The Friday news dump was universally recognized for what it is – an opportunity for shady organizations to attempt to sneak another piece of theft, incompetence, or just generally tasteless behavior past our usual level of scrutiny.
On Friday, MLS announced that its clubs will not participate in the US Open Cup next season, opting to send its MLS Next Pro – essentially its youth teams and the third tier league – to compete instead. This decision was met with confusion and criticism.
The story claims that this move is an attempt to reduce fixture congestion, citing LAFC playing 53 games in the previous season as an example. However, this argument falls short when weighed against its own merits. First, it was MLS and Liga MX that introduced the League’s Cup into the last season’s schedule, so any fixture congestion is of their own making. Additionally, 53 games, while high, is not an obscene number for successful teams in global football.
The decision not to participate in the US Open Cup reveals the MLS’s self-interest and unwillingness to engage with other football competitions in the country. Furthermore, the restrictive salary cap in the MLS exacerbates fixture congestion and prevents clubs from competing in other tournaments, which ultimately undermines the quality and integrity of the competitions.
MLS’s desire to control all aspects of its competitions, including broadcasting rights, demonstrates a lack of openness to collaborative efforts. This insular approach undermines the league’s claims of being one of the biggest and most prestigious in the world. By prioritizing financial gains over the fans and the sport itself, MLS exposes its true priorities.
Ultimately, the actions of MLS reflect a narrow-minded view of its standing in the national football landscape, hindering the league’s potential for growth and recognition. The unwillingness to engage with other competitions and the self-serving behavior reveal a lack of humility and sportsmanship.
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