Examining the MLS State of the League address

Examining the MLS State of the League address

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On December 3, 2014

I’m still digesting all of this. Maybe that is why it has taken me a full day to even get around to writing anything about the MLS State of the League address. MLS and commissioner Don Garber brought in some media panelist to listen to the annual address and the result was rather mixed.

The Good:

1. Decision Day – Love the idea and concept behind having the final day of the regular season be devoted in some way to how the final day in the group stage of the World Cup or the final day of the EPL season is treated. All the games going on at once. That should be a welcome addition if the league can work with the TV networks to get it done.

2. Ditching the Reserve League – The benefit of working with the USL PRO league has been a big one for MLS. Next year is going to be a banner year with no Reserve League games in MLS as all teams with either have their own USL team or affiliate with one. Right now several clubs have to still align with a USL team or some how announce their own rather soon but it is a major step in the right direction for the growth of the leagues and the players. I hope the next step in this process is improving the coaching on that level as well to where it aligns better with the teams in MLS. We’re seeing teams that haven’t set up their own USL team work with the USL organizations that have similar interests and coaching philosophies.

3. Stadium talk in DC and New England – I’m still a firm believer in the “when the shovels hit the ground” I’ll know it is real for these two teams. But for some reason things are starting to turn in a direction that makes me believe we’re a lot closer to seeing actual stadiums for these two clubs that aren’t the same facilities we’ve grown to hate over the years.

“I think that we are going to get a deal done,” Garber said of the D.C. stadium approval process. “We will have a new stadium in D.C., we are going to have a new stadium in Boston, that NYCFC will get a stadium deal done, we’ll have a new stadium in Orlando. D.C., Orlando, a new team in Atlanta, Boston, New York—that will give us that power and connection and ubiquity that we have in the Northwest.”

The questionable:

1. Miami – There is still a ton of questions revolving around David Beckham’s Miami team. The handshake agreement still stands but until a stadium is built, there won’t be a team in Miami. That much is clear, Garber once again said so. While we’ve seen the league approve deals in cities like New York and LA where a stadium deal isn’t exactly present, the league has failed before in Miami. This is why there is a bit of doubt over this bid. This is also why the statement “no stadium, no Miami” exists as well.

2. Deeper relationship with CONMEBOL and Mexico – This one worries me a little bit but I get the reasoning why the league wants to have a deeper connection with these two. For one it is all about getting the names of the teams out in these regions to help foster the league’s growth. They’ll have to continue to do that. But Garber’s mentions of worthless tournaments like SuperLiga seem misguided. He said that tournament was ahead of it’s time. Uh, it was a waste of time Don. Nothing more than that.

The bad:

1. Transparency – More and more the league continues to lack transparency with how it handles its player movement and acquisitions. We’ve heard this song and dance before but hopefully after adding in players like Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones through questionable methods, fans and the media will be even louder in this department. The biggest in my mind is still how allocation money works. When we see that player X gets traded for allocation money, we have no real way of evaluating that trade due to the lack of information on the allocation money traded.

2. Away goals – It looks like they’re not going away anytime soon. Eh, I’m not a huge fan of them but I do get in some weird way that I can explain right now as to why the league is so gun-ho about this rule.

  • evan

    no more away goals. Garber is a freakin’ idiot…