A North American Super League: Will It Happen?

Joel Barker@joelabarkerSenior Writer IAugust 14, 2009

I preface every soccer article that I write with the disclaimer that I am still relatively new to the game so anything I say that sounds ridiculous is probably from my relative lack of knowledge about the game. And yes, I refer to the sport as soccer because American football is king in the States and in my mind, plus it’s just confusing to me.  

Soccer, however, is rocketing up the charts in my sports fandom. I love soccer and I find myself getting offended anytime someone disparages the sport—which unfortunately happens quite a bit in the States.

I have dove completely into the deep end and I’m super excited about seeing the sport grow over here.  

I’ve written in the past about our local NPSL club in Chattanooga; about how the popularity of the sport is vastly growing in our area; about the tremendous fan support, which led to the that largest home crowds of any NPSL team in the country, in its two-month inaugural season.

The US national team is helping to grow the sport as well. Unfortunately they didn’t capitalize on the momentum that resulted from the enormous upset of Spain in June, but there is still more and more coverage being devoted to soccer in the U.S.  

Yesterday, while preparing to watch the match against Mexico, I came across an interesting column on the Sports Illustrated website.

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One of my favorite soccer writers, Grant Wahl, was previewing the game and brought up an interesting thought that I had not previously heard.  

Wahl talked about the possibility of merging leagues from the U.S. and Mexico to create a North American Super League.

The very suggestion made my ears perk up in much the same way that my wife’s standard poodle’s ears do when we say the phrase, “bye-bye” to one of our children.  

Wahl was quick to point out that such an event might be a decade or longer in the making, but nonetheless it brought some interesting ideas to mind.

I can watch the MLS now. That has not always been the case. It still does not even closely compare to the English Premier League in my mind.  

I love to watch Everton play, mainly because of Tim Howard, but I have quickly learned to enjoy the team and its style of play.

I love the competition and higher level of play in the European leagues.   

But I simply do not see that when I watch an MLS match. I personally get more out of the NPSL. That’s probably because I’m there in the tremendous atmosphere that soccer tends to bring, but the point is still that the MLS bores me for the most part.

Obviously being relatively new to soccer I don’t know much about the Mexican Premier League or any other Mexican league, but I know how big soccer is down there. I understand the passion that our neighbors to the south have for the most popular sport in the world.  

In my opinion, aligning the MLS and/or other U.S. leagues with leagues from Mexico can only help the sport in this country. I personally believe soccer would even begin to rival some of our many professional sports in the States. That’s what I wish to see in America—a viable, popular soccer super league that rivals the NHL, NBA, NFL, and MLB.

Help me out. Can you envision a North American Super League? Does that concept mean anything to you? What are some other positives or negatives to this possibility?

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