Thursday, April 20, 2017

Why do US soccer fans worry so much about Attendance and TV numbers?

Last night I had the chance to check out the great World Soccer Talk podcast concerning soccer TV numbers in the United States. I actually listened to two episodes... high quality and informative podcasts.

I've read a multitude of articles about MLS attendance being up... TV numbers being what they are... and some great analysis of both.


I even saw this tweet telling people to quit worrying about attendance.

My question now is... Why do US soccer fans worry so much about Attendance and TV numbers?

I think the answer is pretty simple... the powers that be in US soccer have decided that the business of soccer is what matter when it comes to advancing your team up the pyramid and keeping them there.

If your team under performs business wise in MLS... you go away ie: Chivas USA, Miami Fusion, and Tampa Bay Mutiny.

If your team clicks off all the business metrics (and cuts the check) you get a chance to move up the pyramid. This even comes directly from USSF with its increasing market size and ownership net worth requirements at each high level of pro soccer.

The fans are going to put value on what ever the owners and Federation tell them is valuable. Right now the business of soccer is much more important than any on the field results. Having a city willing to spend millions upon millions of dollars to publicly fund a stadium in the right part of town, in the right size TV market, with the right lower division attendance figures, with the right demographics concerning median wages of its citizens, and the right size pocketbook of its ownership group is MUCH more valuable than any on field result will ever be.

Why should fans NOT concern themselves with all of these off the field metrics when those are actually what decide if you get to move up the pyramid or even stay in the pyramid... when we can all plainly see that is all that matters?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Who should control US soccer's lower divisions?

The Supporters Group for Promotion and Relegation Twitter page recently ran a poll asking who should control the lower divisions of US soccer.

With the recent USL 3rd Division announcement, the even more recent Soc Takes NASL 3rd Division article, and our previously covered 4th/5th/6th Division USASA reform ideas it is interesting to see who the fans of the lower divisions of the game would like to see be "in charge" of the lowest divisions of the game.

With both USL and NASL both making plays to control the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Divisions of American soccer right now is maybe the most important time in recent history for lower division soccer in the country.

Not surprisingly to us, a majority of the respondents would like to see USSF/USASA control the lowest divisions of the soccer pyramid going forward. Hopefully the leadership at USASA will listen and take control of the 4th/5th/6th divisions of US soccer and work with USSF to create a Federation controlled 3rd Division. Will there ever be an opportunity this clear for actual reform to such a large part of the pyramid? We're not sure... but the majority of fans would love to see you not miss this chance to do something!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Player development thoughts post MIC in Spain

These are the thoughts of two soccer development people I admire on Twitter post MIC in Spain...

It is very important to look at player development in the global context if we ever hope to move beyond what already exists in the soccer landscape of the United States. Here are two guys who just witnessed it first hand.


And second

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Does Soccer in America need more than one pyramid?

Thank you Craig Gembecki (Follow him on Twitter here) for reaching out and asking to have his multi-pyramid regionally divided national league system idea hosted on the blog...

As usual... let us know what you think in the comments and use #ProRelForUSA on social media when discussing the subject!

Craig Gembecki
April 3, 2017

Does Soccer in America Need More than One Pyramid?

It’s been a relatively great couple of weeks for the #ProRelForUSA contingent. First, Australia’s
lower league clubs clapped back on the A-League as they look to break away from a FIFA
sanctioned monopoly across the globe. And then we hear that the USL in America is
considering a path for a lower division pro/rel system. On the surface, both are great because
they are forcing people who would otherwise avoid the topic at all costs to discuss it openly. For
me though, and I can’t help but be a contrarian, I’ve noticed a blind spot in the conversation as it
pertains to America: geography. Until that becomes the centerpiece of any pro/rel conversation,
I think we’re leading ourselves down a path that we cannot sustain.