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Soccer Trying to Make it in the Football World
In many countries, the name of the game sounds the same. Words like football, fussball, futbol, futebol… they don’t sound the same, they are the same game. In the US, however, they call it football. Major League Soccer (MLS) as an American sports league has been around for a while now.
Unlike other major American league sports, MLS does not command the attention of the people around the world, and their champion is chosen as the ‘World Champion’. MLS has always been on the move. Did it attract public and media attention in international football? No!
Whether football is the 2nd, 7th or 10th most popular sport in the US does not make much difference, Americans will still follow the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA. People all over the world can follow the game with the same passion as it is the most popular league in the world.
In recent years with the globalization of media, the world of sports has begun to change; In it, the English football Premier League, promotes itself as ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ and is indeed the most popular sports league in the world, with nearly half a billion people worldwide and revenue from 2007 to date. 2010 was over $5 billion. If the world can watch soccer leagues like the English Premiership or the Spanish La Liga, who will watch the American big leagues except for home viewers? Will a portion of the American public turn to watching foreign soccer players again? Such questions made soccer difficult in the US game.
Every now and then, MLS officials wake up from their slumber in the shadows of America’s Big 4 during the World Cup and it’s clear how big the game is in terms of the world’s public interest. , media attention, sponsors.
When the noise surrounding the World Cup passes, MLS begins to sleep. It was not supposed to be like that after the World Cup 2006 in Germany when people around the world had a clear picture of modern European football stadiums, the union of millions of players … the stadiums around the world held football.
This time it is not the MLS that is supposed to advance the MLS, it is the entire entertainment industry of American sports. It is an economic opportunity where the money around international football was too big to be missed or thrown away.
In the summer of 2007, US football tried to take over world football by giving David Beckham a contract of $ 250 million, the most expensive contract for a football player in the history of the game, some described it as a contract to bring Beckham to America. which is considered the greatest in the history of sports. MLS has sent a message to the world.
In the middle of the summer when the European players were in the middle of the season and the water was still, the MLS became interested in the news related to the Beckham family moving to LA. Did the news influence global media and public interest in favor of MLS? No!
Is the exposure of $250 million over time? Time will tell. Autumn has come, European and international players are in danger, sports news around the world publish a few articles about Beckham, LA Galaxy and MLS. To make matters worse, LA won’t make the game, giving the media to cover it.
In a league that lost more than $350 million in the first 8 years after its establishment (BusinessWeek Report from 2004), currently only two teams, LA Galaxy and FC Dallas, are profitable with 3 more. teams expected to be profitable within one year, $250 million for one player seems like a gamble. If so, what are the chances?
In recent years, several famous players have chosen to leave the big clubs in Europe and South America in order to create a better financial relationship with the clubs in the Gulf countries. The headlines also mentioned the financial exchange, although there was little follow-up in the broadcast of the tournament.
Not to be forgotten, before the arrival of David Beckham, MLS tried to emerge with Freddy Adu, an under-16 player who was crowned as the next Pel é. Adu received so much attention, the world knew he was playing for DC United of the MLS.
Many may or may not know that Adu, last summer at the age of 18, signed a contract in Europe with Benfica FC – Portugal. Before joining Benfica, Adu spent the summer at Man Utd’s training camp, Alex Ferguson gave him no reason to stay.
Benfica paid the club from Salt Lake City $ 2 million to release the player and Adu will receive $ 1.2 million per year, strong but not the agreement that is at the top of the story. Adu was not in the list of Benfica’s Champions League match against Milan on September 18, compared to a player like Messi in Adu’s current age he was already in the starting 11 of football giant FC Barcelona. MLS didn’t seem too impressed with Adu’s performance, but it also helped him develop into a world-class player as expected. Throughout history, some of the best players of all time have played football in the States, including Pelé, Beckenbauer, Eusebio…
After years of trying that didn’t give good results for US soccer, what difference does Beckham’s playing (currently in week 6 due to injury) make now? Let’s take a brief look at MLS, a professional sports league that started in 1996 with more than 10 events going on.
Logistics and equipment:
As of this writing, September 27, 2007, Beckham’s LA Galaxy are playing against the KC Wizards. SPORTiana.com, as the author of this article, had experience in MLS through KC Wizards in the summer of 2006, one year before Beckham arrived in MLS. At that time the head coach of KC Wizard complained that he had him and 2 other assistants to run the training of the team, which forced him to leave a number of 26 players sitting on the bench for not being able to have them all on the court during training. at the same time.
The training facility consisted of one open field and an indoor field with a practice area used by the NFL’s KC Chiefs team, inside Arrowhead Stadium. The Wizard’s gym was next to the fence next to the KC Chiefs training facility.
The grass on the Wizards’ field was about to separate the turfs from the ground as hard as rock, a place where many players go to training to avoid injury. The head coach, 2 assistant coaches, fitness … NFL stadium and offices … a small office space in the corner of the stadium … it would be very different from the clubs from the teams that Beckham used to play.
Most MLS players come into the league as college players. College football often means playing for players to earn high scholarships and first contracts signed at age 22 or older. In other countries, the first pro contracts are usually signed at the age of 18, at the age of 22 the player is coming out of a 4-year contract and managers have a better understanding of the player’s skills.
This means that the college players are 4 years behind. Signing the first contract at the age of 22, they get out of the 4-year contract at the age of 26, at that time, the biggest teams of the world football would like to invest their money in the 22-year-old prospect. 4 years of pro football experience. College players cannot skip playing in the MLS (player’s first contract) on their way to the higher paid game because most foreign clubs will not sign a college player who does not have soccer experience at the age of 22.
Famous American players like DeMarkus Beasley ($2million to PSV – Netherlands, currently with $700,000 with Rangers – Scotland) or Tim Howard ($4million to Man Utd – England, currently with Everton on loan), joined MLS from high school. not playing college football, like Freddy Adu.
For football fans who have the choice to watch different games, such as the giants of sports that are increasing in domestic leagues like last week which was Man Utd vs Chelsea in England, Barcelona vs Sevilla in Spain, Roma vs Juventus in Italy, PSV vs Feyenoord in the Netherlands. .. Boca Juniors games in Argentina, Lyon in France … there are few MLS places.
A football fan wants to see the competition, passionate fans, fierce rivalry between clubs, traditions, the best players in the world, famous players playing for famous clubs, today’s stadiums related to football, many of them. MLS does not provide. MLS needs to capture the attention of the American public and the media in order to gain the same attention from people around the world. Hard-working, good-looking all-around players like KC Wizards’ Eddie Johnson or DC United’s Jaime Moreno, who showed their form in this summer’s Copa America 2007, are the most successful players in the tournament.
The modern MLS stadiums that are in demand are soccer for all teams and progress. The German Bundesliga has attracted a great deal of public and media attention worldwide both before and after the 2006 World Cup, with a legacy of new and renovated old stadiums. The MLS should expand as much as possible to the world, the English Premiership said, as foreign billionaires began to buy clubs, the best players arrived even more to become the most watched and profitable league in the world. Many writers speculate why soccer is not as popular in the US as it is in other countries, many pointing to the fact that the game does not have enough goals. Changing the rules of the game to have more goals in the game can be beneficial at this time.
Soccer is a powerful force, it has already changed the perception of North American major league sports, MLS clubs are competing in Super League and Copa Sudamericana, New York Red Bulls Stadium will have a “European-style” roof, in 2007. MLS started selling advertising space. front of the jersey (under $500,000 for shirt support), following international soccer practices.
As Latin Americans immigrate to the US, interest in soccer is growing. With soccer being the most popular sport for boys and girls, MLS has potential. In 2006 Don Garber, Commissioner of the MLS, expressed his expectations that the clubs of the league will be profitable by 2010. The sales of the LA Galaxy through the next 4 years of Beckham and the club will not rise to $ 600 million as it was during his time with Real Madrid, the MLS player appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine and gathered 66,000 spectators in a packed crowd. Giants Stadium.
In David Beckham’s words about his move to MLS: “I’m coming to play soccer… I’m not saying I’m coming to the States and making soccer the biggest sport in America”. It’s about taking one step at a time, if football wants to be in the world of football.
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