El Rey Network's Matador is Tons of Fun

El Rey Network

If you dig Robert Rodriguez' B-movie action style, this entertaining new show about a secret agent going undercover as a pro soccer player (to investigate the club's corrupt owner), may be for you:

How MLS and the USSF are Holding Back the Game in the United States

US Soccer and the Economics of Mediocrity
By Josh Riesen

One goal from Thomas Muller and an entire nation began to cry. Only down one goal and with 78 minutes left to play, one German strike was enough to bring men, women, and children alike to tears. Just the prospect of having to consider defeat was unbearable, an emotional reaction to soccer many in this country would find unfathomable.

The United States’ loss to Belgium almost two weeks earlier came with no tears to be found. There was no dirge for the end of DaMarcus Beasley’s career, no inquest for why Jurgen didn’t get the team to at least where we were in 2002 and no public excoriation for the disappointing play of Michael Bradley.


US Pro-Rel Question Goes Mainstream with NBC Sports Article

What do NASL’s attendance records say about soccer’s future in the US?
By Nicholas Mendola
NBC Sports - Pro Soccer Talk

The North American Soccer League is staking its claim to big time soccer, as second- and third-tier soccer clubs continue to reap large attendance awards in 2014.

And if they keep it up, MLS will have to put its future plans out there earlier than expected.

The Ottawa Fury saw nearly 15,000 fans debut its new stadium on Sunday night, beating San Antonio’s two-year-old single-game record. The big turnout gave the NASL its best week of attendance in its brief history.

With USL Pro’s Sacramento Republic boasting nearly 15,000 of its own fans on a regular basis, and even fourth-tier Detroit City FC of the NPSL constantly topping 3,000 fans, the issue begs the question of how soccer in the United States will respond once minor league teams are regularly bringing attendance numbers that rival Major League Soccer (on a relative scale).

Don’t laugh.

The NASL’s Indy Eleven averaged 10,000-plus in the Spring season and there are many teams drawing between 4-6000 fans per game despite functioning at the lower levels of United States soccer.

MLS is going to run into scheduling problems when it reaches its goal of 24 teams. As soccer continues to explode in the States, what will the biggest league in the country do when demand goes boom?

Theoretically, if markets like Sacramento and Indianapolis continue to draw crowds, they will have the money to invest in better players (compete even). And if these markets can pull a Rhinos and make a run through the U.S. Open Cup? Where will their glory take them? What will it net them?

Phrased differently, the United States does not currently have promotion and relegation.


First Eleven Podcast Discusses Supporter Groups Squatting at Lower Division Clubs While Waiting for MLS

First Eleven Podcast - Episode 28
By Abram Chamberlain

Interesting discussion of the newbie "yay, we love soccer" club-squatting crowd.  It starts about 42 min into the podcast:


Punk Football Pro-Rel Movement Spreads from United States to Australia

Promoting Opportunities For All

Call it what you will; the fuel to wake the sleeping giant, the elephant in the room, the opiate for the masses or the impossible dream. Whatever label you want to place on it, it is the key to realise Australia’s enormous potential to become a true player in world football.

Without it we have only nine Australian full time franchises. Minus visa players that’s no more than 180 full time positions for players to ply their trade in this country at senior level. That is a pathetic number in anyone’s language and a clear indicator as to how far behind the pack we are in terms of opportunities for players compared to other developed/developing football countries.

We need to dramatically increase these numbers and provide opportunities for players to develop their careers in this country otherwise we are doing the proverbial into the wind with regards to becoming a force in world football. The only answer to this problem is promotion and relegation, and pretty much the rest of the world has it besides us and North America. Coincidentally, there is a grassroots movement in North America calling for promotion and relegation.


Supporter-Owned Grand Rapids FC Secures Stadium

Houseman Field to become home of Grand Rapids Football Club
by John Rzepecki

The Grand Rapids Football Club has signed an agreement with Grand Rapids Public Schools to have Houseman Field become the home of the team for 2015.

"We are very excited that Houseman Field will be GRFC's home facility," club founder Matt Roberts said on Facebook. "We believe that the location of the stadium will provide our supporters a unique experience as midtown is a fantastic part of the city, and will bring an economic boost to the businesses in that area."

The club needed to secure a home field as part of the application process to become part of the National Premier Soccer League for the 2015 season.