Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post, Mike. This gives me additional perspective!
Those guys who stuck it out through the lean years deserve some accolades, since I know that most Toronto soccer clubs have never been able to draw a crowd that could generate an atmosphere, as opposed to Montreal and Vancouver. This has clearly changed with TFC, but I seriously doubt that if the league would fail that they'd show up for what we now call Tier-2 soccer, which, given the success of the USL-1 franchises in the CCL, almost seems like a misnomer.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
Yes, undoubtably "some" Toronto soccer fans are like that. I'll go further and say that that's the case for "many" Toronto soccer fans. They piss me off too. I'm happy to have them along of course but wish that they had the perspective of people who were there in the lean years. The guys in this thread though? In a few cases they were the ones who've seen the WORST that the USL has to offer and stuck it out while supporting a national team that wouldn't even play in their city.quote:Originally posted by johnnyc
For some Toronto soccer fans, it seems that Canadian soccer history begins with TFC's entry into MLS.
quote:Originally posted by johnnyc
So forgive us Impact fans if we are leary of the club coughing up 40 million to MLS for the privilege of playing in a league that really isn't that much better than the USL and will result in a loss of club autonomy. While I was initially supportive of the Impact's MLS bid, it's too big a price to pay. What happens if MLS tanks like the NASL? The team will probably go too.Sure there's money to be made with soccer in Toronto, but only if it's perceived as a top flight league that a guy like Beckham can play in, however irregularly. Historically, Toronto hasn't been supportive of its clubs at a level below that of MLS. Even in the NASL, they weren't drawing that well, probably because of the perception of the game not being up to par with the European game.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
Not likely. TFC has proven unequivocally that there's money to be made in soccer in Toronto and there's a purpose built stadium on our waterfront that won't go without use. Honestly, if MLS went bust (as a league) there's enough solid markets with solid facilities and fanbases to ensure that something else would take its place. There's just no way MLSE, AEG, and some of the other owners wouldn't find some league to play in.
There is definitely the perception among more than a few Montrealers that, historically, Toronto soccer fans have not been very supportive of their soccer teams, with the one major exception being TFC. Montreal and Vancouver, OTOH, have always been supportive of their club teams regardless of the league they played in. So there is this sense that there is an MLS bandwagon effect going on with TFC. But if the MLS were to fail, I really doubt TFC would get anywhere near the numbers for a tier-2 game that Vancouver and Montreal get on a regular basis.
Very interesting, but it still seems that this would enormously complicate matters for a team if the league folded.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
[As an aside MLS's structure is often misunderstood even by those who think it's a positive. MLS does not own the teams. Each individiual owner/operator does. However, in return for sending a proportion of their gate receipts to the league (by rule) the league provides the team with a roster of players who they pay from league funds and for which the league holds the contract and rights. That's why individual teams (TFC, LA, etc.) can make money even while the "league" loses money. MLS has many socialist aspects but it doesn't socialize the profits.]
quote:Originally posted by johnnyc
What happens if the USL tanks? Well, the club is completely autonomous and will no doubt find a way to survive in another league.I think the last 15 years of Impact history shows that there always will be a USL type of league, whether it's called A-League, APSL, or USL. To be quite frank, the attendance figures for most MLS clubs don't instill much confidence that it can grow or get stronger. Let's face it, TFC was probably the best thing to happen to MLS, better than Beckham if you ask me.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
Well, I think Duane's biggest fear is that the USL folds - or even stays the same - while MLS grows and gets stronger. Where does that leave Montreal then? Any league they could play in would have to be worse than MLS, maybe significantly worse, even though it's clear that Montreal could be very successful in MLS. That would be a net loss for Canadian soccer.
Check this out:
Read this and then note that while TFC splashed out a mere 10 Million for their franchise fee (please correct me if I'm wrong), the latest round of expansion requires 40 Million. It's hard not to suspect that this fee is as high as it is because the league could be in trouble.
The Impact ownership have every right to be wary of paying this high of a fee when the attendance figures for the league aren't all that impressive, with the shining exception of TFC.
Well, since I've been able to watch the Impact over the course of 15 years and have watched them grow and contribute to the development of soccer in this province, I'd rather take the lesser of two evils also, and for me that's the devil I know. If the price weren't so steep, financially and structurally, I'd like us to be in the MLS. Otherwise, USL=1 suits me fine for now. Admittedly though, it saddens me to lose Vancouver and Seattle. These are great soccer markets.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
I agree that there's a lot about MLS that leaves things to be desired. I wish the Impact and Vancouver could join while keeping their current structure and autonomy. Doesn't seem likely though and while reasonable people may disagree I'm mostly in the "MLS is gonna win" camp along with Duane. Basically, when you're faced with a choice between two evils it's still better to pick the lesser evil.
It certainly is and the CSL proved it will never happen. Sad but true.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
Or form a Canadian league but that's a whole other argument.
That maybe so, but I have to say that as I was reading through his posts in this thread and other threads, there seemed to be a clear contempt for the Impact, not much different than what I see in Don Cherry every Saturday night. He doesn't seem to grasp that Montreal is a major soccer town and that we don't need the MLS to make us a soccer town. Quite honestly, it was his posts that moved me to post for the first time on this forum. That he could say right up until game day that he didn't think the stadium would be full showed an ignorance of what the Impact have accomplished in terms of developing soccer at a grassroots level and what it means to the average Montreal soccer fan to be playing this far in the CCL.quote:Originally posted by BHTC Mike
Finally, and this is aimed at Jeffery more than anyone else: the idea that Duane is uncritical towards TFC and MLS is, on its face, utterly laughable. Come lurk on some TFC boards for a while. What you'll find is that rather than being "uncritical" Duane actually gets on people's nerves for being TOO critical of TFC. Just because he sometimes casts his critical eye beyond T.O. shouldn't offend you. And really, you read way too much into his comments that isn't there.
At any rate, I don't want to turn this into a flamewar, but this is what my impression was, rightly or wrongly.
Thanks again for your post, Mike.