MLS Soccer Coming to Atlanta?!

Discussion in 'RayGator's Swamp Gas' started by atlantagator86, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. gatorev12
    Offline

    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,823
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,694
    ...if this were the NBA's D-League, how come respected international talents like Henry and Robbie Keane have all said how the league is far better than what they thought it'd be--and keeps improving?

    You're free to watch the other leagues (I do too), but outside of the top 4-5 teams in England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France--the level drops considerably. There isn't that much difference watching Seattle play Portland than watching Stoke play Crystal Palace--and, personally, I'd rather put my attention into supporting something here so that it can continue growing and getting better.
  2. AzCatFan
    Offline

    AzCatFan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    7,694
    Likes Received:
    236
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Ratings Received:
    +741
    MLS is improving, but it will never be at the top level. The money will never be there. But MLS is better than the D-league and is more like the top Euro Basketball leagues, which always have several young players who are dreaming about the NBA, a few fringe NBA Americans who prefer the playing time and money overseas, and some Euros who are NBA potential, but happy where they are. And while a top Euro basketball team won't beat the Heat in the best of 7, the top Euro team could take the 76'ers.

    I too fear the MLS is expanding too far and too fast, especially if there is not going to be relegation. I say cap MLS at around 20-22, 24 max, and allow new franchises to enter the minor league. Then relegate the bottom 3 MLS teams to the minors, and replace them with the top minor franchises.

    Relegation might be a tough pill for Americans to swallow, but some of the most exciting soccer matches are between teams fighting to stay in the top league. There is also a built-in excitement factor for teams that get promoted. Relegation will also help sort new franchises out and whether or not they will be viable for the majors. No support, no money, and sooner rather than later, no top, MLS franchise.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. gatorev12
    Offline

    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,823
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,694
    Promotion and relegation will never work here though--MLS owners who've invested hundreds of millions into the teams aren't going to want to risk getting relegated to a lower division, where they'll lose millions for every year. The owners would vote down any attempt to try--as would the player's union--and the tv execs too (who are increasingly becoming part of the conversation). No one's going to be exceptionally thrilled about replacing a team like DC or NY (both are currently towards the bottom of the league) for Jacksonville, FL (recently got a NASL team--and much as I'd enjoy MLS in Jax, the tv execs would be pissed about losing such a large potential market).

    The way MLS is structured allows for the bottom-feeders to rebuild pretty quickly (it's like the NFL in that regard) and many of the bottom teams routinely can get results against the league's top teams due to the parity structures in place. It's fine as it is...and with the growth of soccer in this country and dedicated academy teams being set up, we'll start seeing the quality improve over the next 5-10 years.
  4. GCMightygator
    Offline

    GCMightygator Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    419
    Likes Received:
    58
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings Received:
    +70

    I love the idea of relegation in MLS and a few other sports such as MLB. (MLB would never do it but the concept would make MLB more interesting at season's end)
  5. atlantagator86
    Offline

    atlantagator86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,637
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +655
    I agree. The MLS will never compete with the elite national leagues. But it can improve if the teams can stay profitable. That's where I think a really good owner, like I think Arthur Blank will be, makes the difference.

    Keep in mind that the Falcons popularity didn't increase just after they started winning. It literally happened almost immediately after Blank bought the team. Blank is a great marketer. He understands, like maybe no sports team owner I've ever seen, how the team needs to connect with the community. It's the same formula he used with Home Depot. I think the Atlanta team will probably do pretty well and largely because of Blank.

    If the MLS teams do well and are profitable, they will use the money to lure a few more marquee players from the bigger international leagues. There are a lot of athletes who prefer to be the big fish in a smaller pond. And the MLS teams will surely be willing to overpay some of these guys to be the feature attraction on their teams.

    So I definitely agree that the quality of the MLS will improve, but it will probably NEVER compete with the elite international leagues. Soccer will never be a top sport in the United States and it will never be popular enough or profitable enough to attract the depth of talent to compete with those other leagues.

    Also, I agree with Rev that there will never be relegation in the MLS.
  6. atlantagator86
    Offline

    atlantagator86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,637
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +655
    Boston, Philly and Chicago are about the only cities I can think of that support their teams in good or bad.

    It's possible that the MLS will expand too fast. But I think comparing this MLS expansion to the NHL Southern is a stretch. The NHL tried to expand a sport that has never been more than a novelty in the South and had limited youth programs. So I don't disagree that the NHL made some major mistakes.

    Soccer is a sport that's got pretty strong youth programs already in place throughout the country. It will never be a top sport in the United States, in any city, but there's no reason, at least in my mind, to think that if it works in cities like Salt Lake City, Kansas City and Seattle, that it won't work in the South.

    I think maybe you read a little too much into the Hispanic comments. The growing Hispanic market was cited by Garber as a factor, but I don't think he intended it to mean that the hopes for Atlanta's success depended on the Hispanic community supporting the team.

    If you posted the WHOLE quote from Garber, it talked about the Atlanta being diverse, and young and working downtown and living downtown and then mentioned the Hispanic population. All the comments I saw from the group trying to attract the team mentioned Atlanta's Hispanic population growing, but not that the Hispanic population was going to be the support that makes the team succeed. And that all those factors made Atlanta the "perfect market".

    Also, I would note that most of Garber's comments about Atlanta are dead wrong. Atlanta is young, but compared to other cities, those young people really don't work downtown and certainly don't live downtown, at least not in the percentages they do in other cities.

    Metro Atlanta actually has several urban centers - Midtown, Buckhead, Perimeter Center, Cobb Galleria and Alpharetta all probably have comparable office space and young people working as downtown. And there's very limited downtown condos or housing compared with other cities. There's considerably more urban living in Buckhead, Midtown and Perimeter Center than downtown. Point being that I think Garber was kind of talking out of his butt.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
  7. gatorev12
    Offline

    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,823
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,694
    It's come a LONG way in it's existence. I'll be the first to admit: I barely could watch MLS in its early years--even if I tried. Sometime around college, I started paying more attention--and mostly because I started knowing guys who were in the league and wanted to watch them play to support them, etc; but even then, it was a gradual process and slow-going improvement wise. But starting around 2007 when Beckham came, more corporate money started coming in afterwards and that's when you started seeing the league really improving across the board; both in terms of luring other big-name talents from around the world--and in terms of improving the depth and the average quality of player on the various teams.

    Will it ever be the equal of England or Spain or Italy? Maybe, maybe not. But it's come a LONG way in the brief years it's been around. Many professionals from the bigger leagues/countries come to MLS to be the big fish in a smaller pond, true; but just as many prefer it because they're not in a fishbowl 24/7 like they are in their home countries. Every time a player from Europe or South America comes over here, they always speak of how high the interest is overseas--and it's usually a chance to play good soccer without the harassment from the media and overbearing fans. If the salary cap ever improves, I think there'd be a LOT of people attempting to come over here. Right now, most of the big money goes to established names----but if the salary cap improves, you'll start seeing more of the middle-class talent coming over. And once that happens, it could easily push MLS into the elite rungs of world leagues. Already, it's considered by most to be in the top 10, the main thing holding it back right now is money.
  8. gatorev12
    Offline

    gatorev12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Messages:
    11,823
    Likes Received:
    331
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Ratings Received:
    +1,694
    Yup...though it's somewhat ironic since Boston and Chicago have not been some of the better MLS markets in that timeframe--even as they've had good teams over the years (particularly NE).


    Fair enough...what's been working in MLS thus far is they've marketed to the younger generations that have grown up with soccer all their lives and have benefited from high-level soccer being on tv for most of the last decade due to deals with ESPN, fox soccer, and now NBC. All three of the cities you mentioned are successful--and they've had a lot of success by having successful youth and academy programs tied to the team. Seattle, RSL, and KC have all had one or two "homegrown" players from the local area break into their first-team and that strengthens the ties to the local community. Atlanta's had fairly strong youth programs for awhile now and if they get their academy up and running early, the MLS team can capitalize on it a fair amount.


    That was only one article--I can probably link you to many others since as the buzz was building over the last month about this being a "done deal," I saw both Blank and Garber making comments about the area's large Hispanic community as why an Atlanta team will do well--along with the young, urban residents, etc.

    And I agree: they were largely talking out of their butt there on both accounts.

    I'm not hating on Atlanta by any means--I hope they do succeed and Blank's comments are somewhat reassuring since he seems to genuinely want a team in the area and his ideas seem to reflect the hard-earned knowledge about what's worked in other markets. But I am skeptical and don't want this to turn into a Kraft-type situation where the MLS team takes a distant second-fiddle to their NFL team and soccer interest wanes across the region as a result.
  9. uftaipan
    Offline

    uftaipan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,970
    Hey, now, don't be rude. Soccer serves a number of critical functions in the United States. For instance, I have a two-year-old, and when she turns four, one of the first things I'm going to do is enroll her in youth soccer. Soccer is an outstanding game to teach the basic fundamentals of dexterity, conditioning, and teamwork before moving your children thence unto complex, proper American sports.

    Soccer also serves as a way for many young ladies to pay for their undergraduate degree and is an important Title IX enabler; it offsets a number of male football scholarships. The Lady Gators, for example, have a roster of 27. Without soccer, we would have to invent another female game or two to make up for those 85 athletes who pay most of the bills.

    Finally, soccer has an important diplomatic function. Smaller countries get to put their top athletes against our second- and third-tier and feel important when they beat the big, bad United States in something. Do you think El Salvador could ever put a basketball team together that could compete even against one of our Div-I schools? Of course not. But they can beat our national soccer team, have oodles of pride for doing so, and the overwhelming majority of Americans will never hear about it, much less care. It's wins all around!
  10. theghost
    Offline

    theghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    249
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Northern Virginia (DC area)
    Ratings Received:
    +1,565
    That's all great...and I don't disagree. Still doesn't change the fact it is the most boring sport in the world!! And I do drink quite a few cold ones when I go to a DC United game!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Wish I would have said that Wish I would have said that x 1
  11. Paul_Mendoza
    Offline

    Paul_Mendoza Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings Received:
    +8
    Most boring sport in the world? Ever heard of baseball, hockey, nascar and golf?
  12. theghost
    Offline

    theghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    249
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Northern Virginia (DC area)
    Ratings Received:
    +1,565
    Yes I have....and they are way above in the "Most Boring Sport in the WORLD" rankings than soccer...which is perpetually at the bottom.

    Wake me up when there's a goal..... :D I'll be drinking a cold one!

    (I love when soccer fans get their panties wadded up!)
    • Like Like x 1
  13. atlantagator86
    Offline

    atlantagator86 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    11,637
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA
    Ratings Received:
    +655
    Hockey?! Boring?!?! I mean I understand that hockey isn't for everyone, but I certainly wouldn't call it boring.
  14. Paul_Mendoza
    Offline

    Paul_Mendoza Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2010
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Ratings Received:
    +8
    I love when people feed the need to feed their ethnocentric personality by bashing a "euro" sport. Wake me up when those truly boring sports hold a global event.
  15. theghost
    Offline

    theghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    249
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Northern Virginia (DC area)
    Ratings Received:
    +1,565
    I love when soccer "fans" get their panties in a wad when their exciting "sport" gets made fun of because it IS the MOST boring sport in the world!
  16. uftaipan
    Offline

    uftaipan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    Messages:
    4,480
    Likes Received:
    377
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Ratings Received:
    +1,970
    I'm not sure who gets more offended and insecure when their "sport" gets mocked: soccer or NASCAR fans. Frankly, if I was silly enough to post a thread about football in a Latin American soccer forum, and some of the posters had a few laughs at my expense, I just wouldn't give a damn.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. CHFG8R
    Offline

    CHFG8R Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    6,980
    Likes Received:
    370
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    Ratings Received:
    +1,557
    Tampa's doing the same thing, I believe, with the Rowdies. Though that will be a tough climb as there are more than a few prominent clubs there that have been in existence and winning National Championships for years.

    Oh, go Chiefs!
  18. CHFG8R
    Offline

    CHFG8R Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    6,980
    Likes Received:
    370
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    Ratings Received:
    +1,557
    IYO.

    Unless by some miracle you have real, factual evidence to back this up.
  19. CHFG8R
    Offline

    CHFG8R Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Messages:
    6,980
    Likes Received:
    370
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    Ratings Received:
    +1,557
    I like soccer and that's always been my attitude. Don't like it? Great. Go watch the dumbass NBA/WWE.

    Means I get a seat at the bar and better service.
  20. theghost
    Offline

    theghost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    249
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Northern Virginia (DC area)
    Ratings Received:
    +1,565
    CASE....IN....POINT! :cool:

Share This Page