Why Bother?

 

Like any soccer federation US Soccer is rightly beholden to one special interest group: Supporters. FIFA has made no secret of their uneasiness with system in which history is ignorted while access, investment and interest are llimited in the endless search for MLS profit. It is time for regular American supporters to do the same. US Soccer will sanction promotion, relegation and independent clubs with a stroke of a pen - and honor our awesome footballing legacy - as soon as US supporters demand it.

 

FIFA cannot impose promotion, relegation and independent clubs entirely from outside. They cannot celebrate and preserve our vital soccer history. It is up to us to speak up, and the change is happening before our eyes. US club soccer executives and league officials are advocating for their freedom as never before. Thousands of US supporters have dared to project adoption of promotion and relegation.

 

Never has this pressure been more important. Make no mistake: MLS is not evolving towards granting US clubs the same freedoms and opportunities as any in the world. They're moving in the opposite direction. The domestic closed league system - and the anti-competitive entitlements that go with it - are their holy grails. This change will require more courage than our federation has shown since the 1920s. We need to lend them some.

 

The support of fans, clubs, and leagues are making this policy shift possible. Together, we can lend our federation, players, owners, broadcasters and investors courage to replace our misapplied and shortsighted closed league model. The free market open league system that delivered the beautiful game to global dominance beckons. Join us, and help show FIFA that we're not the undemanding casual fans some in MLS would prefer. Help convey to the global soccer community that Americans expect full fledged membership, not perpetual second class status.

 

Together we can push US Soccer to sanction a free and open system that includes promtion and relegation - and eliminate the entitlements and league control that hold the US game back - once and for all. We can lend our federation and our leagues the courage to do what's right - not just do what's risk free for MLS owners. We can win the fight to free every club in every league from intrusive restrictions, top-down bureaucracy, institutional barriers and artificial quality limits. We can end the imposition of a MLS single-entity caste system that stands in for the American soccer pyramid. We can free every owner of every club in every league to take their club as far as investors and supporters can take them, not only as far as their leagues will let them go.

 

Whether you want to see a new club with an unlimited future in your town, or open the future of the Rhinos, Battery, Miami FC, or even Hollywood FC, please join us. If you want to see Seattle Sounder defeat Club America in Azteca and head for the Club World Cup, please join us today.  If you want to see a flood of new interest and investment in our lower divisions, please join us now. If you want to give New Yorkers a world class soccer club they can wholeheartedly support, join us this second.

 

Monopolies and cartels don't break themselves up. If you think you deserve the same unlimited clubs and open leagues the rest of the soccer world enjoys, the time to speak up is now.

 

As faux promotions in Seattle, Portland, and Montreal remind us, whenever one new club joins the top flight, excitement and passions rise. Crowds and season ticket holders spike.

 

Now imagine three new clubs - every season.

 

Help spread the word: It's time for a change.

 

- Ted Westervelt