America is a power-house when it comes to sports.
What is the highest level of basketball in the world? The NBA.
What is the highest level of baseball in the world? The MLB.
What is the highest level of hockey in the world? The NHL.
I’m not going to bring up football because that’s our sport and we’re pretty much the only ones who play it.
I know Canada has a professional football league and it’s decent, but NCAA Football is probably played at a higher and more competitive level, so it’s not worth talking about.
Oh, and I know I said I wasn’t going to bring up football and I’m currently on my third paragraph about it, but I had to bring it up in order to explain why I wasn’t bringing it up.
Where was I? Oh, right. ‘Merica. Sports Mecca.
Except for soccer, that is.
It’s no secret that the MLS (Major League Soccer, for members of the majority who don’t know or care what America’s professional soccer league is called.) is nothing compared to the English Premier League, Italian Serie A, La Liga or any European soccer league.
Why is that?
Soccer is the world’s most popular sport. That doesn’t mean it’s the most popular in America but as the leaders in every other sport, shouldn’t we want to be the best in the world’s most popular sport?
As an American, it pisses me off that the MLS sucks.
“Well, Cody, are you just gonna complain about it or are you gonna man up and do something about it?”
Shut up, Dad. You don’t get it… You don’t get me.
(Just kidding. My dad and I would never have that kind of exchange.)
But I do have a simple suggestion for the MLS to become more popular, and thus more lucrative and attractive to talented players.
And that is to ditch the European-style club names and embrace the American way.
FC? No, F U.
I’m sorry. That just came to me and it was brilliant and you know it.
But seriously, FC stands for “football club.”
Last time I checked, in America, a football is brown, shaped like a pointed oval and inflated to 11.5 to 13.5 PSI, and if it’s used on a cold, rainy night and loses air, the team using the balls will be called cheaters by people whose favorite teams suck so bad that they are more concerned with hating the Patriots than they are about their own team’s success.
That’s not what a soccer team uses, is it? No. A SOCCER team uses a SOCCER ball, which means they are a SOCCER club, NOT a football club.
Jeez, why am I so triggered?
Because I want America to be good at soccer, damn it.
“Cody, you don’t even like soccer!”
I would if the MLS was better, Dad!
(Now that might actually be a conversation my dad and I could have.)
Anyway, it’s not just FC. There’s also a Real Salt Lake (rip off of Real Madrid), Sporting Kansas City (rip off of Sporting Lisbon) and plenty of United’s (rip off of Manchester United).
Oh, and some teams actually use the term, “SC.” Obviously, that means “Soccer Club,” which is better than “Football Club,” but come on. We can’t be so inconsistent.
Embrace what makes American sports great.
Nicknames and mascots!
Would anyone care about the Dallas Football Club? No! The Cowboys are America’s team because what’s more ‘Merican than a damn Cowboy? A Patriot, that’s what (tear rolls off cheek).
Oh wait, that’s a bad analogy because there actually is a Dallas Football Club, MLS’ FC Dallas, which I guess is technically Football Club Dallas, which makes even less sense (We put adjectives before nouns in English).
Oh wait, again. It’s a perfect analogy because absolutely nobody cares about the Football Club Dallas. I live in the DFW area and I don’t know a single person who has attended an FC Dallas game.
But what if they were called the Dallas Blaze or Dallas Wranglers? The people in the area would identify with the team and would be more likely to invest in them.
There actually are MLS teams that utilize nicknames. The Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, just to name a few.
But again, we can’t be so inconsistent!
So, MLS, force NYCFC (way too many letters for a team acronym), LAFC, Toronto FC, Minnesota and Atlanta United and every other team that doesn’t have an official team-nickname, that they have until New Year’s Day to come up with one or they’ll be relegated to the USL (if you don’t know what that stands for, that shows that the punishment makes sense).
I know New Yorkers would just love to have a team called the New York Empire (douchebags). That one is a no-brainer.
There are plenty of other nicknames that would help a fanbase identify with a team and create interest in the league.
American professional sports leagues have been so successful for a reason. Why not do what they do?
“But it’s not traditional to use names like that in soccer,”
Who said that? It wasn’t my dad this time.
Whoever you are, this is America. We make our own traditions. Our sports teams are named after animals, powerful groups of people, and even dates. They are not named “Baseball Team” or “Basketball Club.”
This is America, MLS. And if you wanna be popular here, you better get with the program.