Thursday, November 17, 2011

MLS Good Enough to Be More Popular than EPL in the U.S.


MLS is good enough, talent-wise, to be more popular with sports fans in the U.S. than the English Premier League and other world leagues. 

Even though these other leagues may have superstar players and better overall play from top tier teams, sports fans should be able to have a deeper appreciation for MLS due to the history of outstanding relationships built by American sports teams.  

Sports teams in the U.S. have had a major cultural impact on American heritage.  The significance of the impact has been felt for generations by sports fans. 

Sports teams have provided more than just entertainment to American families, communities and cities. Through a collective spirit and as a hobby to follow, sports teams have allowed Americans to connect and communicate for more than a century.

This week, the LA Galaxy gave Southern Cal one more championship to remember.  David Beckham and Landon Donovan built a powerhouse in 2012 and were able to close it out, at home.  They provided championship pedigree for fans in lieu of the absence of the NFL in their market and a looming lock-out in the NBA.

Currently, in regards to talent levels among team sports, MLS is most similar to college football and basketball in the U.S.  But, MLS has not garnered the support of sports fans in a similar fashion.

Sports fans have embraced college football and college basketball for years.  The level of play is below the level of the NBA and NFL, but it hasn't mattered. 

Some would argue college football and basketball are different animals than their professional counterparts, but the casual sports fan would probably disagree.  They would admit to a difference in the view of the pageantry associated with the college game, but they wouldn't watch at all if the talent level wasn't there to back up that pageantry. 

Many Soccer fans in the U.S. insist on watching other world leagues in order to see how Soccer looks at the level of what is the equivalent to the NFL and NBA.  But, if MLS is at the college football and basketball level, shouldn't it be supported in the U.S. to that degree by sports fans?

MLS is missing some primary traits associated with college basket and football, such as the student base of fans, both former and present.  There are the supporters clubs, though, in MLS.

If sports fans add the value of what it means to have American teams representing American cities with the fact that the level of play of MLS is as good as most teams in these other world leagues, than the answer seems obvious.  MLS should be thriving very soon in American culture with television ratings to prove it, big ones. 

MLS appears to have everything going for it in order to diffuse the pretentious nature of American sports fans who are supporting foreign clubs.

The new NBC contract will help broaden MLS' appeal.  More MLS teams are needed, though, in order to recruit more sports fans.

If more teams and better TV contracts don't bring about the change necessary for MLS to have mainstream significance to sports fans, than maybe it is all about the lack of scoring in Soccer.

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