Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who's America's MLS Team?

Arguably, the NFL Dallas Cowboys are the most popular sports franchise in the country.  They're
followed closely by the national media all year long.  Training camp is dissected and scrutinized every year more sharply than any other team.

A lot of the image of Dallas Cowboy football was built on the shoulders of Navy all-American Roger Staubach.  He held the mantle for a long time and he was a pillar of strength and integrity in sports during his playing time.  A lot of the Cowboy mystique can be attributed to Coach Tom Landry, a winner of 2 Super Bowls and who architected God and football starting in the 1970's.  Fans became accustomed to the Cowboys winning ways by mostly attending or tuning in on television for the 1p.m. starts right after church on Sundays.

Merchandise is never cheap.
But, most of the madness for Cowboy football can be pinned on the Cowboys dynasty of the 90's and the triplets; Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin.  Though, they may have been showboats and not always the best of citizens, their winning ways and multiple rings are what people remember the most.

The brand has developed over the years to include Don Meredith, Too Tall Jones, Tony Dorsett, Deion Sanders and Bill Parcells.  It all culminated with the amazing, humongous edifice in American sports today.  The new Cowboy stadium is past state of the art, it's an engineering marvel of sporting excess.

Tuesday, the Cowboys wrapped up their training camp time in San Antonio.  There were more than 12,000 people in attendance on some of the days.  They continue to be recognized by their most popular label, America's team.

Preparation is the key to a successful season!

In baseball, the team most closely associated with the nickname of America's team has been the Atlanta Braves.  The moniker stuck for a while in the late 80's and 90's due to the Braves being seen in so many households across the country from broadcasts by cable television afiliate, WTBS.  It was a keen marketing move.

The New York Yankees and their 27 World Series titles have always been in America's consciousness, but they haven't always been considered America's team.  After 9/11, there was a lot of support for them as America's team.  After hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Saints gained some momentum with the catchphrase, too.

There have been arguments for the Green Bay Packers and the Washington Nationals.  Many others from beloved cities of prominent sports teams have staked claim to the title of America's team from time to time too, though none has been able to make it stick quite like the Cowboys.

Will an MLS club have a breakthrough and gain the acclaim and esteem to be known as America's team?  Possibly, the breakthrough label will be known as America's club, instead of team.

At this time, there appears to be 4 strong candidates.  The LA Galaxy have one of the greatest tandems in Soccer history, Beckham and Donovan.  They have history on their side, as multiple champions to the MLS and U.S. Open Cups, and as one of the original MLS members.  They are widely known throughout the country with an original and quirky nickname.

D.C. United has been one of the only dynasties in Soccer, winning 3 of the first 4 MLS Cups, resembling the dominance of  the Green Bay Packers in the early years of the Super Bowl.  They were also able to maintain decent attendance when many of the other teams were not during the lean years of MLS.  They are an original member and have a cool nickname as well.

The Seattle Sounders may become America's team on sheer will and determination of their fans.  These fans are setting records like nothing seen in Soccer circles since the days of Beckenbauer and Pele from the New York Cosmos of the old NASL.

Based on what was accomplished by those old Cosmos, the new team forming may be able to generate enough buzz to become America's new team.

Or maybe, the Men's and Women's National teams is plenty of America's teams.


  1. The predominance of the Olympic and FIFA World Cups in the fluctuating consciousness of the casual Soccer fan in America precludes the "mantle" of "America's Team" for anyone other than the USAMT, and more likely the USAWT, as they are undoubtedly the DOMINANT team on PLANET EARTH, regardless of the egregious choke against Japan in the last round. (After all, they ARE girls you know?)

    1. I can agree with you. I can't wait till the USMNT goes on a serious run in the WC. serious to me would mean minimally, the semifinals.