While you ponder what exactly the TPL might be, I've managed to collect a few intriguing links from around the internet to further stimulate your mind.
Soccer, perhaps more than the traditionally relevant and entrenched sports leagues in the United States, is about looking to, and preparing for, the future. Intelligent people are on the job all over the country, including L.E. Eisenmenger at Soccerlens; her piece there today proposes a youth transfer fee system in the United States, something which could help bridge the gap between the massive youth clubs our country possesses and the new-on-the-scene MLS clubs.
L.E.'s suggestion makes sense on several levels, and while the details would certainly have to be worked out, fixing the disconnect should be a priority for US Soccer, Major League Soccer, and those that run youth clubs around the country. If the clubs have incentive to develop players for the professional ranks, much of the animosity that exists between the two levels could be washed away, making for a more productive environment for the game in the U.S.
- Also a nod towards the future and building the game in the US is the launch of USSoccerProject.com, a site that will provide a free online hub for the sport in America. Audacious in its aims, the US Soccer Project's corporate backer, Elite Design Corporation, plans to purchase a European club "to enhance player development and bridge the gap between the U.S. youth system and the structure of youth soccer around the world". It will be extremely interesting to see where this site goes, and if their ambitious goals are achievable.
- Coming on the heels of last week's announcement that the MLS Cup Final will be moved to prime-time as well as cable comes one writer's call for the game to move away from neutral sites. The argument here is that MLS is wrong to follow the "NFL model", and should instead move to be more in line with South America's Copa Libertadores (a two-legged final). I'm fine with a two-legged final in each finalists home stadium, but I chafe a bit at the idea that the series should take place on consecutive Wednesdays in order to limit competition for attention. Then again, does MLS really need to play their final on a weekend up against American football?
- Our last link for today relates to a unfulfilled future, and one that has faded fast in recent times. Extrafootie remembers when Freddy Adu was America's chosen one, and throws salt in the wound with a video highlight package of the young phenom. I still feel for Freddy, who was never placed in a position to develop naturally because of the hype that surrounded him. You have to wonder if he would have become a great player if he was either not American or had come after someone else had blazed the trail that it seems he was forced to. Although different players in style and talent, it's worth considering whether Jozy Altidore would have become the player he is today if Freddy Adu hadn't come before him.
And now the part I always forget: Deep Cuts will attempt (but not always manage) to bring you soccer links from off the beaten path on a daily basis. If you come across something you think would make a good Deep Cut, please send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.