Single-Entity and North American SoccerΓÇÖs Struggle for Survival


  • David Kilpatrick Mercy College



Major League Soccer [MLS] was formed using a single-entity ownership model as an antidote to professional soccer’s history of failure in North America. While the league and its supporters credit single-entity as the key to sustainability, detractors cite this model as a key factor in the sport’s still relatively marginalized status among professional team sports domestically, as well as the league’s poor (if perhaps improving) reputation globally. This paper will explore the historical reasons for choosing this ownership model, examine the relative success or failure of this model, and question if  league’s single-entity structure is the best recipe long-term success for professional soccer in North America.

Author Biography

David Kilpatrick, Mercy College

Currently Chair of Literature and Language at Mercy College, David Kilpatrick holds a PhD in comparative literature and MA in philosophy from Binghamton University.  He is the Club Historian of the New York Cosmos. He has coached youth, scholastic and collegiate soccer and is the Section 3 Coach Trainer of the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO), overseeing coaching education in the northeastern United States for AYSO.  He is the former President of Arsenal America and Rivertowns United FC.  His writing on sport has appeared in The New York Times, Soccer & Society, Aethlon and The Journal of Sport History, and he is a member of the editorial boards of Soccer & Society and The Agonist.   His latest book, Obrigado: A Futebol Epic, is a collection of poems on the 2014 FIFA World Cup, available as a book by Beadle and compact disc/digital download by 24 Hour Service Station.


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