Promotion, Relegation and Socialism: Why Pro/Rel Is a Bad Fit for MLS

Recently, United States Mens National Team manager Jurgen Klinsmann stirred the pot when he openly questioned the competitiveness of MLS. Speaking to reporters in a press conference, Klinsmann highlighted the lack of a promotion-relegation system as contributing to the lesser competition: I’m a deep believer in (the) promotion-relegation system. So it’s not up to me to say there should be MLS and the second division should be NASL, and there should be promotion-relegation. I just wish that we had a system in place where all the young players and all the players in general know that there’s a next higher level and there’s a lower level. If I play a bad season, then the lower level is waiting for me. If I play a very, very good season, then there’s the chance to go up and play at one point whatever you describe then as the highest level. Some critics, including Mike DeCourcy of the Sporting News, defended the MLS and accused Klinsmann of "Eurosnobbery." It's an ironic criticism considering MLS is modeled on the same principles as European socialism.  American sports leagues—including MLS—employ the opposite of the pro/rel model: Instead of demoting the dregs, they are rewarded with high draft picks. And the results ...
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Top 5 Foreign Prospects for the USMNT

If you can’t beat 'em… get them to join you. International recruits have been integral to the United States men’s national team since Jurgen Klinsmann took over in 2011. Indeed, foreign imports comprised almost a third of the 2014 World Cup roster: Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Julian Green and Timmy Chandler constituted the German-American bloc in Brazil, while Mix Diskerud (Norway) and Aron Johannsson (Iceland) rounded out the dual-national contingent. Some, including Jorge Arangure Jr. of VICE Sports, have criticized Klinsmann for focusing too much on poaching foreign talent instead of revamping the development academies. But grass roots changes take time to bear fruit, as was the case when Germany won the 2014 World Cup ten years after then-manager Jurgen Klinsmann overhauled the German development system. In the interim, it makes sense to recruit American talent—no matter how tenuous the connection—wherever it can be found. If their bona fides are good enough for the United States government, they’re good enough for the national team. Accordingly, these rankings only consider dual-nationals who (a) are eligible for citizenship but have not yet become naturalized, or (b) are immediately eligible to play for the United States but could still cap-tie themselves to other soccer federations. Players ...
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