|This may not be an entirely accurate headline, since it's from before the actual formation of MLS (December 1993). However it is a remarkable statement, when you think about it. It's from the 1990 World Cup media guide, put out by the USSF. The 1994 World Cup had been awarded to the USA, and a commitment to starting a new league was part of the deal. In the section called "Soccer in the USA" and under the title "The Future of Pro Soccer," here's what it says:|
The U.S. Soccer Federation has developed a plan for the reorganization of professional soccer in the United States. The plan calls for a First, Second and Third Division professional structure, with a system of promotion and relegation that will be unique to American professional sports. Under the new system, any community in America, provided it meets the proper standards, could field a team in the new professional league.That's unbelievable. Who knows how long this idea lasted, but we can say with 100% certainty that pro/rel was part of the original plan. Also, this will be especially useful in any arguments made on Bigsoccer in the future :). FIFA helped Alan Rothenberg defeat USSF president Werner Fricker later that year, so that could've squashed any thought of it. If Fricker had remained president, would things have turned out differently?
Although there is no specific timetable to the beginning of this new league, the U.S. Soccer Federation is in the process of establishing rigorous membership standards, after which various teams around the United States will have the opportunity to apply for acceptance.