Football/Soccer Forever

Joined: Mar 2012
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kgaard
Infinitus Corsair
kgaardIf MLS is at all responsible for this fiasco, it's more likely because it has provided players from other countries in Concacaf (barring Mexico, obviously) a superior platform to develop in. None of these sides are great now, of course. But the gap is smaller than it was, and the margin for error obviously narrower. Another factor is the curious development gap from birth years 1990-94. Too few players who are hitting their prime now are contributing to the national team, though it's not entirely clear why. The good news is the growth of MLS academies and reserve squads is creating what looks like a potential bumper crop of talent over the next cycle (though it's too early to be certain about a lot of these guys). Whether or not you have pro/rel or are playing on the same calendar, the issue is the need for a deeper pool, and reserve squads and club academies are likely the best way to achieve that. (Not that there isn't a dark side there too.)

In general, the disconnect between MLS and the rest of world soccer contributes to our players remaining here instead of going abroad. The US is never going to come close to reaching its potential--as club soccer is currently run--when it's fielding a team of MLS losers plus Christian Pulisic. We may need stock up Madrid and Barca and Juventus like Brazil and Argentina, but we ought to have players in mid-table teams in England and Germany. Instead our core play for Seattle and Toronto at disproportionately large salaries designed to lure them away from their natural club destinations.

Of the 11 players who started on Tuesday, 2--Matt Besler and Darlington Nagbe--have only played in the U.S. Every other player either plays in Europe (Wood, Yedlin, Pulisic) or Mexico (Gonzalez, Villafana), played core years in Europe (Howard, Altidore, Bradley, all of whom started in MLS), or started their career in Mexico (Arriola). There's absolutely no evidence that the MLS's calendar somehow keeps players here when they could otherwise move abroad. Matt Miazga, Weston McKennie, and Emerson Hyndman have all moved abroad from MLS clubs or acadamies, and players like Kellyn Acosta and Tyler Adams are likely to follow.
This result was bad (duh) and in many ways an indictment of US Soccer, but the fix isn't getting on FIFA's calendar, it's cleaning out the top, starting with Gulati, then continuing to build academies and developing coaching resources nationwide (the federation is sitting on about $100 million that go a long way toward coaching development).

I think the "fix" is multi-faceted and across the board. And the idea that the US's underperformance of its soccer potential has no relationship to its refusal to play along with literally everyone else at club level is ridiculous. Every club is reorganizing its squad over the summer--the peak of the MLS season. That doesn't impact mobility across the Atlantic? And I remember specifically that Dempsey and Bradley left Europe for MLS because the fucked-up pay structure of MLS allowed to actually make more money here than in Europe. So they made more money, became a bigger part of their shittier teams, and played in far less challenging leagues. That doesn't affect their cutting edge?

Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad had 4 out of 23 domestic players; Argentina was 3 of 23. That's what we should be striving for. Playing a disconnected league calendar and overpaying domestic stars through an anti-competitive centralized pay structure stands in the way of that. Last night's squad had 16 of 23 players from MLS teams. Of the other 7, five play in Europe (four in top leagues though, admittedly, the Championship is far stronger than MLS) and two in Mexico.
Oct 12, 2017 4:13 AM
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briggmI suggest we all get behind Australia at the forthcoming World Cup. Fuck Mexico!

I am Team Australia, Brother Briggm.
Oct 12, 2017 5:03 AM
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Moses
briggmI suggest we all get behind Australia at the forthcoming World Cup. Fuck Mexico!

I am Team Australia, Brother Briggm.

I will hitch my wagon to Argentina.
Oct 12, 2017 5:21 AM
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Infinitus Corsair

I think the "fix" is multi-faceted and across the board. And the idea that the US's underperformance of its soccer potential has no relationship to its refusal to play along with literally everyone else at club level is ridiculous. Every club is reorganizing its squad over the summer--the peak of the MLS season. That doesn't impact mobility across the Atlantic? And I remember specifically that Dempsey and Bradley left Europe for MLS because the fucked-up pay structure of MLS allowed to actually make more money here than in Europe. So they made more money, became a bigger part of their shittier teams, and played in far less challenging leagues. That doesn't affect their cutting edge?

Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad had 4 out of 23 domestic players; Argentina was 3 of 23. That's what we should be striving for. Playing a disconnected league calendar and overpaying domestic stars through an anti-competitive centralized pay structure stands in the way of that. Last night's squad had 16 of 23 players from MLS teams. Of the other 7, five play in Europe (four in top leagues though, admittedly, the Championship is far stronger than MLS) and two in Mexico.


I don't think the schedule has no effect at all, but ultimately, talented players who want to go to Europe will get there. Marginal effect, sure. But at the same time, Paris is correct that playing over the winter is a nonstarter for MLS. Between competing with other sports and the weather, it would absolutely destroy attendances and what interest there is in a domestic league. It's not exceptionalism to observe that the circumstances in North America are different from say, Russia (and they've only been on the FIFA calendar for like 5 years).

I would like to fix the pay structure, that's a better argument. And Bradley's play has certainly suffered from being in a lesser league. But Dempsey? If we needed a 34-year-old to retain his cutting edge to save us from elimination, we were doomed.

Plus, Arsenal is shit.
Oct 12, 2017 1:55 PM
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Doesn't Russia take a 2-3 month break in the middle of their season? If MLS did that, they'd be competing against the NFL, taking an awkward break, and then competing with the NBA and NHL playoffs. That's a terrible idea.
Oct 12, 2017 2:27 PM
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Not to mention they'd be an inferior product competing for eyeballs with the superior European leagues.
Oct 12, 2017 2:51 PM
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kgaard
Infinitus Corsair

I think the "fix" is multi-faceted and across the board. And the idea that the US's underperformance of its soccer potential has no relationship to its refusal to play along with literally everyone else at club level is ridiculous. Every club is reorganizing its squad over the summer--the peak of the MLS season. That doesn't impact mobility across the Atlantic? And I remember specifically that Dempsey and Bradley left Europe for MLS because the fucked-up pay structure of MLS allowed to actually make more money here than in Europe. So they made more money, became a bigger part of their shittier teams, and played in far less challenging leagues. That doesn't affect their cutting edge?

Brazil's 2014 World Cup squad had 4 out of 23 domestic players; Argentina was 3 of 23. That's what we should be striving for. Playing a disconnected league calendar and overpaying domestic stars through an anti-competitive centralized pay structure stands in the way of that. Last night's squad had 16 of 23 players from MLS teams. Of the other 7, five play in Europe (four in top leagues though, admittedly, the Championship is far stronger than MLS) and two in Mexico.


I don't think the schedule has no effect at all, but ultimately, talented players who want to go to Europe will get there. Marginal effect, sure. But at the same time, Paris is correct that playing over the winter is a nonstarter for MLS. Between competing with other sports and the weather, it would absolutely destroy attendances and what interest there is in a domestic league. It's not exceptionalism to observe that the circumstances in North America are different from say, Russia (and they've only been on the FIFA calendar for like 5 years).

I would like to fix the pay structure, that's a better argument. And Bradley's play has certainly suffered from being in a lesser league. But Dempsey? If we needed a 34-year-old to retain his cutting edge to save us from elimination, we were doomed.

Plus, Arsenal is shit.

Listen, butthole.

You say talented players will get to Europe and that's true in some cases but look at the ratio. Our 2014 World Cup squad had just 10 players based in MLS; this week it's up to 16. That's a pretty big swing. We're going in the wrong direction at this point.

Russia:
- Russia got on the FIFA calendar for a reason--they were trying to integrate their league into the larger global system.
- Yes, they take a long break over the winter--so could the US.
- The MLS regular season runs this year from March 4 to October 22. That means it overlaps with the NBA and NHL regular seasons by five weeks, to say nothing of the next two months of playoffs. It also runs up against the first 7 weeks of the NFL season. The MLS Cup competes against Week 14 of the NFL season. But no, MLS would be doomed if it didn't have that ten-week summer window where it competed only against baseball.
- Speaking of that non-competitive period, why is cold weather worse than hot? It's almost certainly more conducive to play (which is why everyone else avoids playing in the warmest part of the year). And the NFL plays it playoffs in the coldest part of the year just fine.
- Playing from mid-August to mid-December and then after the Super Bowl to the end of May would be a six-week break avoiding the worst of the winter and would add only February to the MLS schedule (including playoffs).

Dempsey was an example of the distortion created by MLS's salary and marketing policies. And he signed with MLS in 2013 at the age of 30 when he was probably still the best player on the national team. That is, from a national team perspective, a disastrous situation. Our trashy butt-league is undermining the national team.

I know you enjoy going to see Andrea Pirlo and Thierry Henry in minor league exhibition matches, kgaard, but it is interfering with the grassroots development of soccer interest and talent in this country which is driven by the World Cup and not the Columbus Crew.
Oct 12, 2017 11:52 PM
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So we agree Arsenal is shit then.
Oct 13, 2017 2:48 AM
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I know I have fond memories of freezing my ass off plowing the field and then playing soccer on a balmy, 10F day in February.

Wait, no I don't.
Oct 13, 2017 5:14 PM
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Paris the GoatI know I have fond memories of freezing my ass off plowing the field and then playing soccer on a balmy, 10F day in February.

Wait, no I don't.

Durr, what's a kilometer?
Oct 14, 2017 2:50 AM
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poor seppos. sounds like they played like shitcunts. oh well. Aus thru but fuck supporting them, sounds like they're another ponderous shitwatch. NZ with a playoiff vs peru ffs. Was hoping for the Argies. NZ won their playoff vs the Solomon Islands. Imagine if they'd lost, the Solomons vs Argentina haha. Messi picked up at the airport by the island bicycle and taken straight to the cooking pot. Or the Solomons travel to Argieland to play at the Copcabana Del Cunt or whatever their massive stadiium is called. they couldve taken their entire population and strewn them about the field, let Messi tucker himself out slaloming through the whole population oh shit plot hole there, he7s in the pot just coming to the boil
Oct 14, 2017 6:49 AM
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Sprague DawleyImagine if they'd lost, the Solomons vs Argentina haha. Messi picked up at the airport by the island bicycle and taken straight to the cooking pot.

Heh, very good.
Oct 14, 2017 4:12 PM
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Losing your first 7 games conceding 17 goals and scoring none to beating defending champions Chelsea is oh so Palace. Let's have a brandy to celebrate, Moses.
Oct 14, 2017 4:15 PM
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kgaardSo we agree Arsenal is shit then.

I trust the process.
Oct 14, 2017 6:41 PM
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