has sunil gulati in his sights
- Dec 15, 2002
Europoseur status: cringe
I think this may be true. Or at least, the Revs would be replaced with a club whose owner is more attentive.I think it would make Bob Kraft pay attention to the Revs real quick.
I don't think that MLS thinks of USL as an existential threat. If anything, USL is turning into a proving ground for certain markets/owners. Cincinnati is a good example — it's a major league sized market, but not one that any league really NEEDS to have. FC Cincinnati has huge money owners which is an advantage and now their resume has been augmented with a 100% proven fanbase. FCC is building a stadium; would they have been able to get a deal done if they hadn't come into negotiations as a locally proven entity at the USL level? Maybe, but it's easier when you can point to nearly 20k fans every weekend.MLS might be fine letting Kraft limp along in Foxboro, they're not going to be fine with USL teams significantly outdrawing MLS teams. So if one excels (like Cincinnati), they're going to get snapped up. Not because of what they bring to the league, necessarily, but because that kind of success happening outside of MLS is an existential threat.
I agree that this is really interesting. If the USL team finds a legitimate foothold, I would not be shocked to see a Precourt-type relocation of the Fire, while the USL team is bumped up to MLS. If I'm MLS HQ, the Chicago Fire are actually a much bigger concern than the Revs right now IMO. They are really cratering on and off the field.That's really what makes the Ricketts project in Chicago so interesting. It's one thing when Precourt is sick of Columbus and wants to go to Austin. What happens if a USL team starts kicking the Fire's ass in a downtown Chicago stadium?
This is a much better distillation of what I wanted to say above. My quote was not meant as sarcasm it was meant to specifically include the potential for more Ricketts type investors with second clubs in markets in which the MLS is struggling. RB Leipzig was a nothing club literally until the money flowed and now they are a top tier club in Germany with relatively strong European aspirations. Pro/Rel combined with deep pockets can help unfancied clubs rise and if USL gets a few I believe MLS should sweat. My hypothetical is this, a billionaire owner decides he wants to own a club, agrees to play 3 years at Harvard Stadium while he proves the concept, builds a following and rises to the top of a Pro/Rel USL potentially putting a club with deep pockets and stadium ambitions in Boston which I believe would kill the Revs. Sure the MLS could snap them up but then what are they doing with the Krafts or with Hauptmann in Chicago? Not everyone is a Precourt who already wants to move.I agree with all of that. My point isn't that the MLS needed a market like Cincinnati, it's that they don't want to risk clubs performing at a major league level outside of their league.
The USL wouldn't need to surpass the MLS in overall quality of play for things to start going sideways, they would just need to throw MLS' status as the clear cut top league into question. Then suddenly municipalities have options when it comes to negotiating stadium deals, MLS loses a lot of leverage in television negotiations, etc.
And I think that's far fetched, as long as MLS keeps snapping up the FC Cincinnati's of the world. Like you say, MLS is using USL as a proving grounds for markets and owners. That approach is what prevents the USL from being an existential threat.
But if MLS were to take a different tact and box out the FC Cincinnatis (or Ricketts' Chicago clubs) of the world, then it only takes a handful of billionaires to start wreaking havoc.
It's a sideways move IMO. Edwards is a shady guy for sure and most people think he was a big reason why the MLS said no. That being said, he poured a lot of money into the team and developed the product and the stadium in tangible ways. They added premium seating and paid a lot of talent like Freddy Adu and Joe Cole. The games are a blast and the tailgate is terrific. OTOH, Sternberg is a shitty owner as anyone who has been to the Trop and has followed the Ybor stadium news can attest. He basically just asked Hillsborough County for $800M. While this was likely just an opening salvo to stake out negotiating position, that is well over double what the County should reasonably offer. What it means for the Rowdies is unclear. As you mentioned, the Rowdies have a lease at Al Lang with 5 years remaining. That is an awesome site, but the City/County don't seem that interested in developing it further (a referendum got shot down 5-10 years ago). While a second tenant at a new Ybor stadium would be welcome IMO, there are questions about the ability of two teams with major seasonal overlap to pull it off.The Rays are buying the Tampa Bay Rowdies, to be announced tomorrow.
Lots of interesting interplay. The Rays could use the very valuable location as an alternate (or threatened) location for a stadium if Ybor in Tampa doesn't work out (they take over the Rowdies lease). Or maybe a new spring training location (in what used to be a baseball stadium). Or the Rays might just want to own more in the area.
For the Rowdies, who knows? They have a better owner than before, one that MLS would much prefer if the team moves up. However, if they've built up a following in St. Pete after not doing well at all in Tampa, could they finally build this awesome stadium in St. Pete, or would the Rays move them to Tampa to play in a new baseball stadium?
USL D3USL League One is announcing a new D3 team on Thursday, likely to be based in Lansing.
I get that Ottawa should probably move to the Canadian Premier League sooner or later, but pulling the rug out from under them in December is a dick move. Give them a 12 month grace period.CONCACAF has informed the Ottawa Fury that the confederation will not sanction the team for play in the USL Championship for the 2019 season.
The ruling, which was communicated on Wednesday morning, came as a surprise to the Fury. The club had been approved in November by the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) to play across the border in the American second-division league. Ottawa opted to remain in the USL in 2019 instead of signing on for the inaugural season of the newly-formed Canadian Premier League.
The decision could have far-reaching implications in the sport, both in the short- and long-term. CONCACAF’s decision could potentially set a precedent that impacts the three Canadian Major League Soccer teams—the Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact, and Toronto FC—because the CPL bills itself as a “Tier 1 league.” In addition, the decision will certainly have an impact on the 2019 USL season and the short- and long-term health of the Fury, which suddenly may be without a league for the upcoming season.
I saw that. If he turns out to be any good, it will be a really cool example of the benefits of the current proliferation of professional soccer teams in the USL. He is someone who 100% would not be getting an pro opportunity if there weren't a club in his hometown.They just signed a local kid who participated in an open try out that apparently was well attended. He was previously working construction. Nice story and good PR move by the club.
Let's keep going with this.Between them and the Dynamo, Texas has a surprisingly Eastern European flair to its team naming.
We had the Virginia Beach Piranhas until 2013 or so, which was a PDL team for the Mariners, but ended up lasting a few years longer. Just looking at it now, I realize that I know 2 of the 3 coaches the Piranhas had in their time here.Hampton Roads is the sixth largest metro area in the US without pro soccer. Bring back the Virginia Beach Mariners, or something. They're due.
So he claims he wants to cap D2 at 40 clubs and he also says that a number of D2 clubs will drop to D3. I'd expect that to be smaller markets and MLS2 teams.“Right now, the Championship has 36 professional teams competing, and we’re launching League One with 10 professional clubs,” said Edwards in an interview about USL’s long-term strategy. “So it’s 46 professional teams across the country in our set-up right now. We’re looking at the ideal number [in the Championship] somewhere around 38 or 40, and that’s where we’re going to top out and cease expansion. What that means is there will be a number of teams—probably 10 or 12—currently in our Championship that will come out of our league over the next years and go into League One.
Expansion fee is $7m.Edwards said USL plans to announce three more Championship expansion teams by this summer (one on West Coast and two on the East Coast), and he added that USL is in advanced discussions with two high-profile European clubs about owning teams in League One.
Edwards likes to talk about promotion and relegation within USL. Time will tell the extent to which he's serious about it and the extent to which he likes to talk about it mostly because it will garner attention. In any case, it won't be a factor until League One becomes more established.Right now, purchasing a USL team is a $7 million franchise fee. Five years ago it was $300,000.”
“I think there’s a realistic possibility [of promotion and relegation],” Edwards said. “The sport is evolving, the sport is changing. What is considered normal now might not be correct in a couple of seasons’ time. How we’re approaching that, and I get asked the question all the time, is the launch of our second league, League One. A lot of focus and attention needs to go into building that league up over a short period of time. But we’ve got to get the right owners in League One, the right stadiums and infrastructure. We’ve got to make sure the quality on the field is at a good standard. You have to create parity as much as you can between the two divisions. Of course, the Championship will be different from League One in many respects, but it can’t be obscenely different.”