soccerreform - a toolkit for #ProRelforUSA supporters since 2008
soccerreform.us is a data warehouse for those who demand fundamental change in the way American club soccer does business. The adoption of fully open US soccer leagues and fully autonomous clubs in the established form of promotion and relegation is our agenda.
It is also a digital library for those who are committed to a wider appreciation and understanding of American soccer history - through which the need for this systemic reform reveals itself.
It is also an aid for those of us who seek to build a new association of American soccer stakeholders dedicated to recovering equity and investment that MLS
and USSF have long conspired to take from them.
If you agree on the following points, you're in the right place.
American clubs deserve the same opportunities as any in the world. The path to realizing that goal is clear: We must implement promotion and relegation in American soccer. We are dedicated to the adoption of the same meritocracy thousands of clubs and billions of supporters already enjoy.
American supporters and stakeholders must speak up for this change. Pro/rel is a common denominator in every thriving, stable soccer league of autonomous and unlimited clubs. It is the only system that allows every club in every league to pursue their own destiny. It won't happen if we let MLS decide.
Promotion and relegation without D1 would not be a referendum on the real thing. Promotion and relegation between A and AA baseball - without including MLB - wouldn't be a test market either. If the system isn't fully open to D1, it remains closed.
MLS is free to maintain a closed soccer league without a divisional sanction.
A fully open American soccer club system is a change stakeholders and supporters alone can realize. We demand this adoption from our federation - not any single league. We do so because we know it will require policy change from our governing body - not just profit motive - to move our game forward.
If US Soccer fails to open the system, we must build a democratic, nonprofit and transparent organization that can. If you don't support forming that kind of association, you can stop reading now.
The only language USSF and MLS speak is power. Reason alone will never convince them. Court cases alone won't change their behavior.
US soccer supporters have suffered under a misapplied closed league system for over a century now. We're tired of perennially stunted, inauthentic and unstable leagues. We're sick of developmentally disabled clubs, done with limited opportunities for players and and tired of the rut in which our national team lingers. We're through with over-hyped friendles overshadowing league and cup matches. We've grown weary of the continued ignorance surrounding our legacy-laden US Open Cup and the enduring inability of our leaders to harness its incredible heritage.
We demand a federation that isn't undermined, ignored, and/or subjugated by any league - one that doesn't allow any league to place their pursuit of profit over open competition and the right of every club to pursue their destiny.
We insist on a full-time federation President who is paid to lead American soccer, not tend to the interests of any one league. Instead of cynically watching leagues fight one another, parsing the US pro-sports market, and manipulate our federation, we're fighting for a federation that follows the example set by the rest of the world - one that finally grants our clubs the freedoms all great ones enjoy.
We're committed to embracing the serious American supporter and the casual fan.
Some insist we must wait for our lower divisions to gather the interest and investment required to participate in a promotion and relegation system. We say nothing will drive interest and investment lower divisions need for promotion and relegation - like promotion and relegation.
Some cite our lack of soccer history to excuse our soccer present. We refuse to excuse their ignorance.
Some say American club soccer should seize upon the isolated success of the NFL. We say MLS is not the only soccer league of note on the world. That makes applying the NFL model laughable.
When we showcase a future in which every club has the ability to move up through leagues based on the quality of their play, we give new hope to supporters of every lower division club.
When we shine a light on our incredible footballing past, we shatter the widely held myth that we are not a footballing nation.
When we push for elimination of franchise fees for admission into any league, we give hope to investors and communities who dream of their own independent, autonomous, and unlimited club.
When we fight to end limits on players and clubs, we give every supporter, player and owner the freedom to pursue their destiny.
It is said that the game is all about dollars. We don't think it should be all about providing resources for one league.
Every club should be judged by the quality of their play, not the color of their money. We believe in a system that encourages investment in every club.
Promotion and relegation is not only fundamental to the game - it is also fundamentally stable, fundamentally fair, and fundamentally American.
Open soccer leagues don't fail. They don't collapse. They don't fold.
US pro-sports owners have spent a century trying to bend the beautiful game to their closed league will. We think it's time to bend them to the will of the beautiful game.
The distance between us and our soccer destiny isn't measured in time. It is measured in the volume of our demand for clubs that enjoy the same freedoms and opportunities as any in the world.