Despite the losses and plateaued crowds, MLS is big business

TORONTO and Seattle Sounders go head-to-head in the 2019 Major League Soccer (MLS) final, the third time in four seasons the two clubs have played each other in the season’s finale. MLS is growing in popularity and media prominence. Although attendances at games seem to have plateaued and are still relatively modest in some cities, there is no lack of investment in the game. Furthermore, … Continue reading Despite the losses and plateaued crowds, MLS is big business

Tea – best drink of the day, not a diplomatic issue

LOOSEN-up Lioness fans, Alex Morgan was merely poking fun, not hurling an insult to a nation. Football is a game that provokes such gestures of mockery, cricket thrives on “sledging” and players lift t-shirts to reveal messages after they score. It’s a product for the masses, a simple game that has no halfway measures in competitions like World Cups – win or lose. Emotions get … Continue reading Tea – best drink of the day, not a diplomatic issue

Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs

FOOTBALL’s principal emerging nations, the US and China, have almost arrived, with the top divisions of their leagues in the top 10 in terms of spectator interest. According to CIES Football Observatory’s latest report, China and the US are sixth and eighth respectively over the past five years by average crowds. The German Bundesliga has an average of 43,302 with the English Premier second-placed on … Continue reading Stable gates, but study underlines systemic clubs

Watch the money – Turkey’s currency crisis may make its clubs vulnerable

IT has, in relative terms, been a quiet summer in the Turkish transfer market. The country’s major clubs, usually active traders, are less able to flex their wallets due to Financial Fair Play and the Turkish Football Federation’s ruling over holding clubs and their owners accountable for over-spending. At the last count, around € 23 million had been spent in the market. Clubs have, instead, … Continue reading Watch the money – Turkey’s currency crisis may make its clubs vulnerable

Club of the Month: Toronto FC

THE 2018 Major League Soccer season gets underway on March 3 and the reigning champions Toronto are widely tipped to challenge for the title once more. They will face stiff competition from ambitious Atlanta United, who have been very aggressive in the transfer market signing promising South American talent, as well as Seattle Sounders and New York City FC. Toronto clinched the MLS Cup by … Continue reading Club of the Month: Toronto FC

A joint North American World Cup is inevitable – but crazy

THE extension of the World Cup to 48 teams has, effectively, killed off the single host structure for future World Cups, certainly in Europe. With the exception of Germany, no individual nation in the old world can realistically hope to stage the competition – it is just too damn big. But we think there’s more to it than that. After all, we’ve all read about … Continue reading A joint North American World Cup is inevitable – but crazy

American dreaming – MLS continues to progress

A 0-0 DRAW and a penalty shoot-out, the scourge of the modern game, demonstrated that Major League Soccer is no different than its more celebrated counterparts – in other words, it ended in anti-climax. But a new name is on the MLS Cup – Seattle Sounders, the best supported club in the competition with an average of almost 43,000 people, an impressive figure by any … Continue reading American dreaming – MLS continues to progress

India, China and the US – credible stats

NO MATTER how much activity seems to be coming out of emerging market football nations, not many people are prepared to consider that the United States, India and China will ever be serious football powers. You cannot deny, however, that interest in the game in these markets is booming, with India and China particularly growing at a rapid pace. Attendances at top level matches in … Continue reading India, China and the US – credible stats

In the Blazer wreckage, the Gold Cup vies for attention

With the Women’s World Cup, Copa America and UEFA Under-21 tournaments out of the way, the focus should now be on the CONCACAF Gold Cup. It comes at a time when the game in the region is under something of a cloud after the FIFA scandal. In fact, Chuck Blazer, the former general secretary of CONCACAF, has just been given a lifetime ban from football. … Continue reading In the Blazer wreckage, the Gold Cup vies for attention

Reborn in the USA: Soccer

President Obama believes the US will win the World Cup at some point. When you’ve picked yourself up off the floor after laughing yourself stupid, you cannot deny his comment represents a shift in the status of football in the United States. It has been quite easy to be skeptical about football and the Americans. People like the late Phil Woosnam, Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and … Continue reading Reborn in the USA: Soccer