[A Response to MLS vs The World, by: Spencer Boothe]
I’d like to offer an American solution to problems with an American league playing an un-American sport as discussed in “MLS vs The World.”
“Repetitively, I have heard people saying that Major League Soccer can become one of the most dominant leagues in the world, but the United States mentality will not allow that. This is due to the MLS foundation. As is the way with every sports league in America, the MLS is built on fairness and equal competition opportunities, such as:
1. Major League Soccer has an annual draft each year where the worst team in the league gets the first draft pick.
2. In the USA, kids are pushed to go to college and get an education.
3. In MLS soccer, teams have a salary cap limit, as well as a cap limit for each player, except for 3 possible designated players.”
The NBA operates with roughly the same rules to maintain competitive balance as MLS and yet they still manage to drag even momma’s boys like Ricky Rubio across the Atlantic and into stardom (if thats what you call being featured in an Adidas commercial with backyard wrestling scenes rather than highlights).
What distinguishes the MLS from the NBA is that the MLS cannot pay salaries competitive with the rest of the world. Is this only because of the rules? No. It’s due to a lack of interest and therefore a lack of revenue produced by the sport. If MLS changed its rules, it would still be subpar.
The MLS is not competitive in America because soccer is not American. We like sports with athletes over 6 feet tall and cheerleaders on the sidelines. We like sports with more than one or two occasions to celebrate per game. Americans spend American dollars on American sports that Americans are good at.
The MLS is not able to compete with the rest of the world despite being located in the largest consumer market in the world. Could the free market be any more clear? To look to a change in governing rules as a solution to the free market not behaving the way we wish is truly American but it is not a solution.
The true American solution to this problem is government subsidizing the MLS. Perhaps this is a platform for the 2016 Presidential Race to elicit Hispanic voters. A successful MLS franchise would create jobs and tax revenue for its host city which are two things every city in America could use more of. If we’re gonna throw money away at industries that the free market won’t support, why not make it something we can all enjoy and take pride in? I would argue that this American solution would create more American jobs, American income, American tax revenue, and American public benefit than most other American government expenditures.
Or perhaps we can all just agree to accept the mediocrity of an American league playing an un-American sport?
By: Brandon Bolen