Is promotion and relegation coming to the United States, is it ever coming to the United States?
Ah, the eternal question, isn’t it?
A question really, though, that should be framed more like:
I’m not trying to be inflammatory here with that word, discrimination. So perhaps, gatekeeper-driven is more palatable to you?
But nonetheless one must consider the role of a gatekeeper then. A gatekeeper, by definition, decides who’s in and who’s out.
Their job is literally, to discriminate.
Now of course, there’s a good sort of discrimination.
I mean, if you’re going to go get some surgery done, you want whoever’s doing the surgery to have a medical degree. And for them to get the job at the hospital, well, clearly the hospital is going to discriminate based on whether one has that medical degree or does not.
This, I think we can all agree, we’re in favor of.
Whereas something like say a coaching license, now that is absolute horse shit. That’s something mostly used as a vehicle to discriminate in the bad sense, not in the good sense as I just described.
So who gets to have opportunities at different levels of coaching? Hmmm, well, some nameless, faceless, bureaucrats in some back room, pretty much get to decide.
The same goes for who, and what communities, get to have the opportunity to participate at a particular level in the club soccer marketplace. A gatekeeper decides your fate. You absolutely do NOT have the opportunity to merit your way to any particular level. Again, some bureaucratic gatekeeper decides your fate.
Now please don’t get it twisted, many here think that if you just have the money, you can buy your way into say … MLS.
That’s not true.
Let me make it clear: YOU CAN NOT JUST BUY YOUR WAY INTO MLS.
The gatekeeping there is not just whether you are a billionaire.
The requirements are totally amorphous, which means they can discriminate based on whatever factors they want, which is fine, because MLS is a private company.
Which brings us to the fundamental question:
Do you want a world where a corporation holds a monopoly on the American 1st division and gets to choose which clubs, communities, and individuals get to partake?
Do you want to live in a world where all clubs, communities, and individuals have the opportunity to merit their way to their appropriate level?
In any case, USL, the second division of professional soccer in the United States seems to have stated their intention to go in the direction of opportunity and inclusion. Which is great, if they actually go through with it.
What follows is a discussion Terry and I had on USL’s mid-year general meeting – which happened in July – where the proposal of implementing pro/rel between their divisions was stated, in addition to aligning with the international calendar.
References Mentioned in the Episode
* USL proposes internal promotion/relegation, calendar change to differentiate from MLS as partnership dissolves
* USL Championship and USL League 1 franchise buy-in prices
* USSF Professional League Standards
* Every Dot is a Football Pitch
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