MLS

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Re: MLS
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:45 pm
  • MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:40 am
  • knownone wrote:MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.



    I disagree here. The MLS will never grab a hold of the TV market in a significant manner, for a variety of reasons. And I think the MLS is fine with that.

    The EPL grabs a lions share of the TV ratings for three reasons: a. the drama. b. the players. c. the atmosphere. It's not the best league in terms of overall talent, but it is the most competitive. The atmosphere at each game is palpable, and while the teams that US fans support have centuries old followings to get behind, it is the support in those stadiums that fans are drawn to. Most importantly, games are played, well, in England. US fans can't just "go" to a Spurs match.

    MLS support is founded on two things: a love for soccer, and the in stadium experience. Major supporters want to encapsulate even an inkling of what they see on NBC live from September-May at Anfield, White Hart Lane, etc. They want the atmosphere. They want to sing songs, hiss at opponents and go crazy with 100s of others when a goal is scored. The product on the field is almost secondary. For an MLS fan... they want to BE at the game. Sure they will watch the team away, but its not MUST SEE TV. Every EPL game is for fans of teams there because that is the only way to enjoy the team.

    That's my .02 cents. TV isn't, and shouldn't, be a major focus of the MLS. The fan experience is what matters. Give the fans a reason to come to the game. Give them an opportunity to have fun while they are there.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:12 am
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    knownone wrote:MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.


    Completely incorrect. EPL and other world soccer fans won't tune into MLS for one simple reason - it's $h!t. $h!t product, $h!t players, $h!t teams, $h!t everything. the only people who are/will be really interested in MLS are the nouveau American soccer fans who either live close to a team or just don't know any better. Like Smurf. Fans of real soccer will still choose to watch another league (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.), or just another program altogether. MLS is bollocks.


    Bingo.

    It's the same reason we don't watch CFL games or the WNBA..............it's an inferior product.

    Hell, I love the Sounders and I don't watch other MLS matches. Just not a good enough product with the dynamic players to entice me to watch Columbus play Houston on a Wednesday night.

    BUT if the MLS continues to grow and attract more and more talent? Then yes you'll slowly start to see the ratings creep up. Right now though it's a very small niche league with very small regionally loyal fans.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:14 am
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    knownone wrote:MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.


    Completely incorrect. EPL and other world soccer fans won't tune into MLS for one simple reason - it's $h!t. $h!t product, $h!t players, $h!t teams, $h!t everything. the only people who are/will be really interested in MLS are the nouveau American soccer fans who either live close to a team or just don't know any better. Like Smurf. Fans of real soccer will still choose to watch another league (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.), or just another program altogether. MLS is bollocks.


    Oh pipe down you...


    Euro fans are not going to flock to their tvs to watch summer MLS soccer. I do agree. A small contingency may, but not enough to make a difference (unless EPL teams start loaning out their younger players to MLS teams more often, something I'd like to see more of).

    The issue here is whether American fans of the EPL and other international leagues will flock to their TVs to watch MLS games. And again, i don't think they ever will, and I don't think the MLS expects it. TV market is not a priority for MLS teams. They want fans at their games.

    The inferior product doesn't much matter, really. If Spurs and West Ham suddenly packed up and moved to the MLS there would not be a sudden rush to the TVs to watch them play Real Salt Lake at White Heart Lane stadium in Tulsa, OK. Its about atmosphere. Every EPL marketing campaign specifically addresses it. Seattle's team gets a bit more viewership because fans are drawn to the pageantry of the game (as contrived as it may be).

    If product was the only reason to watch the games, then we'd all be La Liga fans. But the EPL is where the drama is. It's where the fans are ecstatic when a big goal is scored, the players are celebrating with passion for a 60th minute goal on a Tuesday night in early February (damn you Vardy). It's the most relatable TV viewing American fans have.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:34 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    If product was the only reason to watch the games, then we'd all be La Liga fans. But the EPL is where the drama is. It's where the fans are ecstatic when a big goal is scored, the players are celebrating with passion for a 60th minute goal on a Tuesday night in early February (damn you Vardy). It's the most relatable TV viewing American fans have.


    I personally like the physical style of the EPL over La Liga, or even Serie A..........and far less diving and "gamesmanship" nonsense.

    Also seems like you're much more likely to see a competitive match on a random Sunday morning with any of the top 10 teams playing each other because of all the fantastic rivalries that have been formed over time. The other top leagues have what? 4 maybe 5 top teams and the rest is shiite?

    My only gripe about the MLS is this push for massive expansion, with new clubs every year. Seems like a bad way to water down the product even more than it already is. I get that the owners love their franchise fee revenue, but if you're trying to build a competitive league filled with stars and talent, then it makes more sense to have a condensed 16 team league full of high profile high revenue clubs, not just keep cranking out the franchises until we reach some sort of over saturation critical mass.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:41 am
  • I think the MLS expansion reflects their primary objective... they want fans AT the game... so they are bringing the game to the fans in as many cities as they can. They believe (and have so far been proven right) that people will come to their matches, as long as the NFL is not playing (or combining, drafting, etc.) regardless if its a turgid affair between Philadelphia and Houston or a rivalry match between Portland and Seattle.

    Again, the product itself is not the pull. It's the drama, as you mentioned. Honestly, Liverpool vs. Stoke the other night was dire, dire football. But it was a Cup semifinal and I imagine more Americans viewed that game on-line through BeIN than the total number of TV viewers watch a weekend of MLS soccer.

    I guess my point is that the MLS is not as concerned with the actual skillset of its players. Obviously they want good matches and are trying to allow the league opportunities for bringing players in. But they have resolved themselves to more of the approach the English sides had in the 50s and 60s... the next superstars of the MLS will come from the academies. Until then, you will have famous names mixing with young talent and middle class players trying to piece together something competitive enough to keep fans turning the gate.

    edit: so i just watched the Liverpool-Leicester highlights (because I enjoy hitting myself in the heart).. If you haven't seen it, Vardy's goal is just a stunner. But... watch the highlight and see the reaction of the crowd. Ball is in flight and you can see the rise and flow of the supporters almost pushing downward to meet the ball in the net. As soon as it pillows comfortably their is a genuine roar and retraction like wave from the people as they pull back and throw their arms out. You don't get that anywhere else on a consistent basis (in any sport, really).

    That's what the MLS is trying to capture. I've seen plenty of wonder strikes in the MLS. But you don't get that reaction. And that's just wee Leicester.
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Re: MLS
Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:38 pm
  • peachesenregalia wrote:
    knownone wrote:MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.


    Completely incorrect. EPL and other world soccer fans won't tune into MLS for one simple reason - it's $h!t. $h!t product, $h!t players, $h!t teams, $h!t everything. the only people who are/will be really interested in MLS are the nouveau American soccer fans who either live close to a team or just don't know any better. Like Smurf. Fans of real soccer will still choose to watch another league (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, etc.), or just another program altogether. MLS is bollocks.


    The bottom half of the premiership is also crap. Sunderland vs Norwich, no thanks. The EPL is the best marketed league but the product isn't all that. When was the last time an English team done anything in the CL? Until this year it was the same teams winning it- Chelsea, City or Man United. Leicester and Spurs have mixed that up a bit but i'm willing to bet City will win come seasons end.

    The EPL is all hype- a lot of average players getting overpaid due to Sky tv money. The amount of advertising it gets in the US helps. I think eventually the arse will fall out of it with the amount of debt these teams have. Especially non top half teams. Bolton are effed. There's rumours if Swansea go down they are in trouble. West Ham have huge debts and if the Russian or Sheikh ever pull out or get bumped off, Chelsea and City are effed. Barcelona and Real Madrid's debts are eye watering.

    MLS has the right idea with the salary cap. Although I do think it is too restrictive and over protects the smaller crap teams over the bigger ones. Would like to see the US focus on youth development and being able to attract the best young players from Mexico whilst keeping the best American talent from going abroad. Doing this may eventually shake off the retirement home image that it gets from Europe.

    On an unrelated noted, what the eff is happening in China with these huge deals being signed for players?
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Re: MLS
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:01 am
  • The China thing is surreal. They are essentially trying to do what the MLS is doing, but finding aging stars that are juussst a little bit younger and using astronomical fees to bring them in.

    I hope Liverpool sell half their current team over there.
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Re: MLS
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:29 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:The China thing is surreal. They are essentially trying to do what the MLS is doing, but finding aging stars that are juussst a little bit younger and using astronomical fees to bring them in.

    I hope Liverpool sell half their current team over there.


    Yeah I saw that Montero just signed a big deal to go to China.

    idk, ask guys like Drogba how being in a black hole of a league with ZERO exposure selling your soul for the almighty dollar went.

    At least in the MLS stars can live in the states and have all the great benefits that go along with being in metropolitan cities. China? Might as well join the witness protection program.
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Re: MLS
Thu Feb 04, 2016 10:32 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:The China thing is surreal. They are essentially trying to do what the MLS is doing, but finding aging stars that are juussst a little bit younger and using astronomical fees to bring them in.

    I hope Liverpool sell half their current team over there.


    Yeah I saw that Montero just signed a big deal to go to China.

    idk, ask guys like Drogba how being in a black hole of a league with ZERO exposure selling your soul for the almighty dollar went.

    At least in the MLS stars can live in the states and have all the great benefits that go along with being in metropolitan cities. China? Might as well join the witness protection program.


    China loves its big time athletes.. Hell, Stephan Marbury has his own museum there.
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Re: MLS
Thu Feb 04, 2016 3:50 pm
  • I watch the EPL for one reason and one reason only: It is on in the morning.

    I realize the top players and teams are in that league, so the product itself is entertaining. However. I have no ties to any of the clubs so I have no real vested interest.

    I watch MLS, and more specifically the Sounders, because I have a vested interest in that they are the club that represents my home town. I would rather cheer for them than some team that plays in a place I have never been to, let alone lived in or been apart of.

    Eurosnobs who just outright dismiss MLS because it isn't a Euro league are a huge part of the American soccer viewing public, and thus will always be an obstacle for MLS growth. But another generation or two, and the level of play along with some built tradition should help alleviate that to a degree.
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Re: MLS
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:48 pm
  • Euro snobs....


    Anyways, estimating that the MLS will soon (or in a decade) join the ranks of top tier leagues is already under the shade of what China is doing.

    The MLS level of play will rise through its academies... Or it will fall by it. Truly elite players in their prime will rarely (if ever) choose here. If the MLS wants to improve its product it will have to develop a strong youth system, develop the coaches, develop the players and then keep them.

    Southampton is working on a direct plan that would benefit youth soccer greatly. I know some MLS teams are cooperating with European and South American clubs for more resources and high level education.

    [url]http://soccer.nbcsports.com/2016/02/04/how-southamptons-innovative-plan-to-break-into-us-market-will-work/?utm_network=facebook&utm_post=5068320&utm_source=FB%20-%20NBC%20Sports%20Soccer&utm_tags=srm[article%2Csoccer][/url]

    The issue will first be developing the next generation of highly talented player... and then keeping them. Jordan Morris stayed. Matt Miazga, Bobby Wood, Luis Gill, Rubio Rubin, Gboly Ariyibi and Christian Pulisic did not. (And countless others, but these are young players who moved abroad recently). MLS right now is trading young talent for aging stars.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:10 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:Euro snobs....


    Anyways, estimating that the MLS will soon (or in a decade) join the ranks of top tier leagues is already under the shade of what China is doing.

    The MLS level of play will rise through its academies... Or it will fall by it. Truly elite players in their prime will rarely (if ever) choose here. If the MLS wants to improve its product it will have to develop a strong youth system, develop the coaches, develop the players and then keep them.

    Jordan Mortis stayed. Matt Miazga, Bobby Wood, Luis Gill, Rubio Rubin, Gboly Ariyibi and Christian Pulisic did not. (And countless others, but these are young players who moved abroad recently)



    Top talent won't stay until the money is right. And that won't happen until the TV dollars flow.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:18 am
  • Seahawks1983 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:Euro snobs....


    Anyways, estimating that the MLS will soon (or in a decade) join the ranks of top tier leagues is already under the shade of what China is doing.

    The MLS level of play will rise through its academies... Or it will fall by it. Truly elite players in their prime will rarely (if ever) choose here. If the MLS wants to improve its product it will have to develop a strong youth system, develop the coaches, develop the players and then keep them.

    Jordan Mortis stayed. Matt Miazga, Bobby Wood, Luis Gill, Rubio Rubin, Gboly Ariyibi and Christian Pulisic did not. (And countless others, but these are young players who moved abroad recently)



    Top talent won't stay until the money is right. And that won't happen until the TV dollars flow.


    The MLS isn't overly concerned with TV revenue. They want to build fan experience. That happens at the stadium.

    And even then, the players above didn't leave the US for money. They aren't making anymore where they are than they would in the US.

    And that even assumes the US develops top talent worth keeping. So far, that hasn't really been the case. You can count on one hand the top tier field players the US has developed.

    The MLS will survive just fine. It won't challenge the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga until the domestic youth program develops enough talent for the US at an international level.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:36 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Seahawks1983 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:Euro snobs....


    Anyways, estimating that the MLS will soon (or in a decade) join the ranks of top tier leagues is already under the shade of what China is doing.

    The MLS level of play will rise through its academies... Or it will fall by it. Truly elite players in their prime will rarely (if ever) choose here. If the MLS wants to improve its product it will have to develop a strong youth system, develop the coaches, develop the players and then keep them.

    Jordan Mortis stayed. Matt Miazga, Bobby Wood, Luis Gill, Rubio Rubin, Gboly Ariyibi and Christian Pulisic did not. (And countless others, but these are young players who moved abroad recently)



    Top talent won't stay until the money is right. And that won't happen until the TV dollars flow.


    The MLS isn't overly concerned with TV revenue. They want to build fan experience. That happens at the stadium.

    And even then, the players above didn't leave the US for money. They aren't making anymore where they are than they would in the US.

    And that even assumes the US develops top talent worth keeping. So far, that hasn't really been the case. You can count on one hand the top tier field players the US has developed.

    The MLS will survive just fine. It won't challenge the EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga until the domestic youth program develops enough talent for the US at an international level.


    Thank you for repeating that. But I am pretty well tuned into to what MLS is doing. Which is why I said up thread another generation or two is needed.

    At some point, TV will become part of their model. It may not be anytime soon, but it will have to happen eventually.

    MLS will likely never overtake Europe, and that is fine. But the goal should be to reach a high level where your top players leave for Europe but the ones who stay behind are also entertaining players. If they can reach a level similar to what the leagues in Mexico and South America are at. that would be outstanding.

    Sidebar: nobody says "the MLB" when talking about baseball. Why do so many people say "the MLS" when talking about MLS? It makes no sense grammatically.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 9:58 am
  • Seahawks1983 wrote:
    Thank you for repeating that. But I am pretty well tuned into to what MLS is doing. Which is why I said up thread another generation or two is needed.

    At some point, TV will become part of their model. It may not be anytime soon, but it will have to happen eventually.

    MLS will likely never overtake Europe, and that is fine. But the goal should be to reach a high level where your top players leave for Europe but the ones who stay behind are also entertaining players. If they can reach a level similar to what the leagues in Mexico and South America are at. that would be outstanding.


    Of course, and as Si said that's probably the #1 reason for MLS cranking out the expansion teams saturating every city they can trying to grow popularity grass roots style.

    I've taken a lot of soccer noobs to Sounders games, and they're blown away by the experience and are now casual Sounders fans. THAT'S who MLS has to get on board..............so that in 10 years when there is a Sunday night MLS game of the week, the casual sports fan will watch.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:03 am
  • It's not a repeat. Although we are probably saying similar things. I look it at more grass roots, and probably focus on the sport itself more than the league. I don't believe two generations would change the structure, profitability or popularity of the MLS in the US under the model it is in. Nor, apparently, do the people who run it. It is very much reaching its peak. Clued in would see the model changing at base level, understanding its connectivity with the development of the youth system, changing the collegiate game, cooperating with high profile international clubs... not on its current pattern of simply expanding to cities where the game is popular and living of attendance numbers.

    A generation of what, exactly, is needed? Many MLS fans think it will just follow its current model, fans will inevitably make the switch and all will be well. But the model the MLS is following has no desire of challenging European leagues for market share or players. And I don't think the MLS sees TV revenue as ever being a necessity to stability or growth, in any generation. Working with and watching the development of now two MLS teams, it is easy to see the focus and long term plans.

    Top international players are not coming to the US to play in the MLS. Not 10 years from now. China and Russia are already stealing that market. Top tier US players won't stay unless they believe it helps their career, regardless of the money being offered. Jordan Morris is the exception (a rare, rare exception). And therein likes the dichotomy. You need to develop coaches and structure to develop players to make your product more viable to actually keeping the players you are developing.

    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league?

    Both can co-exist. But the MLS is a fan experience driven sport, and will remain as such for a long, long time.

    And really, the MLS shouldn't want fans sitting casually watching a Sunday night game on TV. Because regardless of the fan atmosphere, the product isn't worth watching on TV at the moment. It's just not, not casually atleast. Get off your arses and go to the matches. That's the only way they will keep a fan base invested and supporting long term. Then, maybe, a generation from now, a passionate fan base with more butts than seats to seat them in will do both.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:25 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league? .


    I think the Euro snob label comes from longtime die hard soccer fans that go out of their way to make sure you know the MLS is un-watchable to the point of having disdain for it.

    It's OK if you don't like the MLS, but to crap on it making sure everyone knows it's a vastly inferior product and not worth your time is who I consider a Euro snob.

    I love my Liverpool too, but I also love the sport of soccer, so I support my Sounders because I'd love for more people to enjoy what I consider a beautiful sport.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:36 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:It's not a repeat. Although we are probably saying similar things. I look it at more grass roots, and probably focus on the sport itself more than the league. I don't believe two generations would change the structure, profitability or popularity of the MLS in the US under the model it is in. Nor, apparently, do the people who run it. It is very much reaching its peak. Clued in would see the model changing at base level, understanding its connectivity with the development of the youth system, changing the collegiate game, cooperating with high profile international clubs... not on its current pattern of simply expanding to cities where the game is popular and living of attendance numbers.

    A generation of what, exactly, is needed? Many MLS fans think it will just follow its current model, fans will inevitably make the switch and all will be well. But the model the MLS is following has no desire of challenging European leagues for market share or players. And I don't think the MLS sees TV revenue as ever being a necessity to stability or growth, in any generation. Working with and watching the development of now two MLS teams, it is easy to see the focus and long term plans.

    Top international players are not coming to the US to play in the MLS. Not 10 years from now. China and Russia are already stealing that market. Top tier US players won't stay unless they believe it helps their career, regardless of the money being offered. Jordan Morris is the exception (a rare, rare exception). And therein likes the dichotomy. You need to develop coaches and structure to develop players to make your product more viable to actually keeping the players you are developing.

    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league?

    Both can co-exist. But the MLS is a fan experience driven sport, and will remain as such for a long, long time.

    And really, the MLS shouldn't want fans sitting casually watching a Sunday night game on TV. Because regardless of the fan atmosphere, the product isn't worth watching on TV at the moment. It's just not, not casually atleast. Get off your arses and go to the matches. That's the only way they will keep a fan base invested and supporting long term. Then, maybe, a generation from now, a passionate fan base with more butts than seats to seat them in will do both.


    Another generation or two of player development, in the academy systems. And another generation or two of fan development. People who are fans now have kids and pass it down, and then they have kids and pass it down. That kind of longevity helps entrench a team deeper into the community. You've seen it happen with the Mariners and Seahawks over the past 40 years. Those two just had a leg up because they are part of more popular sports.

    I never once said or have ever believed that MLS is going to be a player on the open market for top Euro talent. That is a waste of time. But if we can correct our youth development issues, and start developing legitimate pro players with the occasional star, the league will benefit as a result. I firmly believe that if the league and salaries improve, more players will choose to stay home than go abroad because there will be less incentive to leave. In that ideal scenario, only the very best would benefit from moving abroad.

    And no, Americans who watch the NFL are not "Amerisnobs" for not watching the CFL, for several reasons, first and foremost because it's not an American league. They have little to no connection to it.

    The idea that MLS shouldn't want people watching on TV is absurd. Yes, fans in the stands are preferred and are obviously the target audience, but life has other obligations and not everyone can go to every game. That doesn't even touch on fans who live out of market. For example, if you live in eastern Washington it's impossible to get local Sounders broadcasts. The best you can do is subscribe to MLS Direct Kick and get the opponent feed in low def. People on that side of the mountains can't just get up and go to every game. (it should be noted that local Timbers broadcasts are available over here on ROOT. What a colossal screw up by the Sounders, in my opinion.)
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:37 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league? .


    I think the Euro snob label comes from longtime die hard soccer fans that go out of their way to make sure you know the MLS is un-watchable to the point of having disdain for it.

    It's OK if you don't like the MLS, but to crap on it making sure everyone knows it's a vastly inferior product and not worth your time is who I consider a Euro snob.

    I love my Liverpool too, but I also love the sport of soccer, so I support my Sounders because I'd love for more people to enjoy what I consider a beautiful sport.



    Basically this. And like Si implied, trying to win these people over is a waste of time. I think everyone acknowledges that.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:39 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league? .


    I think the Euro snob label comes from longtime die hard soccer fans that go out of their way to make sure you know the MLS is un-watchable to the point of having disdain for it.

    It's OK if you don't like the MLS, but to crap on it making sure everyone knows it's a vastly inferior product and not worth your time is who I consider a Euro snob.

    I love my Liverpool too, but I also love the sport of soccer, so I support my Sounders because I'd love for more people to enjoy what I consider a beautiful sport.



    I'm with you in all aspects here Sgt.

    And while I may not find the product appealing at the moment, its no worse than what I'm seeing from Liverpool
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:45 am
  • Seahawks1983 wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:It's not a repeat. Although we are probably saying similar things. I look it at more grass roots, and probably focus on the sport itself more than the league. I don't believe two generations would change the structure, profitability or popularity of the MLS in the US under the model it is in. Nor, apparently, do the people who run it. It is very much reaching its peak. Clued in would see the model changing at base level, understanding its connectivity with the development of the youth system, changing the collegiate game, cooperating with high profile international clubs... not on its current pattern of simply expanding to cities where the game is popular and living of attendance numbers.

    A generation of what, exactly, is needed? Many MLS fans think it will just follow its current model, fans will inevitably make the switch and all will be well. But the model the MLS is following has no desire of challenging European leagues for market share or players. And I don't think the MLS sees TV revenue as ever being a necessity to stability or growth, in any generation. Working with and watching the development of now two MLS teams, it is easy to see the focus and long term plans.

    Top international players are not coming to the US to play in the MLS. Not 10 years from now. China and Russia are already stealing that market. Top tier US players won't stay unless they believe it helps their career, regardless of the money being offered. Jordan Morris is the exception (a rare, rare exception). And therein likes the dichotomy. You need to develop coaches and structure to develop players to make your product more viable to actually keeping the players you are developing.

    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league?

    Both can co-exist. But the MLS is a fan experience driven sport, and will remain as such for a long, long time.

    And really, the MLS shouldn't want fans sitting casually watching a Sunday night game on TV. Because regardless of the fan atmosphere, the product isn't worth watching on TV at the moment. It's just not, not casually atleast. Get off your arses and go to the matches. That's the only way they will keep a fan base invested and supporting long term. Then, maybe, a generation from now, a passionate fan base with more butts than seats to seat them in will do both.


    Another generation or two of player development, in the academy systems. And another generation or two of fan development. People who are fans now have kids and pass it down, and then they have kids and pass it down. That kind of longevity helps entrench a team deeper into the community. You've seen it happen with the Mariners and Seahawks over the past 40 years. Those two just had a leg up because they are part of more popular sports.

    I never once said or have ever believed that MLS is going to be a player on the open market for top Euro talent. That is a waste of time. But if we can correct our youth development issues, and start developing legitimate pro players with the occasional star, the league will benefit as a result. I firmly believe that if the league and salaries improve, more players will choose to stay home than go abroad because there will be less incentive to leave. In that ideal scenario, only the very best would benefit from moving abroad.

    And no, Americans who watch the NFL are not "Amerisnobs" for not watching the CFL, for several reasons, first and foremost because it's not an American league. They have little to no connection to it.

    The idea that MLS shouldn't want people watching on TV is absurd. Yes, fans in the stands are preferred and are obviously the target audience, but life has other obligations and not everyone can go to every game. That doesn't even touch on fans who live out of market. For example, if you live in eastern Washington it's impossible to get local Sounders broadcasts. The best you can do is subscribe to MLS Direct Kick and get the opponent feed in low def. People on that side of the mountains can't just get up and go to every game. (it should be noted that local Timbers broadcasts are available over here on ROOT. What a colossal screw up by the Sounders, in my opinion.)



    But you're assuming growth of a product along a different philosophy that the league doesn't currently share. And this is where I believe TV revenue is just far from a priority. Obviously they will provide it, but not in the nature that will make a drastic impact on league revenue (as it does in England and Spain, or even MLB)

    The rest I agree with. The model needs to develop around the grass roots of the sport. The issue, as I stated (and part of what I do for a living) is developing the academy-level models for MLS and USSF teams, and then trying to keep these budding stars.

    Right now, despite the salaries being somewhat equal, younger players are still choosing Europe. I think that speaks volumes of the leagues.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:49 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league? .


    I think the Euro snob label comes from longtime die hard soccer fans that go out of their way to make sure you know the MLS is un-watchable to the point of having disdain for it.

    It's OK if you don't like the MLS, but to crap on it making sure everyone knows it's a vastly inferior product and not worth your time is who I consider a Euro snob.

    I love my Liverpool too, but I also love the sport of soccer, so I support my Sounders because I'd love for more people to enjoy what I consider a beautiful sport.



    I'm with you in all aspects here Sgt.

    And while I may not find the product appealing at the moment, its no worse than what I'm seeing from Liverpool


    Tru7th.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:07 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Uncle Si wrote:
    That's why i find the "euro snob" comment so hypocritical. Fans choose to watch a product with more talented players and a snobs for it? Are fans of the NFL "Ameri snobs" for not watching the Canadian football league? .


    I think the Euro snob label comes from longtime die hard soccer fans that go out of their way to make sure you know the MLS is un-watchable to the point of having disdain for it.

    It's OK if you don't like the MLS, but to crap on it making sure everyone knows it's a vastly inferior product and not worth your time is who I consider a Euro snob.

    I love my Liverpool too, but I also love the sport of soccer, so I support my Sounders because I'd love for more people to enjoy what I consider a beautiful sport.



    I'm with you in all aspects here Sgt.

    And while I may not find the product appealing at the moment, its no worse than what I'm seeing from Liverpool

    At least your English team is still in the PL. :(
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 11:20 am
  • I feel for you Seatown... makes you wonder if clubs like City or Chelsea, with all that Sheikh and steel money would ever survive if the rug is pulled (I think Glasgow made a comment on that recently)
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:06 pm
  • Ultimately it is money. If MLS teams could afford to pay for top talent outwith their DP's players would come. Foreign players already move to arm pits of the world in China and Russia for cash and cash only. Same to an extent in England. Places like Stoke, Birmingham, Sunderland, Bournemouth are hardly great places to play and live. Don't kid yourself that it is glamorous playing for a lower EPL team and getting humped off the top teams. The majority of these towns and stadiums are sh*tholes.

    Money talks. Obviously money and playing in a world city helps like New York or LA is a bonus. Less attractive places like Columbus would still get okay players if it paid the same as lower EPL teams throughout their squad.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:19 pm
  • Glasgow Seahawk wrote:Ultimately it is money. If MLS teams could afford to pay for top talent outwith their DP's players would come. Foreign players already move to arm pits of the world in China and Russia for cash and cash only. Same to an extent in England. Places like Stoke, Birmingham, Sunderland, Bournemouth are hardly great places to play and live. Don't kid yourself that it is glamorous playing for a lower EPL team and getting humped off the top teams. The majority of these towns and stadiums are sh*tholes.

    Money talks. Obviously money and playing in a world city helps like New York or LA is a bonus. Less attractive places like Columbus would still get okay players if it paid the same as lower EPL teams throughout their squad.


    Right, but unless the TV revenue is there to pay for that top talent, why would an MLS owner want a huge payroll even if it meant a better product because of better talent?

    The MLS cap is where it's at because that's the revenue threshold of poor TV ratings but good season ticket and merchandise sales. I'm just guessing on this part, because the MLS and Garber have awful transparency............I assume because that's how the owners like it.

    If not, why are cities and ownership groups pulling hamstrings to get clubs? Someone's making money.
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:29 pm
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Glasgow Seahawk wrote:Ultimately it is money. If MLS teams could afford to pay for top talent outwith their DP's players would come. Foreign players already move to arm pits of the world in China and Russia for cash and cash only. Same to an extent in England. Places like Stoke, Birmingham, Sunderland, Bournemouth are hardly great places to play and live. Don't kid yourself that it is glamorous playing for a lower EPL team and getting humped off the top teams. The majority of these towns and stadiums are sh*tholes.

    Money talks. Obviously money and playing in a world city helps like New York or LA is a bonus. Less attractive places like Columbus would still get okay players if it paid the same as lower EPL teams throughout their squad.


    Right, but unless the TV revenue is there to pay for that top talent, why would an MLS owner want a huge payroll even if it meant a better product because of better talent?

    The MLS cap is where it's at because that's the revenue threshold of poor TV ratings but good season ticket and merchandise sales. I'm just guessing on this part, because the MLS and Garber have awful transparency............I assume because that's how the owners like it.

    If not, why are cities and ownership groups pulling hamstrings to get clubs? Someone's making money.



    Many MLS clubs have increased in value over the years. But how many clubs turn a profit on a year over year basis?
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Re: MLS
Fri Feb 05, 2016 3:42 pm
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    Glasgow Seahawk wrote:Ultimately it is money. If MLS teams could afford to pay for top talent outwith their DP's players would come. Foreign players already move to arm pits of the world in China and Russia for cash and cash only. Same to an extent in England. Places like Stoke, Birmingham, Sunderland, Bournemouth are hardly great places to play and live. Don't kid yourself that it is glamorous playing for a lower EPL team and getting humped off the top teams. The majority of these towns and stadiums are sh*tholes.

    Money talks. Obviously money and playing in a world city helps like New York or LA is a bonus. Less attractive places like Columbus would still get okay players if it paid the same as lower EPL teams throughout their squad.


    Right, but unless the TV revenue is there to pay for that top talent, why would an MLS owner want a huge payroll even if it meant a better product because of better talent?

    The MLS cap is where it's at because that's the revenue threshold of poor TV ratings but good season ticket and merchandise sales. I'm just guessing on this part, because the MLS and Garber have awful transparency............I assume because that's how the owners like it.

    If not, why are cities and ownership groups pulling hamstrings to get clubs? Someone's making money.


    Agreed but you have to wonder how sustainable tv money is in the next 20 years, especially with cable cutters.
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Re: MLS
Sat Feb 06, 2016 1:47 pm
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    knownone wrote:MLS has a built in audience that is largely untapped. EPL and Liga MX get great ratings, if MLS can find away to tap into that market we'd start to see MLS as a top league as far as TV ratings are concerned. I think the ratings will come, it takes time to grow viewership on a national level. MLS unfortunately lacks the history and prestige to interest the casual soccer fan on a national level, that is obviously a major appeal to a lot of EPL fans, there is rich history everywhere, that makes even a rivalry between Tottenham and West Ham feel like must watch television. Now we do see rivalries like the Galaxy vs Sounders getting 5x the viewers of normal primetime games which show that their is an audience if the product is there.



    I disagree here. The MLS will never grab a hold of the TV market in a significant manner, for a variety of reasons. And I think the MLS is fine with that.

    The EPL grabs a lions share of the TV ratings for three reasons: a. the drama. b. the players. c. the atmosphere. It's not the best league in terms of overall talent, but it is the most competitive. The atmosphere at each game is palpable, and while the teams that US fans support have centuries old followings to get behind, it is the support in those stadiums that fans are drawn to. Most importantly, games are played, well, in England. US fans can't just "go" to a Spurs match.

    MLS support is founded on two things: a love for soccer, and the in stadium experience. Major supporters want to encapsulate even an inkling of what they see on NBC live from September-May at Anfield, White Hart Lane, etc. They want the atmosphere. They want to sing songs, hiss at opponents and go crazy with 100s of others when a goal is scored. The product on the field is almost secondary. For an MLS fan... they want to BE at the game. Sure they will watch the team away, but its not MUST SEE TV. Every EPL game is for fans of teams there because that is the only way to enjoy the team.

    That's my .02 cents. TV isn't, and shouldn't, be a major focus of the MLS. The fan experience is what matters. Give the fans a reason to come to the game. Give them an opportunity to have fun while they are there.

    I'm 100% in agreement with you, and I hope I didn't imply otherwise, I was trying to convey a lot what you said and must have missed the mark.

    I think MLS has a long way to go to even come close to the drama and prestige of the EPL, but I do view the Euro snobs, Liga MX fans, hell football fans in general as potential MLS fans. In my mind from a business perspective that is the biggest challenge for MLS over the next 10-20 years, maybe not the most important, but definitely the most challenging.
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Re: MLS
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:43 am
  • To support the importance of TV revenue (and i clearly underestimated this when stating the MLS "isn't concerned." How could they not be)

    115 million were expected to watch the Super Bowl last night, 160 million worldwide. Does not include internet streaming.

    650 million tuned in world wide to watch Chelsea vs. United hours before. More importantly, 1.35 million watched in the US.

    Now, the numbers for the Super Bowl do not count internet streams (CBS made the game available via their site) and NBC's live app lets you watch it on your phone anywhere (which I did). Either way, on first glance, more people in the US watched a mid season game between two mid-table teams in the Premier league than the pinnacle event of its more popular sport... on the same day.

    EDIT: I'm an idiot... it was 1.38 not 138...bit of a difference.

    But again, these are TV numbers.
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Re: MLS
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:47 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:To support the importance of TV revenue (and i clearly underestimated this when stating the MLS "isn't concerned." How could they not be)

    115 million were expected to watch the Super Bowl last night, 160 million worldwide. Does not include internet streaming.

    650 million tuned in world wide to watch Chelsea vs. United hours before. More importantly, 135 million watched in the US.

    Now, the numbers for the Super Bowl do not count internet streams (CBS made the game available via their site) and NBC's live app lets you watch it on your phone anywhere (which I did). Either way, on first glance, more people in the US watched a mid season game between two mid-table teams in the Premier league than the pinnacle event of its more popular sport... on the same day.


    Do you have a source for this?

    I thought Super Bowl 50 was the 2nd most watched program in American history, right behind Super Bowl 49. But admittedly I find the way TV numbers are reported confusing.
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Re: MLS
Mon Feb 08, 2016 10:57 am
  • I'm an idiot..

    it was 1.38 not 138 million.

    Neither number counts streaming and international broadcasts, however. The 650 million was reported by Sky Sports based on the fan base of both competing clubs.
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Re: MLS
Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:50 pm

Re: MLS
Mon Feb 29, 2016 3:14 pm
  • SeatownJay wrote:Sounds like Tim Howard will be the latest USMNT player to leave Europe to play in MLS after losing his starting spot at Everton.

    http://www.espnfc.com/soccer-transfers/ ... om-everton


    I love Howard, but 2M a year for a goalie DP IMO is a bad deal for Colorado. Is he going to be exponentially better than a good MLS goalie that makes 300k a year? Hard to imagine that kind of return.
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Re: MLS
Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:20 am
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:
    SeatownJay wrote:Sounds like Tim Howard will be the latest USMNT player to leave Europe to play in MLS after losing his starting spot at Everton.

    http://www.espnfc.com/soccer-transfers/ ... om-everton


    I love Howard, but 2M a year for a goalie DP IMO is a bad deal for Colorado. Is he going to be exponentially better than a good MLS goalie that makes 300k a year? Hard to imagine that kind of return.


    USMNT legend now playing in the heart of the USMNT (and probably soccer in America). I think its more about that value than his field value.
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Re: MLS
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:32 am
  • Uncle Si wrote:
    Sgt. Largent wrote:
    SeatownJay wrote:Sounds like Tim Howard will be the latest USMNT player to leave Europe to play in MLS after losing his starting spot at Everton.

    http://www.espnfc.com/soccer-transfers/ ... om-everton


    I love Howard, but 2M a year for a goalie DP IMO is a bad deal for Colorado. Is he going to be exponentially better than a good MLS goalie that makes 300k a year? Hard to imagine that kind of return.


    USMNT legend now playing in the heart of the USMNT (and probably soccer in America). I think its more about that value than his field value.


    For sure, he's going to sell some kits........and middle tier clubs like Colorado can't be picky when it comes to DP's, especially USMNT DP's.

    Just saying for the value, I can't see the Rapids getting 2M of production out of a keeper.
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Re: MLS
Thu Mar 03, 2016 9:58 am
  • No, not on the field. The skillsets between elite keepers and the next level and so on isn't that extraordinary.
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Re: MLS
Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:24 am
  • Hope Sounders fans aren't excited to see Drogba on April 2nd.

    http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2016/03 ... a-turf-mls

    I wonder if the Impact and Garber knew Drogba was going to refuse to play in turf matches when they coughed up 4 Million a year. Makes me think he's being a pain in the ass over the Impact refusing to let him go back to Chelsea for a final season.
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Re: MLS
Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:13 pm
  • Sgt. Largent wrote:Hope Sounders fans aren't excited to see Drogba on April 2nd.

    http://www.si.com/planet-futbol/2016/03 ... a-turf-mls

    I wonder if the Impact and Garber knew Drogba was going to refuse to play in turf matches when they coughed up 4 Million a year. Makes me think he's being a pain in the ass over the Impact refusing to let him go back to Chelsea for a final season.

    Meh. Thierry Henry often refused to play on turf, too, when he was with the Red Bulls.
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Re: MLS
Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:58 pm
  • Timbers!!!!
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Re: MLS
Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:25 am
  • Here's a really nice article on the US Soccer pyramid, focusing on the battle between NASL and USL and how MLS is affecting the future of the pyramid. It makes pretty clear that pro/rel is never coming to the US, or at least to MLS.

    http://midfieldpress.com/2016/08/03/the ... under-mls/
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Re: MLS
Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:40 am
  • Its an interesting article. Not much new in it, just confirming the natural direction. The NASL has been the step-child of professional US Soccer the last decade, operating more as an independent league than any type of affiliate.

    The issue of promotion-relegation is not in the strength of the systems, but the strength in the fan base. The MLS does not believe it's smaller markets could hold enough interest should they be relegated to a 2nd tier (American's love winners).

    The MLS-USL-PDL will continue its development, with or without promotion. The MLS teams are continuing to expand their brands and reach through affiliations (this extends to reserve teams, reserve affiliates, and youth affiliates). The NASL will continue to stand separate until it decides its better to enter into the USL agreement. I don't see them doing that (they actually do quite well) until their is a promotion-relegation set up.

    Without complication, the tiered set up could easily go MLS-NASL-USL and PDL operates as an academy/semi-pro operation. Unfortunately, market factors are holding it all back.
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