FBF Glossary: The Parity Police

The world game is rife with leagues dominated by a handful of clubs. The Prem takes turns passing the baton between the Big 4. La Liga often boils down to a two-horse race. The Bundesliga title race is only interesting when Bayern are faltering. Juve and the Milans face only limited competition from the Rome sides. And that's not even factoring in all of the second and third tier leagues that regularly send the same sides to be eliminated in continental qualification matches.

But MLS? Oh, MLS has no pre-ordained aristocracy. Oh, DC United may have pretensions based upon their trophy haul in the early days, but hell, they may not even exist in a few years if they can't find a permanent home.

No, MLS instead operates under the jackbooted heel of the Parity Police, the nebulous karmic energy fashioned from joint ownership, salary caps, the SuperDraft, and continued expansion (replete with corresponding expansion drafts), all of which conspire to keep any one team from having any sort of lasting dominance. What we're left with is summed up by the state of the league heading into the final week of the 2009 regular season.

Twelve of the fifteen teams still alive for playoff spots. Six of those twelve sit within three points of each other in and around the fringes of the playoffs. The Western Conference leader board boasts three teams tied for the league and a fourth just one point back. The second-placed team in the league only boasts a +3 goal difference. Three teams with realistic playoff aspirations have negative goal differences. Even the strongest team in the league (Columbus) won't win more than half of its games this year. In fact, they'll draw at least a third of their matches. Heck, of the sides currently in playoff positions, only Chivas USA hasn't drawn right around a third of their games.

Those, my friends, are the skull-bashings, finger-fracturings, and determined truncheon-work of MLS's lovely Parity Police in action...


  1. So its good or bad, MLS follows a bad concept, In my opinion, what makes the Clubs in Europe so big an amusing its the history of dominance over the rest, in their country and in Europe (Uefa Champions, Europa League..) lets take the example of Barcelona, who won the three competitions, Copa del Rey, Champions, La Liga, if soccer was managed like you state by a party police its would be impossible to the mentioned before happen, and maybe a party police makes more reachable to other teams, but it takes the taste and flavor of following a good team. Thats soccer will never be based on terms like the MLS follows( I mean soccer worldwide) because we dont care about the others winning, we only care for our team to win, win, win, and win! so following the concepts of drafts and such things takes out the pleasures. The drafts are replaced with the sub-teams ( Canteras, Filiales) I am refering taking for example the Barca B, the Real Castilla, SEvilla B, they form players and thats the so called "Draft", my intention inst to tell you are wrong and your way to manage soccer sucks, indeed I am telling that in my way of seeing things you damage the image of what soccer is and has been about.


  2. Party Police?

    Thanks for the entertaining comment, Rod, but you clearly missed the sarcastic tone of the post. I'm certainly not arguing "for" parity and the spread of MLS-style leagues around the world.

    With all of that said, I think you're making a bad argument anyway. If I read you right, you seem to be saying that everybody should follow a "good" team and only care about winning. I can't agree with either of those points. Where does following the local team fit into your picture? What role do aesthetics and style of play have in your "win, win, and win!" universe?

    I'm afraid it's not fans like me who "damage the image of what soccer is."

  3. Thank you for the reply, after re'reading the original post I understood some point I didnt the first time, I am not accusing you to be a bad fan as you refer [I'm afraid it's not fans like me who "damage the image of what soccer is."] I am telling that the MLS is the one that damages the image of what soccer is, in response of those two well done arguments you plan, you are totally right. The thing is that there is no local team that is worth supporting, in your case may be the opposite, and in response of style I certainly am in favor of a really nice and virtous soocer game, probably we were talking of two difrent things, the whole point of my previous comment is that MLS its based on a misconception of the term SOCCER, and that they damage the essence of sport by using drafts...

    on the party police, just spelling mistakes due the fast and unorganized ideas.