It is inevitable that soccer is going to continue to grow in popularity here in the US. Many changes have been made and millions have been invested to get the biggest sport in the world to be popular in the biggest economy in the world. But why is it that Soccer isn’t already huge here in the states? Many things were done wrong when soccer was first introduced into the professional sports market of the US. Also, many things were and still are currently “different” than the soccer leagues around the world that continue to thrive. Salary caps, low media coverage, and a draft are never seen in England or Spain when it comes to soccer, so if you want to build a soccer league that can rival those in Europe, why not just follow the same structure that they have?
One difference that the MLS currently has that most people wouldn’t understand to be that big of a problem is their season schedule. The MLS season runs from March to November, while all the other leagues of the world run from August to May. Why is this you ask? I have no idea. It was probably a way for the MLS to not have to compete with the NFL for fans and places to play. (Many soccer teams originally played in football stadiums before they got soccer specific stadiums). If you ask me this was a bad idea. Soccer is such a huge sport around the world that there are tons of tournaments going on throughout the year, primarily in the “off season” summer. There are tournaments like the Euro Cup, Confederations Cup, WORLD CUP!!!, just to name a few. And what season just so happens to land at the same time as all of these tournaments? Major League Soccer!
The current problem with this, although the MLS isn’t competing with the NFL during the summer, is they are competing with other big soccer tournaments around the world. I, personally, would much rather watch Germany and England duke it out for the Euro Cup then watch a regular season MLS game between San Jose and Kansas City. The other issue is that if you play in the MLS and are good enough to be called up to your national team, you’ll have to leave your club team to play for your national team. Because of this “Summer Schedule” the MLS is losing fans and players to other summer tournaments.
News broke about a month back that the commissioner of the MLS, Don Garber, mentioned that the MLS needs to consider adding roofs to its stadiums to accommodate a possible scheduling switch. Adding roofs to keep the weather out, which means winter? If this is true, which I believe it is, and the MLS are in talks to change the schedule to a “Winter Schedule” this will not only help the MLS in not losing fans and players to the summer tournaments, it will also help the MLS look like it is listening to what FIFA wants. FIFA wants the MLS to thrive. The MLS is sitting on a gold mine of consumers and if the MLS can break into this huge market of buyers, AMERICANS, the league will grow at a tremendous rate. With that it would be hard for FIFA not to bring the World Cup here to the states. Although a lot of other changes to the MLS need to also happen this schedule change is a must. Good luck to the powerful people who have to figure out this “schedule shift” and thanks for working to make soccer huge here in the states!
What did you think of this review?
The league comprises 15 teams, 14 in the U.S. and one in Canada. MLS represents the top tier of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.
Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The first season took place in 1996 beginning with 10 teams. Seasons run from late March or early April to November, with teams playing 30 regular season games each. Eight teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs culminating in the championship game, MLS Cup.