Dear Billy Haisley, I recently read another MLS article you wrote today and it strikes a nerve. I've come to expect many things from Deadspin and enjoy most of them, but this takes the cake. Your anti-MLS bias shows yet again. You clearly don't like the league and believe that your position at Deadspin entitles you to have the "WE PUSH AROUND ESPN SO I CAN PUSH AROUND ANYONE" attitude and it's getting pretty silly.
I'm not the biggest fan of the Atlanta expansion for some of those reasons but it's more stable than you made it seem. Terminus Legion, their supporter's group, has already been formed from the long established NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks' fan groups and seems to be growing by the day. They sold out last year's Soccer Bowl NASL championship game long before anyone knew they were going to get blown off the map by non salary capped New York Cosmos.
You talk about St. Louis being a more deserving candidate but you fail to realize that the reason they're never considered is the main factor you hate the Atlanta idea: money and local ownership. When Albert Pujols left town, the Collinsville, IL plan died and MLS expansion plans truly hit rock bottom after the collapse of AC St. Louis. But you would know this if you truly enjoyed American soccer eh?
Complete and total face palm in your comments towards the Chivas USA sale to MLS. It wasn't a cash flip that caused Jorge Vergara to sell CUSA back to Don Garber, it was the fact that the Chivas brand wasn't working in LA like he had intended and the league truly wanted him out and wanted to rebrand the franchise plus add local ownership in a way that Mr. Vergara could never understand. He got his cash, MLS got a restart, it was an overall win but you neglect to point that out. Woof.
Gotta applaud you overall on your MLS ignorance towards teams like Sporting Kansas City and their benches. The highest paid player and only designated player on the team, Claudio Bieler, has been playing mainly off the bench at SKC after the rise of Dom Dwyer. You'd recognize this if you'd WATCHED THE FREAKING 2013 MLS CUP PLAYOFFS AS A WHOLE. What was the last game you watched, Chivas USA vs New York Red Bulls in 2007?
One last thing, you say that the league is being watered down by all this addition, yet don't look at the results. There has never been so much parity in American soccer since the arrival of the designated player rule in 2007. 6 different teams have lifted the trophy and 9 different teams have made an appearance in the championship game. In a league that had a dominant David Beckham for 6 seasons, it took him in his second to last year to finally lift that trophy that got oh so close to him several times. He learned, like many others, that MLS is more physical and fair than the so called European powers.
Gimme my American soccer, where at the beginning of each season, I know my squad has a chance, compared to Europe, where 4 teams in each league might get into the top 2. Gimme my local hometown team, players that aren't paid too much and afraid to have any contact with public. I could grow up ignoring a local MLS side, or I could embrace it, and watch that MLS team potentially grow to be one of the world's best. Don't dog America's league, it's ours.