Why I Am Still Avoiding the MLS All Star Game

About a year ago on this site, I wrote an article about why I would not be watching the MLS All Stars face off against Manchester United at Red Bull Arena.  In essence, I felt that another meaningless friendly, but this time with a collection of MLS talent instead of just one team, didn’t peak my interest:

For the record, I tend not to watch all star games of sports I enjoy.  No matter what the schtick (players pick teams, domestic v. foreign, winner gets homefield), if the game doesn’t count for something meaningful then I tend to enjoy it less.  And that I think is the root cause of my lack of interest in tonight’s game.

Except for a major injury, no matter what happens on the pitch tonight it won’t matter. No trophies will be awarded, no points towards a final goal will be given, and there is nothing for MLS to gain from this match.  If anything, there’s more to lose: witness the press surrounding last year’s game.  I may be in the minority, but when there is so little at stake in a game I have little impetus to watch it on television.

In the past I have stated that I enjoy international friendlies; does this make me a hypocrite?  Not at all, because I think the key difference is that I am watching this game on television. I can watch Manchester United on ESPN2 plenty of times in the coming months, in games that matter.  If I were at Red Bull Arena and feeling the atmosphere of the game, I would be more excited and interested.  But I am relegated to my couch, so I lose the atmosphere of the game and what appeals to me most about friendlies: seeing a team I can’t normally see play in-person.

A year later, it’s another Premier League team visiting our shores to face our collection of the best of the best (or, the best available).  While Chelsea has a bit more prestige, having just won the UEFA Champions League, the scenario is basically the same.  The only two differences that will maybe convince me to watch tonight are the arena and the head coach.  Philadelphia’s soccer stadium has one of the best views in the league, and I enjoy watching games in HD played there simply because the view is unparalleled.  The second reason is Ben Olsen.  The DC united head coach is an up-and-coming manager with an oversized personality.  How he manages his roster of all stars and enjoys the moment could be fun to see.

Does all this mean I will be tuning in tonight?  Probably not.  Because at the end of the day, the game doesn’t mean anything.  An MLS win will be portrayed as them beating a traveling team tuning up for the season, while another loss to an EPL side will further cast doubt on MLS as product (rightly or wrongly).  I’ll take a pass on this one and wait for a match that actually determines something in the standings.

68 Responses to Why I Am Still Avoiding the MLS All Star Game

  1. Alex says:

    There are two reasons why I will watch. 1. I enjoy the EPL and I
    know Chelsea will be going all-out to play well because the season
    starts pretty soon and they have a bunch of new players who need to
    get used to the system. 2. This is the only time we have a chance
    to see the best MLS players playing together. I’m especially
    excited to see DeRo and Beckham play together in the midfield. I
    know it’s just an exhibition, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a
    good game. I’ll always be a fan of the sport first, leagues and
    teams second (and third).

    • Tijuana Robert says:

      I agree Alex, no matter how much I hate MLS’s structure I am a fan
      of the sport first. I do agree that MLS has nothing to gain from
      this event, especially if they lose by a wide margin.

      • Charles says:

        Yeah, MLS has nothing to gain from broadcasting a game on
        ESPN….well besides money and publicity, but besides that. You
        can’t seriously be that lost in the forest you can’t see that tree

  2. The original Tom says:

    I watch it if I’m around but I don’t change my schedule for it
    (unlike a big EPL, Champion’s League, Rapids game, or the MLS
    final). When it was in Colorado I attended it and it was a lot of
    fun. It is often a good game but I agree that there is nothing at
    stake. I read nothing into the result, but I agree with Alex that
    it is fun to see the unique MLS combinations on the same team. I’d
    like to see them get a non-EPL team next year.

    • Charles says:

      Mexico All-Stars versus MLS All-Stars !!! They need to make this
      happen. It would be epic. Year after year of something to look
      forward to. It could be the second mid summer classic.

  3. Johnny V says:

    I for sure will be watching this game, major props to MLS and ESPN
    for hyping up the game. I know the game has no meaning as far as
    points, trophies, and league standings, but that’s not a reason you
    should not watch. A lot of people who are not MLS fans will be
    watching this game, a lot of football fans around the world will be
    tuning in cause its Chelsea playing, a lot of non-soccer fans here
    in America will be watching since it’s an All-Star game. So it’s
    very important for the MLS to put a big show, and if you’re a fan
    of MLS you should be supporting this. Besides, compared to other
    All-Star games this by far is the best. In the NFL the pro bowl
    well nobody watches that, In Basketball East vest West is the same
    old boring stuff year after and we know the players don’t care, In
    baseball it’s ridiculous the system they have, for one game it
    decides home filed advantage when a team plays 162 games a year,
    talk about being unfair!. And in hockey well nobody watches that

  4. Charles says:

    ” An MLS win will be portrayed as them beating a traveling team
    tuning up for the season, while another loss to an EPL side will
    further cast doubt on MLS as product (rightly or wrongly).” Robert,
    You need to quit caring what others think, seriously. This isn’t
    1982. MLS is a very good league. If others don’t care to admit it,
    or are too stupid to know it who cares ? Have you seen the posts on
    this site, you really think you are going to convince that level of
    stupidity ?………………………………………………In
    1982, we all cared what others thought, and for good reason, one
    more year and the Cosmos had a one team league going. That isn’t
    the case now.

    • SSReporters says:

      If MLS is a good league, they need to start winning in the CCL. Not
      getting annihilated by Mexican teams in the knockout round every

      • Alan says:

        Definitely, they need to work on that, but we are far from the only
        league in the world that has Mexican teams that can beat them. MLS
        is a good league, and can and will get better.

  5. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    “one more year and the Cosmos had a one team league going. That
    isn’t the case now.”…………….that is exactly the case now.
    If you understand how “single entity” works. MLS is just one
    private club, making us believe they are different teams. It is a
    scam, whether you like it or not……………… Do you know what
    they say on court in order not to be charge with antitrust
    law?…….”antitrust law should not apply to us, we are a single
    entity, we DO NOT compete against each other”…….so if they DO
    NOT compete against each other, then they are just a big club

    • Sam says:

      No its not one single club, the single entity means that each team
      isnt its own separate business, the league sells franchises to
      cities or owners who can then negotiate with players, in your rule
      youre saying the nba is one big team and so is the mlb and nfl and

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        so if..”each team isnt its own separate business” does it matters
        if they have certain freedoms? Can teams decide which kit maker
        they were? What does “single” means to you?

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        who are the players contracted to? the franchise or the entity?

      • Alex says:

        Sam let me give you a run down of the scam mls calls single entity
        . Mls is listed as major league soccer LLC a private corporation in
        where investors (or owners to make the fan boys feel better about
        it) buy into the corporation. They are handed a stake in the
        company along with a share of the profits gained by the franchises
        and SUM. Everything is centrally negotiated by the league ergo
        sponsoring (Adidas eg) friendlies (clubs have the option to decline
        scheduling but receives all ticket sales if they do) and player
        contracts . A player does not sign with say Sounders directly they
        sign with mls, agree to the terms then enter into a allocation pot
        where teams on the list can sign them or not. Essentially the
        league decides where teams go to keep cost down and further dilute
        quality with parity. This is also why you see trades happen so very
        often because the contract is owned by the league players rights
        are easily transfersd from one franchise to another. Which is
        highly unfair to players because they have no say in the matter.
        Moving on the league decides on salary caps, competition rules,
        votes on who is owner or not, profit shares. Every aspect of the
        league is centrally runned by the league. The only autonomy a
        franchise has is basically staff coaching staff local sponsorships
        local TV deals and local promotions, that’s it. Everything else is
        either handled by the league on behalf of the club or
        closely.monitored and approved by the league. So all in all mls is
        technically one big giant club that violates FIFA laws and FIFA
        players rights just to keep a healthy profit margin. And don’t pull
        out the mls is still in the red the latest financial numbers that
        have been leaked on the Web were from 2008. Why do you think
        foreign players refer to the mls and THE mls instead of a specific
        club when asked about a rumor signing? It’s because they are not
        signing to a club they are signing to the league. As the league
        expands and allows more wiggle room for owners to manage their club
        the single.entity immunity will fail and mls will enter a serious
        lawsuit that could potentially fold mls if they don’t give up it’s
        beloved training wheels.

        • Alex says:

          I meant to say mls clubs get all ticket sales if they do schedule

        • Bob says:

          single entity is the reason I don’t watch MLS. I just can’t support
          a league that is structured in a way that i vehemently oppose. It’s
          like being a capitalist and opposing communism.

  6. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    is it too hard to understand that single = 1

  7. Charles says:

    As I said earlier Robert H “Have you seen the posts on this site,
    you really think you are going to convince that level of stupidity
    ?”…………Are you convinced yet, or to do you need MLS bashing
    Roger to go on….he will….seriously he will.

  8. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    You are right Charles…..I will….I will because it deserves to
    be bashed….I will because on the “land of freedom”, fans cannot
    organize, make their own clubs and be linked to the international
    soccer clubs structure, like fans are allowed to do on almost every
    where on earth, even though our game is called “the game of the
    people”……….I will because our “soccer journalism” disrespects
    such profession, bombarding us with irrelevant garbage, while the
    USSF is presided by the intellectual creator of “single entity” and
    gives it exclusive division 1 status, in a clear case of
    conflicting interest; but our “journalists DO NOT SAY A WORD ABOUT
    IT” ………..I will because this is a global game that should be
    shared by all, not a private property of an investors group

    • Charles says:

      It is good to know that everyone is crazy except you………um you
      can make your own club and many did, it was called A-League, then
      USL, now NASL and USL. It was FIRST division. IF, big IF anyone
      attends the games it will be first division
      again……………………………………….Seriously, do
      you even think before you post. Just once think. Can’t make your
      own club….wow…….WOW.

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        @Charles. you call me crazy.Last time I checked the definition of
        insanity, it was to do the same things and to expect different
        results. right?….well: I say that if we implement promotion and
        relegation it will work here just as well as it does all around the
        world…….. You, on the other hand say that “it will not work in
        america!” ( even though it works everywhere else)……..you tell
        me who better fits the definition of insanity?

        • Charles says:

          You make two huge assumptions. One that soccer wouldn’t be more
          successful as a larger parity league. That is just stupid. Two,
          that the US would do better in pro/rel. There is no reason to
          believe that could even be accomplished here. How many teams are
          ready to be in first division soccer here ? Answer: Zero, All of
          them that are able to have moved up. That will continue to be true
          for many more years to come. That is why I hope MLS doesn’t set the
          bar too high and limit the number of teams that can play in first
          division…..I think 40 would be a perfect number. You of course
          will contradict yourself and hope that MLS stops at 20 teams.
          Koo-ko, koo-ko.

  9. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    @Robert Hay….a year ago you made an article about the All Stars
    Game, and now you are making a follow up……….some time ago you
    made an article in which pool showed 51% for promotion relegation
    and single table, and less than 1% for 10 teams play
    offs…………….Irrelevant MLS All Stars Game deserves to talk
    about; fans giving a clear indication they want to go on a
    different direction…..NO COMMENTS!

    • Robert Hay says:

      Roger –

      In politics, we usually don’t call 51% a “clear indication” especially in a non-scientific poll, but that’s neither here nor there. I’ve mentioned this before in unrelated comments on my posts – promotion/relegation is certainly a worthy topic to discuss and we have numerous times on this site. I myself have posted on it in the past. However, if that’s all we talked about, our name “MLS Talk” would be rather misleading. There are a number of topics that are always ready to be discussed in the North American soccer world, and focusing on one or two is a disservice to our readers. I hope you weigh in on our next post discussing promotion/relation, which I am sure will come up in the near future.


      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        @Rober Hay……..what made that pool a “clear indication” that
        fans may want to go on a different direction than our our “leaders”
        , was not only the 51% in favor of pro/rel and single table, but
        the contrast between that 51% and the LESS THAN 1% that 10 teams
        lay-offs got.

  10. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    RH.. thanks for your answer…..we obviously have different
    positions. I think that 51% on a pool in which the 2 issues (
    pro/rel and single table ) where mixed with a dozen others issues,
    is a clear indication that there is a significant portion of fans
    that would like to go on a different direction that the league
    wants. As a journalist, since you were the author of the article,
    didn’t you feel any kind of curiosity for following that lead.
    Specially considering that we, the fans were NEVER asked about how
    we felt about single entity…….if 51% does not merit to dig
    deeper, what does?…65%?………80%?……….if the issue of
    promotion and relegation would have been isolated from the others,
    will the percentage go up?…..and ……if we found out as a
    result of digging deeper that more than halve the us soccer fans
    are in favor of promotion and relegation, wouldn’t that be worth
    debating?…….how could the status-quo justify to keep putting
    this issue down the carpet after that?………if yours was not a
    scientific pool, shouldn’t its results indicate that it is about
    time we do a scientific one?……………the reason that I keep
    pushing this issue is because I think it is the most important
    issue regarding US club soccer, it is a debate that we should have
    had before implementing single entity rather that after. To
    implement pro/rel or not, affects thousands of fans, cities and
    players, therefore we should have been taken in consideration at
    some point…………… If we want US club soccer to have the
    legitimacy it deserves, the issue of promotion and relegation can
    not keep being postponed indefinitely………the fans are an
    essential part of the game, there is no business, no passion, no tv
    ratings, there is no game without the fans. If we are to get the
    respect we deserve, 51% of us pointing on a completely different
    direction that the status-quo is taking us to( even though I
    understand it was not a scientific pool ) should had been more than
    enough to deserve attention.

    • Alan says:

      I’m sure if the fans that actually watch and support MLS make a big
      deal out of it, it will be a big issue. Don’t forget that there are
      about 50 percent that didn’t care about either single-entity or
      pro/rel enough to make it their top priority. I am willing to bet
      that at around half of the people that comment on this site will
      NEVER care about MLS (pro/rel or no pro/rel), so why cater to the
      non-fans. That would be like catering to people on any themed
      website that troll. It doesn’t make any sense. But yes, I think
      that if ACTUAL FANS care enough about either of those issues, then
      they should be brought up. I actually agree that they are valid
      discussion points in the right context by actual fans. I think that
      it is also fair to be critical of the failings of certain aspects
      of pro/rel or any other topic. That is not to say that pro/rel
      itself is a failure, but there are some failings in the way that it
      is implemented. It is totally fair to not want to repeat those

  11. Alan says:

    I was happy to watch just to see Chelsea lose. I hate Chelsea more
    than any other club on planet Earth.

  12. Eric Imhof says:

    You didn’t want to see John Terry in HD? tsk…

  13. Bob says:

    i’m actually avoiding MLS altogether until the following things are
    done: – dismantling of ridiculous single entity structure (no other
    sport league on the planet is structured like this) – free agency –
    1 league table (get rid of conferences. they are mickey mouse)

    • Charles says:

      Keep us posted on your status Bob. Use this site please, so we know
      where to find out where you stand. You should get a Twitter account
      too maybe so people can follow minute by minute.

    • Alan says:

      “i’m actually avoiding MLS altogether” Posting on MLS Talk is a
      great way of doing this. So, if MLS did away with these 3 things
      (even though conferences are not Mickey Mouse, they are very
      practical), you would then follow MLS?

  14. Bob says:

    Alan, Yes i would. Because it would mean that MLS was deciding to
    be a part of the global game instead of a league closed off from
    the world that wants to do it their own way. No other league on the
    planet is structured like the MLS . ON THE FRICKIN PLANET.

    • Alan says:

      Fair enough, and I respect that. I noticed that you didn’t mention
      pro/rel, fall/spring calendar, and other things that are common in
      other leagues. So you are ok with supporting MLS with just these
      three changes? Again, I disagree, but I do respect that.

      • Bob says:

        most leagues are on fall/spring calendar but many or not. There are
        pros and cons to it. I would say the pros outweigh the cons. As far
        as pro/rel, it would take for NASL to build up into a stable D2
        first. If we had a stable D2 and MLS/USSF etc were still resisting
        pro/rel then that would be a reason to boycott MLS. The league is
        setup in totally the wrong way. Like 95% of the soccer leagues
        around the globe have a regular season, Cups, CL qualifying. But
        with MLS the regular season is just for playoff seeding and
        positioning. It makes the league incredibly boring. It’s also not
        how you crown a league champion. League champions do it all year
        and are the team that have accumulated the most points. But its
        seems like MLS is forced into having a playoff because they want
        some excitement. It’s a catch-22. They want excitement so they
        think they need a playoff, yet the existence of a playoff takes all
        the excitement away form the regular season. It might be worth it
        if they hit paydirt with the playoffs but the playoffs aren’t
        exciting either. No one watches them except for the die hard MLS
        homer. This is different from other American sports where the
        casual fan will tune into playoffs. Also, I don’t really by the
        excuse that MLS has to be structured this way because its an
        American league. If you look at Japan, they have baseball and
        baseball playoffs. But with their soccer league they have a more
        european model. The same goes with China. China’s soccer league is
        the same age as MLS, yet they already have a 3 tiered pro/rel
        system. They have single table, league champ etc. Anyways…i went
        on a bit of a rant. What would it take for me to watch MLS? Well I
        don’t want it now out of principle because of how much i am against
        this single entity garbage. I would watch it even if there wasn’t
        pro/rel and even if there was a playoff. However, i would really
        only be watching it to keep tabs on USMNT players. It would still
        be the same boring regular season and silly playoff.

        • Charles says:

          To answer Alan’s question, no 3 changes are not enough. Bob lied
          when he said yes the first time. There are more changes, just let
          him go on a little further. Go ahead Bob………so Bob you must
          agree with everything else about MLS and the way they run the
          league, is this true Bob ? Did you set up your twitter account yet
          so we can keep posted ?

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        pro/rel is just a toll to allow all clubs to be linked to the huge
        international soccer club structure that our game has
        created…….our lower divisions should be linked to our 1st, just
        like MLS is linked to the CCL, just like CCL is linked to the Fifa
        Clubs World Cup……..what pro/rel will do for us is to integrate
        us to the global spirit of the game. That is the reason why it is
        the right path to follow, not because they do it anywhere
        else………..Just like Bob, I will never support single entity,
        because I think that OUR GAME IS ABOUT A LOT MORE THAN KICKING A

  15. Alan says:

    I am glad you saw where I was going with this. The excuse for not
    supporting MLS is that they need to change this or that. Then the
    list grows. Why should MLS change? Those wanting it to change are
    not supporters and never will be. I am all for protesting things
    that you don’t like about the league such as pro/rel or whatever,
    but if you are not a fan and never will be, there is no point to
    protesting and there is no point to MLS caring.

    • Bob says:

      i already said i would watch MLS if they changed those 3 things.
      That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want more changes. MLS is never going
      to get the TV audience because the traditional soccer fan has
      rejected what they are doing. This is just a fact.

      • Alan says:

        The average EPL fan will always reject what they are doing.
        Traditional fans can still enjoy the game even if they have gripes
        with MLS. I have gripes with EPL but if I lived in England you can
        bet I would still be supporting a team that is close to me.

        • Bob says:

          I’m sorry but there’s just no reason for MLS to do it “the American
          way.” You don’t see Japan doing it the Japan way or China doing it
          the Chinese way. These newer leagues are doing it the traditional
          way because they realize that soccer is the global game. You’d
          maybe have an argument if “the American way” was successful. But
          it’s not. The TV ratings for MLS are shockingly low. Soccer fans in
          the USA are not watching MLS. You can’t say this about other
          countries. When are you MLS snobs going to get it? I’ll answer that
          : Never.

          • Charles says:

            Just like when Bob said there were 3 things he would change and he
            meant, 10. By zero, Bob means there is a reason, but he just
            doesn’t like it and he will cry like a baby till someone changes
            it…………………………Guys like me, who are the MLS fan
            base, like the way the league is set up. Playoffs, love em, make
            the larger please. Parity, anything else is just boring to watch,
            see the EPL seasons 1-17 for great examples, or LaLiga for a better
            example. Let me guess RM or Barca. Salary cap, Bob isn’t wise
            enough to remember 1983, when American soccer was set up amost like
            he wanted ( or he doesn’t care about American soccer….I say both
            )……………I am going to the game tomorrow, if you are going I
            give you permission to cry like a baby, if not, I will rip on you
            for it.

          • Alan says:

            MLS snob? I watch a lot more soccer than MLS. There are things that
            I like about MLS, and things that I don’t. I watch because of the
            players, the teams, however they are made up, they still pour their
            heart into it. There is still excitement to be had, and if you ever
            want to change MLS, then you should start voicing your opinion AND
            supporting what is happening on the pitch. Also, there are other
            leagues that do things differently. We are not the only league with
            playoffs for example. I follow and watch lots of soccer, so calling
            me an MLS snob is not going to work.

  16. harry cee says:

    and why are the ratings low? Because there are at least 4 other
    sports in the country at the moment that are more popular than the
    MLS not to mention you are noticing that even though the ratings
    may be low, they are slowly going up. For MLS to survive, it faces
    competition to fight for a piece of the pie dominated by the NFL,
    NBA and MLB which outside of the weather conditions is probably
    another reason why the MLS can’t just switch to a FIFA schedule
    like the rest of the world is on. But who says that these things
    can’t change? The MLS has made it this far and made some key
    changes from when it was first conceived and who is to say that
    there won’t be more? And by the way, what are you basing your TV
    ratings on? I just wrote a blog piece a few weeks ago saying that
    viewership is up as well as game attendance. Also, just less than 2
    weeks ago, an article came out backing up that claim. PEOPLE ARE

    • Charles says:

      I love it when guys like Bob speak up. Very funny. Probably not
      polite to laugh at someone that has the logic of a 3 year old, but
      it is funny. Most popular sport in the world. They chose soccer
      over cricket, so the league structure must be golden and the only
      way to go.

    • Bob says:

      ratings are up from 70k to 150k Lol. No one is watching this Mickey
      Mouse league. American soccer fans do not like how Americanized MLS
      is. WE WILL NEVER WATCH. Your silly league will forever be a joke.

      • Charles says:

        “i already said i would watch MLS if they changed those 3 things.”
        -Bob………………………….”WE WILL NEVER WATCH”
        -Bob…………………….There is a joke on this page. He is
        wasting our time.

    • Alan says:

      Glad to see you supporting. It is definitely an uphill battle, but
      we will get there.

      • Charles says:

        Uphill battle was 1979 or 1989. I was watching FC Seattle with 100
        of the people that knew the team existed. This is a coaster ride
        downhill to the promised land…….Zero Americans worth watching,
        versus countless, badly run league versus best league in soccer, no
        one even knowing what soccer was except it was a foreigners sport,
        versus every kid growing up playing. I could go on and on, but I
        don’t want to take away from a joke post about how MLS is ruining
        soccer in this country. Man those posts are funny. Come on Roger,
        tell us about it !!!

  17. Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

    Bob may just be the tip of the iceberg. Back in Miami I played on
    several local leagues. After every training we talked football,
    nobody cared for MLS…….. I am on Baltimore now, I have made
    some football friends here. Same situation, we talk world cup,
    champions, libertadores, even brasileirao, but I try to start an
    MLS debate and I am by myself…..we have no idea how many fans
    have been turn off by “single entity”, but I guarantee you is a
    HUGE number…….Bob, Robert and me are just a few that post on a
    site, but you can be sure we are not along……..I never forget a
    response I got on Miami on one of my attempts to talk MLS on a
    local league and somebody answer: “MLS,….. man that’s some gringo
    crap”………..that answer very much describes how a lot of fans
    feel about “single entity”

    • Bob says:

      there’s a neuroscientist named George Lakoff. He’s done a lot of
      interesting work on why people believe certain things. Most of his
      work has to do with politics. Basically, the way our brains work is
      that we see everything through narratives. This applies to sports
      as well. There is a reason the majority of soccer fans in the USA
      do not watch MLS. It goes against how they have been socialized
      into the sport. And they have been socialized into the sport
      through narratives. Soccer is becoming popular in the USA because
      of globalization. It is popular as an internaitonal sport and it is
      popular because of the Euro leagues, the EPL in particular. So, the
      American soccer fan is being socialized into the sport through what
      they see in Europe and internationally. And what we get in Europe
      is an open system: single table with league champion, cup matches,
      and promotion/relegation. The American soccer fan sees the sport
      through this narrative. If they didn’t then the EPL wouldn’t be so
      popular in the US. MLS is structured like other American sports not
      like other soccer leagues. The MLS regular season does not decide a
      league winner, instead it is for deciding playoff seeding, just
      like other American sports. This goes against how the American
      soccer fan has been socialized into the sport and is the reason MLS
      is so offensive to the traditional fan. Japan went through this.
      Before they went to a pro/rel system, Japan had a non-traditional
      soccer structure. It was not popular and they made a conscious
      decision to go with the European model. Ever since they have their
      leagues have flourished. They set a goal for 100 pro teams and now
      they have 4 tiers of professional leagues in a pro/rel
      system.///////// People like Charles and Alan were likely
      socialized into soccer through MLS and this is why they are not
      offended by MLS. Charles sees soccer as an American sport, not the
      global game. He just stated that 10 teams out of 19 making the
      playoffs is not enough; he wants more. It’s my opinion this fan is
      the minority of soccer fans in this country.

      • Alan says:

        LOL, so laughable. There are fans in MLS that also like other
        leagues like me. I am glad to see you trying to trap me into a
        stereotype like the other 2 have been. I am also a big Serie A fan.
        I like Atletico Madrid and Arsenal as well as AS Roma and Juventus.
        I am also a big San Jose Earthquakes fan and glad to see them doing
        awesome this year. I also think that MLS can improve upon things,
        just like EPL can regardless of ratings or anything else. Maybe the
        sheep is in the mirror. If you don’t like it, that is your choice.
        You are missing a good time seeing live soccer on a regular basis,
        and would grow even faster and get better with more support. Look
        at some of the things that MLS used to do that got changed. I bet
        it was the fans that watched that changed that stuff, not the ones
        that will never watch is you have said. I am open to change, and
        have never stood for or against single entity. I can definitely see
        why people want it changed, and I am all for that if that is what
        all MLS fans want to see. I have 2 things that I never want to see,
        and that is soccer in the winter and teams buying championships.
        Everything else I am open to. I’m just glad that I don’t hold it
        against the players on the pitch, otherwise I would be sitting at
        home and never getting to see soccer on a regular basis, and the
        improvements that my domestic league is showing. Is there work to
        do? Of course, but things are getting better. The thing that is
        slowing it down the most is you guys. If there were tons of fans
        protesting on a regular basis, I guarantee you would see changes.
        As it is, they know you hate MLS and always will. Why should they
        care what you want? You have already said that you won’t watch.
        Robert obviously never will, and I doubt Roger ever will even if we
        have pro/rel (I could be wrong, but I doubt it). I have a hunch
        that his name would change from Roger(pro/rel) to Roger(single
        table) or something like that. Think what you want about Garber,
        but he is smarter than that at least, and so am I.

      • Roger(Pro/Rel) says:

        Bob, great post, I totally agree……a lot of the resistance that
        pro/rel faces is cultural. People like Charles is not programmed to
        think what is good for US club soccer, the focus is only on MLS.
        For years they have been used to: american football = NFL; baseball
        = MLB and so on. They can not conceive that there could be another
        way. …..the overwhelming evidence that pro/rel works and it is an
        essential par of our game’s culture means nothing to them. “the
        whole world got it wrong, Garber and the cartel are visionaries ”
        and we ….well, we are just crazy eurosnobs

      • Charles says:

        @Bob………I was brought into soccer by MLS ? That is the most
        clueless thing you have ever posted. I thought that bar would never
        raise, but you just put the bar at 10 feet and HURDLED it. How
        insane was this comment ?……………Roger agrees with
        it………………………I was most likely COACHING soccer
        before you were born. Let me take a stab, you starting watching
        soccer on cable in the late 1990s ? Nice……..I wonder what
        George Lakoff would say about morons posting on blogs trying to get
        people to quit watching a league they like ? …….and no Roger,
        Eurosnob ? no just an idiot trying to convince 5 people on this
        blog you know it all.

        • Bob says:

          i’ve actually been watching football since the 80’s. I spent
          summers in Scotland and would watch the Scottish and English
          leagues. Also, what difference does it make that you coached
          soccer? You clearly have an American-centric view of the sport. You
          said that 10 teams out of 19 wasn’t enough playoff teams. You want
          more. Someone who really understands the global game would not say
          something like this.

          • Charles says:

            Like I said, I was coaching soccer before you were born.

          • Charles says:

            And that really is the problem with trolls like Bob, Robert, Roger
            in a nutshell, they really have no idea what they are talking
            about. They haven’t been around long
            enough………………………………..I remember one guy
            posting on this site that the dirty secret of the NASL was they
            didn’t have promotion/relegation…and that is why they failed.
            Obviously he wasn’t alive then, he wouldn’t be able to type and be
            that stupid. And if I need to explain what I am saying to you (
            Bob, Robert and Roger ), you are in that ignorant boat
            too………………………….So what do they do instead of
            putting forth good arguements, based on knowledge of US soccer,
            they throw out lies. Like Bob saying I starting following soccer
            with MLS or saying I want more playoffs teams. Both obviously
            untrue. Robert ( I think ) saying the Sounders attendance and MLS
            overall won’t grow. Or MLS is in bed with the NFL. I could go on
            for hours there…….Give it a rest dudes. Until you can answer
            one simple question, you have no cred………………….Why
            would I want to limit the number of teams that can win the
            championship in a given year with a pro/rel structure in a parity
            league ? Be prepared for rhetoric, insults, silence, and no answer

          • Alan says:

            I think where Bob is confused is when you said that you wanted more
            teams in the playoffs, he didn’t realize that you also wanted a
            bigger league to go along with that. My point has always been this.
            You care about a bigger league, I would be ok with it either way.
            But, even if they implemented pro/rel tomorrow or anything else
            that you disagree with, you wouldn’t stop watching. You would still
            be a Sounders fan, and voice any concerns that you had as a FAN. I
            think that is the real difference. In England, if they got rid of
            pro/rel, you would probably have a lot of people that were pissed
            off, but I doubt that they would go watch La Liga instead. They
            would protest, but they would still follow their team and league,
            even in protest. I think that this is what Robert, Roger, and Bob
            fail to think about when they talk about REAL soccer fans. The real
            fans will always support their local (in most cases) team and
            domestic league through thick and thin. Its too bad that they
            missed that part of being a “traditional” fan because a traditional
            fan wouldn’t do what they do.

      • Gazza says:

        In reply to Bob’s post. That was the dumbest thing I’ve ever read
        on a soccer site. Narratives, socialized etc what utter garbage.
        Fans in America follow the EPL and some teams in La Liga because
        the players are better. The players are better because the clubs
        pay them more. When MLS pays the same the fans will watch our
        league instead of anything overseas. Has nothing to do with league
        structure. People like Charles and Alan are offended. They are
        offended by people like you and Roger telling MLS fans on an MLS
        site that Pro/Rel is some great model when they can see the matches
        at the bottom and middle of all the Euro leagues and they can read
        the reports of the top 5 leagues being $5 billion in debt. Everyone
        knows that is not sustainable

        • Bob says:

          it’s the dumbest thing you’ve heard because you’re ignorant of the
          sport. Your ignorance is not my problem.

    • Alex says:

      Count me in. I describe myself as a neutral bystander of mls . I
      detest mls single entity it’s over saturation of parity and the
      other Mickey crap it does but I watch it and I do hope it gets
      better. I have lot of soccer friends American and foreign and same
      thing as you we talk uefa epl la liga libertadires and whenever we
      get around mls I get excited to talk about it because finally it’s
      a chance to discuss mls without the bashing and they either bash
      it, have no idea what’s going on in mls or occasionally ask me who
      is winning shrug the answer off and continue talking about more
      legitimate leagues. I wore a DC united shirt to class and a
      classmate who’s white (just trying to highlight that it’s not only
      foreigners who dislike mls ) looks at me and says you watch mls?
      Man mls sucks so much! It’s sad but it’s the truth . According to a
      FIFA research there are over 100 million soccer fans in the us. How
      many pay attention to mls? None because mls rejects them with their
      selective expansion franchise, it’s structure and playoffs.

      • Charles says:

        Please post your research that says 1 out of 3 are soccer fans in
        the US. I am sitting an office in one of the biggest soccer cities
        in the US…and they laugh about soccer, couldn’t care less about

      • Alan says:

        So, about 1 million of the 100 million soccer fans tune into the
        Champions League games? 1,6 million watched the CL final (down from
        2 million from last year)? An average of 1.3 million watched the
        Euro games? About 20 million would tune in to the US matches during
        the world cup? Where are these hundred million at? An average of
        about 300,000 see an MLS game every week? The final day of the EPL
        saw about 800,000 viewers for Man City, about 500,000 for Man
        United, about a whopping 77,000 for Tottenham/Fulham, 59,000 for
        Arsenal/West Brom (the 3rd and 10th team in the table), 53,000 for
        Chelsea/Blackburn, and Liverpool/Swansea pulled 42,000. I bet they
        were all Arsenal/Chelsea/Liverpool/Tottenham fans. Other than MAYBE
        the world cup, where are these soccer fans at? They watch the big
        games that have all of the best players in the world and could care
        less about pro/rel or the mid-table teams. Ask some of those
        100,000,000 fans that we have that love pro/rel who was promoted
        and relegated this year in EPL and I bet most won’t know nor will
        they care. Ask how many are Swansea fans. They are casual fans that
        claim undying support for a big club like Barcelona or Man United
        or Chelsea halfway around the world, and casually tune in to other
        games. Those other “fans” only care when World Cup time comes
        around. Those big viewing numbers that you guys toss around sound
        impressive, but nobody is buying it other than the trolls on here.
        MLS is averaging over 100,000 for their NBC games that supposedly
        nobody cares about and that most people don’t even care about the
        teams involved, while the big club Liverpool got 42,000 on the last
        day of the year? They were all tuning into Man City and Man United
        games like the loyal fans that they are. Good show.

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