clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Pro-Soccer in North America Expands

Yes, this is more on the TOA v NuRock battle.  After the USL announcement that they would be expanding to Baltimore, to Detroit, to Ottawa and Edmonton on top of their previous plans of New York city and Tampa Bay the TOA responded with a formal announcement that they would be apply for 2nd tier status in the USA and 1st tier status in Canada.

While many seem to think this will spell doom for second tier soccer in the USA/Canada, there is something that we can learn when looking at a map.  To be clear, Duane is correct that the USL has the upper hand, but the TOA has the larger markets, for one year only.

But let's look at that map first.  The Pacific and Mountain Time Zones are nearly empty.  Even in the best case scenario with the Whitecaps starting a team in Victoria while having their Senior team in Vancouver the two Western timezones would only have 10 teams of the 43 professional teams in the four leagues.

And yet, those two time zones have basically 1/3 of the population of the USA/Canada.  From a marketing standpoint they have the most successful team in MLS history.  They have the two of the three most followed teams in the USL-1.

So even if the dream of reconciliation occurs and the TOA and the USL make nice, there is still a HUGE opportunity for growth of the North American game.  Particularly in places like Vegas, Phoenix, Calgary, Sacramento, San Diego, maybe even Boise.  The South still has a few holes, in places like Birmingham, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans, but when we consider all places that could be considered "pro" the USA and Canada would wind up represented fairly well in this game.

IF the dream of reconciliation and a little bit of cooperation between the leagues can occur.  With the national Cups and the Leagues we could see this thing take off, or Duane could be right.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Sounder At Heart Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A twice weekly roundup of Seattle Sounders and OL Reign news from Sounder at Heart