A few sources have stated that the TOA (Team Owners Association) is meeting with MLS this week and both groups are trying to make some deal that might create every promotion/relegation lovers wet dream... MLS2. I must point out that no one has come forward and confirmed this news yet. I bring it to you only for the sake of argument and will leave the breaking story (if in fact this meeting took place) to the actual journalists.
That being said I find the prospect of a possible MLS2 intriguing. The fact that both parties are willing to talk is a good thing and in my opinion this would give better credibility to MLS and the TOA in the eyes of the soccer world. But for something like this to work the TOA has stated in the past that they want control of their new league. Would MLS want the teams to buy into the league? How much would they ask as an entry fee? Will the TOA be forced to work under a salary cap? So many questions.
It appears the TOA are aggressively looking at all the options. But I think starting a League from scratch would be very difficult and costly. They either talk to USL and make up or pursue an agreement with MLS.
I think the MLS option is a good one. MLS gets a second division for free, as opposed to buying all the USL (which included USL1, USL2, PDL, etc) All MLS would have to do is give the TOA the name (for which they pay a fee) and let them run themselves. The relegation/promotion idea though ideal for many wont happen anytime soon so forget about it people! MLS doesn't have to cherry pick teams off of USL anymore. They have many teams to pick from now. So if say San Jose or Kansas City can't continue in MLS anymore then they can pick a team from MLS2 that has a good ownership group, a SSS and a large fan base. I make it sound easy and it's not but this is my fantasy damn it!
Would South Florida fans support an MLS2 team? I've read on this blog all the comments and on other sites that fans want MLS in Miami and not a USL team. The Fact is Miami FC/Traffic has done a terrible job to get the word out that there is a team in Miami. I have spoken to many Soccer fans who have told me they never knew the team existed. Miami FC fans have done their part. I started this blog and I have done my part to get the word out. I have even given away my own season tickets to get some of these people to the stadiums and so have other Miami FC fans most notably the Miami Ultras, but fans can only do so much, it's not enough. Next year if we have a team, Traffic needs to prove they want Miami FC to exist and spend some money and put some signs out in front of the stadiums and out in the city. If Miami FC actually puts some effort, spends the money and still fails then I'll be the first to say "Ok, this market sucks!" But I'm convinced that if the product is good. If the effort is made and if the organization is there, that South Florida will succeed like the Strikers were successful back in the NASL days and like the Miami Fusion were becoming in their final year in MLS.
I can go on. But I'd like your take on all this. Do you think MLS2 is a good idea? Would you support a South Florida team in MLS2?
UPDATE 4:54 PM - 9/16/09:
As Burrito noted in a comment below. It's confirmed that Miami FC spoke to MLS!
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports it is Aaron Davidson of Miami FC who is in NY but he is not sure if it is in representation of the TOA. Read more: