4- Step Program to Globalize Major League Soccer #790


Football is the biggest sport in the world it is a community that stretches beyond the sport itself. There’s a significant difference between football and the rest of American Sports. There’s just a different feel to it the atmosphere the Rivalries every match is important. It’s operated on a different system. It’s taking a long time but the sport has become more popular than ever before. In the country of America and Canada countries that typically cater to American Sports they’re starting to gain that popularity that they deserved. The World Cup and European championships are two of the biggest sporting events in the world when it comes to ratings numbers & popularity. The Champions League final is the most watched sporting event in a non World Cup year. Even matches like El Clasico between Barcelona Real Madrid put a bigger numbers than the Super Bowl America’s biggest event. All of these things are proof that football to a certain extent runs the world. The community people that follow the sport have their differences but in certain moments that come together. It is the most popular sport in the world and it’s not even very close. The entirety of Europe South America and Africa football is like a different language. America has finally caught on to this it has been a gradual process we are really starting to see it over the last couple years. The MLS is the key to everything the popularity may have started somewhere else but making this league as great as humanly possible is going to be a big in making the Game grow. When the MLS first started it did low numbers and there was a certain lack of interest in it. The setup was completely different than European football which is why even football traditionalists hesitated to embrace Major League Soccer. Things changed when David Beckham came to LA Galaxy they were more eyes on the sport and allowed things to develop even further. David Beckham is an icon not only in the sports world but beyond that. His wife is a pop star and fashion designer she is incredibly popular in her own right. David Beckham coming to the MLS gave it some relevance and more eyes started to watch especially given that he came from Real Madrid at the time. As time progressed we have seen Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and others A lot of European stars for past their primes came to embrace it. Eventually it started gaining popularity. The MLS is not a great league but it has the potential to be that a change in structure mentality and development is required to make the MLS a top-tier league in the world. The MLS will never really reach the heights of one of Europe’s top leagues but it could become a top-six league in the world. It will be very difficult and would require a lot of changes but it is possible.  The MLS is no longer the doormat of American Sports. The potential and possibility of Major League Soccer could outrank some American Sports. It has the ability to become more popular then MLB and the NHL. It will be impossible for them to outrank NBA and the NFL but with time and some changes the MLS could become the third most popular sports in America. European traditionalist have a big role to play in this. The more the MLS is globalized and they make it more like European soccer the better it could become. Some of the changes I’m going to suggest may be unrealistic in the short term but in the long-term the things it could be doable over the next 20 years. David Beckham played a role in the increase of popularity he is now a majority owner that certainly helps the grow even Christian Pulisic the most talented young American player we have ever seen now playing for Chelsea has also played a role in this. The rise of his career has given the nation more interest on the beautiful game. The MLS has continuously improved and has become more watchable with the influence of the European style from the Seattle Sounders Atlanta United and New York Red Bulls they have started  the first step.


Europeanizing Major League Soccer  


Americanizing Major League Soccer is a big step in trying to increase the popularity. The MLS is far to American there are too many things about this league that do not sit well with European fans. The MLS cannot follow suit with the rest of their Sports. The NFL MLB NBA and other sports are American Sports. Football is a European sport therefore the MLS should not be following their mole. They should be looking at the Bundesliga for how to build this league up into what could potentially become one of the 10 best leagues in the world. This sport has the opportunity to bypass baseball and hockey in America in the next 5 years. It will take some time and there’s certain things that would have to be done for that to happen but this is a possibility. Part of that is making the league less American. A lot of European fan such as myself look at the league in a certain way largely due to the fact that is so different then European football that sometimes we just don’t recognize it. There are certain things that need to change for that genre of audience to take the lead more seriously. MLS used to be unwatchable It has become entertaining an enticing even though there are certain limitations to the league they were still a certain level of excitement that we did not see in its early years. Major League Soccer must take everything American about it and remove it unfortunately for this lead to growth that’s exactly what needs to happen. The league will still be exciting for the American fan but we have to make this more European or else it’s not going to thrive in its capabilities. The MLS needs to scrap the entire current format get rid of the MLS super draft, trading between teams and the League’s system and it set up. Obviously swap deals would still be part of a league but the Americanized trading that we see in the NFL and NBA needs to be removed. It’s time for the league to evolve in the world the rest of football lives in. While all of these teams operate in the transfer window get deals done that way is the way to go. The draft being void wouldn’t affect the players either as they would still be signed by teams. Some teams will have more transfer funds than others but nonetheless most will be around the same amount of cash to spend. AIn addition to that the MLS needs to disband the playoff system in both conferences. My proposal is to put the conference together and have a league table instead of conferences and playoffs. The winner of the league will depend on the amount of points they have not by playoffs. This system has worked in Europe there’s no reason it’s wouldn’t work here. There will be playoff format in the US Open Cup and the Champions League that’s more than enough trophies to fight for and fill the void of playoff soccer. I do realize what I’m suggesting would take a lot from the commissioner and other parts for this to be possible but that’s only the cusp of where I’m going. I propose shorten the league to 16 teams which will be 30 Game season the MLS has too many teams there is not a league in the world with more teams. 34 is just far too many take 16 teams build a league table. with the rest of the teams remaining and the expansion teams that will be coming to the MLS in the next two years you build a second league calling it MLS 2. by the time all of the expansion teams are built it would be a 12-team league a 24 game season. In MLS the top three teams would be issued into the Champions League. The bottom two would be relegated to the second league automatically. Between the third-place team in the second league and the 14th Place team in the MLS there would be a play-off final over two legs to determine a champion. The winner get to play in the MLS the Following season. If more expansion team start to come they would just be added to the second league as you build more of a larger league. As complicated as all these things I’m laying out if the MLS truly wants to grow in a way where they could be considered one of the eight best leagues in the world this is what needs to happen. It will be hard to pull off but if they could do it the possibilities of what major league soccer could become are endless


Revamping Champions League 


The UEFA Champions League it is the world’s biggest event the grandest stage in club football. Everybody loves and adores is competition it is a competition of Champions. The only way to get into that competition is being one of the four best teams in your league Each league has only a certain amount of Champions League spots and some teams have to go through qualifying to get there. However once you’re in the dance it’s just a different vibe. The Champions League music puts a smile on every football fan around the world the beautiful game thrives on this competition. It is so important to the entire sport as a whole. Every year we remind ourselves that anybody on any nights when they have their opportunity can shock the world. The favorites don’t always win and typically in the round of 16 there always seems to be a team from a lesser European countries. It is truly a remarkable competition the best most competitive competition in the sports world. It has its high reputation for meeting every time a ball is kicked in the Champions League you feel the intensity the pressure the atmosphere of the fans. The MLS has really tried to put together their own Champions League but it just has not worked and if they don’t make changes to the competition it never will. Only countries in the concacaf region are in the competition. It is not considered an elite competition there is not enough involvement and they’re not the spectators and viewers that are needed to make a big difference in the MLS. They have to make this competition bigger they have to spread their wings and invite more countries to participate. There are some incredible football teams in South America a lot of them are not in this competition the question is why? The MLS needs to somewhat start having conversations about increasing and adjusting the concacaf Champions League. There just isn’t an elite factor to it they need to change that immediately. The MLS has an opportunity to start this conversation there is a potential here for them to revamp this into something huge that could make the sport in America incredibly the more popular it could increase the drama the importance and the intensity of a competition like the Champions League. While they will never create what’s Europe has done with the champions league and what it has meant to the sport they can start becoming more relevant by increasing the competition. I have a proposal in making the Champions League a mortal vital parts of soccer in America. With the right adjustments this could be a dramatic and enticing competition that could potentially gain the interest of the European football fans around the world. My proposal is we increase the amount of country that can participate in the competition. The UEFA Champions League has 32 teams competing I think it’s fair that the American Champions League keep the same dynamic. This competition should include teams from Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Jamaica, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, Uruguay, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, USA, and Paraguay. Based on the size of the league will depend on how many champions league spots would be available to each country. Some will get three spots others will get to and some will get just one. This would depend on the size of the country And the competitive nature of the lead. This competition Not only would include the best three teams in the MLS what teams like Boca Juniors River Plate Santos and others from these countries. Could you imagine Boca Juniors and River Plate in a Champions League final that just thought makes my mouth water. It’s not as if the Champions League version of what they have done hasn’t been efficient but it’s not gaining popularity and the way to do that is take South America’s best teams America’s best teams and put them in a competition that will give the teams an increase in revenue and another trophy to fight for. A MLS treble would be possible with this competition it would increase the interest massively and would continuously get more popular it would Skyrocket in popularity if they were to pull this off. Among all the teams participating they would be put together in 12 groups of 4 each team’s would play each other twice the top two in each of the groups would advance to the round of 16. This is where it would get interesting they would play two legs one home and one away with the team that has the higher seed being able to pick which Game they would like to play first. This would be the case for the semi-final and quarter-final. Then there would be a Champions League final on a mutual ground to determine the winner of this competition. Revamping this competition and making this into this Not only would gather popularity but it would be a trophy and a competition everyone would want to keep their eyes on. It wouldn’t be as Elite as a champions league but if this was possible and they pulled this off everyone would have their eyes on it. This is the most difficult thing in regards to the things I’m suggesting but if this was possible the impact would be drastic This could save football in America and make it one of the best sports in the country.




Relegation and Promotion needed!


The MLS needs to make is start including relegation and promotion. This is something that has been discussed for a really long time it is what makes European football so enticing. Without this step they cannot go forward. Football is not an American sport the beautiful game was founded in England and a globalized world. Every weekend there are eyes on Europe’s top leagues as well as the European competitions such as the Champions League and the Europa League. This Sports doesn’t belong to America it belongs to Europe. To really gain popularity especially from fans overseas they need to change the very Dynamic of The League. Relegation is just part of the sport if you don’t like it pick another sport. This is the number one thing that needs to happen without relegation the MLS will stay where it is it may improve over the next decade but it will not make drastic growth in the product. In American Sports bad teams are rewarded with draft picks. Team even try to get the number one pick by losing. We see this in the NFL in the NBA and in baseball. The fact is the matter is even if teams tank that doesn’t necessarily guarantee they will make the right decision or get the number one pick in the NBA which has a draft lottery in regarding to the worst teams in the league. This is just a losing mentality that entire system is broken. Relegation is exactly what major league soccer needs. in Europe there is no reward for finishing at the bottom in fact it’s exactly the opposite. Teams that are playing in Europe’s top five leagues and others that finished near the bottom of the table do not get to return the next season. They are relegated the top three teams go down to the league below and three teams from the league below can come up. This is good for a various amount of reasons.  First of all it creates more variety you see all sorts of different teams year in and year out. It gives competitiveness and drive to the league. Beyond that it makes every single game important. If you do not get the appropriate points to stay afloat in the league you go down which means in a lot of cases you will lose some of your best players and take a financial hit. This system is in place to make every match count. This is something that is inevitable while the American fan might appreciate the American way of doing things it just isn’t a productive way to grow the game even in America. The MLS even though it is watched by people around the world by people around the world a European audience have been turned off by the league for that very reason. It’s about time that the MLS aligned with the rest of the world is doing. It would make the league significantly more popular and it would fix The problems that the MLS currently has. Relegation and promotion is not negotiable eventually these things will happen but the sooner they start having this conversation the better it will be for the sake of the League. The rest of Europe and even in South America has used relegation and promotion it is just a part of football if the MLS truly wants to grow they have to start following suit to the rest of the world and what are they doing. Europe and South America run football in the world there’s a reason they have been so successful. The MLS will not be able to get their feet off the ground unless they add promotion and relegation without it teams will continue to not feel the desire and a will to win. In Europe every match counts you lose a game in matchday 2 it could come back and haunt you at the end of the season. Not converting on a goal scoring chance Midway through the season could come back and ruin your season. Every single game matter once the MLS decides to abide by these rules every game will have more intensity added to it. To run with the rest of the world the MLS must adapt to the thing that has made Europe and South America so successful.



MLS Teams Should Start Taken Youngsters From Europe’s Biggest Clubs on loan 

Chelsea FC v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg

So far I’ve broken down the importance of relegation and promotion, revamping the Champions League and and making the MLS more European. I have yet to talk about a strategic approach from building the league from the inside of it. Everything I have discussed so far has had to do with the league of gaining popularity and doing certain things that will increase the viewership. This has to do with about what we see on the pitch and how we can involve the league from its inside. In Europe’s biggest clubs there are young talents they are not ready to be a part of the first team. Players like this need experience they need opportunity to play games and get time under their belt to prove to their parent Club that they are developing and becoming something special. Their players like this at every European Club across the world. These players cannot be guaranteed game time so for a year sometimes two they go beyond and find another place to play for an extended period of time. I have believed this for a really long time the MLS owners coaches and directors should be should be approaching these teams for loan deals 4 the bright stars that are not quite ready for the big time. A lot of these players might reject advances as some of them will much rather prefer to play in one of Europe’s top leagues but some will come to the MLS. It is the job of the people running these clubs to approach Barcelona Bayern Munich Real Madrid Liverpool team like that every one of these teams has youngsters who needs an opportunity to prove themselves. The MLS could Supply them with that opportunity. Whether it’s a one-year loan or a two-year loan it would help him develop and help the teams reach their goals. A young player like that playing for some of those teams I just mentioned even though they cannot get into those teams yet they have potential just based on the fact that they play for those teams that those teams decided to sign them as a youngster. Signing players like that would make the league more exciting than ever before. In some cases players like this may end up becoming some of the best players in the league. Developing and then ultimately leaving. In rare cases they may be able to convince them to stay beyond the loan spell. We have seen players like Alphonso Davies he plays for Bayern Munich now he started in the MLS. We have seen countless amount youngsters make that jump it’s really simple. Help them develop help them Reach their potential if they want to stay great if not you got 2 years out of a fantastic player that can reach their capabilities at the top level. This might be temporary taking these kids on short-term deals but in the end it will make the league more popular. If it was a great experience that Barcelona kid is going to go back to Europe and tell people how great the MLS has been. This will allow them to sign players in Europe that are still in their Prime. If the champions league is revamped the stigma against the MLS wouldn’t exist in the same way and they might actually be able to steal some top talents From Europe in due time. This is a strategic approach that could help so many teams develop not only the kid that comes but their team as a whole. Beyond that sign some players from South America will also help them grow and help the team. Players that are at clubs without Champions League football or more likely to want to make the jump then someone playing at a club capable of trophies. Both of these ideas certainly help the League grow. That kid at Barcelona may not be ready yet the MLS could prepare them and give them an opportunity to become world-class before they ultimately leaving. Eventually we may get to the point where European players will be willingly coming to the US but until that happens this is the best strategic approach to not only help the league grow  not from the outside but from within it.

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