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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 14, 2017, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by patm View Post
You know, if the Flames leaving meant Calgary got an MLS team, I'd be all over it.
Calgary may have a CPL team regardless of what the Flames do. I'd recommend supporting that over an American-based league if given the choice.
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  #62  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 4:28 PM
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Calgary may have a CPL team regardless of what the Flames do. I'd recommend supporting that over an American-based league if given the choice.

Why? It (CPL) only has 2 teams. 3 Canadian teams are already in the MLS, it would be great to ad another like Calgary to the list.
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  #63  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 4:43 PM
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  #64  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by TorontoDrew View Post
Why? It (CPL) only has 2 teams. 3 Canadian teams are already in the MLS, it would be great to ad another like Calgary to the list.
????

The CPL isn't going to only have 2 teams when it begins play.
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  #65  
Old Posted Sep 15, 2017, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TorontoDrew View Post
Why? It (CPL) only has 2 teams. 3 Canadian teams are already in the MLS, it would be great to ad another like Calgary to the list.
MLS will not be expanding further in Canada in the next 15-20 years. All 3 franchises are solid so a relocation is unlikely. CPL is the future of soccer in Canada. Both leagues can co-exist here comfortably. CPL willhave 6 teams the first season, around 8 the second season. It will expand to as many teams/cities as it can sustain to provide a quality entertainment product that drives growth in Canadian talent.
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  #66  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 2:10 PM
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Originally Posted by mistercorporate View Post
MLS will not be expanding further in Canada in the next 15-20 years.
If at all.

The MLS plans to go to 28 teams, and no Canadian city is bidding for one of the spots. LA FC and Miami FC are next to join bringing the total to 24, leaving 4 spots, with 12 potential U.S candidates for the rest.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/883745189078761474
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  #67  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 8:51 PM
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Originally Posted by thenoflyzone View Post
If at all.

The MLS plans to go to 28 teams, and no Canadian city is bidding for one of the spots. LA FC and Miami FC are next to join bringing the total to 24, leaving 4 spots, with 12 potential U.S candidates for the rest.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/883745189078761474
Garber has been slowly expanding the number of maximum expansion franchises/cities every few years (probably to avoid alarming other North American leagues), so a 32 team league is entirely possible eventually. That said, Canada is still statistically over represented already, so yes we're unlikely to get more franchises here..
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  #68  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 9:21 PM
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Originally Posted by thenoflyzone View Post
If at all.

The MLS plans to go to 28 teams, and no Canadian city is bidding for one of the spots. LA FC and Miami FC are next to join bringing the total to 24, leaving 4 spots, with 12 potential U.S candidates for the rest.

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/883745189078761474
Beyond LA & Miami the obvious choices are Cincinnati, Sacramento, San Antonio, and potentially somewhere like Louisville or Charlotte.
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  #69  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 9:42 PM
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Originally Posted by JHikka View Post
Beyond LA & Miami the obvious choices are Cincinnati, Sacramento, San Antonio, and potentially somewhere like Louisville or Charlotte.
However there are 2 other factors - can they get an MLS Soccer Specific Stadium built and size of TV market is a factor which is why I think Detroit or Phoenix may factor into it
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  #70  
Old Posted Sep 17, 2017, 9:55 PM
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can they get an MLS Soccer Specific Stadium built
Sacramento and Cincinnati are already well on their way to that objective.

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Originally Posted by cjones2451 View Post
and size of TV market is a factor which is why I think Detroit or Phoenix may factor into it
It's becoming increasingly more obvious that TV market is going to play less of a factor in MLS' total revenue moving forward compared to the more traditional sports. The per/year deal with Adidas for jerseys beginning next year is going to be worth more than all of the current TV deals combined, at least for the time being.

Phoenix is possible but a concern given the high heats of the summer for a league that runs through the summer. Detroit has always been a goal but i'm not sure how close that is to really becoming a reality.
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  #71  
Old Posted Sep 18, 2017, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by mistercorporate View Post
Garber has been slowly expanding the number of maximum expansion franchises/cities every few years (probably to avoid alarming other North American leagues), so a 32 team league is entirely possible eventually. That said, Canada is still statistically over represented already, so yes we're unlikely to get more franchises here..
I think 28 teams is more than enough for the top soccer league in North America. We are diluting the product enough as it is with 22 teams. Simply look at the payroll difference between the top team, TFC, 22.5 million, and the bottom teams, MTL and Houston, 5 million.

Imagine what the spread would be with 32 teams. Just because leagues like the NHL, NFL and MLB have 30+ teams doesn't mean that the MLS should or can replicate.
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  #72  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2017, 11:32 PM
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East Can Darby on now!!
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  #73  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2017, 12:06 AM
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MTL, with a payroll of 5 million, is trashing TFC, with a payroll of 22.5 million. Granted, TFC has left over half their payroll on the bench, but still....

Just goes to show that when the payroll count gets evened out for a game, anything is possible.
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  #74  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2017, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by thenoflyzone View Post
MTL, with a payroll of 5 million, is trashing TFC, with a payroll of 22.5 million. Granted, TFC has left over half their payroll on the bench, but still....

Just goes to show that when the payroll count gets evened out for a game, anything is possible.
2/3 of the payroll (including all our top attacking players) have been rested for this game. Cool your horses playboy, Montreal is out of the playoffs and TFC is automatically clinching everything...protecting their top players from getting gooned on by a desperate MTL was a smart play though I personally would have enjoyed a much deserved humiliation. Anyway, Montreal deserves a win every now and again, even against us, keeps the franchise from folding, we need a living breathing rival of some sort right?
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  #75  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2017, 1:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mistercorporate View Post
2/3 of the payroll (including all our top attacking players) have been rested for this game. Cool your horses playboy, Montreal is out of the playoffs and TFC is automatically clinching everything...protecting their top players from getting gooned on by a desperate MTL was a smart play though I personally would have enjoyed a much deserved humiliation. Anyway, Montreal deserves a win every now and again, even against us, keeps the franchise from folding, we need a living breathing rival of some sort right?
That's still 2 million more than the Impact's payroll. Make all the excuses you wan't. Doesn't change the facts. Toronto conceded 5 at home and got trashed. Job well done by MTL. They snap TFC's winning streak, they snap their own losing streak, and will hopefully keep on winning for the remaining games and make the playoffs.

1st defeat of Toronto at home this season makes it that much sweeter. Hopefully they wont grab the record of the most points in a season either, because of the Impact......Icing on the cake if it happens.....

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  #76  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2017, 1:32 AM
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It's cute when they get all excited lol
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  #77  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2017, 2:34 AM
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It's cute when they get all excited lol
lmao
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  #78  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 8:55 PM
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Hopefully Giovinco is back for the final games so MLS has a realistic chance to break the single season point record.
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  #79  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 8:56 PM
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Interesting article questioning the long term viability of MLS.

http://deadspin.com/is-mls-a-ponzi-scheme-1797509617

If like any red-blooded American capitalist you measure success by growth, these are boom times for Major League Soccer. North America’s top soccer league has gone from just 10 teams in 2004 to a whopping 22, with two more clubs in Los Angeles and Miami set to come online in the couple of seasons. And it’s readying itself to announce two more expansion franchises this fall, then another two next year, with ownership groups in Charlotte, Cincinnati, Detroit, Indianapolis, Nashville, Phoenix, Raleigh-Durham, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, St. Louis, and Tampa-St. Petersburg lining up to throw $150 million at the chance to own a piece of the soccer pie.

It’s a bit of a strange course for a sports league that isn’t exactly lighting it up in terms of attendance, viewership, or revenue. MLS may be allegedly growing in popularity—you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a claim of its popularity with urban millennials—but it’s still miles behind the England’s Premier League and Spain’s La Liga and Germany’s Bundesliga and probably another half-dozen leagues around the world in terms of both talent and viewership. And as far as North American sports leagues go, it’s a distant fifth behind the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. When Forbes last looked at MLS finances, it had to perform mathematical contortions to explain why franchise values are rising even as annual losses continue to mount.

That business model and this financial trajectory suggests that MLS’s sea of red ink is either a loss leader or a Ponzi scheme, and it’s not always easy to tell the difference between the two until it’s too late. Several sports economists, though, aren’t optimistic.

“The best indicator of expansion franchise worth is success at the bottom of the league” in revenues, says Stanford economist Roger Noll. For MLS, “that still looks more like AAA baseball except for a few million per year more in TV revenue.”


The University of Michigan’s Stefan Szymanski, co-author of Soccernomics, is even more blunt about MLS’s shortcomings. “Any modern professional sports league, to be profitable, needs to generate a large revenue from broadcasting, and that means you have to have large TV audiences,” he says.

MLS TV ratings, Szymanski notes, are typically smaller than those in the U.S. for Mexican Liga MX games; MLS games in primetime routinely get lower U.S. ratings than English Premier League games aired on Saturday mornings. “One estimate is that something like 80 percent of the revenue generated by the league is generated from selling tickets,” he says, “and MLS is one of the cheapest tickets in major-league sports.” That’s even when fans pay full price, which seems to be more the exception than the rule.

It all makes the long line of candidates eager to pay MLS’s ever-growing expansion fees—in 2005, you could land a franchise for a mere $10 million—a bit puzzling, says Szymanski: “Why would you buy something for $150 million which is basically giving you a share of losing $100 million a year?”

More importantly, if you’re an MLS fan or a city considering dropping big bucks on a soccer stadium to lure one of the umpteen new teams: What is the end game here? Can MLS continue to expand indefinitely, or is it a bubble destined to burst?

One likely reason for the league’s furious expansion is the same dynamic that led to Steve Ballmer spending $2 billion to own the Los Angeles goddamn Clippers: There are suddenly a hell of a lot of people with ungodly amounts of money in the U.S., and only so many sports franchises: America now has 540 billionaires and only 123 Big Four teams. If you’re a rich dude with a jones to sit in an owner’s box and hire and fire GMs, MLS may be your best option.

And among the buyers, you’ll find that common sentiment that typifies both successful speculative investments and pyramid schemes alike: hope, shading to wish-fulfillment.

“It’s like buying into in a dot-com in the late ’90s,” says Szymanski. “Although most of the dot-coms went belly-up, if you bought Amazon shares when they were losing a ton of money, you’ve done extraordinarily well.” If soccer continues to grow in popularity, the reasoning goes, that $150 million could turn into a windfall when you suddenly find yourself owner of a franchise in a world-class league.

And here’s where Szymanski—and, really, anyone who’s not an irredeemable MLS cheerleader—throws up their hands in disbelief. The only way to become a world-class league is to get more soccer fans watching, and the way to do that is to put a product on the pitch that will make Americans tune into their local club. But to do so, MLS owners would need to spend even more money, and incur even greater losses.

It’s the sort of thing that U.S. sports fans are used to having resolved with ungodly amounts of American cash. But MLS is in a uniquely weird position as American leagues go, with its teams competing for players against far better and richer leagues in an international market.

(Technically, it’s MLS as a whole competing for those players, since it’s a “single entity” construct where franchise owners hold shares in the league, which pays player salaries out of its New York office. This helps keep expenses down—no teams engaging in bidding wars for free agents—but also prevents a Guggenheim Management or a Qatar from showing up to spend big on international stars just because. There’s no rising tide to lift all boats.)

The only way to lure better talent, then, is to find players willing to step down in competition and in fame. So far that’s mostly manifested as spending heavily by MLS standards, but not by international ones, for a handful of old guys with big names who might lure curiosity-seekers through the turnstiles.

As Szymanski and Simon Kuper note in Soccernomics, signing big-money players as loss leaders and punting profits is not uncommon in European soccer. But there, owners in those leagues have incentives that MLS moguls don’t. Many are controlled by fan shareholders who value wins over profits; the Champions and Europa Leagues offers revenue windfalls for teams that finish near the tops of their domestic tables; the fear of having your investment turn to dust—thanks to promotion-and-relegation that exists just about everywhere but here—are all enough to keep spending, even when it can eat up the profits.

MLS has none of this—it’s been especially resistant to promotion and relegation, despite clamor for it from advocates of traditional soccer, and even a recent offer of big media money if it adopted the format. (It doesn’t help that if MLS stuck to a traditional 20-team first division like European leagues, many of the new owners plunking down $150 million for franchises would find themselves suddenly stuck with minor-league teams.) And so we’re left with a league of owners trying to pull off a typical American sports racket—try to turn a profit by chintzing on salaries while still raking in TV money—in an international soccer market that is playing a very different game.

“MLS would have to go out and throw an absolute fortune at players,” says Szymanski. He was guessing when he said that the average Premier League team spends more on player salaries than all 22 MLS clubs combined, but he’s right: £91.68 million per Premier League team last year, or about $121 million at the current exchange rate, vs. $99 million for all of MLS.) “MLS spending is somewhere between Belgium and Romania,” Szymanski notes, and neither of those leagues is anywhere near being a threat to break into the upper echelons of club soccer.

The potentially worrying part is, this is all no secret. “[MLS commissioner] Don Garber’s not an idiot,” Szymanski says, “and most of these owners are very successful businessmen in their own right.”

So what’s their end game, then?

“I do struggle as to how to explain this.”

If Garber’s long-term strategy for the league doesn’t exactly make sense, the endless cycle of expansion does: If you can’t make money either of the old-fashioned or sustainable ways, you might as well recruit a new batch of suckers to boost your bottom line in the short run. It’s a marginally more respectable version of the same business model that the owners of the American Basketball Association—not the original one, but the 1999 minor league that inherited the red-white-and-blue ball and little else—happened upon when it decided to start issuing franchises to anyone with a $10,000 check, with predictably chaotic results. Here’s a long, long list of franchises that have gone under.

It also helps to explain MLS’s otherwise puzzling insistence on making a brand-new, soccer-only stadium a primary condition for anointing new franchises. This would be madness in Europe, where teams, especially newly promoted ones, often end up playing in grounds that look like they were pieced together out of spare parts. If you’re running a normal sports league, Cincinnati’s 20,000-a-game attendance for its USL team would be a tasty lure; if you’re running a pyramid scam, maybe it’s better to take El Paso if they’re willing to throw public money at a stadium deal and Cincinnati won’t.

Article preview thumbnail
Cincinnati, Home Of Terrible Stadium Deals, Is Being Extorted For A New MLS Stadium

Just over 30,000 people filled Nippert Stadium last week to watch FC Cincinnati upset the Columbus…

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(This demand is useful as leverage, but flexible if you’re bringing enough money into the league. After all, MLS backed down on its “soccer-only” requirement when the owners of the Atlanta Falcons and New York Yankees decided to apply for teams to play in their new football and baseball stadiums, respectively.)

Crunch time for MLS, in Szymanski’s view, will come with the league’s next broadcast contract, when the league’s current $90 million-a-year deal expires in 2024. If what remains of the cable TV industry then doesn’t come up with a relatively staggering figure—something in the $300-400 million range would be required, he estimates, which doesn’t seem likely—“I think owners will start to think about an alternative.”

At that point, he says, promotion-and-relegation advocates may get their wish, albeit not the way they might prefer. Contracting a good chunk of the league, leaving only around 20 teams and entering into a pro/rel agreement with the NASL or USL, he says, could be “an honorable way for those who want to get out to get out”—similar to what Japan’s J-League did in the 1990s.

Whether current MLS honchos actually have this in mind now, or are still guzzling their own Kool-Aid, is tough to say. But for most big-market teams and early adopters, even if the expand-o-ganza goes south, it’s a fair bet they’ll be left with a chair when the music stops—franchises like New York and Los Angeles should be safe and potentially profitable, even if the likes of Raleigh or Nashville might be screwed.

That might end up being good for soccer in the U.S. overall, and would at the very least provide American fans with a sports league where franchises can no longer levy relocation threats to get their way. (In a pro/rel system, if a team leaves town, you can just find a new owner to start a lower-level team to put in its place and then have them work their way back up via winning seasons.) But it would be a disaster for cities that are counting on at investing money in soccer stadiums in hopes of an economic windfall from getting into the “big leagues.” If that’s the game you’re playing, it might be better just for your city just to buy an ABA franchise instead. It’s far more certain to crash and burn, but at least you’d only be out 10 grand.
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  #80  
Old Posted Sep 26, 2017, 9:54 PM
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Wow I have not been paying attention at all this year. The TFC killed it this season. I had no idea they clinched a playoff spot and could hang on to top spot going into the playoffs this fall. This was a nice surprise. It looks like Vancouver has a good shot of hanging on for a spot as well.
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