- 06/21/2011, 10:33PM ET
williewilliejuan said 06/21, 10:33 PM
Jose Mourinho is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the history of soccer. He has been successful everywhere he has gone. He has a 68% win percentage as a manager. He has won at least one trophy every year since 2002. If he came to MLS, what impact would it have on the league's fortunes?
As great as Mourinho has been, his addition to MLS, in and of itself, would do little to improve the league's fortunes.
At first glance, the addition of Mourinho would seem like a boon to MLS. He has been hugely successful; he's charismatic, photogenic and is known for his abilities with the media at press conferences. Unfortunately, as MLS found out with its David Beckham experiment, one star cannot bring MLS the exposure it needs to drive the popularity of the sport.
There are two main challenges to the success of MLS, neither of which would be addressed by the addition of Mourinho. The first challenge is financial. MLS has a fairly strict salary cap, with limited exceptions allowed for Designated Players (DP). The second main challenge is cultural. These issues would limit Mourinho's success and hamper his ability to enhance MLS fortunes.
BackRoads said 06/22, 09:40 AM
Thanks WillieWillieJuan???good points all.
However, the argument is what impact would Mourinho have on MLS...I think he would have a tremendous impact on MLS due not only to the experience and success he would bring, but also the controversy he could easily create here.
As noted previously by WWJ, Mourinho is highly successful as a coach/manager including many awards and trophies. Will that impact MLS? Possibly, could bring every other coach's game up a notch.
But what really gets the "viewing public's" attention? Get's them to paying attention to the sport? What happened in the NBA with the Heat? One of the most watched finals in history....why? Controversy
In one press conference Mourinho
1. accused Barcelona of fixing the officials for its matches;
2. charged UEFA with conspiring with Barcelona to ensure the Catalans would reach the final;
3. implied that Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola had yet to win the competition fairly;
3. declared it ???impossible??? that Real Madrid would be allowed to reach the final
Controversy, my friend, controversy.
williewilliejuan said 06/22, 10:39 PM
I'm sure Mourinho would be controversial. I'm just not sure how that will enhance MLS fortunes. People don't tune in for 90 minutes of soccer just to watch a 90 second soundbite they could just as easily get on Sportscenter, particularly if they don't care about MLS in the first place. Controversial coaches don't drive jersey sales or put butts in the seats at soccer stadiums.
The way to enhance the fortunes of MLS is to improve the quality of the product on the field and market that product to new audiences. Mourinho would get the best out of whatever team he coached, but he would be limited by the talent available on his team.
Mourinho is not used to coaching in a salary-capped environment. Teams he has coached (Chelsea, Inter Milan & Real Madrid) have had the ability to go out and buy whatever talent they needed to strengthen their club. He would not have that ability in MLS.
Top players want to play on the biggest stage. MLS is not that stage and does not have the history, tournaments or money to attract top European players.
Mourinho would not have the talent he needs to attract fans to MLS; without that, he will just be an amusing sideshow.
BackRoads said 06/23, 08:59 AM
Now, let us examine some controversies???
1. Clint Murchison was going to buy the Redskins in the late 50's. At the last minute, owner Marshall changed the terms which outraged CM who nixed the deal. Same time CM got the rights to the Redskins fight song for $2500.
Long story short, GM negotiated to get the rights back for the song and had to agree to allow CM to bring a Pro Football team to Dallas (Cowboys)
2. 1916 Harry Frazee bought the Red Sox for $500,000 credit. In 1919, running out of money, he began selling players, among them Babe Ruth, even tho he had led the league in home runs the preceding year. The Red Sox fortunes fell while the Yankees began to soar. Many folks, to this day, talk about the Curse of the Bambino....
3. While a natural rivalry (have met 33 times in 64 Championship games) some controversies on court have fed the fire. McHales clothesline of Kurt Rambis, Kareem vs Russell, Magic vs Bird....just to name a few.
4. Ali with his poems and guarantees as to WHICH ROUND he would knock out someone.
What did these controversies do? Get people to talking and paying attention.
One more argument...
williewilliejuan said 06/23, 09:57 PM
There are major flaws with your "controversy" argument. The incidents you mention got people to pay more attention to something they already liked. Football, baseball, etc. were already major draws at the time of the supposed controversies. Additionally, even if Mourinho's controversial personality did get people to tune into MLS, why would they continue to do so if the product on the field isn't good?
Mourinho's possible addition won't do much to enhance MLS fortunes because MLS is not embraced by most Americans. Many Americans don't like soccer at all. The ones who do like soccer generally prefer international competition to MLS.
The 2010 MLS cup attracted 1.1 million views and got a 0.5 TV share. It got smoked by the American Music Awards on the night it aired. This was shortly after the US had a surprising run in the World Cup, but there was no resulting "bounce" to the ratings.
Mourinho will be limited in his ability to improve the quality of MLS play. Those Americans who do like soccer likely already have allegiances to teams outside of MLS who play superior soccer. I fail to see how controversial remarks will do anything to change that.
BackRoads said 06/24, 09:46 AM
Excellent points and I agree that MLS will not be big in the USA and I am not surprised that it was "smoked" by the AMA.
Surprising stat about the rating bounce and World Cup. MLS was formed in 1994 to take advantage of the World Cup, but didn't have it's first season until 1996. So how could there be a "bounce" when there wasn't anything before?
But back to my argument???and it is what impact would it have on the league's fortunes????.not comparing it to MLB or NFL. My point is that the controversies I cited are EXAMPLES of what can happen. Controversies can create rivalries and a rivalry will def bring folks out or talking about the game. A HUGE bump? No, but a definite difference
Not much with the Cowboys in the 60's, but the rivalry with Wash started and suddenly attendance increases. Happened with the Heat this year???the Fab 3 created the controversy and created the highest rated NBA final ever???13.3/22 share with 23.8m viewers. I don't think a Bron-less Heat would have come near that.
Enjoyed WWJ...good luck
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