The papers on the MLS, so I'm sure lot of you have opinions. If you wanna state them thats great but thats not what I need. What I'm looking for is a judgement of quality, and wrong facts stated, and any comments, criticism, recommendations, etc that are related to the paper itself. Anyone who helps will be rewarded with sexy pics of expert.
It's not too long (only about 3.5 pages) but any critiques would help. Thanks.It’s no secret that the United States likes to be known as the best, especially when it comes to athletics. Despite this attitude we haven’t been able to become a significant force in the worlds most popular sport, soccer. In a nation dominated by basketball, football and baseball it’s going to be hard for soccer to gain mass support but for it to happen the USA needs a globally significant league. The increase in airtime for top European leagues is showing that Americans are willing to watch soccer, but only to watch top quality players. Luckily we have a good start with the MLS (Major League Soccer), but for it to ever become a power on the world stage some of its policies need to change. The league needs to switch to a single table format, raise it’s salary cap, and expand the designated player rule. The MLS has potential and has recently made some improvements, but not enough for the league to reach the quality of it’s foreign counterparts anytime soon. The league is wanting to keep its growth slow to prevent it from over exerting itself and collapsing early, but the overly cautious stance they’re taking threatens to doom the league to mediocrity.
One of the biggest problems with the MLS is also one of the easiest to fix, the playoff system. Sports leagues in the USA love the idea of leagues divided into regional divisions with a “champion“ decided by a playoff between the best teams from each division. The biggest reason for leagues to keep this rule is it makes games easier to promote, which is why playoffs are almost guaranteed big money for a team. If you hear the LA Clippers are playing the Orlando Magic few people outside those cities care, but when the games hyped as a battle between east and west the league promoters have pitted two regions against each other. There is also a chance of a under-dog story with the current format, which is also good business. Although this is the accepted system in the USA its negatives outweigh the benefits, which is why the superior single table format rules most major leagues around the world. The way the league is set up now (into eastern and western divisions then playoffs) leaves many teams supporters feeling ripped off at the end of the season when the team with the best season takes an early playoff exit. This is solved by a single table format where the team with the best overall record in the league is declared the league champions, which isn’t possible without controversy in a the current format. This would even allow for the a continuation of playoffs, if the league refused to do away with them, but with the guaranteed strongest teams making it instead of teams making it because they‘re from a weaker division. The East vs. West rivalries could even be maintained by coupling the single table format with a national cup like most foreign leagues have. The combination of a single table with a separate national cup competition would not only maintain the benefits of the current system, but also provide more titles for teams to go for and guarantee the best team over the course of the season gets the respect it deserves.
The second thing that needs to change is the salary cap ( the amount of money a team is allowed to spend on player salaries). The MLS has recently made some improvement in this department, but not near enough to allow the league to become globally respected. As of 2010 the salary cap is at 2.55 million (and will increase 5% over the next 5 years) for a full roster. That is more than 4 times less than the highest paid player in Europe makes a year, divided over 15-20 players. Although if spread evenly over the whole roster 2.55 million would allow the players to have decent salaries, in order to be competitive teams can’t spread the wealth. Instead you get higher quality players making large salaries while their team-mates float around the leagues minimum salary (which currently sits at just above $20,000 a year, which is a fraction of the MLB minimum salary which rest above $400,000). Some soccer fans are lobbying for the largely globally accepted free market system, but fail to see that could also ruin the young league. The free market system is building some of the worlds most prestigious and previously richest teams huge debts and if it can threaten to bring down teams with more than 200 years of tradition it could surely sink a team less than 15 years old. What the MLS really needs is just a significant salary increase, which I think should be between six and ten million. This would allow the league to bring in better foreign talent and keep more of the quality domestic players. With better players the quality of play in the league would improve and the amount of support for the league domestically and internationally would increase. Tours by top European clubs in recent years have brought huge crowds showing that people are willing to come out to soccer games, but only to see top players. Even the current average attendance statistics of the league shows that teams with internationally respected players have higher attendances.
Another positive thing MLS has done is institute the designated player rule. This rule as of now allows for teams to have two players with salaries exceeding the salary cap and only be counted as $335,000 of the teams total salary each. The league also offers a third designated player option for an extra $250,00 tax. While this is improvement few, quality players what to come to the MLS to be surrounded by low quality team mates, which is why a higher salary cap is needed to even make the current designated player rule effective. A increased salary cap isn‘t enough though and needs to be followed with an increase in the number of allowed designated players. No top European team has less than 5 superstars (with the average being much more). If the MLS ever wants to reach the level of those leagues it needs to allow its teams to support as many star players. If we allowed teams to have 5 designated players in combination with a increased salary cap they’d be able to not only support world class players, but surround them with players capable of competing against quality foreign opposition.
It‘s important that the MLS doesn‘t try to grow too quickly, but that doesn‘t mean it has to hamper its expansion the way it is now. The league has owners willing to spend, and needs to allow them to do so. Restrictions are good, but just like growing to quickly to destroy the league not allowing it to grow will eventually cause a loss of interest. Nothing I suggested will instantly make the league a internationally renown presence, but it will give the league the chance that it doesn’t have right now. These changes won’t happen on their own though. A player strike was barely avoided in 2010, but a agreement was reached until the end of the 2014 season. It’s important that supporters of the league get behind the players when the next negotiations are held and push for larger scale changes, because without them there someday might not be a league to support.
and I even added a poll for fun