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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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516 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 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.
 
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