Blatter: MLS "still struggling."

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by X@V!3R, Dec 30, 2012.

  1. El Naranja

    El Naranja Member+

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    And how is our German friend doing in getting NCAA to change?

    It seems his changes are on the younger kids (middle to high school) which is great and yes, pay-to-play needs to enjoy an agonizing death. Still going to take time and it isn't like the system in place isn't currently providing MLS and US with quality players. There is no "silver bullet", no "instant gratification" solution here. And there is no way any of this could have happened that much faster to have any real effect.


  2. CShine

    CShine Member

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    Yes, there was a way. Teams could've started academies even though it was hard, even though it (gasp!) cost money.

    If you're too poor to succeed then just admit it. Don't try to call yourself a success when you're failing. MLS is a growing business that's been failing the kids for a decade and half. That's not anything close to success on the world stage of soccer. It's just a higher business profile than most fledgling leagues. That's all.

    Look past the deep-pocketed owners with their pretty stadiums and look for what they've done to improve youth soccer development in their towns. Not too damn much is what. It's deserving of criticism.
  3. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

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    There's also the fact that college is viewed differently for the individual in the US than in other countries, I think. I have talked about this some to my friend whose son plays for the Sporting U-something team. I asked her if she wished there were a good academy system that could really turn her son into some sort of star. She said no. She gets very excited by the idea of him playing professionally, but she and her husband (and her son, though he's young enough that he may just be sharing their opinions) all strongly believe that college is more important than soccer development. A lot of the other parents and players in the group, she says, feels that way.

    There. Anecdotal non-evidence to prove that we need promotion and relegation.
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  4. El Naranja

    El Naranja Member+

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    MLS started their academy program when they had the money to do it. I believe that was 2008 or 2009. Before then they were indeed too poor to afford it. I think most objective viewers would agree too.

    No one calls MLS a success in the sense that they have everything they need and can compete on the world stage. It's called a success because it exists and considering the tumultuous history of soccer in the US over the last 120 years or so, I'd say that is a huge success that is damn near unprecedented.

    We no longer have to ask ourselves "MLS is going to be back in the spring, right?".

    Instead we get to talk about youth academies, transfers, winning the confederation, and so forth. Things that other fans of other teams in other leagues have enjoyed for decades (if not longer). That makes us part of the global football culture and it is nice to belong, finally.

    Success.


  5. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

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    The league isn't too poor to succeed now. It almost was, and it almost died because of it. So it admitted that there were some things it could afford and some things it couldn't and spent appropriately. If it had stupidly spent more money that it had 10 years ago, it would've died. And then who'd be helping the USSF and the NCAA do player development? The Cosmos?

    Do you seriously not recognize the difference between growing and struggling? Of course MLS isn't doing as much for American and Canadian players as the Eredivisie does for kids in the Netherlands. But it's doing something--and something more each year. American and Canadian youth players are better off with it than without it. And 10 years from now, if trends continue, they'll be even better off.

    More than you have and more than I have. And they've done it at the pace that will let their league survive and even grow because MLS is a business. USSF is a nonprofit. USSF gives money away; MLS doesn't. Of course MLS owners are watching the bottom line. They invested in a business; they didn't give to a charity. It's not the league's responsibility to do good for good's sake. That's the USSF's responsibility. (And it's been making real improvements too.)

    It's all well and good to say, "GO FASTER!!!!!" But until you're going to pour millions of your money into making things go faster, you'll have to let MLS run its business as (an increasingly successful) business and let the USSF distribute its limited means as best it can. And you'll have to recognize which one is actually responsible for the areas you're critiquing.
  6. CShine

    CShine Member

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    OK, then don't complain when Blatter calls a bad situation for what it is. The guy is right-on in his criticism, corrupt scumbag though he may be.
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  7. El Naranja

    El Naranja Member+

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    But it isn't a bad system. We've a free developmental program in the NCAA (from MLS' POV) that is tried and true. We've over 20 academies around the country that are grooming tomorrow's talent. New, yes, but they are there. And MLS is raising more money each year to pour into youth programs of all varieties. Whats bad about it?
  8. Grumpy in LA

    Grumpy in LA Bringing It Since 1807™

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    No, he's pretty much wrong. Because he has a dumb definition of "struggling" predicated on the idiotic notion that it should only have taken MLS 18 years to transform a small league in a country indifferent or hostile to soccer into a sport competing on equal terms with hugely popular sports with long decades of tradition and infrastructure. So, fine, if struggling means "not (yet) operating" like one of the top 5 or 10 leagues in the world, then MLS is struggling. And so is the Argentine league, and the Brazilian leagues, and the Belgian league, and the Danish league, and the Turkish league... And the Chinese league. Which of course Blatter thinks is NOT struggling.

    If "struggling" means something closer to, uh, struggling, then Blatter's comments in this instance are as dumb as they usually are.
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  9. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

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    Yeah, I read about the Chinese league on wikipedia a while back. Clubs are up and dying left and right... The top flight almost never finishes with all the teams that start the season.
  10. carnifex2005

    carnifex2005 Member+

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    He isn't wrong. You just didn't listen to what he was saying. He wasn't slamming the MLS. He was slamming US soccer and saying that it was struggling. There is one top flight league and two other leagues that are hanging on with not as many people transitioning from playing soccer as kids to becoming pros in several healthy leagues.

    I blame this entire thread on the trollish headline. Of course the MLS defence force wasn't going to actually listen to what he said in the video.
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  11. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    I actually tried to pay attention and it wasn't that bad.

    I hate assuming or jumping to conclusions but I gotta say...

    ...after 20 years of watching Blatter in action I don't care. He is such a vile prick it just doesn't matter to me.

    This coming from a guy who actually understands he helped MLS early on by forcing a piggyback of TV contracts with the WC when no one cared to pick it up, and he pushed for the WC.

    For me the negatives so staggeringly outweighs the positives his words mean little to me.
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  12. CShine

    CShine Member

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    Clubs will fold by the ton in every country. It's happening right here all the time as we speak. The important thing is the standards of those that remain. Mere survival is not enough.
  13. bostonsoccermdl

    bostonsoccermdl Moderator Staff Member

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    And until this attitude changes amongst parents, this will continue to be a problem.. People wonder why soccer is such a popular sport amongst kids, but then tapers off... Its b/c it is looked as a means to an end: parent fork out $$ expensive select youth team==> college scholarship==> forget about soccer get a traditional career.
  14. KensingtonSC

    KensingtonSC I Hate Freedom

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    Next season, I will be attending 20 Philadelphia Union matches, while, at the same time, I am able to watch every single MLS match on television AND online. So long as I can continue to do these two things, who gives a shit what one Swiss thief thinks?
  15. JG

    JG Member+

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    Examples? I only see one recent year where a team withdrew/folded in the middle of the season, and that was because of a dispute over a player's suspension for fighting, not because of financial issues.
  16. Inca Roads

    Inca Roads Member+

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    Nuts. I think you're right. I must be thinking of another burgeoning league. Yay, I love talking and shortly finding out I'm not that bright.
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  17. ji_shuheng

    ji_shuheng Member+

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    they rebrand and/or relocate in the offseason fairly often. you can buy your way out of relegation if you buy (or already own) one of the just-promoted teams in addition to your just-relegated team, which has happened before. continuity is certainly an issue.
  18. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

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    The more interest in soccer (with MLS being the catalyst) stateside means more interest in having FIFA events and increased TV fees, image rights and product licensing revenue. All of which means more money for FIFA and it's associated partners from both legitimate and illegitimate sources. Capitalist have this shit figured out.
  19. Soccergodlss

    Soccergodlss Member+

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    I am very happy where we are. With everything considered, this league is pretty damn awesome if you ask me. Every league can improve, but things are on the up and up right now.
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  20. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    I just went back and watched the video.

    What he's saying is that given 18 years to do it, and that soccer is "the most popular game in the youths" there should be a league in the US that is as popular as the US major leagues, and that anything less constitutes struggling and a disappointment. This in contrast to China, where there's some issue with the 'organization' but basically everything's going swimmingly; everyone there is a footballer or a ping-ponger.

    That's what he said. He did not say, or imply, anything about player development, lower divisions, or what have you. What he said was real, real simple: that 18 years is plenty of time to build a major US sports league out of nothing. And I just don't get the need to try and mine the statement, using words he did not say, to try to find some sort of right in it--it's not there.
  21. Mike Marshall

    Mike Marshall Member+

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    Good God. People need to remember where we've come from. If 25+ years ago, you told me that in the United States:

    * The USMNT not qualifying for the World Cup would be viewed as a major upset.
    * The USMNT had advanced out of the group stage in three of the last five World Cups.
    * There would be dozens of Americans playing professionally at high levels in Europe.
    * There would be a domestic soccer league with regular season games broadcast on ESPN and NBC.
    * There would be four different 24-hour soccer channels available through cable/satellite.
    * There would be a dozen 15,000+ seat professional soccer stadiums built around the country.
    * Cities and ownership groups would be willing to pay in excess of $50 million for an expansion franchise.

    ...I'd have advised you to seek psychiatric help.
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  22. Zoidberg

    Zoidberg Member+

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    What exactly is bad?

    I've been involved with the game here since the 70's. Actually donated money to keep the USSF running in the early 80's. Saw it all.

    For where the game was, what it competes with, etc...I think the game is doing fairly well. Beyond anything I could have believed 30 years ago, especially after the NASL fad.

    Blatters comments can be viewed as correct if u like to believe that. They can also be viewed as the ignorant comments they are in context of what the game is here.

    All in all I stand by my first thought.

    Pandering to the Arab media who would eat up the message, and trying to indirectly prop up Qatar 2022.

    No biggie. Scum being scum.

    Hey MadHatter...where are u? Come out and play..ay!

    How were my comments ignorant? I'd love to know. What hurt u so bad?:) Are u huddled and hiding in a corner with tears in your eyes to upset to come out and respond?

    Blatter panders. He is corrupt. Please tell me. I want to be enlightened!
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  23. PhillyMLS

    PhillyMLS Member+

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    25+ years ago? Hell, I think even 15 years ago people would tell you that you are crazy to think that we would be at the point we are now.
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  24. tigersoccer2005

    tigersoccer2005 Member+

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    Why does Blatter remind me of Elmer Fudd??o_O

  25. ji_shuheng

    ji_shuheng Member+

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    i left china right just before guangzhou went on their spending spree, but skc and mls are certainly bigger in kc than shenzhen ruby and the csl were in shenzhen. ruby's since been relegated, but they were a csl team when i was there. i guess i could ask around, but the same attendance/ratings gap seemed to be in place: even if you fill the stadium, nobody's watching on tv.

    losing to japan in the afc final in beijing seemed to be a high point for the national team, with many people since turning to basketball over football as a participation sport. it was certainly far easier for me to find pickup games in 2001, when the national team was good, than in 2011, when they'd been terrible for 5+ years. the spending spree we see with clubs like guangzhou evergrande and shanghai shenhua is following a major ref bribing scandal that saw a number of referees sent to prison (iirc, guangzhou evergrande was in the second division "league one" during sentencing, after being relegated for match fixing or some similar crime).

    the chinese clubs are spending money they won't make back through soccer-related sources of revenue. some of the chinese teams are owned by very deep-pocketed investors, and most are owned by companies rather than individuals, so overspending might be more tenable for them than it was for NASL. (beijing can siphon off money from CITIC and that sort of thing.)

    Jia-A and CSL officially started in 1993 and 2004 respectively, but "officially" is the key word here--money and "semi"-pro clubs got into the game in the 1980s, parallel to all the other economic reforms under deng xiaoping.

    so MLS started ~10 years later than its chinese counterpart (since the historical dates for china lag behind the factual dates by several years), china's clubs (and league for that matter) are nowhere near as stable as MLS's, and signs of CSL in daily life lag behind signs of MLS in daily life, or did as recently as a year and a half ago. china's hype signings might be part of what's leading blatter to make such a blatantly false analogy, the belief that there was no league prior to the Jia-A rebranding as the CSL (like the english first division rebranding as the EPL) might be leading blatter to make such a blatantly false analogy, or he might already be thinking that he has to rationalize awarding WC 2026 to china over the us as been suggested earlier in the thread. but this idea that the CSL is more successful or more "on track" is simply laughable.

    league one and league two might be more secure than NASL and USL. that i can't speak to.
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