Truth & Rumors > Soccer

Has MLS learned from past mistakes?

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10:15 AM ET 03.11 | Major League Soccer kicked off its 17th season this weekend appearing to be in the pink of good health. But the lessons of the past are never far from mind. MLS can drop that last shovel full of dirt on the memory of the NASL this summer if it can match last season's success when the league played before a record 5.4 million fans and sold out more than a quarter of its games, passing both the NBA and NHL with an average attendance of nearly 18,000. There's reason to be optimistic. After expanding into Montreal, MLS will field a record 19 teams and play a record 323 games leaguewide in 2012, more than twice the number played eight years ago. The season also will be longer than ever; reaching into December for the first time, it will feature a new playoff format, a new unbalanced schedule and a lucrative new TV deal. Yet all the happy talk can't mask the fact there could be trouble on the horizon. Soccer TV ratings continue to lag well behind other major U.S. sports. The recent wave of expansion, while lauded, has seen MLS nearly double in size in only eight seasons ??? and new franchises could soon be coming to New York and Florida. Then there are the Byzantine salary rules that have split MLS into teams of haves and have-nots.

Los Angeles Times

Don Garber, Icon SMI Don Garber, Icon SMI
March 11, 2012  02:24 PM ET

I have a hard time answering this question when it's on the same page as Kate Upton's rack.

March 11, 2012  03:17 PM ET

If the've truly learned from past mistakes, they'll stop expanding. 19 teams? It's already too much. Heck, the EPL has 20 and they relegate three team every year.

March 12, 2012  08:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

I have a hard time answering this question when it's on the same page as Kate Upton's rack.

Fair enough.

March 12, 2012  09:09 AM ET

It seems that MLS has gone for quantity over quality. They need to stop expanding for now. If not they will become another watered down league like the NBA.

March 12, 2012  09:10 AM ET

Baryen how was your La Barra Brava pregame?

Comment #6 has been removed
March 12, 2012  10:09 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

Baryen how was your La Barra Brava pregame?

It was pretty good. I got there early, but even so, the tailgate never lasts long enough. Rule for the future, I'm brining my own "private" ice chest. Too many of my private stock vanishes out of my larger "sharing" cooler. Yes, if I brought a $4.00 bottle of beer it means I want to drink it, not that you can take it without asking me. Too much of my **** vanishes at the tailgates.

March 12, 2012  10:15 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

It was pretty good. I got there early, but even so, the tailgate never lasts long enough. Rule for the future, I'm brining my own "private" ice chest. Too many of my private stock vanishes out of my larger "sharing" cooler. Yes, if I brought a $4.00 bottle of beer it means I want to drink it, not that you can take it without asking me. Too much of my **** vanishes at the tailgates.

Did you ask R-Dog about it??? He seems like a person that would take someone's beer with out asking... scumbag.

March 12, 2012  10:18 AM ET

America's Hardest Working Team needs to work a little harder... they start the season the same way they ended last season... losing to the rapids.

March 12, 2012  10:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#8):

Did you ask R-Dog about it??? He seems like a person that would take someone's beer with out asking... scumbag.

For such a historically anti-communist nation, many Americans, especially after drinking a few, seem to believe that if they see something, it belongs to them. I think R-Dog is actually less likely to steal from me. LP2 is also blame-free, I'm sure of it.

March 12, 2012  10:22 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

America's Hardest Working Team needs to work a little harder... they start the season the same way they ended last season... losing to the rapids.

How do you feel about Rosicky signing a new contract at Arsenal?

March 12, 2012  10:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

How do you feel about Rosicky signing a new contract at Arsenal?

I have not heard anything about it but I'm all for it. He has been one of our better players this season and the last couple months especially. He's on the wrong side of 30 for Wenger but it's nice to have his experience in the middle.

It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if he wasn't injured so much.

March 12, 2012  10:35 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

For such a historically anti-communist nation, many Americans, especially after drinking a few, seem to believe that if they see something, it belongs to them.

It's called Manifest Destiny... just ask the Native Americans about it.

March 12, 2012  11:00 AM ET

Well, his last name is Boateng.

Comment #15 has been removed
March 12, 2012  11:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

HA!!! The weekend brought new hope for our beloved Gers! It seems that there are American and Asian investors lined up for the opportunity to return our club to glory! It looks to be merely a matter of time before we are lifting Europe's most important cups now! Doubters need only look at the track record of American and Asian owned clubs in the Isles:LiverpoolPortsmouthSheffield Wednesday (Wynalda bought like 2 shares on Amazon, so they qualify)MillwallBirmingham****.........

You could have gone Russian like Hearts. That produced a lot of greatness.

March 12, 2012  11:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

HA!!! The weekend brought new hope for our beloved Gers! It seems that there are American and Asian investors lined up for the opportunity to return our club to glory! It looks to be merely a matter of time before we are lifting Europe's most important cups now! Doubters need only look at the track record of American and Asian owned clubs in the Isles:LiverpoolPortsmouthSheffield Wednesday (Wynalda bought like 2 shares on Amazon, so they qualify)MillwallBirmingham****.........

What's the asking price for the club?

March 12, 2012  11:49 AM ET

Any news on edu and bocanegra contracts?

March 12, 2012  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

For such a historically anti-communist nation, many Americans, especially after drinking a few, seem to believe that if they see something, it belongs to them. I think R-Dog is actually less likely to steal from me. LP2 is also blame-free, I'm sure of it.

Could have been your Guatemala chica who was way to friendly to everyone. Distracting you while her peeps raided the beer stock.

Or the dude who chugged 151. I doubt he knew what he was drinking after that point, much less who it belonged to.

 
March 12, 2012  11:54 AM ET
QUOTE(#19):

Could have been your Guatemala chica who was way to friendly to everyone. Distracting you while her peeps raided the beer stock. Or the dude who chugged 151. I doubt he knew what he was drinking after that point, much less who it belonged to.

I don't think my Latin girlfriend was interested in drinking beer. I haven't had my **** grabbed that many times since I went to a party at Unknown's house.

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