Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Vancouver to MLS!

I’ll have far more on this as the story plays itself out, but it appears that the news that I first broke on The 24th Minute, that Vancouver will be awarded a MLS team, will be confirmed at a press conference later today.

This is awesome news for soccer fans in Canada. Although the USL does provide a decent brand of soccer it does not match-up with MLS in terms of exposure or potential growth. As good as the current Whitecaps are, they are still playing in a stadium that sits 5,000 with limited attention outside of the Lower Mainland. By joining TFC in MLS, the ‘Caps have the potential to become a truly national brand.

There are some questions. Most notably, whether the ‘Caps will be allowed to keep their current player development system. Here’s hoping they are because it’s top notch.

What isn’t a question is the future of the league or sport in this country (don’t believe me? Then ask Stephen Brunt). MLS soccer is in Canada to stay. If you are a soccer fan, rejoice. If you don’t like soccer...why should we soccer fans care what you think? Back away from the comments section. We’ve heard whatever “joke” you’re going to post already. Let us enjoy our moment...

As stated, I’ll have more on this tomorrow...

1 comment:

sager said...

This is where Brunt nails it where others miss the point.

"And the truth is, the MLS didn't require mass conversions to survive. Its growth strategy (unlike, say, the NHL's) is based on a tight, realistic player salary structure, and in taking the game to people who already like it, who understand it, who have become literate in the sport through television exposure to European leagues and World Cups.

"Those fans understand what the league is and what it isn't, understand that the very best players will move on to greener pastures (as they do from any league in the world other than the top levels in England, Spain and Italy), and that international stars will pass through mostly on the way down.

"What they want is a local rooting interest (not unlike cheering for a second- or third-division hometown club in England or Scotland or on the continent, while also following Man U or Juventus or Celtic), and the experience of seeing the sport live, in appropriate surroundings, in the company of others who share their passion.

That's enough – enough, if you do it properly, to put 15,000 or 20,000 fans into the right stadium, to sell plenty of beer and merchandise, to justify the cost of entry and perhaps to become a nice little equity play for owners if that $40-million franchise value is even close to real. There's every reason to believe that, if Vancouver is indeed confirmed for 2011, the formula will work there, as well."

He is one of the few journos of his vintage who gets it with MMA, and he gets it with MLS while the rest

That is the big misunderstanding (fear), that all these people have to be converted to soccer people to soccer fans ... not necessarily.