Nothing like a clever title from Time Magazine US Soccer Reboots. "Reboots" like restarts, or is that what the eurosnobs say when a player has to put their cleats on again? All in all a decent article (HT: Bigsoccer). A bit misleading in implying that MLS manages the Mexican National Team – it just profits from the teams appearances in the USA. Nothing new if your a devoted fan, but it confirms a lot that we’ve been hearing. We can be optimistic about the leagues stability and future profitability, which is a relief if like me you thought the league might not survive contracting a few years ago. I hope the writer will do some sort of preview and wrap up of the World Cup team.
In the past 18 months, a league that has been kept whole by dipping
into the deep pockets of two soccer-nutty billionaire owners has
attracted close to $1 billion in outside investment from new
franchises, new team owners, public stadium funding and sponsorship
money. Adidas kicked in $150 million to become the league’s sole
uniform supplier, in part to hold off Nike. MLS is close to a new
television-rights deal with ABC/ESPN, one in which it will actually get
money for its games, instead of having to buy the time from the
networks and hope to sell it.
The article also discusses the role of SUM, and its role in promoting and managing the sport vie double headers with the US and Mexican National Teams, and by bringing teams from overseas to play in the States. Counter to the preconceived notion of many US and MLS fans, the article claims that American’s fans exposure to foreign teams like Chelsea and Manchester United, whets their appetite for the game further. It’s hard to prove that theory, although its a nice and optimistic one, as most folks figure that fans who see those teams play will be disappointed by the quality of play in Major League Soccer.
And finally, an intriguing quote from Gazidis about the rumoured ‘Beckham’ Rule which would allow each team to bring in a high-profile player whose salary wouldn’t count against the team’s salary cap, "Our long-term goal is to be one of the world’s best leagues. We can’t do that without investing in stars."