Not too much going on today. Here’s what I could find.
Canadian fans booed the U.S. National Anthem… big surprise. I choose not to take the Dobbsian route an demand immediate regime change. Look, it isn’t news that the TFC fans are meatheads. That kind of behavior certainly doesn’t help the group of Canadian cities trying to join MLS, though. I am beginning to get more sympathetic to those who say, “If they’re so excited for pro soccer up there, start their own damn league already.”
Of course there are likely good reasons why a national league is unfeasible, namely that the CSA makes US Soccer look well-run. I am fairly concerned by the rumors flying about in the frozen north that MLS would now aim for 24 teams by 2013. I suspect that is a product of Canadian prospective ownership groups trying to keep momentum high, but I am starting to get that whiff of over-expansion, AstroTurf, and Hai-Karate that always means NASL. I hope Garber isn’t heading down that route.
Doesn’t 24 teams sound somewhat unwieldy? I thought 20 made sense because you could balance the schedule, make the supporters shield really mean something, and then have the usual 6-8 team playoff structure for MLS Cup. 24 teams would almost require unbalancing the schedule and keeping divisions. Of course, this will lead folks to see Pro-Rel coming, which for reasons many folks have already discussed, won’t ever, ever, ever happen.
My ideal MLS is this..
- Single Table
- 6 team “Jeff Bradley Plan” for the playoffs with the top two finishers getting bye weeks, the first round using a 2-leg system, and then the rest of the tournament being single-match.
- No pro-rel
- Here are the teams:
- Red Bull
- Chivas ?????? (that franchise could work elsewhere like Phoenix or San Antonio)
- Montreal (Yes, they’re Canadian, but the team would be an enormous deal there)
- New York City (whether the team will succeed is the $64M question, but someone will try it)
- Miami, St. Louis, or Vancouver in order of preference
About the only thing I don’t like about this list is that the non-Florida south is completely unrepresented. Part of me says that simply reflects interest in the sport in that region, but part of me says that ignoring a part of the country that large isn’t a good idea.
I am also torn on St. Louis. Yes, they have an unparalleled history of the sport. But, where is the clamoring now. Why is getting an ownership group so difficult. Why haven’t they had a team in the USL? Their site lobbying for an MLS team hasn’t been updated since June. History alone won’t support a sports franchise.
What do you all think? Where am I right and where have I gone wrong?