For the last seven years, I have been a LA Galaxy season ticketholder. Not because I support them, but because I live in Los Angeles and I support MLS. I am DC United through and through, but even with living in LA, supporting soccer in America is important to me.
I have not renewed for the 2014 season yet and not sure that I will at all. I am not at all happy with the team or the league.
There are many reasons that I am not inclined to support the league or the team at this point. Some of which make me sound like a raving conspiracy theorist, loon and some are simply mundane.
Don Garber and his smug, flippant condensation of his customers screams the Devil’s whore to me. His twitter handle is, “the soccer don,” like he is a mafia kingpin. He comes across as corrupt as one, and God knows he runs his league like he is looking for a RICO indictment.
He is the face and the spirit of the league. It is impossible to separate the two in my mind. After is utterly disrespectful, dismissal of a fellow fan asking about transparency at his State of the League address, my hatefire was restoked.
With the continual invention of new rules, violation of old rules, Adidas ass-kissing, and fleecing fans with remorseless abandon, MLS seems to believe they are running a fiefdom where no ramifications or repercussions exist. I have no desire to support their behavior with my hard-earned income.
The MLS (yes I use, “the,” as a modifier for acronyms) has ALWAYS been shady. I think we all accepted it was a necessary evil to develop the league, but the league is 18 years old now. It is time to end the shady mischief and be honest.
To my way of thinking, 2013 might be the most openly corrupt season MLS has ever had. One just has to look at the show that was #DempseyWatch. The staggering amount of sketch involved in that deal would make Vito Corleone, himself, wince in shame.
Supposedly the League’s overarching ambition is to be one of the biggest leagues in the world. Their behavior says otherwise. The level of collusion in the league and among the teams makes a mockery of that statement.
The League owning all players was important and necessary in its infancy, but to grow the League needs to stop. Teams need to be able to compete honestly to get the players they want.
Using #DempseyWatch again, Grant Walh of Sports Illustrated was embedded (or as close as possible) with the Sounders as it was all going down. He reported at the time, “Los Angeles and Toronto were also interested in ponying up for Dempsey, multiple sources said, but Toronto (which is working on its own Designated Player deals) accepted that it was better for the league if Dempsey were playing in a U.S. city.”
Words fail on how absurd that is.. What the hell team says, “it’s better that our competitors get the best player. Oh and we’re going to chip in for our competitors to get him.” Then simply steps aside?
How is that not an absolute betrayal of the fans, especially season ticket holders and team sponsors?
So TFO graciously allows Dempsey to go to another team, and now the League owes them a favor. Vito would be pleased.
To be a real league, teams cannot be worried about what’s best for the league. What’s best for the League is healthy competition, active investment and support if teams for their team, not solely to protect MLS interests.
As things stand now, teams screw over their own fans then get the turn to screw other teams’ fans get screwed. It is a vicious and useless cycle.
Add to that the MLS’s sugar-daddy, Adiddas, which has a complete monopoly on players and merchandise. They dictate which players they want promoted and have zero incentive to listen to fans.
18 years is too long to be the sole provider. Teams should be able to negotiate their own deals with manufactures like every other league.
The ownership of all players and the Adiddas monopoly are emblematic of the real failure of the MLS’S strategy.
Competition is key in sports and it is what is missing in MLS.
Instead of a dynamic league that wants to reach elite status, we have a League that protects itself first and cares about its customers somewhere way down the line.
I believe in American soccer and the MLS conceptually but as it stands now, it is a bitter pill to take. Add to that my extensive issues with the management of the Galaxy as a team and a club, and I very well may be a former MLS season ticket holder come March 2014.