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Old 2014-06-13, 20:10   Link #5261
germanturkey
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he's not even guaranteed a starting spot. hell, i'd sit on spud's bench for 150k a week. i really hope we get Aurier. remember that we plucked Sagna from a mid table french team as well.
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Old 2014-06-16, 17:30   Link #5262
KiraYamatoFan
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OK, this is only in the papers for now. However it is reported that United and Arsenal got a deal of principle to move Thomas Vermaelen to the North of England for around £10M in return. I will only believe it when both clubs publish the news on their Twitter accounts though.

Of course, anyone can see the Ajax connection here since LVG was technical director when Vermaelen just turned pro. However, I also know Vermaelen lost his place to Koscielny and Mertesacker in Arsenal's back 4. What can our resident Gunners say about him in the last season?
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Old 2014-06-16, 17:39   Link #5263
Elo the Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
OK, this is only in the papers for now. However it is reported that United and Arsenal got a deal of principle to move Thomas Vermaelen to the North of England for around £10M in return. I will only believe it when both clubs publish the news on their Twitter accounts though.

Of course, anyone can see the Ajax connection here since LVG was technical director when Vermaelen just turned pro. However, I also know Vermaelen lost his place to Koscielny and Mertesacker in Arsenal's back 4. What can our resident Gunners say about him in the last season?

I'd be really happy if Arsenal can get £10 mil for him. Vermaelen's got all the physical ability but he seems to switch off mentally too often.
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Old 2014-06-16, 17:56   Link #5264
Shinndou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo the Blue View Post
but he seems to switch off mentally too often.
So that's why newspapers here linked him with Roma as well.
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Old 2014-06-16, 21:07   Link #5265
Azuma Denton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
OK, this is only in the papers for now. However it is reported that United and Arsenal got a deal of principle to move Thomas Vermaelen to the North of England for around £10M in return. I will only believe it when both clubs publish the news on their Twitter accounts though.

Of course, anyone can see the Ajax connection here since LVG was technical director when Vermaelen just turned pro. However, I also know Vermaelen lost his place to Koscielny and Mertesacker in Arsenal's back 4. What can our resident Gunners say about him in the last season?
Has great ability, but lost his chance during injury to Koscielny - Mertesacker partnership last season. Never reclaim his place and mostly used as substitute as DF or LB.

Not agree with him moving to MU. What the hell Wenger and board thinking selling one of our player to rival? And whose gonna replace his position as backup to Kos-Mer?
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Old 2014-06-16, 21:15   Link #5266
germanturkey
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he needs a leader next to him to play well. he was his best when Gallas was there. when it was him and kos, the pairing was much weaker, since they're basically the same type of CB. unfortunately for him, he was paired with Per during Per's first season, which was pretty bad. then he got injured, Kos and Per paired up, and we all know what happened from there.
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Old 2014-06-19, 21:38   Link #5267
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MLS it's going strong on signing franchise players, Kaká just signed for Orlando FC.
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Old 2014-06-19, 21:46   Link #5268
germanturkey
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unfortunately, they're all players who are passed their peak. if this keeps happening, the MLS will never lose its reputation as a retirement league.

what? kirayamatofan got banned?
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Old 2014-06-20, 02:35   Link #5269
Shinndou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germanturkey View Post
unfortunately, they're all players who are passed their peak. if this keeps happening, the MLS will never lose its reputation as a retirement league.
Well, the way I see for MLS to get competitive is:

- Money, money, and big big sponsors. The USA do not have a football tradition and culture like a lot of the european and south american countries, so before even thinking of creating a good system at the basis you need a lot of financial power and sponsor to back you up

- Offer competitive wages to high profile players. Whether people like it or not, if you want to convince a high profile player (who's not past his prime yet) to come and join your league you have to offer the same wages that he'd get while playing for a european club. Or actually even more. These players are necessary both in creating a solid reputation in order to convince other high profile players, and also to increase the potential fanbase. Not to mention they can be key roles within the local youth sysetm, which brings me to next point

- Create an organized youth system with a well prepared staff for all roles within each club. If USA wants to become a prominent footballing country not only as a league but at a national level too (therefore not like EPL, unless you want USA to become like England's national team ) you need a system that not only helps young talents but also improves the overall level of all the young wanna-be football players. The best way would be to convince some of the best youth coaches, medical staff and other sporting roles to come and join the league, and have them both take care of laying the basis for a good youth system and also train new staff in order for USA to be able to continue on their own. I'd probably try and select people from Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Germany, as these countries tend to have the most developed youth acadmies in Europe.

- A huge and intense marketing campaign. This is probably the most difficult thing to do because obviously football is going to clash with the most notorious sports in the USA, and certainly those that want NFL/NBA/MLB to remain at the top won't be likely too supportive in promoting football as a competitive alternative. But it's still important to try and market this as much as possible. A good way would be to organize some official international tournament (that is not just a bunch regular friendlies) with clubs from other parts of the world, specially european clubs and south american clubs. Like some sort of "intercontinental" Champions League (I'm not talking about the intercontinental cup, mind you) where you get like the best 4 MLS teams against 4 high profile european/south american teams. Possibly with a reward that would make the foreign clubs take the competition seriously and not like a simple friendly summer tournament.
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Old 2014-06-20, 03:52   Link #5270
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MLS has a really peculiar structure, though. It's a franchise system like the other major US sports leagues, so each team isn't actually an independent club but a "franchise." The MLS league has strict rules dictating max salaries and they have a strong incentive to keep them affordable -- and far lower than the inflated European top tier wages.

They compensated this somewhat with the Designated Player system: an MLS club can pay a lot more salary for a Designated Player, like Thierry Henry or David Beckham or David Villa or, indeed, Kaka. Basically one per team, so they can't build a team of superstars by spending big ala Man City (although Man City's owners gladly spend in other ways for their NYCFC project).

The local talent recruitment is through the draft system to keep the league competitive, so individual clubs don't have strong incentives to hire strong youth development teams, but the MLS itself certainly does. Unlike European youth academies, the US relies a lot on its colleges and universities for athletes' development, so a key part of the quality improvement would come from the sport itself being increasingly popular = more kids wanting to become soccer players and more universities investing in the teams = better athletes for the drafts.

Of course, MLS is perfectly willing to break (ahem, "exempt") its own rules if it sees a huge marketing opportunity, as can be seen by the rapid development of the new NYCFC team.

Another issue is that in the age of globally accessible media (region block? VPN!) MLS is competing in the US not just with other sports but also fans of the Premier League, La Liga, and even other CONCACAF leagues (Mexican immigrant communities, for example). There are huge numbers of US Premier League fans for teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea (ugh), Tottenham, and the great and remarkably popular Arsenal, not counting fans of Serie A or La Liga (especially big with Hispanic communities).
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Old 2014-06-20, 04:13   Link #5271
Shinndou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irenicus View Post
The local talent recruitment is through the draft system to keep the league competitive, so individual clubs don't have strong incentives to hire strong youth development teams, but the MLS itself certainly does. Unlike European youth academies, the US relies a lot on its colleges and universities for athletes' development, so a key part of the quality improvement would come from the sport itself being increasingly popular = more kids wanting to become soccer players and more universities investing in the teams = better athletes for the drafts.
I think this is the biggest issue in developing this sport in the USA. This system works perfectly fine for american football, basketball and baseball, because they are all sports that are taken seriously by local high schools, colleges and universities.

But football isn't as popular, and I don't see the local schools investing a lot of money until this sport makes a huge step forward in terms of appeal. They're not going to suddenly open their wallets to create a well developed and organized youth system.

Which is why there should be youth academies owned directly by the clubs that work independently from the school system. I know this would definetely go against USA's tradition of developing their talents within colleges but it's probably the only way to effectively raise the overall level within a span of 20 years. Once this sport grows popular enough to attract constant interest by media and public in general then I'm sure that schools, colleges and universities in general will start taking into account the possibility of hiring talented coaches and professionals to train their youngsters.

But until then, a solid independent youth academy system needs to be created if the USA wants lay a solid base in order not only to nurture potential talents but more importantly to raise the average level (because that's what makes the difference, IMO).

Quote:
Another issue is that in the age of globally accessible media (region block? VPN!) MLS is competing in the US not just with other sports but also fans of the Premier League, La Liga, and even other CONCACAF leagues (Mexican immigrant communities, for example). There are huge numbers of US Premier League fans for teams like Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea (ugh), Tottenham, and the great and remarkably popular Arsenal, not counting fans of Serie A or La Liga (especially big with Hispanic communities).
This is a problem that can only be "solved" one way: make the MLS teams competitive enough to be able to beat top european opposition from EPL/Serie A/La Liga/Bundensliga. Only then you might see americans actually "quitting" their support for a european club and possibly supporting their "local" MLS teams. Supporters from countries where football is not as developed as in Europe/South America will always support the most succesful clubs of their decade (it used to be Serie A in the 90's and half of the 00's, now it's EPL), so if you want them to stop bandwagoning you need to show them that the MLS teams are just as good and that they don't need to support clubs from overseas.

Last edited by Shinndou; 2014-06-20 at 23:10.
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Old 2014-06-20, 10:35   Link #5272
germanturkey
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an academy system is unrealistic in the US based on how the education system works though. the current varsity to college transition basically robs the most important developmental years from players. there are things like ODP, but those are basically glorified training sessions.
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Old 2014-06-20, 14:49   Link #5273
Nerroth
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A major issue that American soccer has struggled to deal with is the need to build and sustain a viable division 1 league.


The sport goes back a long way in the United States (and in Canada). The U.S. Open Cup is over a hundred years old, and it edged out an even earlier cup competition along the way. But it was harder to try and build a top-flight league for the best teams to play in.

The first real contender was the American Soccer League, which at its height was among the most popular leagues in the country, and was even seen as a threat by English and Scottish clubs at the time (who feared losing their best players to the ASL). But an ill-natured dispute with the US national association (the Soccer Wars) joined with the onset of the Great Depression to drag the league under, and cause the sport to lose arguably its best chance to embed itself on the American sporting landscape.

As it happens, one of the most renowned teams of that era, Bethlehem Steel, was established by the corporation of that same name. This is similar to how one of Mexico's most successful clubs, Cruz Azul, was founded by a cement company. But unlike Los Cementeros, Bethelehem Steel were unable to survive into the modern era.


By the time the original NASL was established, almost all of the work which had been done earlier in the century had long since been lost. But this league, despite its high points of success, failed to secure a long-term financial footing of its own. Once again, a generation or more of development would be squandered.

But at the same time, the NASL helped sow the seeds of the sport in areas of the US and Canada which have become hotbeds for the sport in the present day. Not least in the Cascadia region, where the first of many incarnations of Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver teams would vie for regional dominance across a range of intermediary leagues. And the fate of this league would be put under close scrutiny when the time came for another attempt at a Division 1 league in the US and Canada.

(I think it was a shame that NASL clubs, with one exception, were not involved in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. It would have been neat to envision the old Cosmos at their height taking on the likes of Club América or Cruz Azul for regional dominance at venues like the Azteca...)


When Major League Soccer was first established (in compliance with a condition laid out by FIFA when awarding the 1994 World Cup), it looked like many of the same lessons had not been learned. The teams were playing in half-empty gridiron stadia (which they had to pay rent for in most cases), which could not work as the basis for any sort of long-term stability.

The key development, in my view, has been the onset of soccer-specific stadia across both countries. This has allowed most teams to secure a proper home for themselves, ones more reasonably scaled for their needs.

A good example of this chance can be seen with the current MLS Cup holders, Sporting Kansas City. The Wizards (as they were known at the time) once played at Arrowhead Stadium, but made a temporary move to CommunityAmerica Ballpark before arriving at their current purpose-built home at Sporting Park. (Which used to be called Livestrong Sproting Park, until a certain person admitted to certain acts of wrongdoing.) Sporting Park is now considered to be a fine template for other new stadium projects to follow, while the team have managed to secure a more prominant place for themsleves in their new digs.


Now that the league has essentially secured its existence (barring some future calamity), the issue of trying to pad out the development infrastructure can be more formally addressed. Some teams came into the league with well-run academies of their own (such as in Vancouver), while others are setting up their own academies, reserve teams, and affiliation agreements with lower-division sides.

For their part, both the new NASL (the current Division 2 league) and USL Pro (Division 3) are expanding their respective efforts, but only the latter is actively seeking to work together with MLS in doing so.


One thing to look for may be the results of the current round of negotiations over the league's collective bargianing agreement with the players' union. If the salary budget is significantly increased (which may be likely given the money on the table from the recent US TV deal) and/or the number of Designated Players goes up, the league's top teams may be able to build more capable, or at least more expensive, squads for use in both domestic and CONCACAF play.

But even then, the league is aiming at a moving target. Mexican club soccer is itself moving forward, as Liga MX pushes to become the top league in the Americas, with teams already making names for themselves in the Copa Libertadores. MLS will have its work cut out in trying to close that gap in the near-to-mid future.
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Last edited by Nerroth; 2014-06-20 at 15:08.
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Old 2014-06-20, 20:40   Link #5274
Shinndou
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The Designated Player rule is definitely another huge obstacle that's currently holding back MLS' developement as a worldwide competitive league.

On one hand I fully understand and endorse the whole concept of a salary cap.

But on the other hand the problem is that this rule, and correct if I am wrong, is only adopted in North America. Nor European nor South American leagues have a salary cap, which is why it's hard to convince worldwide high profile players to come and join MLS while they're in their prime.

They should expand the number of designated players to atleast 4 or 5 per team. And again, I know it's a concept that goes against USA's tradition of adopting salary caps for sport pros, but it's likelier to see such rule being revised than seeing the European and South American leagues introducing a salary cap too and losing their potential edge in attracting quality players.

Last edited by Shinndou; 2014-06-20 at 23:11.
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Old 2014-06-20, 23:11   Link #5275
germanturkey
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the big leagues will never have a salary cap simply because they cannot attract a high number of high profile players. the closest thing to a salary cap now is the FFP rules, and it doesn't really look like they're strictly punishing violators anyways.
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Old 2014-06-20, 23:14   Link #5276
Shinndou
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The FFP rule is a joke, and besides that its purpose is mostly to avoid having clubs going bankrupt rather than limiting the spending power of the richest ones.
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Old 2014-06-21, 02:18   Link #5277
itisjustme
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Nah there have been plenty of clubs who were ruined because they invested in a stadium instead of players. FFP is really a somewhat xenophobic rules about clubs not wanting to financially compete with rich foreign newcomers, nevermind that many historical clubs have been built that way or benefited from big cashdumps in the past.

Investment is smart and healthy anywhere except in football apparently.

The US salary cap system is much more fair play than what we have in football, but of course clubs wouldn't hear about it because it's perfectly fine some have 10x more money to throw around than their competition. It's all about preserving the old status quo.

Last edited by itisjustme; 2014-06-21 at 02:31.
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Old 2014-06-25, 15:35   Link #5278
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by germanturkey View Post
unfortunately, they're all players who are passed their peak. if this keeps happening, the MLS will never lose its reputation as a retirement league.
We would say the same about the J-League if they don't switch the development process to include more physicality and elements reminiscent of the European game to increase competitiveness.

Speaking about transfer news, it looks like Manchester United are on the verge of confirming the signing of Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao for an estimated fee of £28M. He was touring the Carrington Training Centre today (pictures have been published), but we are expecting the official announcement to be made on Friday.

The signing comes a year late (thanks a lot to David "Buffoon" Moyes), but he's a very good signing that matches what we need in central midfield.

edit (June 26): SIGNED!

edit (June 27): Luke Shaw joins Manchester United on a 4-year deal (plus one optional year) for an estimated fee of £29M. I don't expect him to set the world alight soon, but he probably stands in the best environment he can ask for his own development with Van Gaal as manager and Patrice Evra as a mentor.

Last edited by KiraYamatoFan; 2014-06-27 at 22:18.
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Old 2014-06-28, 18:43   Link #5279
Nerroth
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I was looking into different terms used to describe the sport in different parts of the world, and was wondering about why soccer is called calcio in Italy.

Turns out there is/was a sport called calcio storico fiorentino, which was first codified in 1580! The modern revivial of the sport started in 1930, and it is still played each year in Florence:

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Old 2014-06-28, 19:14   Link #5280
germanturkey
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i want sanchez for arsenal. he would easily be 20+ a year with the service we give him.
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