Wednesday, August 24, 2005

MLS, time to see reality

So yesterday's match against Real Madrid did not go so well for the MLS select side. Their defeat, actually it was the way they were defeated, showed the weakness of this young league. They were lazy on the pitch. I'm not suggesting that if they were going full-throttle that they would have won, but I do think they could have scored a goal.

But that was yesterday, what do we do about it today. Jamie Tracker has a few suggestions on what went wrong (both yesterday and over the last 10 years) and an idea or two on how to fix it. Although he is a bit harsh, it might just be time for some tough love.

Tracker points out how the low salaries paid to MLS players are hurting the league. Last night's match saw a $100 million team take on a $1.7 million per team league. There is no way that the MLS can offer the kind of money the top European sides can, however, they could try to get to the $10 million mark. This will allow teams to big in better players, thus allowing for better play, thus getting more fans into the gates, thus earning more TV time and news coverage. This would be a risk, but with attendance records dropping, it is time for risks.

MLS is at a point were it does not have to worry if it will be around next season. They have some good TV deals with ESPN and FSC as well as local channels in every market. They also have lots of soccer specific stadiums built or on the way. Now it is time to go to the next level and start bringing in better players. If they do not, don't look for a rematch against Real anytime soon.


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