Re: The General Footy Thread
It is pretty much where pro's who previously played in one of the worlds top domestic league's go to see out the latter stages of their careers for the maximum amount of $$$ possible. When you have players like Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane and Tim Cahill still earning between £2 - 3 million a year, then can you really blame them?
The standard of the MLS is dreadful, pretty much on the same level as English League 2. After watching a couple of games live in Houston over the past few months, you really do get a feel for how slow and poor the 1st touch is of the majority of players.
I don't entirely disagree with your sentiments, someone like Defoe is still producing, as well as having a good chance of being on the English World Cup squad. Bradley was playing for AC Roma before being signed and is only 26 and is arguably in the prime of his career. He could have easily moved to the Premiership and Defoe certainly could have stayed as well.
When you see teams like Seattle pulling in 40,000 regularly, it can only go up from here. Portland vs. Seattle is shaping to be one of the best rivalry games out there.
These signings to me represent an effort to draw in better quality players who don't fit the mould to which you're speaking. TFC's ownership, MLSE, have very deep pockets. Part of the deal of signing Defoe was to develop a partnership with Tottenham so that they play friendlies together, develop players together through their respective academies and also Tottenham get to sell their merch as well at the BMO Field in Toronto. A similar deal was cut with Roma in signing Bradley. The game is maturing in North America and has come a long way from since the league's inception. It's not uncommon to see players being sold to the top European leagues and I think you're going to see more of them coming back this way too. The league is also starting to see more and more young players from European clubs being sent out on loan, or players who have had some success in the better leagues but still need some fine-tuning.
Obviously it's not the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1, Serie A or the Eredivisie, but I think the quality of play is only getting better. The one drawback that I think will need changing at some point in the future is capping the number of teams and setting up a promotion and relegation system - which is hard to do when you have a franchise system. If/when that is enforced, I think the quality will only go up even more. By all standards, Toronto FC should be playing in the doldrums of the Canadian league system, but since they're franchised there's no drawback to finishing last consistently for 7 years other than loss of fan interest and lack of revenue as a result. Hopefully these signings signal a change.
Last edited by loopdokter (Tuesday Jan 2014 09:29:49)