Tournaments needed in Texas, Florida and California
Open Cup tournaments year to year for pro and semi-pro clubs of the individual states of Texas, Florida and California should be the norm, just as these same clubs participate in or try to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup year to year.
This kind of competition would seem to make common sense. Bringing each of the teams from NPSL, USL, NASL and MLS together to crown a state champion could be great for the game. The tournament would create lots of media interest, generate sponsorships and rally fan bases.
Getting it done would take cooperation from USSF and the individual Soccer state organizations. It would take sanctioning, innovation and leadership. It would mean making a tournament into something worth playing for and giving fans something to remember year in and year out.
Let’s face it. It will probably not get done at anytime in the near future, mainly due to organizational restraints, such as communication and a general lack of innovation.
Fans would love it, but forget about what the fans want. U.S. pro Soccer is stuck in neutral and nobody seems to be able to agree on anything. U.S. pro Soccer as an entity is having an identity problem and it seems to becoming more and more regionalized.
Texas, Florida and California Soccer associations need to assert themselves more and try to gain more power within the game. Negotiations may be possible with CONCACAF for a berth to the Champions League Cup.
But even is there is no automatic Cup to qualify for, the pride of taking the title should be enough incentive. Of course, sponsorship could make the bottom line easier as well.
Hopefully, fans won’t have to wait till these states secede from the Union to see their own tournament come to fruition.
Is that what it will take to get these tournaments off the ground? Could pro Soccer’s current trend towards regionalization be a precursor towards the disintegration of the U.S. of A.?