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Soccer Trying to Make it in the Football World
In most countries, the game titles sound similar. Words like football, fussball, futbol, futebol… not only do they sound the same, they are the same game. In America, however, they call it football. Major League Soccer (MLS), the American professional soccer league, has been around for a while.
Unlike other major league sports, MLS does not dominate the sport’s public attention on a global scale and its champions are not crowned “world champions.” The MLS is constantly evolving. Has it attracted much public and media attention in world football? Do not!
It doesn’t make much difference whether football is the 2nd, 7th or 10th most popular sport in the US, and the American public will still focus on the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA. The world public follows these leagues as much as they follow the most famous sports leagues in the world.
The world of sport has begun to change in recent years as the media has globalized; in the process, the English Premier League, which advertises itself as “the greatest show on earth”, is actually the world’s most popular and viewed The highest sports league with a current global audience of 500 million viewers and a value of more than $5 billion between 2007 and 2010. If the whole world watches football leagues like the English Premier League or Spanish La Liga, who else will watch the American major leagues besides domestic audiences? Will a portion of the American public also turn to overseas soccer leagues? These issues have made soccer a talking point in American sports.
Every now and then, MLS officials wake up from the shadows of the four major U.S. leagues during the World Cup, making it clear how important the game of football is to the world in terms of public interest, media attention, and sponsorship.
As the hustle and bustle surrounding the World Cup passes, Major League Soccer will slip into a coma. After the 2006 World Cup in Germany, the world public had a clear idea of the modern stadiums of European football, the contracts of millions of players… The spotlight of world sports began to focus on football, but this is not the case.
This time it is not MLS that actively promotes MLS, but the entire American professional sports and entertainment industry. This is an economic opportunity in which the money flowing around world football is too great to be missed or discarded.
In the summer of 2007, U.S. Soccer attempted to take world football by storm by offering David Beckham a $250 million contract, the most expensive contract for a soccer player in the history of the sport, which some have described as bringing David Beckham to the The American deal is considered the largest in sports history. The MLS sent a message to the world.
In the middle of summer, when European leagues were between seasons and the waters were still, MLS got the exposure it wanted, and news reports of the Beckhams moving to Los Angeles dominated. Do these stories outpace the attention of the world football media and public on MLS? Do not!
Is $250 million worth of exposure worth it in the long run? Time will prove everything. Autumn is here, European and international leagues are in full swing, and World Athletic is running fewer articles on Beckham, LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer. To make matters worse, Los Angeles struggled to make the playoffs, leaving the media with nothing to write about.
The league had a total loss of more than $350 million in its first 8 years (a 2004 Business Week report), and currently only two teams are profitable, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Dallas FC, and three other teams are profitable. A one-man investment of $250 million for a team projected to be profitable within a year seems like a gamble. If so, how likely is it?
In recent years, some famous players have chosen to leave the big leagues in Europe and South America to sign financially good contracts with teams in Gulf countries. Headlines report lucrative transfer deals, although media coverage of these leagues has had little follow-up.
Don’t forget that MLS tried to gain exposure with Freddie Udou before the arrival of David Beckham, the under-16 player being crowned the next Pele. Adu received a lot of media attention, and the world knew he was playing for MLS’ Washington United.
Many may or may not be aware that Adu signed a contract with Portuguese FC Benfica last summer in Europe at the age of 18. Adu spent the summer at Manchester United’s training camp before joining Benfica and Ferguson gave him no reason to stay.
Benfica paid the club $2 million in the player’s release clause from Salt Lake City, and Adu will get $1.2 million a year, which is a lot of money, but not a headline contract. Adu is not in Benfica’s Champions League squad against Milan on September 18. In contrast, players like Messi have entered Barcelona’s starting 11 at Adu’s current age. Major League Soccer doesn’t seem to have gotten substantial attention for Adu’s sport, nor has it contributed to his development into world dominance as expected. Throughout history, some of the best players of all time have played football in the United States including Pele, Beckenbauer, Eusebio…
What difference might Beckham’s game (currently sidelined for six weeks through injury) make now, after decades of long-term attempts that didn’t bring the hoped-for result to American Soccer’s success? Let’s take a brief look at MLS, a professional football league that started in 1996 and has a history of more than 10 seasons.
Logistics and Facilities:
On the day this article was published, September 27, 2007, Beckham’s LA Galaxy were playing against the KC Wizards. SPORTiana.com, as the author of this article, learned about MLS through the KC Wizards in the summer of 2006, a year before Beckham arrived in MLS. The head coach of the KC Wizard at the time complained that putting himself and 2 other assistant coaches in charge of the team’s workouts forced him to bench several players from his 26-man roster because they couldn’t all play at the same time during practice.
The training facility includes an open-air field and an indoor field with gym for the NFL’s KC Chiefs, located at Arrowhead Stadium. The Wizards’ open-air practice facility is located next to the fence next to the Kentucky Chiefs practice facility.
The grass of the Wizards Stadium is almost divided, the hard turf is as hard as a rock, and it is the field where many players train to avoid injury. A head coach, 2 assistant coaches, fitness coach…NFL stadium and facilities…the small office space in the corner of the stadium…It is in stark contrast to the clubs in the league that Beckham was in before.
Most MLS players enter the league as drafted college players. College football typically means that players receive full scholarships after they sign their first professional contracts around age 22. In other countries, the first professional contract is usually signed at 18 years old and players are coming to the end of their 4-year contracts at 22, managers have a better idea of what players are capable of in professional football.
That means college players are 4 years behind. By signing their first professional contract at 22, they will end their 4-year contract at 26, when major world football clubs would rather invest their money in 22-year-old prospects with 4 years of professional football experience. College players rarely give up playing in MLS (the player’s first professional contract) en route to a higher-paying league because most foreign clubs won’t sign a 22-year-old college football player with no professional football experience.
Famous American players such as DeMarcus Beasley ($2m to PSV – Netherlands, currently £700,000 to Rangers – Scotland) or Tim Howard ($4m to Manchester United – England, currently Played for Everton after loan), joined MLS straight out of high school and didn’t play college football, like Freddy Adu.
For the average fan who can choose to watch a variety of games such as last weekend’s Giants showdown in domestic leagues, Manchester United v Chelsea in England, Barcelona v Sevilla in Spain, Roma v Juventus in Italy, PSV Eindhoven Against Feyenoord in the Netherlands… Boca Juniors game in Argentina, Lyon in France… very little space in MLS.
Football fans want to see competitiveness, passionate fans, fierce decades-long rivalries between clubs, tradition, best players in the world, established players with a reputation playing for famous clubs, ultra-modern football-specific stadiums , most of which MLS does not offer. The MLS needs to gain the interest of the American public and media in order to gain the same interest as the world public. Hard-working, attractive all-around players like the KC Wizards’ Eddie Johnson or D.C. United’s Jamie Moreno, who proved themselves at the 2007 Copa America this summer, are the ones to compete successfully in the league. Prototype player.
The football-only modern stadium proposed by the MLS for all clubs is a step forward. Before and after the 2006 World Cup, the German Bundesliga saw a huge rise in public interest and media attention both domestically and globally, leaving behind great new stadiums and refurbished old ones. Major League Soccer should be as international as possible, and the Premier League has done that, even with an influx of world-class players when foreign billionaires started buying clubs, making it the most watched and lucrative soccer league in the world. Many writers have speculated on why soccer is not as popular in the US as it is in some other countries, most of them pointing to the fact that the sport doesn’t score enough points. A game changer to score more goals per game could be beneficial this time around.
Football is a powerful force, it has changed the sports philosophy of the major leagues in North America, MLS clubs are competing in the Chinese Super League and the South American Cup, the new stadium of the New York Red Bulls will adopt a full “European” roof, and in 2007 MLS began to use the front of the jersey Sell advertising space ($500,000 per jersey sponsorship), following international football practice.
As Latin American immigration has increased in the United States, so has interest in football. Since soccer is the most popular recreational sport for both boys and girls, MLS has potential. In 2006, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber expressed his expectations for the overall profitability of the league’s clubs by 2010. The LA Galaxy’s merchandising sales probably won’t top $600 million in Beckham’s next 4-4 years at the club, as he did with Real Madrid, and he’s still a Major League Soccer player, boarding the The cover of Sports Illustrated magazine and drew 66,000 spectators in a sold-out game at Giants Stadium.
In David Beckham’s words about his move to Major League Soccer: “I’m here to play football…I’m not saying that I’m here to make football American. Greatest Movement”. If the goal of football is to be successful in the football world, it is to take a step at the time.
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