Monday, December 28, 2015

Leicester City just isn't allowed in US soccer...

American sports fans love the underdog story... they love March Madness... Hoosiers... all the stories of teams coming out of nowhere and winning the big game. Right now in the EPL (the antithesis of parity right Closed System Zealots?) Leicester City FC is in first place. Thats right... a club most of you didn't even know who they were featuring two scoring machines who none of you knew about is at the top of the standings and they don't look like they want to give that spot up easily either.

Gary Kleiban wrote a great blog about the club and how we are just not allowed stories like this in American soccer... 

I think we can agree that fulfillment of potential is something we all yearn for.
But what if the path to fulfillment is taken away from you? What then?
Well, compared to the rest of the world, American soccer is set up precisely to do this. Limit, or even take away, one’s potential.
Whether you are a player, a coach, a club, a community, or any active or would be active participant in the ecosystem, that is something you should be aware of.
This article is but one of what will be a never-ending series illustrating this. Never-ending, that is, until those responsible stop denying and obstructing merit-based opportunity for every constituent in the landscape.


Soccer just isn't that popular

Ever since the start of this blog I've been interested in providing links that help people get to debunking the varied myths surrounding the "Why it won't work..." arguments closed system zealots like to use on social media every day... like the "soccer just isn't that popular in the US yet" one that is debunked with this great piece...

Soccer Isn’t Popular in the US Because the Wrong People Watch it


Also remember that clubs and leagues at every level outside of the MLS have came out in favor of #ProRelForUSA (even in Canada) and their supporters groups (HERE and HERE for the supporters group alliance) and fans are solidly in support of the movement as well as this FC Edmonton poll shows. It's not some "Tinfoil brigade" of just a few radical fans on twitter... We are the MAJORITY of fans in the United States in every single poll that has been done ever since the start of this blog. I could post a new poll result every week and the results are always the same...


Building a movement...

Yes... thank you so much to every writer, blogger, club, supporters group and fan out there who put in effort this year to grow the Open Pyramid movement. It was about 10 months ago when I wrote my first little piece on the rapid growth of the movement. Since then I've noticed nothing but an acceleration of the conversation not only online but at every game, tailgate, and watch party I've been to since then.

Keep up the good work #ProRelForUSA




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Eric Wynalda and Landon Donovan talking #ProRelForUSA and more...

Eric Wynalda and Landon Donovan talk Promotion and Relegation on WTF Radio...

also Ted Westervelt was a guest on World Soccer Talk Radio with Nate Abaurrea talking #ProRelForUSA as well


We would love to hear what you think about these interviews ... let us know in the comments or on social media make sure you use the #ProRelForUSA hashtag on twitter!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Don Garber vs Chattanooga FC

As I'm sure many of (all?) of our readers already know... Don Garber opened up his mouth and inserted his foot in it at BlazerCon. The Director of Chattanooga FC Tim Kelly penned a great response ...
That said, I was the lone Chattanoogan in the crowd on Saturday morning when you called out my fair city in your argument against promotion and relegation, as though it were some hellish backwater where the likes of Kansas City might be forced to play if they were to suffer the indignity of being sent down. I almost choked on my breakfast pie. Let me set the record straight:


Larry Johnson of Helltown Beer also penned a great piece about this comment...

Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, has a deep-rooted misunderstanding of the sport of soccer. At the very essence of it, soccer is a sport open to everyone no matter their means. This is what separates it from other sports out there and why it has become the most popular sport in the world.


Derby City Ultras with a wonderful podcast

This is a great podcast from the Derby City Ultras that features a really good #ProRelForUSA segment at about the 50 minute mark. Make sure you give it a listen!


Monday, November 9, 2015

As long as we allow it...

As long as we allow it...

It will be up to us to force the changes that are needed on to the American soccer landscape. This blog has covered how quickly the tides are changing among leagues, clubs, supporters groups and fans in the past. This reddit post that I ran across on Twitter sums it all up perfectly...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

American Soccer can be a global super power if...

Readers of this blog know Gary Kleiban is one of our favorite coaches in the United States ... not only does 3FOUR3 do a great job educating coaches in how to coach. But they do a wonderful job education the soccer community on what we need to push forward as a nation.

Make sure you READ THIS and watch...

We need to incentivize the system... I don't think I could have said it any better myself.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Who killed the American Open Pyramid?

With the explosion of the Open Pyramid movement in the United States over the last few years more and more people have started digging in to the history of the formation of the current structure of the USSF's pyramid. Recently some wonderful documents have started to surface including this gem from a USSF white paper...

According to a 1989 white paper by U.S. Soccer that was revealed today by Daniel Bonaire on Twitter from documents gleaned from veteran soccer journos, the federation was working on a three-tier structure in the United States, in an open system with the opportunity for any club in the United States to participate. The plan was supported in 1988 by U.S. Soccer, according to the New York Times, under the presidency of Werner Fricker, who was head of the U.S. Soccer Federation until 1990. A faction of US Soccer membership wasn't happy with the idea, however, and took steps to get Fricker ousted from U.S. Soccer and replaced.

That group would go on to create Major League Soccer.


Read the entire USSF white paper after the jump...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

US Soccer ... Who are you? Still asking the same questions since 2010...

A reader sent us a GREAT read from 2010 asking some of the same questions we are still asking today.. plus it gave out several tidbits of information I did not know about like this one.

When Gulati was first brought on as president, the size of the Board of Directors was curiously slimmed down in order to “more closely represent its three councils- Professional, Youth, Adult- and other constituencies."  Perhaps this was done in order to consolidate the sovereignty of board members and Gulati.  With this theory in mind, it is not hard to understand why Gulati was unanimously re-elected as the President of US Soccer in February of 2010, despite any advanced heads up by US Soccer or the media.   The Hegemony preserves itself.


Why has this USSF veil of secrecy still not been broken after all of these years?

Do you want to wait "generations" for world class US soccer?

If you would like to see world class soccer happen in the US top domestic league within your lifetime according to MLS commish Don Garber today ... you're just outta luck.

"Our vision goal is to be one of the top leagues in the world but it will be generations before we are literally playing at the level of the Premier League or the Bundesliga, but that is OK" 

Just let that sink in for a minute...

MLS is just fine with not providing US soccer fans with a product on the level of the EPL or Bundesliga for GENERATIONS. 40-50-60 years going forward we can not expect to see top quality soccer from the MLS if they have their way.

How depressing of a thought it that as a fan of US soccer?

Please join in our the discussion of opening the US soccer pyramid on social media using the #ProRelForUSA hashtag!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

One Sport One Company

When you are reading the multitude of great articles coming out about the USSF/MLS/SUM conflicts of interest including THIS GREAT ONE from Billy Haisley. One that  perfectly expresses our feelings on this whole situation... including laying out this gem

MLS never misses opportunity to conflate itself with the very idea of soccer in America, and U.S. Soccer is always far too eager to support this posture. It doesn’t help that the two are also inextricably linked. Soccer United Marketing, an arm of MLS, packages the television rights to both the league and the USMNT when selling to broadcasters. U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati was once MLS’s deputy commissioner. Current commissioner Don Garber maintains a seat on U.S. Soccer’s Board of Directors.
Just remember that Soccer United Marketing aka SUM in the past did not even try to hide it...
Here is their old logo.

Great read on the conflict of interest between MLS and USSF

This is a great summary of many of the major points about the easily apparent conflicts of interests between so many of the parties involved in USSF and MLS. It is a MUST READ blog post...

So far, this is just a normal sort of dispute about policies and procedures. What makes it less normal is the fact that US Soccer appears to be doing its business in the absence of an conflict of interest policies.


Friday, August 28, 2015

What is the incentive?

This is a great podcast from "The Coaching Journey" and John Pranjic that touches on a lot of great topics... including an Open Pyramid in the United States.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lets play a game of "What if???"

A few months back Jon Townsend and myself had a nice discussion on twitter about what you could do with $100,000,000 in the US to build a soccer club.

He had written a great hypothetical piece called "The Cost of $100 Million" where he lays out a fictitious plan for a club with a budget that amounts to the cost of just the initial MLS franchise fee outlay for NYCFC.

With the recent discussion about a NASL/NPSL merger I thought today would be a great day to bring this subject back up...

What would you do with $100 million dollars in an alternate pyramid in the United States?

First lets snap our fingers and make up some pyramid ground rules and go from there.

NASL - National 20 team league w/ 10,000 seat stadium requirement
NASL2 - Two 20 team  (East/West) Regions w/ 5,000 seat stadiums
NPSL - Eight 16 team regional Leagues  w/ 2,500 seat stadiums
NPSL2 - 16 Regional Leagues consisting of 16 teams each (USASA Amateur Leagues)

Since today is the first day of this hypothetical pyramid....  you can still get in to NPSL without having to be promoted out of the future amateur NPSL2 division.

So what would you do????

Would you build a stadium first? Bonney Field where the Sacramento Republic plays holds 11,500 and cost $3m to build and $1.5m to expand for a total of $4.5 million. Would you refurbish an older stadium like St Louis FC did with their $1.5m expenditure at 5,500 seat World Wide Technology Park? Maybe even spend $16.5m on a state of the art expandable 8,300 seat stadium like Kennesaw State did? Rent something that already exists and save the money for something else?

Do you go after a big name Coach and/or Technical Director at $5 million + per season?

Big name player signings?

Do you start an Academy straight away?

Build a great front office?

Let us know what you would do in the comments!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

NASL and NPSL both talk potential merger that will create an alternate pyramid for US soccer

This conversation has happened on social media a million times... "Why don't the leagues that want it just go ahead and start doing it and let the marketplace decide?"

Well Bill Peterson of the NASL spoke up... 
Bill Peterson is a man on a mission.

The commissioner of the North American Soccer League is determined to bring promotion and relegation to the game in North America and nothing will stop him in his tracks - not even fierce resistance from Major League Soccer.

 and so did NPSL Chairman Joe Barone...

Joe Barone, the chairman of the National Premier Soccer League, has revealed he wants a merger with the NASL to kickstart promotion and relegation in North America.

North American Soccer League commissioner Bill Peterson said earlier this week that he would like to begin discussions between the two leagues to help build a pyramid system.
"Maybe we've got to start to look at aligning with other leagues to start put the pieces in place," Peterson told the Telegraph.
"There's different ways to do this but you have to identify existing organizations like the NPSL or other leagues in this country that have an interest [in promotion and relegation] and then start to figure out where you're going to go."
Barone, however, has revealed that he has already had lengthy discussions with Peterson over the matter and plans to speak to him over the next few months to formulate a plan to make promotion and relegation a reality.


A direct promotion from NPSL to NASL is not going to be financially feasible TODAY... the 5 year timeline discussed in the interviews are to allow for the change that is obviously going to be needed by the NPSL to allow for promotion viable clubs to exist.

What do you think the needed changes are going to be?

A new intermediary regional division between the two leagues that directly competes against USL at a "3rd Division" level? One where this NASL/NPSL merged league tries to court existing independent (Non-MLS aligned) clubs to move to and strengthen the new pyramid?

A move for the "4th division" club season structure to a "full season" from the summer long "short season" they currently employ allowing for more market penetration by the clubs? Many clubs find it hard to make ends meet with only 6-8 home games...

Active recruitment of PDL clubs with larger aspirations?

Inclusion of interested USASA "Elite" leagues below the NPSL level as feeders for their regional system?

FIFA lawsuit the day the first Promotion and Relegation eason starts based on the "Sporting Merit" clause in FIFA bylaws?

Obviously there are lots of questions that will need to be worked out before the system could be announced... but I for one am happy the answers are being discussed.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How does it all tie together?

The entire Sepp Blatter/FIFA scandal has led to a whole round of questioning concerning the main American figure in it all....  Chuck Blazer and his ties to the US game.

Earlier today World Soccer Talk asked the very important question "What did US Soccer know about Chuck Blazer's Bribes"..

What did US Soccer know about these incidents? And when did they know it?

After all, Chuck Blazer is a man that was so deeply entrenched within the US Soccer machine that in the same year that Blazer resigned from CONCACAF, MLS Commissioner Don Garber said, “Everybody who cares about the sport in this country owes [Chuck Blazer] a debt of gratitude.”

Five years earlier, in 2006, Blazer received the Commissioner’s Award from MLS for his “overall contributions to the sport and the game.”

“Chuck is one of the most important people in the history of soccer in this country. Those in the soccer business know how important he is to the development of this sport and management of this sport throughout North America,” Garber said. “Not every American knows that the man behind the scenes pushing this sport is Chuck and for that he is very worthy of being recognized by MLS and by our ownership.”

Garber added, “His support for us started long before his support on television. It’s far deeper than that. It’s not about one specific thing, it’s about what influence he’s had over the last 10 years.

We know that Blazer helped FIFA negotiate its broadcast rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups in the United States

One of Blazer’s greatest successes came when he persuaded the FIFA ExCo to block an agreement to sell NBC the U.S. rights to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups for $350 million. Instead, Blazer helped hammer out a package deal: Univision and ESPN paid a combined $425 million for those rights, and ESPN also agreed to pay to carry Major League Soccer. That marked a major reversal: For the previous decade, the struggling soccer league had actually been paying ESPN to show its matches.

This came after he had helped SUM acquire the English Language broadcast rights to the 2002 and 2006 World Cups for 40m from a business he had a relationship with.

While the details are not available on how profitable for SUM this 40m deal for two men's and a women's World Cups had become once they worked out a partnership with ABC/ESPN. We do know that the Spanish Language broadcast generated substantial revenue in 2006 alone for Univision...

Univision received about $110 million in incremental World Cup-related revenue in 2006 -- an estimated $170 million during the tournament's time frame -- after paying about $100 million for rights.

We also know that SUM had put in a bid for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup broadcasting rights in the United States.

This is a second round of bidding. NBC Universal submitted a bid during the summer, as did SUM and Spanish-language incumbent Univision, which paid $150 million for the World Cup rights for 2002-06.
In September, FIFA’s Marketing and Television Division recommended accepting the offer from NBC Universal, which sources said was worth more than $300 million for English- and Spanish-language rights.

We also know that once SUM was told they were not going to get the TV deal...

FIFA then put the process on hold and later began soliciting bids from other U.S. media companies. Once it became clear that FIFA preferred to do a deal directly with a network, MLS and SUM began talking to ESPN and Fox about a separate arrangement that will include an MLS television deal as well as guarantees of cross-promotion through the World Cup telecasts

Chuck Blazer and Don Garber worked hand in hand to make sure MLS/SUM was included in the deal...

At a FIFA executive committee meeting months earlier, Blazer had stood up and asked his FIFA colleagues not to approve a $350 million bid from NBC for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup rights. Granting NBC the rights, he argued, would hurt soccer’s exposure in the U.S. because NBC wouldn’t televise MLS or other international competition.

Blazer asked for a few weeks to find an alternative, not because he had insider knowledge that a higher bid was in the works, but simply a hunch that other networks would offer a better deal.

Blazer worked with Garber to eventually put together a deal for Univision and ESPN to buy the rights for $325 million and $100 million, respectively.

and this was obviously with the support of USSF President Sunil Gulati as well..

“If we have to go to the mat on something, Chuck’s where we go,” said U.S. Soccer Federation President Sunil Gulati. “The natural avenue to FIFA is through CONCACAF and that means Chuck.”
 Owners in MLS were also very supportive of and proactively involved in this process..

Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke, whose company owns four MLS teams and has invested in the construction of multiple soccer stadiums, said he and MLS remain involved in the World Cup bidding process.

“I’ve been in meetings with [FIFA President] Sepp [Blatter] and Phillip Anschutz, and we continue to work with FIFA on the World Cup bid,” Leiweke said. “The World Cup deal is going to be with a network, probably not with SUM, but when it’s all said and done we’re very supportive of that.”
 Chuck Blazer was also very involved representing MLS when it had issues with FIFA and FIFPro...
Little happens in U.S. soccer without his knowledge or involvement; the recent MLS labor dispute was just the latest example. Though he wasn’t involved in the negotiations, sources say he encouraged FIFA to lend MLS support when the MLS Players Union alleged that the league was in violation of FIFA rules pertaining to the league’s single-entity structure.

So... we know that once a non- SUM or current MLS broadcast partner was decided on by FIFA Chuck Blazer stepped in and got that stopped. FIFA then opened bidding and negotiated a new deal with current MLS broadcast partner that not only paid more money to FIFA but that same broadcast partner also decided to give MLS a new, and for the first time ever, profitable TV deal....

This can be read in to and interpreted in a several different ways.

MLS had promised ESPN/FOX the World Cup at a certain price point through SUM and when NBC outbid that price point (or FIFA would just not deal with a non-broadcast partner directly) they had Chuck Blazer step in and stop the awarding of the broadcast rights to open the bidding back up. This was done while co-awarding MLS a new broadcasting contract (similar to how the current USMNT/WNT and MLS TV deal is structured) that showed a profit.


Chuck Blazer just convinced FIFA he had a 425+ million dollar hunch... and it worked out.

Leave a comment below and let me know how tied in Chuck Blazer was with the USSF, MLS you think he was and if you think his dirty CONCACAF works bled over in to the US game.

Oh yeah... lets just let this sink in for a second...

Friday, March 27, 2015

What would a stadium failure do in Minnesota?

We all saw the pomp surrounding the "Promotion" of Minnesota United from NASL to MLS recently...

What was not discussed much was the fact that MLS leadership put a timeline on items that must be met before they are officially allowed to invest in MLS LLC including a Soccer Specific Stadium financing plan in place for downtown Minneapolis.

Commissioner Don Garber has circled July on the calendar. That's when he wants Minnesota United FC's stadium plans -- specifically the financing -- in place for an expansion franchise.
If that happens, Garber said Wednesday, a Minnesota MLS team could start playing in 2017. If it doesn't happen ...
"We would then, as an ownership group, take a step back and decide whether we wanted to come to Minnesota," Garber said.
"We have other options around the country, some of which with very detailed soccer-stadium plans, and we would have to make that decision at that time."


As polling is showing right now the citizens of Minnesota are initially appearing, by a wide margin, to not be interested in using state funds to build a SSS for Minnesota United.

What happens if the stadium deal does not come to fruition and MLS pulls its offer to let the MnU ownership group invest in MLS LLC? Does community support for a thriving NASL franchise dry up without the carrot of "promotion" to the top tier of soccer in the United States?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

All 91 US Open Cup teams on one map

See all of the participants HERE on the great US Open Cup website (and follow the twitter HERE).

Wouldn't it be great to have all these teams competing to get to the top level of the sport all year instead of only during this wonderful tournament?

Want to find out what the potential MLS Miami ownership group is like?

This piece in Howler Magazine is MUST READ material to see some of the behind the scenes people in bringing MLS to Miami... and some eyebrow raising quotes from Sporting Kansas City ownership like this one!
“That’s sports,” Heineman explained with a shrug. You do your homework, you make smart decisions, and things can still go wrong. One aspect of MLS that both Kansas City owners really liked was the centralized structure. All the players are owned by the league, which helps keep payroll—and the players—in check.

“If labor ever tells us they’re going to strike, we’d be like, ‘Fine, we’ll replace each and every one of you,’” said Heineman.

Like I said, this is MUST READ material about MLS expansion.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

An Argument for Promotion-Relegation in the United States

A very thorough and solid argument for an Open Pyramid that features Promotion and Relegation from APMULLALY on his blog "offsidethoughts" that includes gems like this one...

In 2013 NYCFC paid 100 million dollars in franchise fees to MLS and the second team in Los Angeles agreed to a franchise fee of around the same size in 2014.  The total wage bill for the entire league in 2014 was just under 130 million.  What are those franchise fees being spent on? Currently neither NYCFC or the proposed LA teams have their own stadium, nor do they have a true fan base.  There may be people wearing NYC blue and buying tickets, but they are fans of a new entity.  Similarly, Orlando City, another new MLS franchise officially lost its four year history[ii] when it joined MLS at the cost of a 70 million dollar franchise fee.

What if that money was spent on the team instead?


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

MLS, Who are you?

This was a very informative piece of research by Badinko on who is actually behind MLS and raises some very interesting points... including this one.

Commissioner Garber is not that man. He is an employee who may have no access to owners. Though I’m sure he’s aware of the obvious influence of people like Mr. Kraft, he may not even know the exact ownership structure himself. Unlike the NFL or any well-known sports league, MLS LLC is one corporation and its C.E.O is Richard A. Peddie, the former C.E.O. of Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment. At least this is what Bloomberg surprisingly told me.

Intrigued by this? I know I was... make sure you take the time to READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

Why do US media members not talk to Mr. Peddie more often... well ever?

Friday, March 6, 2015

Was MLS Behind Sabotaging the Cosmos Stadium Bid? Sadly, Yes. It Wasn't Smart.

A guest post by a supporter of this blog Deacon Joseph Suaiden aka "The Soccer Deacon" on Twitter that can only be described in one way. Eye opening!



Was MLS Behind Sabotaging the Cosmos Stadium Bid? Sadly, Yes. It Wasn't Smart.

"All is fair in love and football", tweeted Nick Chavez of NYCFC's Third Rail supporters group in response to reports that MLS had lobbied New York politicians in an effort to derail the New York Cosmos stadium bid. The $300 million, privately financed stadium proposal in Belmont was sent to the Empire State Development Corporation in January, 2013.(1) More than two years have passed, but it is only coming to light now that MLS had been quietly lobbying against the stadium.

The original New York Cosmos team never had their own stadium, but modern realities necessitated a new stadium to remain a competitive draw outside of Major League Soccer, which made the construction of soccer stadiums central to their plans. While the plan generated positive buzz throughout the local community, many influential American "soccer voices" consistently maintained that either the Cosmos, who played outside MLS, didn't deserve a stadium or-- if they did deserve a stadium-- that it should be part of an MLS bid.(2) While the plan had wide political support at first, only a single senator came out against it, wanting a shopping mall instead. (3)

The largest body openly opposed was the Elmont Community Coalition Council, a local community group previously known largely for organizing "Meet the Candidates" meetings for local elections. Little is known about the group, but within two months of Carrie Solages' declaration of opposition, the group was running advertisements against the stadium bid (that strangely looked like they were recorded on a private camcorder) on both television and 1010 WINS, New York's local 24-hour news station. Curiously, the verbiage was almost identical to the anti-Cosmos stadium arguments on internet forums, and the commercials were timed to run at the start of the 2013 NASL fall season, with pictures of halftime of a total of three games played in Shuart stadium.(4)

As could be expected, the buzz around the commercials as well as the political gamesmanship delaying a decision on the stadium were likely contributors to the decline in the Cosmos attendance in the fall: in fact, by fall 2014, the club's attendance hit rock bottom at 3,924, but bounced back towards the end of the season to about 9,000. One of the curious quirks of this negative focus on the Cosmos was a decreased home attendance, while witnessing comparatively high away attendance, particularly during the 2013 Fall Season and the 2014 Spring Season.

Despite suspicions on the part of Cosmos fans who committed to the NASL club that MLS had been deliberately attempting to sabotage the growth of the Cosmos with what was-- at the time-- a nebulous entity in NYCFC through one-upmanship on press releases and connections in the press, it was only after Leo Glickman, Cosmos fan and New York civil rights attorney, discussed matters related to the stadium with New York State Assemblyman Francisco Moya, only to discover that in fact, MLS lobbyists had been pressuring local politicians to vote against the stadium.(5) The reasoning was simple enough: if the Cosmos won the stadium bid, it was virtually guaranteed that City Financial Group and the Yankees would *not* get a stadium. All the aforementioned arguments came down to this simple fact: if the Cosmos got the stadium, MLS' NY2 project wouldn't. New York politics would have mired such an attempt on MLS' part for years.

In the end, it may have all been for naught. By making unrealistic claims about stadium proposals in the five boroughs, NYCFC has ultimately doomed itself to Yankee Stadium for the foreseeable future. The Cosmos bid was carefully designed to avoid the pitfalls of NYC politics: by contrast, NYCFC, in a desire to one-up the insurgent NASL teams wrote political checks they couldn't cash. Meanwhile, the Cosmos brand was damaged, but not destroyed: the NASL club brought on Spanish legend Raul as a sign that no matter where they played, they would continue to bring the highest class of player to the pitch, and attendance will likely stabilize this year with the gloss of a magical "MLS New York 2 team" replaced by the reality of a generic MLS team playing in a baseball stadium. Meanwhile, NYCFC has placed itself directly into the lions' den of New York politics, its only refuge a Yankee Stadium which is reluctant to keep it as a long-term tenant.(6) By derailing the Cosmos' bid, MLS and NYCFC may well have doomed any efforts to build a soccer stadium in the immediate region of New York City for the foreseeable future.

All is fair, indeed.

End notes

(2)In fact, the top searches on Google for "Cosmos Stadium Bid" produce opposition from a number of sports websites, an impressive feat on their own. A sampling include Bleacher Report (, Howler, which inaccurately reported that the Cosmos were still planning to join MLS, largely due to the fact that there had been following of MLS fans calling for a team in Queens (
Further, a wide variety of contributors to the "BigSoccer" forum, many of whom were either heavily involved with MLS to varying degrees, some of whom are writers or bloggers for other venues, expended literally hundreds of man-hours in opposition to the Cosmos having a stadium in NASL or predicting its failure. (If you have the stomach, Google produced a fantastic collation of results. Disclosure: my words are also on the site, usually arguing with one or many of these fans.
(5) Mr. Glickman's commentary and explanation is extensive for Twitter commentary, noting that MLS was the top lobbyist in 2013, and that Assemblyman Francisco Moya confirmed that MLS representatives were lobbying against the Cosmos stadium. It is worth noting that Assemblyman Moya was involved in the public "friendly wager" about whether an MLS club would arrive in Queens or the Bronx in the summer (
His comment about Moya is here.
Clarifying further that MLS was behind the lobbying.
That MLS was top lobbyist in 2013.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What does having an Open Pyramid do for player development in the US?

This is a perfect synopsis by Paul Cammarata of what our current closed system is delivering and what having an Open Pyramid would do for player development in the United States.

In most academies throughout the world, not producing several professionals annually would be seen as a failure. Is that the case in the United States? Within our closed system, there is no dire need for academy graduates to succeed, plain and simple. In Southampton’s world, if the academy did not succeed, there was no hope at all for survival. In the United States, there are checks in place to ensure that mediocrity or even failure is met with reward. Is there any incentive with the current system to have a top class academy?


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Stefan Szymanski of Soccernomics speaks on the status of MLS

For those of you who don't know who Stefan Szymanski is and why you should care what he thinks.  Szymanski's work includes over fifty academic publications, six books, and an international consultancy for clubs, federations, and governments alike.

He said ...

Part of the problem here is the contrast between the profits of owners versus the long-term health of the league. If you really wanted to create a major league sport, what you would do is just open everything up to competition, create a promotion and relegation system, bring in billionaires and say, "build your own team." I think, in a small number of years, you would see that develop into a dynamic, very exciting structure. The U.S. would be very good at attracting those kinds of individuals.

among quite a few other very intersting in his great interview on that can be READ IN ITS ENTIRETY HERE.  

Lets us know what you think in the comments below or using the #ProRelForUSA hashtag on twitter.

Ted Westervelt interview on AM 740 The Game in Orlando Florida

Carnahan Chronicles: Soccer Futurist Ted Westervelt talks state of the sport in United States (February 7, 2015)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Every pro soccer club in the US and Canada for 2015 on one map

I thought just for display purposes that this map would give a better indication of just how many D1/D2/D3 and the top "D4" clubs there are in the United States and Canada for 2015.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

NASL Commissioner Peterson talks Promotion and Relegation on Soccer Morning

NASL Commissioner Peterson talks the state of the NASL and an Open Pyramid featuring Promotion and Relegation for the United States.

His interview starts at the 5:00 mark.

To quote him "you're a professional league, you're a reserve league or you're an amateur league and I don't know without some sort of competitive process where you can move up or down... Promotion and Relegation... that it makes all that much sense to call someone Division 1, Division 2 or Division 3 for that matter"...

We would love to hear your opinion on this interview in the comments below or on Twitter with the hashtag #ProRelForUSA

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The State of United States Soccer - Thoughts from a "Eurosnob"

A great guest take on the State of Soccer in the United States by John Babbitt (Follow him on Twitter @BabbittCGroup )

The State of United States Soccer - Thoughts from a “Eurosnob”

First, allow me to get a few things out of the way. I am biased and I don’t care about your view. Don’t like mine, start your own blog. I am a “Eurosnob”. BUT, and stay with me. I wish I wasn’t, and it shouldn’t be like this.
I’m an American but I REALLY like the English Premier League as well as the UEFA Champions League. I find every Major League Soccer game not involving the Seattle Sounders quite boring. My wife complains that I yell, “Too slow!” at the TV too much. She’ll do an impression of it sometimes. It’s kind of funny. I’m sick and tired of watching the Sounders lose to a Mexican or Costa Rican team in CONCACAF Champions League. I’m tired of our National Team losing to countries we should beat. I’m tired of our “best” national team players moving back to Major League Soccer. 

I’m tired of MLS spending obscene amounts of money on washed-up players. If you’re going to have a Designated Player Rule, go after someone truly world class AND in their prime like Wayne Rooney or a Ronaldo.

OK, opening rant over. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

The rapid growth of the Open Pyramid movement

Recently we have witnessed several online polls (HERE and HERE) show that American soccer fans are actually in support of an Open Pyramid over our currently Closed System.

A question not really answered is how many leagues and clubs actually want an Open Pyramid. We all know that MLS's Don Garber and Mark Abbot has came out that they want to keep the system closed with the only way to join to be the owners paying a hefty fee and not through merit on the field. 

Today the NPSL via Chairman Joe Barone joined Jurgen Klinsmann and came out in support of an Open Pyramid with access for clubs via merit on the field.
Working 24/7, Barone dedicates his time to making the NPSL a success. Barone, who does not take a salary from NPSL, is a fan of Jurgen Klinsman’s vision for soccer in this country. Personally he would like to see the MLS-NASL-USLPRO-NPSL-PDL unify to allow promotion / relegation, the NPSL to be the foundation of the US Soccer development pyramid with over 100 profitable teams in 100 communities. Barone is definitely a force changing soccer in America.

Pair NPSL's 65+ current clubs with NASL's stated stance that they are for an Open Pyramid as well and that brings us to over 75 clubs with a stated wish to see merit on the field decide your level of play, not the size of your owners bank account.

While USL-Pro as a league has not come out with a stated position on whether they are for or against an Open Pyramid St Louis FC's new Head Coach Dale Shilly when asked his feelings on #ProRelForUSA joined others who have also came out in support of an open pyramid.

In addition to these national leagues several high quality state and regional leagues have shown that they are moving toward an Open Pyramid model on their local level. The Evergreen Premier League of Washington, the UPSL Pro Premier Division in California, Champions Soccer League USA in Florida and the Louisiana State Premier League all moving toward this end goal, bringing the numbers of clubs to well over 100.

Now lets add to polls showing most fans, 6 leagues, 100+ clubs, USL-Pro clubs on record and the USMNT Coach and USSF Technical Director all on board for an Open Pyramid this eye opening tweet ...

Every day it appears more and more people are joining the calls for an Open Pyramid... join in on the discussion online using the #ProRelForUSA hashtag on twitter!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

How often do Relegated clubs go bankrupt?

Today on Twitter I was asked to write a post about another common refrain from those who are worried that an Open Pyramid that features Promotion and Relegation in the United States would some how deal the death blow to professional soccer in the United States... "but every team will go bankrupt when they are relegated".

So I did a bit of simple research on the English pyramids top three, EPL, Championship and League 1 divisions. Firstly I listed all 10 teams, three from both the EPL and Championship and 4 from League 1 that were relegated each of the last 5 years giving me a total of 50 relegated clubs. I then compared that list of clubs to a list of clubs that entered in to Administration (bankruptcy) that year to give me a list of clubs that we can assume with a high probability were caused to have went insolvent by being relegated.

Out of those 50 clubs relegated in the last 5 years only 3 times have they immediately entered in to administration. Those 3 times have only included 2 different clubs with Portsmouth accounting for 2 instances in 3 years. So in 6% of the total amount of relegated clubs have we observed a bankruptcy directly because of relegation in the top 3 levels of English soccer over the last 5 years.

Premier League
League 1
Norwich City, Fulham, Cardiff City
Doncaster Rovers, Barnsley, Yeovil Town
Stevenage, Shrewsbury Town, Carlisle United, Tranmere Rovers

Queens Park Rangers
Wigan Athletic
Peterborough United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Bristol City
Scunthorpe United, Bury, Hartlepool United, Portsmouth

Blackburn Rovers
Bolton Wanderers
Wolverhampton Wanderers
Portsmouth, Coventry City, Doncaster Rovers
Wycombe Wanderers, Chesterfield, Exeter City, Rochdale
West Ham United
Birmingham City
Preston North End, Scunthorpe United, Sheffield United
Dagenham and Redbridge, Bristol Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Swindon Town
Plymouth Argyle
Hull City
Sheffield Wednesday, Plymouth Argyle, Peterborough United
Gillingham, Wycombe Wanderers, Southend United, Stockport County

If we use these numbers as a comparison to MLS contraction over the last 5 years we will observe that this 6% number falls right in line with the 5.26% of clubs contracted over the same period of time without the financial hardship caused by relegation. The main difference between these two numbers is that both Portsmouth FC and Plymouth Argyle are still in existence while Chivas USA is not.