Hey there Friend!
I hope you’re having a great week so far!
It’s been a busy week for me, doing a lot of organizing and consulting work with the players and recording episode 78 of the #AskASoccerPro Show. We had some excellent conversations about inclusivity in U.S. soccer that I’m sure you’ll want to check out. I wrote you a quick article with the highlights, so you can read that below!
As always, please let me know what you think!
How Can U.S. Soccer Be More Inclusive?
With the formation of Black Players for Change
, I’ve been thinking even more than usual about how soccer in the United States can be more inclusive. It’s a question that I get from members of our Perfect Soccer community frequently as well. Two avenues that could be pursued in the U.S. are promotion and relegation and salary caps for players.
Recently, I’ve been reading up on promotion and relegation. There are many here in the U.S. arguing that pro/rel would be beneficial for the development and growth of soccer. I know I’ve mentioned the idea in the past, and I know at that point in time, the league was certainly not in the position where they would be open to the concept of pro/rel.
Suppose we want to examine ‘why’ the league wouldn’t have been too keen on pursuing pro/rel, it’s pretty simple. The league had too much power; they had too much control. From the league’s perspective, the single entity system has been working just right and in their favor. The value of organizations within MLS are increasing every year, and more and more people are eager to enter into MLS.
For MLS, the expansion process has been very fruitful. Expansion teams are paying exponentially more now to join the league than they did in the past, making expansion incredibly lucrative for those already bought into the system. I’ve mentioned before that the MLS expansion is similar to the housing market pre-2008, all that growth was happening, but it certainly wasn’t sustainable.
While promotion and relegation would be a hard sell to the league, it would, in essence, create total inclusion. Each team has to do enough and put in the work to maintain their spot. If you don’t, someone else who is working harder can step up. In the purest sense of creating openness and inclusion, pro/rel is one way in which you can accomplish this goal.
Now, there are still certain advantages and disadvantages to the pro/rel system; the most significant obstacle is access to money. Money has always been incredibly influential in soccer; we know that for sure. So, while pro/rel would be great to create more inclusion in the U.S. soccer landscape, we would also need to consider a hybrid system as a transitional step that takes into account the financial aspect of the sport.
Collecting more data and conducting further research into how the best parts of the single entity system and pro/rel could be combined would also be a worthwhile pursuit.
Since we’re on the topic of finances, I’ll be blunt; I think salary caps are good. There are advantages to the single entity system, and one of those is salary caps. With a pro/rel system, you need to prevent people from coming in and just throwing astronomical amounts of money, overspending to ‘buy’ a winning team.
Overspending creates non-inclusiveness on a whole other level. Rather than a team earning their way up the ladder through their quality of play, an uber-wealthy billionaire can just buy their way to a winning team, which isn’t what we want to see at all.
Now, I’m not saying that these solutions are the be all end all. But I do believe that finding a way to incorporate pro/rel with salary caps, and other systems and ideas would be beneficial to creating an inclusionary soccer environment in the United States.
I know the league would likely be anti pro/rel, and wouldn’t necessarily be open to entertaining the idea, but with the current state of U.S. soccer, the idea is going to keep coming up. I think there will be a point in time where the massive inequalities and inequities in the system can no longer be ignored, and alternative solutions will need to be explored.
Continuing along with the status quo isn’t going to work, because it isn’t sustainable and is what has gotten us to the point we are at now. Hopefully, in time there will be the openness to address the inequities and the courage to make tough decisions that will give representation and opportunity to everyone.
11-year MLS veteran Quincy Amarikwa welcomes you to episode 78 of the #AskASoccerPro Show where he talks Black Players for Change, the MLS is Back tournament, how to make US soccer more inclusive and more! Make sure you check out episode 78 of the #AskASoccerPro Show!
Check out what Quincy covers this week:
00:00 – 02:35: Welcome To The #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 078!
02:38 – 07:04: Did You See The Black Players For Change Protest?! #MLSisBLACK
07:08 – 11:57: Do You Want To Watch #MLSisBack With Quincy?
11:58 – 13:09: How To Get Back In Shape For Soccer @CJsmith_04
13:11 – 17:47: What To Do When You Don’t Have An ESPN Stream
17:51 – 19:12: Black Players For Change & Players Coalition Negotiate Official Partnership!
19:17 – 23:34: I Have Lower Back Pain, How Do I Get Rid Of It? @trevorwillis_
23:35 – 24:48: What To Consider When Trying Out For Your Team @_pogbajunior
24:49 – 26:37: Why The Pay To Play System Is A Massive Problem
27:00 – 30:22: How Is Montréal Looking To Quincy?
30:26 – 34:56: Can Pro/Rel Make US Soccer More Inclusive? @ben._.Jammin
35:00 – 37:04: What Is The Best Thing Quincy Learned In The MLS? @yojxrd
37:08 – 40:13: What Does Quincy Really Think Of Pro/Rel?
40:17 – 43:31: What Does Quincy Think of FC Dallas Being Removed From #MLSisBack?
43:34 – 46:09: Who Started the #MLSisBlack ?
46:11 – 50:55: What’s It Like Being Traded In MLS? John Hollinger
51:01 – 53:47: Would Quincy Go To The #MLSisBack Bubble Right Now To Play? @pgsports
53:55 – 55:31: Where Do Players Stay In New Cities? @soccer_dad_for
55:41 – 58:50: Why D.C. United Did Not Want Quincy Back
Black Players For Change & Players Coalition Negotiate Official Partnership | #AskASoccerPro Ep. 078
How To Overcome Bullying And Take Control Of Your Soccer Training | PS Clips | #AASP Show Ep. 077
What To Do When Your Family Doesn’t Support You @griezi_21| PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 077
How To Take Responsibility For What’s Holding You Back | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 077
What Procrastination Sounds Like @griezi_21 | PS Clips | #AskASoccerPro Show Ep. 077
Black Players For Change & Players Coalition Negotiate Official Partnership! I #AskASoccerPro Show Ep 078
This Week On The #AskASoccerPro Show
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday when we go live at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST with the #AskASoccerPro Show over on Instagram.
Please join in!
Please feel free to shoot me an email if you have any thoughts or feedback
Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday!
Until next week,
Mental Strength Coach
MSL – Mental Strength League