(K. Brent Tomer),
ON NOVEMBER 13th the New York Cosmos won the North American Soccer League (NASL) title, beating the Indy Eleven on penalty kicks in the final. In every other football-playing country in the world, their triumph would have been cause for outright jubilation: the champions of the second division invariably rise up to the top tier the following season, where they benefit both from the challenge of facing the toughest competition and from the windfall profits associated with higher gate, broadcast and merchandise income. But no such pot of gold awaits the Cosmos, who also claimed the NASL title in 2015, 2013 and 2012. Because Major League Soccer (MLS), the first division, maintains a closed-league structure—de rigueur for American team sports, but unique in the context of global football—all the Cosmos have to look forward to is another year of mediocre opposition and ho-hum revenues. Similarly, no matter how poorly the worst team in MLS performs, its slot in the league is never in doubt.
In recent years a small groundswell of advocates have mounted an increasingly vocal campaign for football in the United States to adopt the global standard of promotion and relegation…Continue reading