The great debate of North American soccer enthusiasts: Promotion versus Relegation. Arguably since the early days of pro soccer the idea within the North American soccer landscape has been an ongoing debate (I’m talking specifically in reference to USA/Canada). Yet, roughly 100 years later North American soccer still does not have promotion and relegation at any level. This is made all the more curious by the fact that the pro/rel system is a system of league organization that is widely used throughout the world. Further still the fact that it is not part of MLS league makeup makes MLS one of the few first-division professional soccer leagues in the world where clubs don't have to fear of getting dropped to a lower league. But the question is why the resistance? Sports after all feed on drama and what better way to add drama than to include a tried and true method to a league looking to attract more fans. The way I see it promotion and relegation is not some monumental hurdle that can’t be overcome but one that has too many excuses as to why it can’t be accomplished.
The transfer window is going to look different this year. There will still be a few big signings, (see Chelsea’s acquisition of Timo Werner) but all speculation is that the financial from impact of COVID-19 will lead to a more frugal summer across the board.
Where to start? As I’m sure my readers know I have ranted and raved for years about the quality (and sometimes lack there of) of the United States National Soccer team. The far more glaring issue and the baseline of our woes is the lack of international caliber depth at our disposal. But that is only the tip of the iceberg of our present national teams ineffectiveness issues when competing against top ranked teams. The real issue has been replacing the old guard of the 2010 World Cup.
The MLS regular season is coming to a close, and as we look forward to the playoffs, the pressure is mounting for all teams vying for a spot to compete. Through arduous battles of endurance, skill, and sheer athletic prowess, there is a handful of MLS teams that rise above the rest, enticing spectators with incredible moves and setting new standards for gameplay. These teams continue to demonstrate their talent and enthrall fans with exhilarating matches in a constant battle for glory, and it’s these teams that we look forward to watching as they duke it out for that all-important victory. As we look to the 2019 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, the best of the best Major League Soccer teams in the game right now are bringing top-notch gameplay and incomparable talent to the sport.
How is it that a team that has only been around for two years has such a huge following? LAFC fans act as if the team has been around for ages. This fanbase, which is good for them, act like the team has been around so long that tradition has been established already. All in a matter of two years. As for the league, MLS, how is it that a team in its sophomore year has great players?
Next month, the US plays two friendlies against Mexico on Sept 6th at Metlife Stadium, NJ, and Uruguay on the 10th in Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
When Gregg Berhalter was announced as the new coach of the US in September last year, one of the biggest talking points surrounded the team’s veterans. Who stays and who goes? The Altidore/Bradley vitriol was fierce, and on either end of the spectrum, you had two schools of thought.
It is impossible to ignore the United States Men’s National Team’s inability to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, placing themselves, the world’s third largest country by population, outside of the top 32 soccer teams in the world. Nonetheless, it is essential to recognize the important steps the US Men’s National Team, Major League Soccer (MLS), and the US Soccer Federation have made in recent history. While significant action is required to see forward progress, asking yourself, "What is the future of soccer in the United States?" may lead to an overwhelmingly positive projection.
Major League Soccer, commonly abbreviated as MLS is the highest professional soccer league that contains 21 teams from the United States and three teams from Canada. It is organized, managed, and supervised by the United States Soccer Federation. The growth of MLS has been put into question over the last few years, but there seem to be significant changes in the perception of the league, and its growth as well.
By now, the knockout round will have already taken place. Safe to say they did not disappoint. I expected NYCFC to come out on top against Philly, mainly because of Philly’s backline inexperience in the playoffs. I also picked Portland over Dallas because they always disappointed me in the postseason. However, here’s where I was wrong. I had picked the in-form DC United over the Columbus Crew to make it to the conference semi-final. Both teams had their moments, and the game was pretty even overall, but things started to open up in overtime and Columbus were the first to take advantage of the open space. Who other than Federico Higuain to deliver the fatal blow for the Crew on a great header from Harrison’s Afful’s delivery in the box. DC struggled to find an equalizer until Nick DeLeon delivered his team late in overtime. Then came the penalty kicks, or should I say the “Zack Steffen show.” The young US international, who was at fault for DC’s opening goal, put his team on his back, stopping two crucial penalty kicks from DC’s top players: Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta. With this victory, Columbus gets ready to face the New York Red Bulls with lots of momentum.
North American soccer has received heavy criticism in recent years for the formatting of the CONCACAF Champions League, North/Central America’s version of the famed European competition. This criticism has been justified, as little to no attention has been paid to the competition by clubs and fans alike. This lack of a legitimate continental championship creates a void for many fans. During the MLS season, all the attention is on making it to the playoffs or winning the supporter’s shield, with little attention on the US Open Cup or the aforementioned CONCACAF Champions League. With the MLS being the main attraction for those in the United States and Canada, those who watch the European game understand that something is missing.
Sure, having the best cleats and must have women's soccer gear can help you get a leg up against the competition, but it takes hard work, stamina, and the right coaching and team to really make it in the soccer world. If you’re looking for credible and successful soccer universities in the US, you have a lot of options. But, because there are hundreds of universities with NCAA Division 1 soccer programs, it can be difficult to make the decision on which you should apply to. You must consider factors like academics, location and size of the school, and more. Take a look at some of the top schools in the nation for soccer and we’ll help you decide.