Saturday, August 2, 2008

Time for SuperLiga to Go

To be completely honest with everybody, I was never a fan of the SuperLiga in the first place. It was just a concoction between US Soccer, MLS, the FMF (the Mexican FA), and the Mexican First Division to make more money between the two largest soccer super-powers in CONCACAF. A region that really lacks in super-powers. It is an exclusionary event that clogs up the schedules of both MLS and the Mexican First Division. With league games, Open Cup games, and, for some, Champion's League match-ups, the SuperLiga is already out-dated.

After the recent events in the two SuperLiga semi-finals, it shows that it is just a tarnished, useless forgery. Why the violence after losing out to Houston and New England? The complaints about officials I can understand, those will always be apart of the game. So you lost, it happens. Mexican teams are going to have to start realizing that MLS teams are not automatic victories anymore- especially with the Champion's League starting later this month.

Speaking of which, the Champion's League is a perfect example of why the SuperLiga should be dumped. The CL trumps it. There is more money to be made in the Champion's League- plus a berth in the FIFA Club World Cup (which will become more of a "happening thing" if you ask me).

So, to all who have the "power," get rid of this pointless tournament. Put the $1 million prize towards something actually worthwhile- like the US Open Cup. Promote that why don't ya?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Promotion and Relegation in American Soccer

Since everybody and their brother has an idea of how promotion and relegation should work here in the States, I figured it was time for me to publish my idea of how it should be done. Here we go:

1. Move to a single table and scrap the play-offs as they are now. Just crown the regular season champion as your league champion. (As for the CONCACAF Champion's League, three berths would go to the top three teams from MLS with the fourth going to the US Open Cup Champion. If a team from outside the US is one of the top three teams, that team would get it's country's berth [ie- Toronto FC] and the next US-based team would go.)

2. The bottom three teams in MLS and USL-1 are in the relegation zone. The top three teams in USL-1 and USL-2 are in the promotion zone.

3. Take the bottom three MLS teams and randomly pit them against the top three USL-1 teams in a home-and-home series. Winner moves up, loser goes down. Do the same thing with bottom three in USL-1 and top three in USL-2. After all, if a lower division team isn't good enough to beat a higher division team head-to-head, does that lower division team really belong in the higher division? (And this gives Americans, who love post-season play, something to scratch that "play-off" itch.)

That's it, folks. Pretty simple, eh?

Now, I know that we are about ten to fifteen years from seeing promotion and relegation here. And, I know that many don't feel that USL-2 is strong enough to compete against the likes of USL-1 alone- to say nothing of MLS. But, I like the idea of three leagues (at least) being involved in a promotion and relegation system.

Instead of play-offs, these would be Battles. And, as we all know, cream rises to the top.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Either I'm A Psychic Or...

It's starting to look as if somebody is taking ideas right from this blog! Or maybe I've just been voicing some commonly held common-sense ideas. In previous posts, I talked about the need for a Champion's League, for the US Open Cup Champion to have a part in the Champion's League, and for the US Open Cup Champion to receive a $1 Million purse.

Of those three ideas, the first two have become reality. ( Here.) It was announced a few months ago that there would be a Champion's League for CONCACAF starting in August and another announcement a few days ago told that the US Open Cup Champion would indeed be taking part.

US Soccer? Is that you reading this blog? Are you going to announce a $1 Million purse for the Open Cup Champ this year? Please? I'm 2 for 3 right now, let me have the clean sweep! (Maybe it's a bit too much to ask that the Open Cup final be aired on ESPN2 also? Did you see my post about the Constitution Cup?)

The slots for the Champion's League will be given as follows:
First Slot: MLSCup Champion
Second Slot: MLS Supporter's Shield Winner
Third Slot: MLSCup Runner-Up
Fourth Slot: US Open Cup Champion

So this means that the four teams are Houston Dynamo (MLSCup Champ), DC United (MLS Supporter's Shield Winner), New England Revolution (MLSCup Runner-Up), and Chivas USA (The Revs won the Open Cup this year also, so the fourth slot is given to Chivas USA because they are MLS Supporter's Shield Runner-Up).

The first and second slots are seeded immediately into the group stage while the third and fourth teams have to go through the preliminary round first. Let's hope that Houston and DC both return to a champions form and that we can see New England and Chivas both advance to the group stage. Maybe four teams will give us the shot we need at getting past the Mexican teams. We'll see come August.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Constitution Cup

One day as I was a bit bored out of my skull, I came up with a cup competition for the Fifty States. (Uh, United States that is.) I wondered, "How cool would it be to have something like Euro '08 for the State of Washington to win?" Here's what I came up with:

The Constitution Cup

A cup tournament for the fifty states. Each state may enter one team. Club teams are not allowed to compete. This is similar to the World Cup, but using state teams. It is called the "Constitution Cup" because it is open only to those who have ratified the US Constitution, so that means no DC or Puerto Rico. To be eligible for a state's team, a player must have kept residency in that state for at least the previous fourteen months- just to have some sort of time requirement. Here is the structure I came up with:

First Round- A group stage consisting of ten groups of five with games played both home-and-away against all other states in the group. Top two advance to the Second Round.

Second Round- The states that advance are randomly placed into four groups of five for another round-robin home-and-away group stage. The only exception is that the winners of the first round groups and their respective runners-up cannot play in the same Second Round group. For example, the winner of Group A cannot be in the same group as runner-up of Group A. Top two advance to the Quarter-finals. The site of the Finals is chosen from amongst the states that are now out of the competition.

Quarter-Finals- A two-legged home-and-away series. Winner advances to the Semi-finals.

Semi-Finals- A two-legged home-and-away series. Winner advances to the Finals.

Finals- A single game played at a neutral site.

I think this would be something fun for all soccer fans in the USA. We already have many inter-state rivalries and this would be an exciting addition to them. Besides, I'm curious to see who would come in second to Washington every year!

And the Seattle MLS team name is...

Seattle Sounders FC! Photobucket
With over 14,000 votes cast, the write-in campaign for "Seattle Sounders" won the fight! This is very awesome and I would like to thank everybody who voted for "Sounders." (Yeah, this is a few days late, but I DID have to celebrate!)

Oh, and one more thing:

I'm Sounders 'Til I Die!
I'm Sounders 'Til I Die!
I know I am! I'm sure I am!
I'm Sounders 'Til I Die!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Write-In

As you may have found out by now, the ballot to name the Seattle MLS team was given a write-in option. "For fans who are passionate about a different name." Gee, I wonder what they mean by that? I dunno, gotta keep looking toward the future I guess.

OK, no more whining. In the end, "Sounders" supporters got what they wanted- a chance to vote on the name that really means "soccer." Now, I haven't been a Sounder supporter as long as some. I've only been following them since half-way 2006. But I've been a sports fan all my life. What does this have to do with the "Sounders?" Easy, sports- all sports- are about tradition. You think the guys in Pittsburgh are concerned with how their team will fare in 20 years? Not at all. They're remembering the glory days of the Steel Curtain and the Bus' Superbowl victory over the Seahawks.

When they asked for team name suggestions and the overwhelming response was "Sounders" of some form, I figured they would follow their pocketbooks at least and give the fans what they wanted- the name that kept Seattle's soccer tradition alive: Sounders. And after the three names were leaked, I was a "tad" upset that Sounders wasn't even considered. It was the one name that most of us could agree on. It was an easy marketing task and no effort was even made towards the fans and supporters. After only two-and-a-half years, I really was "Sounders 'til I die!"

Now, we do get to at least vote it up or down. And I can only keep my fingers crossed until April 7 when the name announcement is made. Please, go to MLS in Seattle and write in "Seattle Sounders." Thanks, everybody.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Statement from the Emerald City Supporters

We, the Emerald City Supporters, lament the fact that the new Seattle MLS team will not carry the "Sounders" name. We feel that the name is entwined with the soccer "soul" of the region. It is a representation of the Puget Sound area and an expression of Seattle's imprint on the world's game. Furthermore, we feel that it is by recognizing the past that helps move us toward the future. When Seattle MLS asked for team name suggestions after the expansion announcement, 60% and more of the respondents wanted some form of the "Sounders" name. If the team name vote is to be the decision of the fans, why is "Sounders" not on the list?

While we will support the new team regardless of name, we will also still lobby the front office to officially change the name to "Seattle Sounders." Please join us and let the front office know your position as well. If the Fans and Supporters are loud enough, the hope is the front office will come to share in our dream- Seattle Sounders, MLSCup Champions!!!

Thank you.