Tuesday, March 21, 2017

NASL Commisioner confirms that Co-D1 is possible

In the debut Soc Takes podcast North American Soccer League interim commissioner Rishi Sehgal gives a very thorough interview about many behind the scenes issues facing and solutions for the league... he also drops this overlooked gem concerning a question many of us have had about a potential Co-D1 in the future for US Soccer.

Nipun Chopra  - Do you know or are you assuming based on the way the legality of it is written out that there can be two D2 leagues at the end of the year?

Rishi Sehgal - We have had conversations with US Soccer about the sanctioning process in the past and they have been very clear that as long as the league meets the standards then they are under an obligation to sanction them at that level.

As we have discussed in the past a Co-D1 set up for the US Soccer Pyramid can be a way toward an open pyramid. This quote seems to finally put to bed the question of whether or not a Co-D1 set up is actually possible under USSF's sanctioning process.

Listen to the entire interview below

New owner of the NY Cosmos speaks up for #ProRelForUSA

New owner of NASL's NY Cosmos Rocco Commisso spoke up and spoke out today at the NY Cosmos media day in favor of systemic change in US soccer and #ProRelForUSA...

“Did anyone see the Minneapolis game where they lost 7-1 [scoreline was actually 6-1]? This is exactly what I’m talking about. Because they paid $100M with another $150M for the stadium, Minneapolis got to the MLS, right? Well, the Cosmos won the championship. In other countries, all over Europe, South America, so on, the Cosmos should be moving up to the MLS, not Minneapolis. I think Minneapolis was the eighth-ranked team in the MLS [NASL] last year, out of twelve; we were number one.”


Watch the entire press conference below.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Do you remember when nobody thought CFB would have playoffs?

It wasn't too long ago when the standard answer to fans calls for a D1 NCAA College Football Playoff was "It is never going to happen". The reasoning was usually... too much money from the bowls... too much history... the good old boy network.... etc. etc. etc.

Well you know what? The fans eventually won out when the public pressure led TV partners to figure out how they could make more money off of a playoff than the bowls.

Right now the calls for USSF to switch from the closed league system that we are currently using in the United States and Canada are becoming more and more frequent from not only the fans but from  media sources nationwide.

The Daily Californian published a very solid piece today calling for #ProRelForUSA...

Why not follow the European model and integrate relegation and promotion? Have a certain number of bad teams descend to a second division, and have some of those teams in those leagues ascend. It would give opportunities for division II teams that have an established fan base get involved at a much bigger stage.
read it here >>>   "MLS should change a flawed system".

Not too long ago Roy Bragg in the San Antonio Express News wrote a great piece challenging whether or not MLS is even worth it for cities who want professional soccer. He also calls for guess what? #ProRelForUSA
There is a simple and faster way for SA or any other city to move up to MLS, but none of the apparatchiks at the U.S. Soccer Federation or MLS, nor bandwagon fans, want to hear it.
The answer? Promotion/Relegation.
That system sets up a hierarchy of national leagues, from Tier I down to semi-pro. The worst teams in a division are paid a tidy sum to drop down a tier, while the best teams in lower tiers move up one notch


In the past we've covered articles in Chicago and Sacramento calling for the same reform. These are just two more in what is becoming a regular call for systemic reform by the media in the United States. It feels like we are on the path to where writers are going to starting calling an Opening of the Pyramid a "When we do this" not a "If we do this".

Just like happened for College Football and the playoffs... 

Friday, March 3, 2017

How does the MLS structure affect youth players in the US abilty to turn pro?

Earlier today Will Parchman reported in THIS ARTICLE that...

New England Revolution academy forward Justin Rennicks was suspended for his final 2017 spring semester by the club for going on a training stint at a Bundesliga club this winter, several sources confirmed to TopDrawerSoccer.com.

As we have discussed previously MLS has a very convoluted system when it comes to dealing with player signings with the league. No franchise actually signs players... the league signs the players to a contract and at that point they are assigned to a team.

Part of this player signing system is the "Homegrown Player" contract rights for young players just entering the league from an academy of a MLS club. These young players are not under any sort of professional contract like top level academy players in the rest of the world would be. They are not being paid at all actually...

The Homegrown Player right to sign this young player to a contract in the MLS are "owned" by each franchise anyways. So unless the youth prospect signs a professional contract with the franchise that the player is in the academy of... they can not play in MLS without the team being compensated for it by a different team in MLS.

Confused yet?

Long story short... if the youth player does not sign with the club who owns their "Homegrown Rights" they can't sign with the MLS to play for any other team. Right off the bat about 40% of the professional soccer teams in the United States and Canada are removed from the pool of potential employers for young players.

So... if we go and train with clubs around the world in the off-season to try to help our employment prospects we get suspended from the Academy AND still have our Homegrown Player rights owned by that club. If we continue to play in the Academy and then try to negotiate for the best contract we can in the US, we run the risk of not being able to sign with any team in the top division of soccer in the United States after being blackballed from signing with any other MLS franchise if we don't accept the teams offer. If we go to college we then waste the first four years of the limited time we can earn a living being a professional player.

Sounds like an awesome system to have set up for MLS to keep American player costs down... not so much for young  players trying to earn a living.

Also just remember that if we used the same system the rest of the world used regarding Training Compensation and Solidarity Fees the MLS would be getting money if the young player signed with any other club.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

An all important first step

This week USSF Board Members and USASA President John Motta was a guest on the always great Flakoglost Podcast ...

Why is this a big deal?

This is the first time ever a sitting USSF Board of Directors member and national sanctioning body President has spoken up about actively working to create an Open Pyramid structure featuring #ProRelForUSA in any form.

This is a seminal moment for the movement.

Let this interview's contents sink in for a moment... a USSF Board member... the President of all sanctioned amateur soccer in the United States...  actively working on creating a structured Division 4, Division 5, and Division 6 in the United States that will feature Promotion and Relegation and going on record about it.

Today is a big day.

I feel more hopeful about the future of soccer in the United States than I have at any point in the last few years.

It may not be exactly the plan you want to hear...  but at least we know the conversations are being had and the subsequent steps are being taken to build the base of a true national pyramid.

Thank you John ... American soccer fans hope you succeed with this all important first step. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

What happens when they stand up for themselves?

The MLSPU did not do a good job standing up to MLS for its players... we all know this.

What happens when MLS players finally get fed up with the system and its machinations? What happens when USL and NASL players get fed up with the fact that they cant advance to the top levels of the game in the United States the same way players in the rest of the world can?

What happens when the players decide enough is enough... and walk out. At every level. At once.

The next level of the American Soccer Wars begins...