Monday, April 23, 2012

MLS, A Cram for the Final Exam

The 1996 Major League Soccer season was the 84th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer. "FIFA sanctioned soccer" is like saying "Super Bowl Era". Both sports have longer, richer history to explore.

A soccer playoff system is for Cups, not regular soccer leagues.

MLS: There is no punishment for being last and no reward for being first.

Via Slide Rule Pass: 2012 is a landmark year for American soccer. It marks Major League Soccer’s 17th season since its inception in 1996 – equalling that of the glamorous North American Soccer League of Pele, Bobby Moore and George Best fame which ran from 1968 till it’s ignominious collapse in 1984.

"Three points for a win." - Jimmy Hill. England adopted the 3 pt for win in league play because of Mr. Hill. The radical changes happening in the USA at the time with NASL had some part in it.

"The Big Match" show theme in England 1974-1980. Here's me putting all my favorite comments together: "The players played proud to the shirt without marketing or money. When footballers were men and not the little diving pussies they are now. I love this, truly awesome. The heyday of football."

George Vecsey wrote one of the oldest web articles I can find on Major League Soccer. In it Vecsey suggests that MLS was a night before the exam cram. "I'm a trial lawyer, and I've tried antitrust cases, and I know it is against the law if there is a conspiracy," said Alan Rothenberg today in a short, frantic presentation. "But if there is one entity, it can do what teams cannot do. It can put in restrictions." In 1988 FIFA commanded the USA to create another professional soccer league as a condition to host the 1994 World Cup.

If you read up on your history you find that the original NASL was counting on the 1986 World Cup emergency bid to save soccer in the USA. It didn't happen. NASL folded.

What did happen is millions of kids like me, in places like Northern Virginia, started playing the sport because of parents like Smitty's dad watched the Washington Dips. We'll write a book, Smitty and I. On the Dips. And on the birth of North American Soccer via NOVA.

Only in the final moments did the US finally put together $100 million to form Major League Soccer.

Now you can watch my Crew vid with more perspective. Link.

Over the winter I spent some time exploring the idea of a unified soccer league federation in the USA. I called it the Autonomous League of US Soccer. Above is notes that I ran across tonight when looking to organize the 3rd part, which includes promotion and relegation. Heavy shit and probably beyond my limits, but fun to explore.

Here are the first two parts:

Autonomous League, Pt. 1

Autonomous Leauge, Pt. 2

My map of every USSF sanctioned team in the United States. Your Reward! LINK

1 comment:

leigh said...

"1996 was the 84th season of FIFA sanctioned soccer"

So, if I took out my slide rule and did the math, doesn't that make this the 100th?