Elevenaside - Growing popularity of the MLS

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Great piece here in Time. This league was a laughing stock up until recently, and you only have to remember the ridicule directed at Robbie Keane when he went over to prove that the ill feelings towards it are still there.

But it's improving all the time, and it's gaining a place in the hearts of huge numbers of American sports fans. Do any posters watch it, or follow any of the teams?

Seamus89 (Kilkenny) - Posts:3848 - 24/03/2012 09:26:11   1135960

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It will be continued to be ridiculed as long as over the hill 'stars' continue to use it as a cash cow. I was at a few games over there recently and the standard is akin to the North Tipperary Junior District League.

vice99 (Donegal) - Posts:1054 - 24/03/2012 10:07:53   1135968

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No.

Greengrass (Louth) - Posts:4415 - 24/03/2012 11:54:50   1136005

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The MLS will only be a top class league when wages are in line with what players earn in europe. In the MLS(besides the likes of Keane, Henry etc) players earn about 50-100 grand a year, which as good a wage as it is wont attract top players with the exception of former top players looking for a last payday.

PK57 (Louth) - Posts:1455 - 24/03/2012 12:36:29   1136024

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PK57
County: Louth
Posts: 978

The MLS will only be a top class league when wages are in line with what players earn in europe. In the MLS(besides the likes of Keane, Henry etc) players earn about 50-100 grand a year, which as good a wage as it is wont attract top players with the exception of former top players looking for a last payday.


To be fair the wages system in the MLS means teams can only pay higher wages (European level wages) to three designated players. The rest of the squad is capped with a salary limit, which is the same for all teams across the board.

The equal TV revenue deals, collective merchandising and league sponsorship deals will mean that although teams mightn't always be able to attract top stars at their peak, there'll always be a level playing field for teams to compete on financially at least. This will also benefit the league as it means there's less chance of a club going bankrupt and also less chance of one single team dominating the league.

The league is growing steadily, evident in it's expansion over the last few years with new teams joining the top tier, and increased attendances. It might not challenge the top four or five leagues in Europe any time soon, but I'd say it could be the biggest league outside of Europe by the time the US gets the World Cup for 2026.

if_in_doubt (Kildare) - Posts:3207 - 24/03/2012 13:32:38   1136047

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No

waynoI (Dublin) - Posts:11549 - 24/03/2012 13:37:58   1136050

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Its the greatest league in the world!

brendtheredhand (Tyrone) - Posts:10833 - 24/03/2012 13:47:50   1136056

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Attendance are averaging around the 20,000 - 25,000 mark, with some much higher one-offs (Montreal got 59,000 at their first game recently and Toronto vs. LA Galaxy got 48,000).. Compared to a lot of European leagues, that's very healthy. Our own league for example would kill to reach even half that level. If they sustain the popularity of it over time then there's no reason why the quality can't eventually improve. I don't see any real problem with it being a sort of retirement home for marquee-name European players if they're bringing a bit of perceived glamour to it. Soccer in the States has had numerous false dawns though.

dermot_trellis (Dublin) - Posts:628 - 24/03/2012 14:20:14   1136073

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This one is more grassroots driven Dermot, as oppposed to the old corporate and jazzed up NASL. College soccer is very popular and this is an effective feeder.

brendtheredhand (Tyrone) - Posts:10833 - 24/03/2012 15:53:02   1136095

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Would you look at who's thinking of moving over there? Now this really would be a backward step for the MLS...

Seamus89 (Kilkenny) - Posts:3848 - 25/03/2012 13:02:27   1136440

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Yeah I was incredulous when I read that one seamus, is America ready for Stephen ireland and his pick trimmed 4 x 4?

brendtheredhand (Tyrone) - Posts:10833 - 25/03/2012 13:07:58   1136446

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That should of course read 'pink'!

brendtheredhand (Tyrone) - Posts:10833 - 25/03/2012 13:16:17   1136458

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Outside of Europe its stiil way behind the likes of the brazilian league (which is one of the best in the world) the Mexican league and the Argentinian league, its been 12 years since an american team have won the CONCACAF (north american equivalent of the champions league) and even the standard in that competition is quite poor, So maybe when an american team wins that competition and beats the south american champions or even the european champions in the club world championchips it will gain international respect and recrecognition.

farmer.2 (Sligo) - Posts:69 - 25/03/2012 15:06:09   1136524

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MLS is ahead of most small European leagues. The infrastructure, player development, and business plan is second to none, and it is producing fine players - Donovan, Holden, Dempsey, Bocanegra, and Howard to name a few. Don't be bitter.

jaffa18 (Cork) - Posts:177 - 25/03/2012 17:24:37   1136645

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