Friday, August 26, 2005

Seattle Sounders looking for a home in MLS

As pointed out by Tim over at In Limbo, the USL's Seattle Sounders would like to join the MLS, but they need about $10 million from an investor and a plan for a stadium. Anyone, anyone?

The article Tim links to has an interesting take on the MLS and the USL. They point out the recent wins by USL teams in the Open Cup, but explain that money is the key difference.

"There is a vast difference in payrolls, however, a separation in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. According to Hanauer, it is just the top-end players who distinguish the MLS from the USL.

"'The difference right now is about three players. If we could add three top-end players to our roster we could play with any MLS team,' (the Sounders' general manager) Hanauer said. 'The MLS and USL are very similar, other than those two or three special players that are making big money that the USL just can't afford.'"

Having seen some USL matches over the past couple of months, I have to agree that they have some good teams and I think it is unwise for the MLS to try and distance themselves from the league. I don't think the two will ever merge into one league (like the AFC and NFC of NFL fame), but they could throw a lot of support each other's way.

As far as Seattle, I think it would be a great addition to MLS, but I have a feeling that the next two expansion slots are going to be more Eastern in affiliation.



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