I don’t even know where to being with this season. It honestly feels like we just were done crowning Barcelona as the Greatest Team of All Time. This, of course, on the heels of crowning Jupp Heynckes’ 2013 Bayern as the greatest we’d ever seen 1.
Since May, we’ve played some international tournaments that you may have heard about, and got some friendlies out of the way. Four weeks into the English season, two weeks into the Spanish, and everything is upside-down.
Of course, the biggest American news isn’t the fact that NYCFC is terrible despite being loaded with Players You Know, it’s the looming #SoccerWar between NASL and MLS.
Whatever rooting interests you have, it seems unlikely that little ol’ NASL will prevail given the close ties MLS has with the NFL. You know, the league that is notorious for playing not-so-clean.
If you aren’t familiar with the twitter-based pro/rel argument that mainstream soccer writers, personalities, journalists, and bloggers loathe it goes something like this: “MLS and the NFL-related persons running it are conspiring to keep American soccer from realizing its potential by denying promotion/relegation here in the US.”
MLS is the top tier – what La Liga is in Spain, Serie A is in Italy, the EPL is in England and so on. NASL is roughly the same as the Liga Adelante in Spain, Serie B in Italy, and the Championship in England. Sort of.
The problem is that there is no way for the reigning NASL Soccer Bowl champion San Antonio Scorpions to move to MLS without ownership buying a franchise from MLS for roughly $100 million.
Similarly, no awful MLS side will drop down and play with the NY Cosmos or Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.
MLS reasoning for the last two decades is something along the lines of “we don’t want to overspend, and need to protect the owners that invest in our league by guaranteeing them a spot in the top tier.”
That makes sense if you have ownership groups that are solely concerned with the money. Now soccer overseas is not run by philanthropists guarding the good of the game. No, soccer, like any human-involved endeavor has all the various evil and greed that you can imagine.
Of course, this was after having crowned Pep’s 2009 Barca as the best ever. ↩