The way to "fix" U.S. Soccer is (a) not to panic about poor performance by the U-23 team; (b) not to cannibalize the domestic league; and (c) pay better attention to the identification and cultivation of youth talent, particulary those who could play for more than one country like Rossi, Subotic, or innumerable Latin Americans. The MLS is already doing this, with the UNION developing talents like Williams, Hoffman, and Jack Mac.
My feelings on soccer generally continue to be well-expressed by Dan Rydell (though I can name several MLS teams off the top of my head). The bigger problem isn't distance, but time zones. For "home" games to air at a decent time, they'd have to be noon starts in the US if not earlier, and "away" matches would have to be pushed back considerably (the current common kick time is 2 PM UK time, which would be 9 AM East Coast time, I believe).
Normal start is 3PM in the UK.
I'll just note that the Wolverhampton Wanderers are going to be relegated to the lower league after this season.
Beat me to it.--bd
The problem of the US being lousy at soccer is only a problem if you think that there is a good reason why the US needs to be better at soccer. The problem of elite US athletes going into basketball, football, and baseball is only a problem if you prefer soccer to those sports. But you could swap out soccer for just about any other sport that is more popular elsewhere -- team handball, rugby, cricket, Formula One, cross-country skiing -- without any damage to the argument. Michael Jordan would have been the best ski jumper of all time! If only he hadn't wasted his life playing basketball! To me, the fact that the US is not that great at soccer is not a problem so much as it is an implicit objective statement of priorities. Would I trade some of the quality of our basketball, football, baseball, or track competitiveness for a better US soccer team and a top-quality US soccer league? Nope. I prefer to think of it this way: The fact that the US is as good at soccer as it is, when there are almost no US-born super-elite male athletes left after they are filtered for basketball, football, baseball, track, and RW/RR Challenge specialization, is pretty amazing.
If we're going to spend 100s of millions on something British, let's buy a brewery or a record label instead.Probably we could get both.
And a distillery.
Why do we still stink at this sport? We don't. The national team has been frustrating the last few years, but on a good day can compete with anyone. And there are US players holding their own in the top European leagues.Soccer in America is fine. What Isaac said about the talent, the MLS seemes relatively healthy, and youth and college participation is great. Last spring I watched the top 2 GA high schools play each other and the skill level was phenomenal: sharp, short passes; sprints down the sideline with laser crossed to the center of the box, stand up defense, and the most gorgeous blistering knuckeball shots from 30 yards out. I don't think anyone could have watched that game and said US soccer was in trouble.If anything, we need to do a better job of doing something with young talent after high school/college than wasting them at the end of some 2nd level team's bench.Mass consumption wise, soccer will never be the NFL, MLB, or NBA. It can be bigger than the NHL and everyone should be happy with that. I'm also happy with MLS being a farm team for the rest of the world's top leagues.
2 questions about the article: Why would Wolves jump 6X in value to $2B!?! If relocated to NY when the Red Bulls probably aren't worth 100 million. Is the soccer snob market really that big?Wouldn't FIFA and England's FA both have a problem with a domestic league that wasn't domestic?
I wish baseball had relegation and promotion.
Everything I know about the Wolverhampton Wanderers, I learned from Karl Marx.http://www.youtube.com/v/GB8VZT_UsE8" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="170" height="140
Indeed. Except that the White Sox would probably go down this year.
I'm perfectly happy to get my US sports fix from the NBA and NFL and my soccer fix from the EPL amd La Liga. I don't need to see US players to enjoy watching soccer (although I will admit that watching US players like Dempsey and Howars) succeed in foreign leagues is satisfying).
Oh, my poor beleaguered Wolves. I wish they would move to New York. I won't be able to see them at all after relegation.
Nope. I tend bar in New York City. If they give us one more sports team that I have to pretend to care about, my head will explode.
<span><span>Nope. What they need to do is export some matches, like MLB and the NFL. The Premier League has 20 teams who play each other twice, home and away. 38 matches per team, 380 matches total. Make EVERY team give up one of their 19 home matches and send each team overseas twice during the season to create 20 events worldwide. These matches would be weighted so that a Top 7 team plays a bottom of the table team, or two mid-table teams clash. With the proposed reduction in international friendlies and a relatively slow winter schedule after New Year's, there's no good reason not to have Liverpool and QPR play in Boston in August, or Man U play Sunderland in Tampa in January, or Chelsea play Stoke in Moscow in August. Six teams could even open their season in Asia. I belive FIFA is doing away with August international friendlies, which would make this possible. With Georgio Chagnalia dead, Charlie Stillatano should have time on his hands to make this happen stateside. --bd</span></span>
RIP GeoRRRRRRgonie. The Football Show was the only reason I bothered keeping Sirius this last year.--bd