Ten Things the League Needs

Ten Things the League Needs

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On February 6, 2007

This may be a series of posts today so just bare with me, I have a lot of catching up to do since my old post aren’t working right now.

I figure since this offseason has been very colorful for the MLS that I just need to revent my concerns and thoughts about what the league needs to do as they move ahead towards the future.

  1. I like the fact that teams are reinventing themselves. Like Colorado and LA. Colorado will be a differnet post later on as they may be changing their name, but they definitely are changing their colors to resemble those of West Ham United of the EPL (a maroon and light blue…or even those of the Colorado Aves’ of the NHL). Sadly enough all the teams a behind what DC started back in 1996 when the league began. DC was simple, yet very good with their logo and name. Nothing too Americanized like other teams (Dallas Burn, NY/NJ Metrostars,etc.), but not European enough to piss anyone off. Thankfully teams are catching up like FC Dallas, Red Bull NY (I know some hate it), Toronto FC, Real Salt Lake, and so on.
  2. Single Table – I have said it many times, the league needs to do to this. Now is definitely the time, before in the early stages it wasn’t the right move and I am glad that the league didn’t go this way then. But now it is needed.
  3. New Playoff Format – Another thing that I have said many of times, the playoffs in the MLS need change. With a small sized league you don’t need 8 of 13 going into the playoffs each year. It totally kills any meaning to the regular season in my book. Too many time does one or two team get a real large lead in the league and in their conference and then bail out in the playoffs because the regular season was meaningless to them after a point. Make it to be where the top two teams in the conference play off against one another for a right to go to the MLS Cup. Its fair, a little more balanced and adds a whole lot of meaning to the regular season.
  4. Player Development – it is getting there…slowly but surely it is getting there.
  5. Roster Settings – Honestly, I am totally confused with the format the MLS puts out for teams to not allow X number of this sort of player and X number of this other sort of player. I understand the league is promoting American soccer and wants as many US born players playing in the league but I think it totally takes away from getting more solid foreigners into the league. I like the Beckham rule, but it doesn’t do nearly enough to allow more talent into the league. I think a couple more roster spots need to be opened up to other non-American players. Five senior and I believe four youth international players on one team isn’t enough in my book. Fans want to see the best product and I think the league needs to give it to them.
  6. Expansion – for single table to really become a main point in all of this the league does need to expand. And it will, the question is where and when. I still think if the league can get to at least 16 by the end of the decade, then they are doing a good job. So three more in three years, I saw give the ClashQuakes back to the Bay Area, retry a team in Florida and put one in the great Northwest. The fans are there in those places. My other two cities for expansion for when you jump to 18, are Philly and Milwaukee. The league doesn’t need 20 teams, but it could expand beyond that someday.
  7. Upgrading the USL – Once the league gets a solid group of 18 or 20 teams they have to and I do mean have to get a solid second division in support of them. Right now the USL or A-League or whatever you want to call it these days isn’t doing enough to be a solid number two like other countries have. I am not talking a promotion-regulation system here, because lets be honest that can never happen for years here unless the two leagues are solid enough to hold it. I am just talking that the MLS needs to work to get a solid second division to support it’s main division.
  8. Continue to promote SuperLiga – I like the competion with the Mexician league, and I think it will catch on in the coming years
  9. Changing colors – this goes with point number 1 a bit, but the league needs team colors that aren’t red, white and blue. Sure that sounds really unpatriotic but all in all the league needs to get some color and some flavor. Thankfully Houston, RSL and Columbus are the teams doing so for the league right now. Tampa used to when they were in the league and back when Colorado didn’t change their colors each season they did as well. I have to say that Houston has the best colors in the league and I don’t even like orange.
  10. Retro days – this could be one horrible idea but I would love to see some MLS teams do a throw back day to 96, just to see the laughable unis that where worn then.

My, my how far the league has come…too bad the Mutiny aren’t with us anymore.