Here are a few items I found that are often hotly debated by the "internet nuts" on the soccer board sites like Bigsoccer; Promotion/Relegation in American soccer and whether has soccer "made it".
USL Up For Sale; MLS Considers Buying
The United Soccer Leagues, which consists of the USA's second (USL1), third (USL2), and a fourth division (PDL) nationwide leagues, has been put up for sale by its current owner Nike. According to this report, MLS is interested in purchasing the USL, but the two are far from agreeing on a purchase price.
The prospect that the purchase of the USL by MLS would set up MLS for promotion/relegation has soccer purists salivating. Under a promotion/relegation model similar to those in other countries around the world, they envision a system where the worst teams MLS and are relegated down to the USL divisions, and the USL champions are promoted to MLS.
Well, let's pretend MLS does buy the USL. Do you think for a second that any of the MLS franchise owners who ponied up millions of dollars to buy into the league would agree to volunteer their team for relegation to what could be considered a minor league? No chance.
I think it is far more likely that MLS sets up an system similar to Baseball's minor league system of several lower league teams are affiliated with the major league teams. MLS has been widely criticized for it's lack of player development and lack of a reserve system. The establishment of a Baseball type farm system where the salary cap would be applied toward the entire farm system would enable MLS teams to take risks on young American players and actually allow them time to develop on the field instead of sitting at the end of a bench.
ESPN Writer Gets It, Some don't, and Some Never Will
ESPN writer Bill Simmons wrote an interesting article on his trip to Mexico City to see the USA v Mexico World Cup Qualifier. I keep hearing that this summer may have been the tipping point where soccer has finally made it big in the USA. Could this mean that the soccer haters are finally seeing the light?
I don't believe it, and honestly, I don't care. Soccer is relevant to those who want it to be relevant. Simple. This guy Bill Simmons sees soccer as relevant now and that's good for him. At least now he's not going out of his way to dis a sport he doesn't understand.