The Pitfalls For New Franchises In The MLS

July 30, 2021
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After all the work that goes on behind the scenes to get a franchise started up and ready to feature in the MLS, making sure the squad is competitive from the off can be difficult.

MLS newcomers Inter Miami have found it tough going in the first half of their second season, but they are not the only ones to take time to settle into the rigors of the MLS.

Miami Taking Time to Adapt

Former Manchester United defender and England international Phil Neville is the man who has been tasked with taking Inter Miami forward. It has been a tricky start for the former England women’s head coach, who has a squad with a real mix of quality and experience. On one hand Neville can call upon stars such as veteran striker Gonzalo Higuain and midfielder Blaise Matuidi, but on the other hand, most of the squad is relatively inexperienced.

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There can be value to be had in the MLS 2021/2022 season odds for sides winning away from home at the newer franchises, with Inter Miami being a prime example. The Florida outfit managed just two wins from their opening 11 games of the season, which shows how tough it can be to get up to speed with the competition. With ambitious club president David Beckham working behind the scenes, Inter Miami should become a competitive team going forward, but these things don’t just happen overnight.

Related: Willian Set To Leave Arsenal In Summer

Newcomers Can Take Atlanta Inspiration

Looking ahead to teams that are set to join the MLS in the coming years, Charlotte FC and St. Louis City SC will be looking to avoid the same pitfalls as Inter Miami and Austin FC. Charlotte will join for their debut season in 2022, with St. Louis entering the competition the following year.

Both franchises could do worse than to follow the example of Atlanta United, who became only the third team to reach the MLS playoffs in their inaugural season. The Georgia outfit managed to also lead the league in attendance that first season in 2017, averaging more than 48,000 for the team’s home games at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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Being able to share the same stadium as the city’s NFL side, the Atlanta Falcons, really looked like it helped capture the imagination of local supporters to get behind the new franchise. United also wear the same black and red colours as their American Football playing compatriots, which again seems to have been a smart move.

Of course, impressive new stadiums and good looking kits are not the reason teams are successful on the field, but it has certainly not done Atlanta United any harm. No doubt Charlotte and St. Louis will be doing all they can to make positive starts to life in the MLS, but as Inter Miami have shown, it can take time.

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