Jurgen Klinsmann, the US Men’s National Team head coach spoke to the German paper Rheinische Post after his side beat the Netherlands 4-3 on Friday. He praised his side for a hard fought win and talked about how he believes the MLS would benefit from adapting the promotion/relegation system. Almost every other soccer league in the world has some variation of the relegation system which keeps the league competitive even if you are one of the worst teams.
The MLS has been growing rapidly in recent years with new franchises set to be introduced in a number of markets. By 2020, the MLS is set to epand to 24 teams which will add more competition to the league. That being said, it doesn’t necesarily add the same kind of urgency for teams that are at the bottom of the league since there is no threat for them unlike in the European leagues where, “Something is at stake week in, week out. Be it at the top or at the bottom, you always have to perform.”
Klinsmann acknoledges the benefits of such a system and also understand that limitations of such a system with the way the MLS runs their teams. With each franchise being owned by investors, it would be difficult to convince them to accept playing in a second divison league. “This thrill of the relegation battle is non-existent in the U.S. league. The risk for club investors to all of a sudden play in the second league would be too high. But the sporting side would benefit from it. Our players from Europe know that. That furthers our national team.”