Myself and many others out there have speculated that American soccer also having competing leagues instead of just competing clubs adds an extra layer of division for soccer fans in the United States (and Canada) that doesn't exist in nations with a single unified pyramid. Recently the Supporter Groups for Promotion and Relegation fan group ran an unscientific Twitter poll that appears to prove just that point.
While obviously the followers of this group lean heavily toward being Open Pyramid supporters they also lean heavily toward being lower division soccer fans and the exact group of people that this splitting of loyalties would most affect.
This polling data shows that it is not even close and these two tweets provide a perfect synopsis of how many feel.
@SGS4ProRel I think P/R would make me pay more attention to MLS AND the levels immediately above and below. I want to know who we may play next year...— Pay The DJ (@DJCharlieBlac) May 7, 2017
@SGS4ProRel So I want to know who will get promoted to our level, relegated to our level, or who we get promoted or relegated to. I'm not alone in this.— Pay The DJ (@DJCharlieBlac) May 7, 2017
This leads to the pretty simple question and answer...
Why should soccer fans in this nation be investing time and energy in to keeping up with teams in leagues outside of the one that the club/franchise that they support competes in?
Right now there is no reason for them to do so... 90% of the over 200 respondents said that unification of the entire pyramid gives them a reason to follow the top division. This unification gives fans of EVERY club a reason to be invested in the entire pyramid, not just the league that the club they support currently play in.
We would love to hear your opinion on this in the comments or on social media. Use the #ProRelForUSA hashtag and join in.