Will the MLS or Chinese Super League ever become more than glorified pub leagues?

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The lot of you are foolish if you don't think a South Florida team is going to do well...

We've got the most successful and lucrative ice hockey league in the world, the one in which all the best talent in the world plays. No one outside of the northeast/midwest cities (and briefly occasionally, somewhere else if the team is good) gives a fuck. You could put Ronaldo, Messi, Kane, Dele, Pogba, Mbappe, Bale, and Modric all in the MLS tomorrow and itd still be a niche sport. Because it's a cultural divide. And the vague, completely ludicrius and unattainable dream that Shittsvilletown Rovers could win their way through 15 tiers and one day win the MLS cup isnt't going to make little Johnny Americunt decide he prefers football over basketball.

I understand that in Europe there's much more localized and insular culture, local clubs and the like, but Americans in general are used to driving 3 1/2 hours on a weekend morning to go see "our team" play. It's a more vast land mass with the cultural habits that go along with that. Theres no European solution to an American problem any more than there's an American solution to a European problem.

I've had a whole lot of thoughts on this thread but this particular part struck up two for me.
A) In terms of hockey, the most important thing that's happened to the growth of hockey in the US is professional players staying in the non-traditional markets they made their money in. There's a reason that St. Louis has become a hockey hot-bed in recent history. Dallas has an elite youth hockey program, South Florida has an elite youth hockey program, Los Angeles has TWO. A common thread between almost all of these organizations has been the backing from former pros who stayed in the area. Keith Tkachuk's influence on hockey in Missouri can't be overstated. As more players do this, the sport will grow. Football has not had this influence from its former pros yet.

B) While you're 100% correct on this, don't you think it's still part of the problem for football fans in the US? I used to drive 5 minutes for some shit NASL games before they moved, but the 90 minute drive to my MLS team almost never feels worth it. I've gone to one game in the last 3 years (to see a specific player from the opposing team, no less), because the distance and corporate feel of MLS is a turn off. I truly think you underestimate the amount of football fans in England and Europe for whom the distance and culture of their football club is extremely important for them. I also think you underestimate how many football fans in America hate the way our sports operate.
 
The lot of you are foolish if you don't think a South Florida team is going to do well...



I've had a whole lot of thoughts on this thread but this particular part struck up two for me.
A) In terms of hockey, the most important thing that's happened to the growth of hockey in the US is professional players staying in the non-traditional markets they made their money in. There's a reason that St. Louis has become a hockey hot-bed in recent history. Dallas has an elite youth hockey program, South Florida has an elite youth hockey program, Los Angeles has TWO. A common thread between almost all of these organizations has been the backing from former pros who stayed in the area. Keith Tkachuk's influence on hockey in Missouri can't be overstated. As more players do this, the sport will grow. Football has not had this influence from its former pros yet.

B) While you're 100% correct on this, don't you think it's still part of the problem for football fans in the US? I used to drive 5 minutes for some shit NASL games before they moved, but the 90 minute drive to my MLS team almost never feels worth it. I've gone to one game in the last 3 years (to see a specific player from the opposing team, no less), because the distance and corporate feel of MLS is a turn off. I truly think you underestimate the amount of football fans in England and Europe for whom the distance and culture of their football club is extremely important for them. I also think you underestimate how many football fans in America hate the way our sports operate.
Regarding the tail end of B - England and Europe are very different cultures that are far more insular geographical distance wise. We see this somewhat in the northeast, but not really anywhere else. The biggest reason the commute bothers you, I imagine, is the product is sub-par. Fixing that by popping up teams in every zip code will only vastly increase the overhead of the sport while provide little additional gain. It would be treating the symptom, dissatisfied commuting supporters, not the disease - shit, unentertaining football.

As far as football fans in America not liking how our sports operate, I don't think it matters. From a practical business standpoint, there aren't enough football fans in America to support MLS - financially it is still failing. If the league is going to grow, become self-sustaining, and reach anything close to its potential it will have to appeal to mainstream sports fans. This is easier to do when you stay within the sporting environment that they are accustomed to. If I'm the 7th largest potato chip maker in the US I dont really care as much about what my customers like/want as what Frito-Lay's customers like/want - they're the ones I need to attract to stay viable.
 
The point of mentioning the commute is that I'm more willing to take time out of my day for a subpar product when I don't have to drive far. Crossing bridges, paying tolls, and sitting in traffic to watch bad football when I can watch great football on my couch makes it an obvious choice. When I had an NASL team down the road, I'd pop in for a game here and there despite it being on the same level as non-league football in England. There were usually quite a few of us there.

If the 7th largest potato chip maker only made dill pickle chips I would think the best way to grow business would be to attract as many people who enjoy dill chips as possible. The sport will never compete with the NFL or NBA and its pointless to act like it ever could. At this point, they've done a decent job drawing fans in some locations but the amount of people who can't be bothered supporting a club in MLS for whatever reason despite loving the sport is massive. I know exactly 0 people who are big MLS fans, I probably know close to 100 who support English/European clubs from the US. It will always be niche in the US, so trying to appeal to the mainstream sports fan is a lost cause. The sooner the MLS realizes this the better.
 
The point of mentioning the commute is that I'm more willing to take time out of my day for a subpar product when I don't have to drive far. Crossing bridges, paying tolls, and sitting in traffic to watch bad football when I can watch great football on my couch makes it an obvious choice. When I had an NASL team down the road, I'd pop in for a game here and there despite it being on the same level as non-league football in England. There were usually quite a few of us there.

If the 7th largest potato chip maker only made dill pickle chips I would think the best way to grow business would be to attract as many people who enjoy dill chips as possible. The sport will never compete with the NFL or NBA and its pointless to act like it ever could. At this point, they've done a decent job drawing fans in some locations but the amount of people who can't be bothered supporting a club in MLS for whatever reason despite loving the sport is massive. I know exactly 0 people who are big MLS fans, I probably know close to 100 who support English/European clubs from the US. It will always be niche in the US, so trying to appeal to the mainstream sports fan is a lost cause. The sooner the MLS realizes this the better.
Your statement is contradictory. Hockey is absolutely a niche sport, and yet we have the largest, most successful hockey league in the world which employs the absolute best hockey players. A niche sport can still be financially viable and successful professionally in the US but it has to meet US sports fans halfway and not shove alien ideas and concepts on them because "that's the way they do it in Europe"

To wit, I know tons of football fans, like you said, that dont care for MLS. I cant think of one who has ever legitimately said they dislike MLS because of the structure - it's simply and inferior product and US fans are accustomed to supporting via television. We'd rather watch good football on TV than go see shit football. More clubs wont do anything to fix this.

What happened to your NASL team? Did it go under or relocate. Either way its proof that it wasn't commercially viable. So what are you asking for? Should MLS, which isnt even self sufficient be subsidizing inferior clubs so you can drive 10 minutes to a game? And isn't that exactly the same thing as a minor league system?

Pro/rel isnt going to happen. People who bought their place at the table for $100M will never condone risking their investment for the benefit for Des Moines Athletico or whatever. Bitching about it is fucking pointless, and does noone any good.
 
Never once mentioned pro/rel, all I did was mention the environment/atmosphere of the sport as a whole in this country.

I have never expected pro/rel to come in, though I do believe that having pro/rel at lower levels would be a positive. I'm not sure if there's any precedent for this in football, but in some countries (most notably Finland) their top hockey league is set without pro/rel while the 2nd tier and lower are subject to pro/rel. What are your thoughts on that?

Hockey is a niche sport, but in 7-10 NHL markets it's the most popular sport in the area. Where in the US/Canada would football be even the 3rd or 4th most popular sport? The NHL survives because of a handful of markets that keep it profitable, MLS would have to figure out how to do the same.
 
Never once mentioned pro/rel, all I did was mention the environment/atmosphere of the sport as a whole in this country.

I have never expected pro/rel to come in, though I do believe that having pro/rel at lower levels would be a positive. I'm not sure if there's any precedent for this in football, but in some countries (most notably Finland) their top hockey league is set without pro/rel while the 2nd tier and lower are subject to pro/rel. What are your thoughts on that?

Hockey is a niche sport, but in 7-10 NHL markets it's the most popular sport in the area. Where in the US/Canada would football be even the 3rd or 4th most popular sport? The NHL survives because of a handful of markets that keep it profitable, MLS would have to figure out how to do the same.
I can't imagine any form of promotion or relegation. It's entirely foreign and if the end game is the USL and other leagues being absorbed as minor league affiliates then its wholly incompatible as clubs would want a defined structure to cycle their developmental players through and not have to deal with their 3rd tier club suddenly leapfrogging their 2nd tier club. It's a romantic idea that's antiquated in modern terms and will likely be disappearing from even Europe.

The NHL makes its money, mostly, from the markets where it's far less important. Most of the markets where hockey is undeniably the #1 sport are basically worthless. It's why Winnipeg originally lost its team, why the Nordiques are gone, and why the North Stars originally left for Dallas. The finances of the NHL all come from NY, Chicago, LA, Toronto, Dallas, and Montreal. It's why Houston is expected to land a franchise very soon, not Quebec City. In 2018 what matters, in every sport and to every league, is eyeballs on television screens and penetration in major metro markets. That's what the MLS needs - they need the NY and LA franchises to be as good as possible, they need quality teams in the other areas, and they need a way to convince people that Chicago v Portland is worth tuning in for at 3pm on Saturday after they just watched Spurs v Liverpool at noon. The MLS needs to focus on increasing its level of play, not scattering teams to all provinces. US fans will care when they think they're watching legitimately quality teams, and not a moment before.
 

Airfixx

"Honka Espoo... We'll see you next year....."
Before I rummage thought the entire thread... It quickly turned into another MLS thread, right?



I demand to know why the likes of Totti Totti & Nabil Bentaleb Nabil Bentaleb aren't fully schooled in the week-to-week of the Chinese league and sharing the wealth by now? :bmj:
 
Clarence Seedof who manages Cameron announced he will not summon players that play in China to the national squad.

Positive steps towards removing this tumor from world football
 

ShutUpPatrik

Supporter
Now I'm a big fat dynamo!
He does a lot of martial arts doesn’t he? Goals like that you can really see it, that was as much about his football ability as it was his martial arts
yeah, he does mui thai on the side to keep in shape.

He's probably tried some other martial arts as well but thai boxing is the only on he talks about in interviews
 
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