MLS vs. NASL (vs. USL Pro)/ NYCFC vs. Cosmos (vs. Red Bulls)

Discussion in 'Soccer in the USA' started by Gaboo, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. Gaboo

    Gaboo Member

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    Since this does not refer to any league (or team) in particular but includes every professional US soccer league and in particular teams from 2 out of the 3 leagues, I created the thread here...hope that works for everyone!?

    What I don't understand is that in a lot of threads on BS, people are discussing MLS vs. NASL and even if NASL could rival MLS at some point. From what I know MLS is clearly defined "1st division" with NASL being second tier in the US. I know that sports dynamics in the US can't be compared to Europe or anywhere else and I understand that with the way professional sports in the US works, relegation will (probably) never happen, so I also don't want to discuss this here (please!). But are you people actually aware that 2nd division is not supposed to beat, rival or overtake 1st division? 2nd (and even 3rd) division and 1st division should compliment each other and not rival each other. In the US 2nd division should be a place for teams (or markets) that for one reason or another -obviously on field performance is none of those reasons- have not made it to MLS (yet). To develop and grow and hopefully be successful...at least off the field, since obviously not everyone can be successful on the field. And frankly, I see a huge potential for a successful 2nd division in the US. MLS is doing well and the NASL is generally doing a decent job so far in my opinion. Hopefully, it will make even more progress in the future! I think the addition of the Cosmos should help! I wish that some day NASL and USL Pro can consolidate and put all the markets that are strong enough into a bigger better 2nd division and leave the rest to grow and develop in the 3rd division (I know that will most likely also not happen, considering the relationship of NASL and USL Pro).

    As for Cosmos vs. NYCFC...as a total outsider I don't have any horse in this race and I want both teams to be successful! It would also create an incredible derby for NY, which will probably only reach its full potential in possible matches in the US Open Cup though. However, I have serious difficulties, thinking of a scenario that works for both teams! The Cosmos will have a head start and possibly "steal" a huge part of the potential NYCFC following due to that. Once NYCFC starts, they might eat into the Cosmos fan base. I hope there will be enough people supporting each team to make both of them successful...or enough people supporting both teams! But I am really doubtful and concerned that both teams will have difficulties because of the situation! I also don't know where the Red Bulls will end up in this? Will they have enough support in NJ to sustain (obviously money from Austria will help to sustain anyways, but all of us would enjoy full stadiums more, I assume!?) In my opinion, Cosmos instead of NYCFC would have been the best case for everyone involved, but obviously this has not happened, so the question is how to make everyone successful and not how to bully, beat and ridicule each other!

    Red Bull becoming Cosmos shirt sponsor in four years time and selling their franchise to the Cosmos, letting them play in Red Bull Arena? Obviously not going to happen, since Red Bull's marketing concept works, even if the stadium is empty and most people don't enjoy having them in MLS. Also, The Cosmos have their own stadium plans and are apparently due to various reasons not interested in MLS.

    So, since the situation is Red Bulls, Cosmos and NYCFC coexisting (at least for the time being) and none of us is going to change that, maybe people on BS should start thinking of how to make it work with what you have in NY and focus less on badmouthing each other's team!?

    So, I hope this thread can lead into a more constructive rather than destructive discussion, because there are already plenty of threads around where you can insult each other and your respective teams!
    Unak78 and Cyclonis repped this.


  2. Simster

    Simster Member

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    The Cosmos are entering a league that averages under 5,000 a game. I just don't believe that 25,000 all seater stadium is going to get done any time soon, because it makes no economic sense.

    The best hope for the Cosmos is that a rising tide lifts all boats, and the NASL increases in relevance, MLS and NASL harmonise in the way they are run, and somehow competitive games between the teams in the two leagues become more common.

    The only alternative to me seems to be that the Cosmos have a large payroll, build the stadium and win the NASL year after year, such that they are an attractive team for MLS to incorporate. Personally, I just don't see that happening.
  3. napolisoccer

    napolisoccer Member

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    NYCFC will be THE ONLY NYC SOCCER TEAM and it WILL PLAY IN MLS !!!!
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  4. ceezmad

    ceezmad Member+

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    There are multiple/hundreds of Soccer teams in NYC.


    I think you mean they will be the only fully pro Soccer team to play in NYC.


    That could be true since I believe the Cosmos will be playing outside NYC at first and their new Stadium (If it ever happens) will be just a step away from NYC but still outside NYC.


  5. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

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    Most of us are being realistic: the NASL will never rival MLS on the kind of budgets that its clubs have right now. It's just that the Cosmos name tends to bring out a particular kind of obnoxious fanatic, the kind that thinks the club will recreate the star-studded New York Cosmos teams of the 1970s and overtake all of MLS. There really isn't any debate.
  6. Gaboo

    Gaboo Member

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    Thanks for keeping this constructive!
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  7. SolomonGrundy

    SolomonGrundy New Member

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    First of all, I'm a New Yorker and a Cosmos season ticket holder.
    You're absolutely right. However, some fans (not me) see the USSF's designation of the NASL as 2nd division as arbitrary, and resent and reject MLS's 1st division status because none of the teams who play in it got there by working their way up through a promotion system as it goes in other countries. I know you wanted to keep pro-rel out of the discussion, but it's actually kind of central to the whole thing. Those kinds of fans see supporting the NASL as a way to 'fight the man' that is MLS, along with their single entity profit sharing franchising business plan, and other elements of MLS that they find distasteful. Especially since the NASL has no salary cap, and doesn't have transfer limits, and other stuff that European leagues do. To be honest I have no idea how many actual matchgoing fans feel this way, but a vocal section of online fans certainly seem to.

    And it's not just among the fans, the league officials think this way too. You'll never, ever catch an NASL exec calling themselves division 2. They always call it 'another league' or 'a different league'. They do NOT want to be considered 2nd division, and this in mainly because the MLS and NASL are in fact two entirely different businesses competing with each other. They're not working together, they are actively competing for fans. It's like imagine the American Beer Federation or whatever comes in and says Budweiser beer is 1st division and Miller is 2nd division. I'm sure that comparison seems ludicrous to a foreigner but that's how overtly corporate sports is here.

    Our lower divisions in other sports aren't like that, because the vast majority of them are owned and affiliated to the top flight (ex. Major League Baseball owns and controls the minor league system outside a few fringe independent leagues, the NBA controls the d-league, and these are used for player development, not team/market development), so they're not a threat to their business.
    In my assessment, that is knowing fans here and knowing NY, there will be extremely few people supporting both an MLS team and the Cosmos. People who will support NYCFC are the type to say "why would I waste my time with a minor league team", or "why would I support a team on Long Island/New Jersey". People who support the Cosmos are the type to say "why would I support a team that promotes an energy drink/foreign team", or "why would I support any MLS team, those franchise bastards".

    Unfortunately, here in NY at this time soccer supporters are defined more by what teams/business plans they hate the most, rather than by what team they like the most. This is how we have all this hullabaloo over 3 different teams when only 1 of them has even kicked a ball yet.

    In my opinion, Red Bull is in the strongest position of all 3 right now. I used to hate Red Bull and thought their fans were ridiculous for still supporting them after the 2006 buyout and identity swap, but recent events have given me a whole new perspective. They have a base of hardcores. They bitch and fight amongst themselves over the old Metro identity, in what style or language they should be supporting the team in and so on, but they have a base of people who are devoted to the team and they are not going anywhere. NYCFC will not take any fans from them. New fans coming up might be a different story, so they might have some issues in the long term.

    Yeah, that would have been the best for everyone. NYCFC is the team that no one asked for but everybody got. But to be honest, I don't know how the Cosmos are going to find their way here. No other NASL team has had to compete with an MLS team in the same market, let alone TWO. I support the Cosmos because I love the identity and legacy even though I'm much too young to have seen it firsthand. In my heart I couldn't support any other NY soccer team. But I think their future is precarious at best, I will likely go down with this ship and leave American club soccer behind me with it.
    Haha, good luck with that my man. Bad mouthing each others teams is part of the game. And not only that, but soccer fans in NY are so sub divided and tribalistic. We all wish to see each others teams go down horribly and publicly not just on the field, but literally we want them to go bankrupt. The core Cosmos support is made up of people who hate Red Bulls overt branding (and they hate NYCFC for the same reasons), the Red Bull support hate the Cosmos supporters because for years they were actively discouraging people from supporting their team. And everybody I know who is a fan of either team hates NYCFC. Like I said earlier, in NY right now what team you support is more defined by what teams you hate. I wish it weren't the case, but thanks to the men with the millions this is how pro soccer has come to be in this city. The only people who I see supporting NYCFC are soccer fans who had no previous interest in MLS. I have no idea how many people that actually is.

    First ever post on this website. Sup guys.
  8. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    Wow. Short thread. Considering how many people war about this on other threads, I am surprised they are not here!
  9. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    Sup.
  10. eclipse02

    eclipse02 Member

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    Okay, here is my take. This all goes back to the USL vs TOA fight for 2nd division.
    • TOA became the NASL and ended up becoming 2nd Division and USL-Pro became 3rd Division.
    • USL-Pro (now 3rd Division) starts claiming to be the best ran soccer league below MLS.
    • Traffic ended up owning Fort Lauderdale and Carolina, Also ended up owning majority of Atlanta.
    • NASL ends up owning Minnesota.
    • Phil Rawlins decides to move the Aztex from Austin to Orlando overnight and drops to 3rd Division.
    • Phil Rawlins then announces that Orlando City will join MLS by 2015. completely skipping over D2 (NASL).
    • Rochester Rhinos jump back to USL after joining the NASL originally.
    • Puerto Rico Islanders leave USL-Pro to join NASL.
    • NASL announce San Antonio as an Expansion team.
    • USL-pro and the San Antonio Spurs try to create division between San Antonio fans by announcing the Spurs would join USL-Pro.
    • Spurs fail to get city approval to refurbish Alamo Stadium with Education money.
    • Ziggy Wilf and Arthur Blank use MLS to get new football stadiums.
    • Ziggy Wilf almost cost the NASL the Minnesota franchise until Bill McGuire stepped up and saved the Stars and re branded them United.
    • The MLS - USL-Pro afflilation happens.
    • Simon Borg (aka the Boron) claims that USL-Pro is the defacto D2 league.
    • USL-Pro forces a team in Tampa. (even though NASL has the Rowdies there)
    • Cosmos in the running for NY2 MLS.
    • Cosmos choose NASL due to the fact that your paying 100 million dollars and have to give up your brand rights in order to get into MLS.
    • Man City joins MLS to form NYCFC.
    • The Borough Boys decide to stick with the Cosmos and NASL.
    • People who are MLS or nothing attack the Borough Boys over a choice they made that they were free to make.
    • Beckham starts eying Miami for MLS Expansion bid.
    • Miami fan boys and Fort Lauderdale fans begin fighting each other.
    Basically USSF needs to get off its tailpipe and start fixing this mess known as a pyramid before we have fans going to far.
  11. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    Overall, very accurate....

    Except the USSF is run by a former New England Patriots employee who has a great working relationship with Bob Kraft. If MLS attempts to destroy NASL with the USSF's blessing, then FIFA will have to be called in or there will be a huge problem for NASL. That said, I think FIFA is itching for the chance to shame the USSF.

    I don't think it will even get that far. MLS will put the team in Miami-- again. And screw up-- again. And have an empty stadium-- again. People assume those guys in charge are way more intelligent than we give should them credit for.
  12. TerminusFooty

    TerminusFooty Member+

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  13. Gaboo

    Gaboo Member

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    Probably because bitching is more fun compared to constructive discussions!?

    Anyway, thanks for your contributions so far, guys!
  14. Gaboo

    Gaboo Member

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    Very interesting article and I actually like the author's vision, however I don't really agree with his predictions...regardless of how much I like them!

    For me the first step would have to be a consolidation of USL-Pro and NASL before NASL and MLS anyways. I think a bunch of teams are wasting their potential in USL-Pro (no offense!), most of all Orlando obviously, but a few others as well. Add the best performing markets to NASL first to create a solid 2nd division and see how far an officially defined (by USSF, obviously not by NASL itself) 2nd division can go. That's my take.
  15. Jewelz510

    Jewelz510 Member+

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    Since 2005, we've seen nine new teams and one relocation. Of those teams, only Chivas can be considered clearly a bad move by the league. The rest (RSL, SJ to Houston, new SJ, Toronto, Seattle, Philadelphia, Portland, Vancouver, Montreal) have been good decisions by the league, and have resulted in solid franchises. It has resulted in many new soccer-specific stadiums, and each of those markets have contributed to a growing and thriving fan culture across the league. MLS has, for the most part, been smart about its growth.
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  16. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    So what you're saying is that it took 9 years for MLS to stabilize.
  17. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

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    Well, yes. Stability is something that no soccer league in the US, with the exception of MLS, has ever accomplished. There's nothing wrong with MLS taking 9 years for it.
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  18. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    My point is that it took 9 years for their model to become stable to begin with. Note, I said "stable". Not "profitable".

    I think their stability is about to be tested, largely by their own actions. Florida was a watermark of MLS instability. There is no way that overblown, underproducing system can produce something profitable in Florida they way they currently do things and on the margins that the NASL is currently using. None. It's just a finanical sinkhole using MLS numbers waiting to happen.

    The biggest problem is that this may be done to destabilize the NASL teams there. But I wonder how successful that will be. Both the Rowdies and Strikers have fan-loyal factions who want to see their teams come into MLS. I think they're both going to have a Borough Boys moment and realize MLS doesn't give a whit about what they think or feel about club play in Florida.

    And again, the teams operate under lower margins in the NASL. I don't think MLS is taking that into the equation, or if they are and have created a more cost effective solution for Florida, my feeling is that it's going to end up looking like the NASL/USL Pro teams in the area anyway, and no potential investors *in this country* will take dumping $100 million into teams that can't make a real profit seriously, when they could go across the street and save, oh, $98 million. And domestic ownership at the start of any team is paramount to establishing stronger local support. Flying over David Beckham was absolutely the worst way to say "MLS is committed to South Florida". It says MLS is a tourist.

    And I believe we'll discover that's just what it is when it comes to Florida.

    Unfortunately in the end, this will have an unintended effect. The "fee squeeze" that was played on the Cosmos is about to get somewhat tighter. Owners invested in the scheme need higher returns to sustain their losses.

    And unlike the NASL 1.0 owners who were embattled by competing interests in their portfolios (like the NFL) these owners, many of whom ARE NFL owners, could just cut and run when they think they've sucked out the market.

    Meanwhile, the market will continue to develop underneath.

    I'm just guessing though, and people think I'm dogmatizing. Am I sure this is how it's going to happen? No. MLS could get smart about Florida, develop in Orlando, and leave it at that for a couple of years. But if they start talking about a Florida derby, there is trouble brewing. Or they could dump the whole project.

    All I am saying is that the numbers as they stand will not work. And if they don't work, the above will happen.
  19. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    Thank you for creating this thread!

    Well, the pissing contests and fighting can be dealt with constructively if they don't become reduced to insult-throwing. That said, this is the thread for it, so I say we bring those folks from the other threads and have it out.

    That is, if they don't want to confirm my original suspicion that some folks are hanging on those threads to deflate new fan enthusiasm.
  20. CCSUltra

    CCSUltra Member+

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    Bullshit. Bull. Shit.

    People hate on idiots who keep posting about how the Cosmos are the only one true soccer team and that the NASL will lead the great soccer revolt against MLS. It's idiotic and uninformed. The Cosmos were trying to back their way into MLS and got called on their bluff. Now they're talking about being one of the world's greatest teams in D2. So far, nothing shows that the will be anything other than a very good NASL level team. The players that they've signed will make them (at least on paper) a contender in the fall. But nothing more than that. The Cosmos fanboys, like yourself, seem to think that every player in the world is going to want to play for a D2 US team in a converted college football stadium on Long Island. It's not going to happen.

    NASL might not want to be called Division 2, but that's exactly what it is. I can say it's a sunny day when it's overcast, but that doesn't make it a sunny day. It's about acknowledging reality. They are second division. The pay players significantly less than MLS. They operate on significantly smaller budgets than MLS. Most of the players are guys that couldn't hack it in MLS (there are some exceptions, obviously). The best players in the league move to MLS or abroad. They can talk about competing with MLS, but NASL owners don't have the money to compete. If they try to compete, they will most likely lose. Do you think all of the owners want to compete? I don't. A second division competing with MLS is terrible for soccer in the United States. We need strong lower leagues, and having a competing league isn't the way to go. Did we learn nothing from the Soccer Wars?
  21. Egbert Sousé

    Egbert Sousé Member

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    Well said CCSUltra. A+
  22. CCSUltra

    CCSUltra Member+

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    This fighting amongst leagues has happened too much in US soccer. My team was a casualty in 2009. I don't want it to happen again.
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  23. TerminusFooty

    TerminusFooty Member+

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  24. NodineHill

    NodineHill Member

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    It appears I cannot directly respond to anyone. I assume that's the first step in being banned?

    Why do you care so much? Seriously, if everything happens as you say, what do you think is going to happen? Mass suicides on the part of the "fanboys"? Are defenders of your position so insecure that if people pin hopes on a team to help contribute to the repair or replacement of a dysfunctional system you must crush it by calling them ignorant? The whole thing makes no sense. Honestly.

    If it doesn't happen, so what? I am still going to have fun at my games.
  25. oneeyedfool

    oneeyedfool Member

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    Top US Metro Markets and D1-D3 clubs

    1. New York, 19.8M - MLS (Red Bulls, NYC FC) and NASL (Cosmos)
    2. Los Angeles, 13.0M - MLS (Galaxy, Chivas) and USLPro (Blues)
    3. Chicago, 9.5M - MLS (Fire)
    4. Dallas, 6.7M - MLS (FC Dallas)
    5. Houston, 6.1M - MLS (Dynamo)
    6. Philadelphia, 6.0M - MLS (Union)
    7. Washington/NoVa, 5.8M - MLS (DC United) and NASL (Cavalry)
    8. Miami-Ft Lauderdale, 5.7M - NASL (Strikers)
    9. Atlanta, 5.4M - NASL (Silverbacks)
    10. Boston, 4.6M - MLS (Revs)
    11. San Francisco-Oakland, 4.4M - NONE
    12. Riverside-San Bernardino CA, 4.3M - NONE
    13. Phoenix, 4.3M - USLPro (Phoenix FC)
    14. Detroit, 4.2M - NONE
    15. Seattle, 3.5M - MLS (Sounders)
    16. Minneapolis-St Paul, 3.4M - NASL (MN United)
    17. San Diego, 3.1M - NONE (but Xolos close by)
    18. Tampa-St Pete, 2.8M - NASL (Rowdies) and USLPro (Flames)
    19. St. Louis, 2.8M - NONE
    20. Baltimore, 2.7M - NONE
    21. Denver, 2.6M - MLS (Rapids)
    22. Pittsburgh, 2.3M - USLPro (Riverhounds)
    23. Charlotte, 2.3M - USLPro (Eagles)
    24. Portland, 2.3M - MLS (Timbers)
    25. San Antonio, 2.2M - NASL (Scorpions)
    26. Orlando, 2.2M - USLPro (Orlando City)
    27. Sacramento, 2.2M - USLPro
    28. Cincinnati, 2.1M - NONE
    29. Cleveland, 2.0M - NONE
    30. Kansas City 2.0M - MLS (Sporting)
    31. Las Vegas, 2.0M - NONE
    32. Columbus, 1.9M - MLS (Crew)
    33. Indianapolis, 1.9M - NASL (Eleven)
    34. San Jose, 1.9M - MLS (Earthquakes)
    35. Austin, 1.8M - NONE
    36. Nashville, 1.7M - NONE
    37. Virginia Beach, 1.7M - NONE
    38. Providence RI, 1.6M - NONE
    39. Milwaukee, 1.5M - NONE
    40. Jacksonville, 1.3M - NONE
    41. Memphis, 1.3M - NONE
    42. Oklahoma City, 1.3M - NONE
    43. Louisville, 1.3M - NONE
    44. Richmond, 1.2M - USLPro
    45. New Orleans 1.2M - NONE
    46. Hartford CT, 1.2 - NONE
    47. Raleigh, 1.1M - NASL (Railhawks)
    48. Birmingham AL, 1.1M - NONE
    49. Buffalo, 1.1M - NONE
    50. Salt Lake City, 1.1M - MLS (Real)
    51. Rochester NY, 1.1M - USLPro (Rhinos)
    52. Grand Rapids MI, 1.0M - NONE
    53. Tuscon, 1.0M - USLPro?
    54. Honolulu, 1.0M - Too far to be realistic
    55. Tulsa, 1.0M - NONE
    56. Fresno, 0.9M - NONE
    57. Bridgeport CT, 0.9M - NONE
    58. Worcester MA, 0.9M - NONE
    59. Albuquerque, 0.9M - NONE
    60. Omaha, 0.9M - NONE
    61. Albany NY, 0.9M - NONE
    62. New Haven CT, 0.9M - NONE
    63. Bakersfield CA, 0.9M - NONE
    64. Knoxville - 0.8M - NONE
    65. Greenville SC, 0.8M - NONE
    66. Oxnard-Ventura CA, 0.8M - NONE
    67. El Paso, 0.8M - NONE
    68. Lehigh Valley PA, 0.8M - NONE
    69. Baton Rouge, 0.8M - NONE
    70. Mission TX, 0.8M - NONE
    71. Dayton OH, 0.8M - USLPro (Dutch Dragons)
    Plenty of markets for three tiers of US soccer leagues to thrive. If NASL wants to be ambitious, they should go after the bold markets towards the top 40 and a third LA team maybe with the Aztecs name and try out do Chivas. If the Cosmos sign a few well known names to fill out their roster then and end up being a good away draw that lifts attendance for other teams in the league the way the Yankees/Red Sox do in baseball, along with the Emirates high profile sponsorship, that could attract good investors in those bigger, empty markets.

    Metro market source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitan_Statistical_Areas
    john3628, ceezmad and eclipse02 repped this.

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