The emperor’s old clothes. I think I just made a “they are not naked” joke. Not quite sure, honestly. Anyway, Nashville SC’s USL kits are… not so different from last year’s PDL editions.
League of Nations games are going to be meaningful. Of course, those meaningful games are going to be against a lot of minnows. UEFA has forced CONCACAF’s hand, basically. If you can’t play games against European competition (because of their own League of Nations) nor CONMEBOL squads (because of their ridiculously long World Cup qualifying process), you might as well make your games against the CONCACAF minnows meaningful.
I do agree in large part with the long-term benefit of the establishment though:
The best-case scenario for U.S. Soccer likely can occur only over the long-term. If the League of Nations really does provide the sort of competition that helps second-tier CONCACAF countries improve (like Panama has, for example), then the USA will find more difficult games closer to home. That’s a good thing at all age levels, and that sort of environment is why UEFA is content to close (almost) its doors. But that’s a ways away here, which makes the LoN feel like a bit of a risk in the short term.
The various Caribbean nations get very few friendlies as-is, and giving them opportunities to play more games and more meaningful games will help them improve, and thus improve the competition that the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, et al play on a regular basis. That’s a long way in the future, though.
The obvious solution that’s been bandied about for a few years now is for a unified CONCACAF and CONMEBOL region giving more opportunities for the big boys of our current region (insert “hurr durr the US isn’t even one anymore”) to play top South American competition in meaningful games, with the infusion of cash from the USA and Mexico games helping those national federations in the long run, too.
That’s obviously not directly LON-related – and comes with its downsides – but would be a net benefit to all in the long run.
Diversity talkin’. “Bruce Arena is stupid” and “Alexi Lalas is a self-proclaimed troll” have combined to give us a bit of faux controversy over the past week. The comments of this Star and Stripes FC post have some interesting points (as long as you’re ready to ignore the one moron who keeps repeating that he’s not racist, the people who don’t like racism are. You should be used to him, particularly today: he’s your very obviously-racist uncle at the Thanksgiving table. No the other one. Next to that one. Yeah, that guy).
Diversity within the country – including within development of US Soccer pool players, with basically any definition of diversity – cannot be anything other than good, creating a quota on US-eligible players in MLS is so, so stupid. Any problems with MLS as a feeder for the league relate to not producing enough high-caliber players in the first place through academies (“let’s reduce the quality of the league instead of improving the quality of American players” is obvious as the wrong direction to go), and the league holding onto the DeAndre Yedlins, et al of the world for too long (since the Sounders have little incentive to sell with the transfer money being spread across the league – and not shared with those who developed him).
An exploration of solutions is a full post for another day.
Happy Thanksgiving. That is all.