Thursday, September 27, 2007

Sounders to the MLS

Well, it looks like the Sounders are coming to the MLS in 2009, but that might mean they’re leaving the USL in 2008. Wow! I’m super excited to see Seattle getting into the MLS, but I’ve got to add some caveats to that:

I really hope there’s a continued USL1 presence in the Puget Sound area. Maybe in Tacoma? (The down side to that would be the loss of a great PDL rival to the BYU Cougars.) If, in fact, the Sounders aren’t coming back to the USL1 next year to try to help market the MLS Sounders for 2008 the USL should ensure that there’s a way to keep the Cascadia Cup a three-team affair.

I’d like to see the MLS version of the Sounders looking a lot like the current Sounders. Brian Schmetzer is a solid coach and would do well in the MLS. Sebastien Le Toux is a good looking striker, and there are a number of other good players on the team. This doesn’t mean that all the current players are MLS caliber, but there is something to be said for cohesion—and you know what, it might be interesting to see what promotion might look like in the MLS instead of yet another team built from the expansion draft.

The MLS needs to get Portland and Vancouver into the mix as well. This three-way rivalry is too good not to keep alive, and would translate well into the MLS. Throw in the natural Portland-San Jose rivalry and the potential for a Canadian Cup between Toronto and Vancouver and you get a lot of bang for some Northwestern expansion bucks.

These aren’t new ideas, I’ve been talking about them for a while, and I’ve seen them elsewhere as well. I just hope that ‘the powers that be’ are considering them.


Outlaw Nation said...

Why would Tacoma have to 'give up' their PDL team if a USL1 Pro franchise would locate there? It seems perfectly logical to have a PDL team AND a USL1 Pro team in Tacoma, or any other city for that matter. It would provide for a great farm system and give the players something to work toward. No need to stop there, it would be great to have an entire club system of youth teams ranging from U11 to Super Y. What do you think?

pate said...

Outlaw nation, I'd love to see the Tide hang on, and see a full on youth to USL1 system develop in Tacoma. I doubt think it would be possible under the existing franchise rights agreements in the USL though.

My understanding is that FC Tacoma were only allowed to form after they got specific permission from the Seattle USL1 franchise to operate in the latter's domain.

Daniel said...

The MLS is studying Portland. Despite the strong soccer culture here, the Oregonian's Sports editor noted other failed professional franchises, the existence of the USL Timbers and the problem with the MLS' desire to see a soccer only stadium down the road. I think it would work. Especially since we are losing the Sounders, a strong rivalry team to the MLS.