-07-25 10:33:55 PM  

AntonChigger: seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.

Maybe they were good the previous season?

/Don't watch MLS
//Might someday
///Several years of recereational soccer as a kid


Someone is sucking Portland's cock. They haven't been in the league long enough AND they have a tiny stadium (granted one that is fun as fark to watch soccer in). The Seattle Sounders FC - the team that draws 10,000 more fans to each game than the next highest drawing team in the MLS (we're talking over 39,000 per game average at home)? That is your hot team. Started hot this year, hit a run of bad games but have popped a win and a draw going into the All-Star break and will easily make the playoffs again. As well as quite possibly winning an unprecedented 4th straight US Open Cup. You don't get any hotter than that! fark Portland!

/homer
//season ticket holder
 
2012-07-25 10:50:22 PM  

my lip balm addiction: they have a tiny stadium


Neutral on the PNW score, but you really can't call JELD-WEN 'tiny' as MLS goes. 11 MLS teams play in front of fewer home seats than Timbers (though Chivas, DC, and the Revs could open more seats), and they're within a hundred of Dallas.
 
2012-07-25 11:03:47 PM  
For all the soccer haters:
F off. Soccer is here for good. They may not be big 4 anytime soon but being big 4 just means expensive tickets and shiattier fan experience. MLS is where the big 4 leagues were decades ago you know, the good old days people yearn for. There is a deeper connection to the team and the teams are more approachable.

For the europhiles who hate on MLS. You are missing out. Then again most of you are bandwagoners who will jump on when the league is better. Something is off about getting up at the ass crack of dawn to watch "your team" thousands of miles away. Football and booze are more enjoyable at 7 pm than 7 am.
 
2012-07-25 11:22:05 PM  

PDid: For all the soccer haters:
F off. Soccer is here for good. They may not be big 4 anytime soon but being big 4 just means expensive tickets and shiattier fan experience. MLS is where the big 4 leagues were decades ago you know, the good old days people yearn for. There is a deeper connection to the team and the teams are more approachable.

For the europhiles who hate on MLS. You are missing out. Then again most of you are bandwagoners who will jump on when the league is better. Something is off about getting up at the ass crack of dawn to watch "your team" thousands of miles away. Football and booze are more enjoyable at 7 pm than 7 am.


Most drinks I had at 7am were a hell of a lot more interesting than the ones at 7pm. Also nothing like being at the bar for first call.
 
2012-07-25 11:26:12 PM  
A question for US MLS/soccer fans....

Do you think that MLS will ever do Promotion/relegation as a regular concept (you could consider some of the recent "expansion" teams as "promotions", but, not really in the European fashion)... either within MLS (have MLS split into 2 12-16 team "levels"), or with the "AAA" soccer league of the US (that the USL now?).

Is it that US fans wouldn't "go for it"? Or that US business rules of operating leagues are just structured differently than how it is done in Europe?
 
2012-07-25 11:42:39 PM  

dletter: A question for US MLS/soccer fans....

Do you think that MLS will ever do Promotion/relegation as a regular concept (you could consider some of the recent "expansion" teams as "promotions", but, not really in the European fashion)... either within MLS (have MLS split into 2 12-16 team "levels"), or with the "AAA" soccer league of the US (that the USL now?).

Is it that US fans wouldn't "go for it"? Or that US business rules of operating leagues are just structured differently than how it is done in Europe?


No, for multiple reasons.

The lower level leagues are as organized as a shiat-throwing contest in a monkey cage at a zoo. The teams are all extremely broke, play in front of 3,000 people at most, and if that starts to increase, then the city starts seeing MLS asperations. Hell, D2 NASL was only formed two years ago because those teams sued the USL over promotional issues, and the USSF had to step in two years ago to oversee the whole thing not falling apart.

The MLS is a single-entity league, like every other pro league in North America. The only other soccer league I can think of that does this is the Australian League. Unless the MLS is willing to buy the NASL and USL Pro, none of the franchise CEO's are willing to expel themselves for the next season.

Geography is a huge issue. If San Antonio stays on top of the NASL and gets promoted to the MLS, can they afford the massive travel to more opponents? Right now, their biggest travel issue is to Edmonton, Minneapolis and Puerto Rico. Imagine trying to pay for a trip to San Jose and Los Angeles and Vancouver and Portland and... The United States isn't as small like England, where every league is a bus league. It's just simply not practical.
 
2012-07-26 12:07:03 AM  

PDid: For the europhiles who hate on MLS. You are missing out. Then again most of you are bandwagoners who will jump on when the league is better. Something is off about getting up at the ass crack of dawn to watch "your team" thousands of miles away. Football and booze are more enjoyable at 7 pm than 7 am.


Eh, it's hard to fault people for not having "their team" be in the MLS. Quite a few of us have followed the sport decades before the MLS was formed, involving multiple now-defunct local franchises from other leagues (in some cases, also defunct). That and it's considerably easier to get free, legal coverage of the EPL & Championship vs the MLS in some markets (the Fire, for instance, don't even have an English-language radio broadcast, while I can stream the BBC to my phone for free). I guess I'm not one who really hates on the MLS, though, since I try to attend at least a game or two each year...
 
2012-07-26 12:26:40 AM  

PDid: For all the soccer haters:
F off. Soccer is here for good. They may not be big 4 anytime soon but being big 4 just means expensive tickets and shiattier fan experience. MLS is where the big 4 leagues were decades ago you know, the good old days people yearn for. There is a deeper connection to the team and the teams are more approachable.

For the europhiles who hate on MLS. You are missing out. Then again most of you are bandwagoners who will jump on when the league is better. Something is off about getting up at the ass crack of dawn to watch "your team" thousands of miles away. Football and booze are more enjoyable at 7 pm than 7 am.


I'm over 40. By the time MLS is worth watching maybe my grandkids will be able to take their grandkids to a decent match.
 
2012-07-26 12:32:41 AM  

seumasokelly: Portland is the hottest team in the league? Last place in the West, outscored 11-3 in their last 3 games, including giving up 5 goals twice, and on their 2nd head coach of the season. Yeah they sound pretty hot.


Hot enough to fire the head coach mid-season for losing every single road game.

/so hot it burns!
 
2012-07-26 12:45:15 AM  
Citing attendance numbers to convince farkers that MLS is worth watching is like citing AB InBev sales numbers to convince farkers that Budweiser is worth drinking.
 
2012-07-26 03:06:32 AM  

give me doughnuts: From a global perspective, every American sport is a "fringe" sport.


no one gives a shiat, hth

penthesilea: It's not like we're talking about roller derby or competitive hide & seek.


Close!

KJUW89: This. 2 1/2 years of consecutive sellouts.


nnnnnnnnnnnnnope

See the below picture of this Sounders "sellout?" The entirety of the upper decks are completely empty.

i.imgur.com

Saying "we sold every ticket we put up for sale!" Is garbage. That stadium is half empty.

TonnageVT: footy pubs


christ soccer fans are awful

Rodrigo Hernandez: Seattle and Portland have the best support in MLS.


Both cities are packed with wannabe Eurotrash hipsters. No coincidence.
 
2012-07-26 07:43:35 AM  

Anonymocoso: The first LA Galaxy home game in the Rose Bowl in 1996 got 69,000. Later that same year, they got 92,000 for a double header with the Mexican national team.


That was pretty much a home game for Mexico
 
2012-07-26 08:17:07 AM  
BigJake

You sound fat.
 
2012-07-26 09:40:52 AM  
If anyone had any sense, rather than trying to convert athletes to soccer players, they'd start a team handball league. Basketball and football players could transition to that MUCH more easily. Team handball is the only reason to watch the Olympics, athletically (obviously there's always beach volleyball and random hurdlers).
 
2012-07-26 09:48:56 AM  

drunk_bouncnbaloruber: Geography is a huge issue.


True, this is something that is forgotten sometimes with this (even by me). To have a comparison, the UK is a pretty small country by geography (94,000 sq mi), but has 64 million people. That is a population density of 660 people per sq mi... only 4 U.S. states are higher than that (NJ, RI, Massachusetts, Connecticut... all small NE original colony states).

So, you are very correct.... while a "regional" soccer league in New England or even the entire east coast could possibly have two 12-16 team divisions that have "promotion/relegation", doing that in a league that spans the entire U.S. is impractical just on that level most likely.
 
2012-07-26 12:24:49 PM  

BigJake:
KJUW89: This. 2 1/2 years of consecutive sellouts.

nnnnnnnnnnnnnope

See the below picture of this Sounders "sellout?" The entirety of the upper decks are completely empty.

[i.imgur.com image 472x297]

Saying "we sold every ticket we put up for sale!" Is garbage. That stadium is half empty.


The 39k per game that the Sounders draw is comparable to BPL teams. Sounders have drawn a full sellout of the CLink for an MLS regular season game and have drawn 50k+ for international friendlies.
 
2012-07-26 03:06:39 PM  

TonnageVT: You sound fat.


you continue to be wrong, grats

seumasokelly: Sounders have drawn a full sellout of the CLink for an MLS regular season game and have drawn 50k+ for international friendlies.


Good. At least now we're not calling not-even-close-to-sellouts sellouts anymore.
 
2012-07-27 01:14:45 AM  
Defending the flounders kills me, but they don't open the upper level to ticket sales for most game. So the customers there are buying up all the available seats, thus it's a sellout. Selling 33000+ seats a match is better than most baseball teams, and better than any European teams.
 
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