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[OC] The Best MLS Player from Each Country That's Fielded One: Part 1 (UEFA)

Throughout its first 25 years, Major League Soccer has seen players from all different corners of the globe, each with their own career story. Whether it be a guy like Tim Melia or Chris Wondolowski who were scrappy guys that came out of nowhere to be stars in this league, or world famous names such as Zlatan, Beckham, and Henry, the league's history of big names is as diverse as they come.
Let's take a look at the best player from each country around the globe. This will be based on national team allegiance. Today, we'll be leading with Europe!
Please note that this is my opinion, and in some cases the decisions were tough; I'll be sure to add in honorable mentions where I can, or add notes.
Albania: Shkëlzen Gashi ( COL 2016-18)
Short list to pick from here, as Gashi's only competition is Jahmir Hyka and Hamdi Salihi. Gashi gets the nod, if nothing else, for his huge 2016 season, where he scored 10 regular season goals (one of which was that year's Goal of the Year) as the Rapids damn near won the Shield. The madlad then went and one-upped that with his absurd equalizer in the playoffs against the Galaxy.
His last two years weren't as fruitful, but man, when he was on he could pull something out of nowhere.
Armenia: Yura Movsisyan ( KC 2006-07, RSL 2007-09 & 2016-18, CHI 2018)
Four choices here, although in the end it's Movsisyan winning out over Harut Karapetyan, who played a couple seasons in the 90s for the Galaxy, San Jose, and Tampa Bay. The fourth pick in a strong 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of Pasadena City College, Movsisyan is mostly associated with RSL, who acquired him in a 2007 trade. With the Claret and Cobalt, he would tally 15 goals in 53 regular season appearances, and in 2009 he'd hoist the club's first MLS Cup. That'd be his last game with RSL until 2016 after some time in Europe with Randers, Krasnodar, and Spartak Moscow (even sharing the Russian PL Golden Boot in 2012/13 with Wanderson). He'd put up a similar clip of 16 in 57 before being waived and finishing his MLS career with four scoreless games with Chicago.
Austria: Daniel Royer ( NYRB 2016-pres.)
The choice here was largely Royer vs. Andreas Ivanschitz, who was a regular starter for Seattle's first MLS Cup, but I can't say no to a man with over 100 MLS matches played and three straight 10-goal seasons. In all comps, the former Austria Vienna man is just two goals behind Thierry Henry for third on the Red Bulls' all time goal scoring list.
Belarus: Sasha Gotsmanov ( COL 2005)
Gotsmanov qualifies by default as the only Belarusian player in MLS history. The Minsk native (and son of former Soviet and Belarusian international Sergei Gotsmanov) played one (1) single game for Colorado in October 2005, against RSL.
Belgium: Laurent Ciman ( MTL 2015-17, LAFC 2018, TFC 2019-pres.)
Shouts to Roland Lamah, who had his moments in Dallas, and Jelle van Damme, who played a season and a half for the Galaxy, but Ciman is the obvious choice. While he's fallen off a cliff as he's gotten older, he's a three-time All-Star and won Defender of the Year in his first MLS season; in his second, he played for Belgium at Euro 2016. At 35, he's lost a step and probably should only be used in emergencies, but at his best he was an elite MLS center back that could also be deployed at right back.
Bosnia & Herzegovina: Haris Medunjanin ( PHI 2017-19, CIN 2020-pres.)
The first one where I'm not totally confident in my pick, as Baggio Hušidić made this tricky (and as a Union fan I'm afraid of bias). But at his best, Haris is an assist machine (30 in four MLS seasons so far), and a threat on set pieces; the madlad even scored an Olimpico this year. His left foot is probably the best the Union have ever had. While his commitment to defense was nonexistent, give him the ball and he could spray a pass anywhere.
Bulgaria: Hristo Stoichkov ( CHI 2000-02, DC 2003)
One of three former Ballon d'Or winners to play in MLS (the others being Lothar Matthaus and Kaka, although "playing" is generous for the former), Stoichkov spent the last four seasons of his career in MLS, scoring 22 goals in 72 regular season matches for Chicago and DC. In his first season, a 9 goal in 18 match outing for the Fire, he also won the US Open Cup, scoring the opening goal of the final, a 2-1 win over Miami. (The winning goal, by the way, was scored by our old friend Owen Goal.)
Croatia: Damir Kreilach ( RSL 2018-pres.)
Mr. Miyagi's favorite MLS player for his crane kick equalizer in the playoffs, the former Rijeka and Union Berlin man has proven to be an excellent utility piece and core part of RSL throughout his time there, scoring 26 goals and chipping in 14 assists in 86 regular season matches and playing all over the damn place (naturally a central midfielder, he's probably still RSL's best forward). At 31, he still has a lot to give.
MLS has seen a huge influx of Croats lately, though; before Kreilach's 2018 signing there had only been four Croatian players in MLS history, two of whom barely played. Currently, there are five on active rosters.
Czechia: Luboš Kubík ( CHI 1998-2001, DAL 2001)
Czech players have had a good hit rate in MLS. In his lone MLS season, Bořek Dočkal led the league in assists, and Zdeněk Ondrášek was a very solid piece for Dallas, albeit one whose MLS time was brief.
But no. We have to go with Kubik. The sweeper was Best XI twice, in 1998 and 1999, and won Defender of the Year in 1998 helping Chicago to a MLS Cup-Open Cup double. He'd win another Open Cup two years later, before being traded to Dallas in 2001 and retiring due to injury.
So many lethal counterattacks started on the foot of this man, and he is rightfully seen as one of the greatest defenders the league has ever seen.
Denmark: Jimmy Nielsen ( KC 2010-13)
I debated going WAYYYYYYY off the board here and throwing out Miklos Molnar. His time in MLS was brief, just the 2000 season before he retired, but the man was the best attacking piece on a Cup winner. He could have balled out if he didn't retire early.
But nah. We're going with Casino Jimmy, one of the keys towards Kansas City's early 2010s turnaround. A two time All-Star, Nielsen was Goalkeeper of the Year in 2012, a year that also saw him win the Open Cup with the Wiz (on penalties, because KC and penalties, name a more iconic duo at this point). In 2013, he capped off his career by winning MLS Cup, again on penalties, while playing with broken ribs.
England: Bradley Wright-Phillips ( 2013-2019, LAFC 2020)
This league, man.
The list of English players to have represented in MLS is a long one, full of iconic names. Ashley Cole. David Beckham. Frank Lampard. Steven Gerrard. Jermain Defoe. Wayne Rooney. Hell, even Bradley's brother Shaun.
But nope. Many of those guys are the butt of many MLS jokes. BWP, on the other hand, is one of the greatest goal scorers the league has ever seen, with two Golden Boots to his name and well over a century of league goals. He was a part of 3 Shield winning teams, and made CONCACAF's Best XI in 2018.
And it all started with a quiet trial in 2013 after Charlton dumped him. This. League.
And This. Man. Even as a fan of Philly who doesn't care much for the Red Bulls, I respect this dude and everything he's done. I hope he gets another year after winning Comeback Player of the Year this year.
Estonia: Joel Lindpere ( NYRB 2010-12, CHI 2013)
The only other option here was Erik Sorga, who could dethrone Lindpere as he came to MLS at a very young age. But it's unlikely, as Lindpere was quietly very solid for the Red Bulls during his time. The Tallinn native was a two-time All-Star, and in 2010 he was named the Red Bulls' team MVP.
Finland: Alex Ring ( NYC 2017-2020, AUS pres.)
T O P I C A L
There's a few fairly talented Finns in MLS right now that could make this interesting (I really like Robin Lod's game, and Lassi Lappelainen would be excellent for Montreal if he'd stop getting hurt). Ring however has proven his worth across 4 seasons, including time as NYC's captain. Over 10,000 MLS minutes, mostly for good teams, as a defensive anchor, he will be a fantastic tone-setter for the new Austin team.
France: Thierry Henry ( NYRB 2010-14)
Oh man, as an Ireland fan I wanted to give this to literally anyone else. I am still bitter, dammit.
His best competition is probably Aurelien Collin, who has a closetful of trophies (including a Best XI and MLS Cup MVP). But no...it's Henry.
When a big name comes to MLS, what people want to see is someone who treats the league with respect. Henry did that. Not only was he dominant on the pitch, a three-time Best XI nomination, he also respected the history of the club he played for and gave 100%, even though he was getting up there in the years. He's a Red Bulls and MLS legend...as much as I curse that godforsaken hand
Georgia: Valeri "Vako" Qazaishvili ( SJ 2017-20)
It looks like the San Jose chapter of Vako's career is done and dusted. While the former Vitesse man struggled for consistency, he did put up 26 goals and 13 assists across four MLS seasons for the Quakes, including 10 while being coached by Mikael Stahre, which should probably get him and Wondo some sort of award.
We'll see what's next for him, if he leaves MLS or goes back to Europe. His only competition was Quakes teammate Guram Kashia.
Germany: Bastian Schweinsteiger ( CHI 2017-19)
I'm...actually not sure about this one. I actually changed this while writing, as I very nearly chose Julian Gressel; the former Rookie of the Year has two 10-assist seasons under his belt, and Kai Wagner has also been one of the league's better fullbacks for Philadelphia; Schweinsteiger was solid enough for Chicago in his advanced age for some very frustrating teams (and even moved positions to center back!)...but man, I don't know.
Germany is weird. For a country with such a great footballing tradition, the pickings are fairly slim. Arne Friedrich had one good year for Chicago before injuries claimed his career. Lottar Matthaus was as committed to this league as Schalke are to winning football matches. Stefan Aigner was stifled by Anthony Hudson going galaxy brain. Torsten Frings...existed.
I dunno.
Greece: Alexandros Tabakis ( ATL 2017)
The only Greek in MLS history...and our second one game wonder. Atlanta's FOURTH string keeper in 2017, he managed to sneak into a game against Minnesota with Brad Guzan on international duty, Alec Kann injured, and Kyle Reynish sent off during the match.
Atlanta lost 3-2. He's now in USL.
Hungary: Nemanja Nikolić ( CHI 2017-19)
Dániel Sallói and Krisztián Németh had their moments, but the winner is Nikolić, who came to MLS from the Ekstraklasa and immediately won the Golden Boot. His totals diminished in the three seasons he spent with Chicago, but 51 goals in 96 appearances isn't too shabby at all - it's second in Fire history behind Ante Razov.
Iceland - Guðmundur Þórarinsson ( NYC 2020-pres.)
Not much choice, 3 guys, all of whom were mostly bench guys. I almost went with Kristinn Steindorsson here on the merits of "he didn't have a penalty saved by Rodrigo Schlegel."
Israel: Gadi Kinda ( SKC 2020-pres.)
It was either him or Dedi Ben Dayan, really. And I nearly went with the former Colorado left back, but nah, Kinda is very much the superior player. The midfielder born in Ethiopia, Kinda shone brightly in his first season in KC, with 6 goals and 4 assists in his debut season. He'll be a DP next season.
Italy: Sebastian Giovinco ( TOR 2015-18)
A signing that changed an entire club.
Before Giovinco, the Reds were a laughingstock. He came in, won a Golden Boot and MVP right away, led the league in assists, made Best XI three years in a row, led them to their first playoff game, their first MLS Cup final, their first MLS Cup win, and a historic treble. And they damn near won CCL too.
The Atomic Ant was must-see from Day 1. It's not just because of him that Toronto is now one of MLS's elite...but he was a huge part of changing that culture. 83 goals in 142 games in all comps. And he dished out his fair share of assists too, with a telepathic partnership with Jozy.
Latvia: Raivis Hščanovičs ( TOR 2010)
Not much to write about here. 14 games for a bad Reds team. Gets in by default with no other Latvian MLS players.
Liechtenstein: Nicholas Hasler ( TOR 2017-18, CHI 2018-19, SKC 2019)
Another one by default. 66 games as a utilityman. Won MLS Cup and the Shield, though.
Lithuania: Vytautas Andriuškevičius ( POR 2016-18, DC 2018)
Only other choice was Edgaras Jankauskas, a forward who played 14 games for the Revs. Vytas played 37 for Portland and zero for DC.
Luxembourg: Maxime Chanot ( NYC 2016-pres.)
Another one by default but this one's an actually really solid player that finished fourth in Defender of the Year voting in 2019. We take those.
Malta: Etienne Barbera ( VAN 2012)
2 games in 2012. Only Maltese player in MLS.
Montenegro: Branko Bošković ( DC 2010-12)
Pretty much every other Montenegrin player played less than 20 games in MLS. Bošković played 43 before returning to Europe for family reasons. 7 assists in his final season though, which is technically something.
Netherlands: Johan Kappelhof ( CHI 2016-pres.)
Much like Germany, bright footballing tradition, very shaky MLS history. Which is weird because the Eredivisie exports a lot of guys to MLS.
Also, I'm excluding Kelvin Leerdam, as he is probably changing his international allegiance to Suriname.
So I'm going with 2017 All-Star Kappelhof, who I think is still fairly solid.
But really the choices aren't great. Dave van den Burgh? Roland Alberg scored a hat trick once I guess? Danny Koevermans was decent but injured all the time?
Maybe it's a hot take. It probably is.
North Macedonia: Oka Nikolov ( PHI 2013)
Never actually played, only in a friendly. Watch this space though as North Macedonia is apparently courting LAFC's Danny Musovski.
Northern Ireland: Johnny Steele ( RSL 2012, NYRB 2013-14)
Another case of shaky opposition, it was either Steele or Steve Morrow, who played 41 games for Dallas in the aughts.
Steele played regularly for a Shield winner, the 2013 Red Bulls. Easy peasy.
Norway: Vadim Demidov Ola Kamara ( CLB 2016-17, LAG 2018, DC 2019-pres.)
Adama Diomande is the main competition here. Kamara's first stint in MLS was a smashing success, scoring 48 goals in 90 regular season matches for Columbus and the Galaxy (he was traded for Gyasi Zardes before 2018). A brief foray to China followed, and while he's back in MLS with DC he hasn't quite been the same.
Still a good player on his day, maybe just the Bennyball effect.
Poland: Piotr Nowak ( CHI 1998-2002)
When I think of early Chicago, Nowak and the earlier-mentioned Kubik are the first two names that come to mind. Kubik held down the back while Nowak was the chief creator in the midfield. Three-time best XI, three-time All-Star, and MLS Cup MVP.
...can I drink my water now?
Portugal: José Gonçalves ( NE 2013-16)
Gonçalves fell off a cliff in his latter years, but in his first MLS season he won Defender of the Year and in his second he was a key part of a team that made the MLS Cup final and damn near won the thing.
Runner up here is Nani who is probably closing in.
EDIT: I also forgot to mention Pedro Santos, thanks to the Crew fans who pointed that one out. I still think Gonçalves pips him for his 2013 if nothing else, but Santos is probably closer than Nani.
Republic of Ireland: Robbie Keane ( LAG 2011-16)
A LOT closer than you think; Time Person of the Century Juventus legend Ronnie O'Brien was two-time best XI himself.
But nonono. This is Robbie freaking Keane. When we see these big name Euro guys interested in MLS, this is the man we want them to be.
Hypercompetitive and holding guys accountable on and off the pitch, and scoring for fun. 83 goals in 125 MLS regular season appearances. Best XI four times. 2014 MVP. MLS Cup MVP in 2014. A closetful of team awards including 3 MLS Cups.
This man was a baller, and frankly his departure was the beginning of the Galaxy decline into irrelevance, but that's a story for another time.
Romania: Alexandru Mitriță ( NYC 2019-pres.?)
Question mark because he's on loan and I have no idea if it'll be permanent, but he was punted out by the Pigeons just as he was really starting to break out. He scored 12 goals in his debut season last year but filled in nicely this year while Maxi Moralez was injured. EDIT: NYC fans have informed me he wasn't punted out, but was loaned out to be closer to his pregnant wife. My apologies.
Honorable mention: Alex Zotincă, who played for the Wizards and Chivas USA in the aughts. Brave man.
Russia: Igor Simutenkov ( KC 2002-04)
Not a lot to pick from here either. 49 games, 12 goals for this forward from Moscow, who now serves as an assistant coach at Zenit.
Scotland: John Spencer ( COL, 2001-04)
Give Johnny Russell another few years and he'll pass Spencer, but for now I'm leaning the latter. Spencer as a coach was frustrating as hell, but as a player he was Best XI twice and an MVP finalist once. Dude could score goals despite battling injuries in his time in MLS.
Just don't let him sign Kris Boyd. Then you lose to Cal FC. No one wants that.
Serbia: Aleksandar Katai ( 2018-19, 2020)
FROM A SPORTING PERSPECTIVE.
And mostly due to a weak pool. Runner up was probably someone like Miloš Kocić.
18 goals in 62 games for Chicago before getting yeeted back to Serbia for Bad People Reasons
Slovakia: Albert Rusnák ( RSL 2017-pres.)
He has tenure on Ján Greguš, who's the closest competitor, but Rusnák is also good. He followed up a 14-assist debut season (4th in the league) with back to back 10 goal seasons before struggling this year with injury.
Slovenia: Robert Berić ( CHI 2020-pres.)
Once he got acclimated to MLS, the goals came, and Chicago has its successor to Nikolić up top. He finished with 12 goals in his debut season, tied for second in the league with Ruidiaz and Zardes.
Also, from what I saw early on, seems like he's a dark-arts type of guy that gets in your head. That's fun.
Spain: David Villa ( NYC 2015-18)
I really didn't want to put him here due to recent allegations, and the fact that Pozuelo has already matched his MVP and two Best XI performances....
77 goals in 117 games though, that's tough to pass on.
Sweden: Zlatan Ibrahimović ( LAG 2018-19)
It's Zlatan.
He pretty much dragged a sorry LA organization to something resembling competitiveness.
What the hell did you expect?
(Anton Tinnerholm made this hard, though)
EDIT: Forgot Gustav Svensson as well in my honorable mentions.
Switzerland: Stefan Frei ( TOR 2009-13, SEA 2014-pres.)
Pretty self-explanatory, one of the most accomplished keepers in MLS history and with a closetful of hardware. And all it took Seattle to get him was a late first round pick that pinged around so much that it was eventually traded for a coach.
Turkey: Sercan Güvenışık ( SJ 2012)
5 games that year. No one else has flown the Turkish flag in MLS.
Ukraine: Dema Kovalenko ( CHI 1999-2002, DC 2002-05, NYRB 2006-08, RSL 2008, LAG 2008-10)
I'm afraid he'd break my legs if I didn't. One of the most physical and downright dirty players the league has ever seen. Made nearly 300 appearances though, and has one each of the 3 major US trophies (MLS Cup, USOC, Shield), all with a different team.
Wales: Andy Dorman ( NE 2004-07, 2013-15)
Dorman was a key part of that real good Revs team from the mid-aughts, and just beats out Carl Robinson. He made 112 appearances in his first stint, and played in 3 MLS Cup finals, though they famously lost all three. The Revs brought him back in 2013 after some time in Scotland and England, and was playing semipro in the area as recently as 2018.
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Subreddit Stats: RedditDayOf top posts from 2019-12-31 to 2020-12-29 15:54 PDT

Period: 364.05 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 3465
Rate (per day) 2.75 9.48
Unique Redditors 235 1337
Combined Score 44480 12132

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

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    5. "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism..." (84 points, 4 comments)
    6. The Sonoran Desert is thought to have the greatest species diversity of any desert in North America, including 60 species of mammals, 350 bird species, 20 amphibians, 100 reptiles, 30 species of native fish and more than 2,000 species of plants (77 points, 5 comments)
    7. They took away our land, our language, and our religion; but they could never harness our tongues..." Brendan Behan (76 points, 6 comments)
    8. "Lafayette We Are Here" (59 points, 2 comments)
    9. The Wuppertal Suspension Railway is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world. Designed by Eugen Langen, it opened in 1901 and is still in use as public transport, moving 25 million passengers annually. (56 points, 2 comments)
    10. Mugshot model Jeremy Meeks continues his topless runway streak (44 points, 1 comment)
  9. 1062 points, 18 submissions: eladarling
    1. Ways the Great Lakes try to Murder Ships - illustrated (219 points, 17 comments)
    2. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: the least competent are more likely to overestimate their ability (123 points, 4 comments)
    3. Before video games, Nintendo sold a variety of other products including playing cards depicting nude women, and by-the-hour sex hotels. Their first big customer was the Yakuza, who used their cards in illegal casinos. (106 points, 6 comments)
    4. Earl Grey tea is black tea flavored with oil of bergamot, a green citrus fruit grown mostly in Italy (105 points, 9 comments)
    5. "At Last," Etta James's signature song that most people today associate with her (75 points, 3 comments)
    6. One of the largest piñatas on record was a 65 ft tall donkey filled with 8000 lb of candy. It was smashed open with a wrecking ball to release the sweets inside. (74 points, 3 comments)
    7. World Islands, a cluster of man-made islands in Dubai, was supposed to be a lavish multicultural paradise. Most are still undeveloped or abandoned due to economic, climate, and construction issues. (62 points, 3 comments)
    8. What If God Was One of Us - Joan Osborne (56 points, 2 comments)
    9. GonzoVR was a short lived VR app where users could drive an rc car around my living room and buy treats for my dog Gonzo (40 points, 4 comments)
    10. Hysteria High: How Demons Destroyed a Florida School (35 points, 1 comment)
  10. 1024 points, 22 submissions: ShimataDominquez
    1. The head of a tapeworm under an electron microscope (256 points, 19 comments)
    2. What happens when you have heated tile flooring (150 points, 4 comments)
    3. Jon Stewart Deep Dish Rant (84 points, 14 comments)
    4. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida The Simpsons take on a Psychedelic Rock classic (82 points, 4 comments)
    5. Ewoks should have met a terrible fate, scientists say (46 points, 0 comments)
    6. Robocop Commercials (38 points, 2 comments)
    7. Green Onions (32 points, 1 comment)
    8. The Jetsons! (32 points, 0 comments)
    9. Frank Lloyd Wright, a narcissist and control freak. (31 points, 8 comments)
    10. Why is smiling being frowned upon in the Russian culture? (31 points, 11 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. 0and18 (659 points, 466 comments)
  2. jostler57 (145 points, 40 comments)
  3. Otterfan (139 points, 19 comments)
  4. Superbuddhapunk (124 points, 43 comments)
  5. astronoob (110 points, 7 comments)
  6. anotherkeebler (101 points, 23 comments)
  7. Goyteamsix (94 points, 21 comments)
  8. goofballl (85 points, 14 comments)
  9. thespaceghetto (84 points, 20 comments)
  10. swizzler (81 points, 21 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. The head of a tapeworm under an electron microscope by ShimataDominquez (256 points, 19 comments)
  2. Margaret Hamilton, NASA's lead software engineer for the Apollo Program, stands next to the code she wrote by hand that took Humanity to the moon in 1969. by Superbuddhapunk (252 points, 15 comments)
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind Geocache in Northern Italy by Superbuddhapunk (241 points, 10 comments)
  4. It's Dangerous to go Alone... by yankee4357 (228 points, 11 comments)
  5. Diane's NPR ringtones [Bojack Horseman] by Mr_Caterpillar (227 points, 15 comments)
  6. Ways the Great Lakes try to Murder Ships - illustrated by eladarling (219 points, 17 comments)
  7. How a deep sea blobfish looks with and without the extreme water pressure by Imaginary-Cow (216 points, 10 comments)
  8. How to Talk Minnesotan: The Power of the Negative by SteelWool (203 points, 5 comments)
  9. Cleaning tips from CleaningTips by Superbuddhapunk (194 points, 3 comments)
  10. All movies on IMDB are rated on a ten-point scale. All except one. by anotherkeebler (188 points, 9 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 48 points: jesseaknight's comment in In the show St. Elsewhere, a character in the finale is shown to have thought of the whole series, which means he also made up all the shows that had crossovers with St. Elsewhere. This expands into the shows that were mentioned in the shows. There is at this point 419 shows in this universe
  2. 44 points: Derosa6037's comment in the longest single set at the laugh factory lasted 7h and 34m (by Dane Cook in 2008).
  3. 43 points: astronoob's comment in Margaret Hamilton, NASA's lead software engineer for the Apollo Program, stands next to the code she wrote by hand that took Humanity to the moon in 1969.
  4. 42 points: rus_reddit's comment in Rand Paul was the national debt for halloween in 2015. He said it was a very scary costume.
  5. 40 points: thejesiah's comment in Close Encounters of the Third Kind Geocache in Northern Italy
  6. 38 points: electro_hippie's comment in Why is smiling being frowned upon in the Russian culture?
  7. 37 points: SlideNERD's comment in The head of a tapeworm under an electron microscope
  8. 37 points: wtfisthisnoise's comment in Is U.S. income tax invalid because Ohio wasn’t legally a state when the 16th amendment was ratified?
  9. 35 points: Otterfan's comment in President Obama Roasts Donald Trump At White House Correspondents’ Dinner (2011)
  10. 35 points: _Foy's comment in Ways the Great Lakes try to Murder Ships - illustrated
Generated with BBoe's Subreddit Stats
submitted by subreddit_stats to subreddit_stats [link] [comments]

Introducing: The Royal Family of Monaco

Prince Rainier III (1923-2005)
Rainier’s mother, Princess Charlotte, was actually illegitimate. Her father Louis II, getting older and with no legitimate children, legitimized her and made her his heir. She never took the throne, and in fact renounced her rights to her son, Rainier, the day before his 21st birthday.
Rainier became the Sovereign Prince of Monaco upon the death of his grandfather in 1949.
During WW2, Rainier served in the Free French Army. During the 40s and 50s he was in a long term relationship with the French film actress Gisele Pascal. Rainier’s sister, Princess Antoinette, wanted her own son to ascend to the throne, and spread rumors that Pascal was infertile. The rumors along with her treatment by the press and public ended their relationship.
After the war Monaco, a country who made its money primarily as a gambling origin, was in crisis as wealthy Europeans found their funds diminished after the war. To restore Monaco’s treasury Rainier decided to promote Monaco as a tax haven, and he personally took control of SBM (the company who owns the Monte Carlo Casino, Opera, and Hostel de Paris) in 1964. Prince Albert still retains a large share of the company and profits from it today.
Marriage:
Everyone knows this one. Rainier married American film star Grace Kelly in 1956.
Their marriage is rumored to have been turbulent. It is said that Grace struggled with adjusting to royal life, regretted ending her film career, and that Rainier had extramarital affairs. Her children have stated that though she was a loving mother, they spent more time with nannies than with their parents.
Grace's dress is iconic, but here you go if you want to revisit some photos from that day.
Rainier smoked up to 60 cigarettes per day, and in the last years of his life his health steadily declined. On March 8th, 2005 he entered the hospital for a lung infection and by the end of the month he was on a ventilator suffering from renal and heart failure. On March 31st he officially announced his son Albert, as regent, and on April 6th he died.
The Constitution
Monaco’s constitution stated that Monaco is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the hereditary princes of the Grimaldi. If the reigning prince were to die without leaving a male heir, Monaco, according to the treaty, would be incorporated into France. In 2002, realizing he had a 43 year old bachelor son, Rainier amended the constitution to allow the crown to pass to his daughters should Albert not marry.
Grace, Princess of Monaco (1929-1982)
Grace was born in Philadelphia to an affluent and influential family. Her father was an Olympian and a Democratic nominee for Mayor of Philadelphia and was appointed by President Roosevelt as National Director of Physical Fitness. Her mother taught physical education at the University of Pennsylvania and coached women’s athletics at Penn.
Her Uncle, George Kelly, was a Pulitzer prize winning dramatist, screenwriter, and director and used his influence to gain Grace admission to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Grace became one of the biggest movie stars of her generation.
In 1955 she was sent to the Cannes Film Festival and invited to appear in photos with Prince Rainier. After a year-long courtship, they were married in 1956.
Grace was not allowed to continue her acting career after her marriage. She instead devoted herself to her role as Princess, become heavily involved with the Red Cross of Monaco and the Rainbow Children Coalition.
On September 13, 1982, Kelly was driving back to Monaco after spending time at her country home. During the drive she had a stroke, lost control of her vehicle, and drove off the mountainside. She died a day later.
An article on their relationship
Prince Albert II (b. 1958)
Prince Albert is one of the wealthiest royals in the world with a net worth at more than $1B. He attended Amherst College in Massachusetts, studying political science, economics, music, and English literature, and completed his education with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. He toured Europe in 1979 as part of the Amherst College Glee Club.
Albert competed in the bobsleigh for five consecutive Winter Olympics on behalf of Monaco, and was their flag bearer at the 1988, 1994, and 1998 Olympics. He is also a judo black belt.
He became Prince of Monaco when his father died in 2005.
Marriage:
Prior to his marriage his status as a bachelor was a hot topic of discussion. He was known to date well-known fashion models and actresses, however at age 53 had never married. It was rumored that Albert was gay, something he expressed great frustration with in the press. In 2006 he attended the opening ceremony of the Torino Olympics with South African swimmer Charlene Wittstock. They were engaged in 2010, and married in 2011.
There are rumors that Charlene tried to flee the country the day before their wedding. It is reported that the future bride, after discovering Albert may have fathered yet another child during their relationship, attempted to flee as many as three times before their wedding, however was always intercepted at the airport. It is also said she attempted to seek refuge at the South African embassy, and that officials in Monaco ended up hiding her passport so she could not leave the country.
Moreover, during their wedding, Charlene openly cried at parts, and Prince Albert was caught on camera begging her to kiss him. Honestly, she looked pretty miserable the whole time. The palace has denied all of these claims.
During their honeymoon, they stayed in separate hotels
Here's everything you ever needed to know about their wedding
Watch it
Prince Albert is passionate about the environment and an avid sportsman. Prince Albert speaks French, English, German, and Italian. He speaks English with basically no accent thanks to his American mother.
Illegitimate Children
In 2005, the day before Prince Rainier died, Albert publicly acknowledged he had fathered a son out of wedlock. In 2006, he confirmed he had also fathered a daughter. These children were barred from the line of inheritance because of a 2002 constitutional amendment requiring an heir’s parents to be married.
Alexandre (b. 2003)
Alexandre’s mother (Nicole Coste) was a flight attendant for Air France and met Prince Albert when he was a passenger on a flight. He asked for her number, the beginning of a years-long affair. The relationship ended at the insistence of Prince Rainier. Albert visited Alexandre and Nicole often, however when he refused to acknowledge Alexandre publicly, Nicole sold an interview and pictures to the media. Albert was in mourning for his father and made no public comment, but later did acknowledge paternity. Alexandre and Nicole live in France at an estate given to them by Albert.
Jazmin (b. 1992)
Jazmin’s mother, Tamara, met Albert while working as a waitress. Albert knew of Jazmin and visited her, however did not acknowledge her publicly until she was in high school to protect her identity. In 2006 the French magazine Voici published photographs of Jazmin and her mother on a visit to Monaco, outing her as Albert’s daughter. She has attended events with Albert and Charlene, and is listed as a sponsor for her father’s royal foundation.
An interview with Jazmin
Princess Charlene (b. 1978)
Born in Zimbabwe, Charlene’s family relocated to South Africa in 1989. She represented South Africa at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, finished fifth in the 4x100 meter relay.
Albert and Charlene met at the Mare Nostrum swimming competition in Monaco in 2000, however were not seen together until 2006.
Charlene converted to Roman Catholicism for her wedding, and has learned French and Monegasque after her move to Monaco. She is an ambassador for the Special Olympics, patron of the South African Red Cross, and is passionate about sport.
In recent news, she completed “the crossing” water bike challenge, a 180 kilometer water bike race for charity.
An interview with Charlene and Albert on the 1st birthday of their twins
Albert and Charlene have 2 children:
Hereditary Prince Jacques *twin* (b. 2014)
Princess Gabriella *twin* (b. 2014)
Gabriella was born 2 minutes before her brother, however because of the constitution her brother will inherit the throne. They are super sweet together and you see them at events often.
Princess Caroline of Hanover (b. 1957)
Caroline is the eldest child of Rainier and Grace Kelly, however because of the constitution her brother, Albert, sits on the throne of Monaco. She served as de facto first lady of Monaco until the marriage of Albert and Charlene.
Until the birth of her niece and nephew she was heir presumptive to the throne, although she had only held that title since 2005 after the change of the constitution to include female heirs.
Caroline received her French baccalaureat in 1974, and received a degree in Philosophy from Sorbonne University. She is fluent in French, English, Spanish, German, and Italian. Her hobbies include horseback riding, swimming, and skiing.
Marriages:
Married Phillippe, a Parisian banker, in 1978. The couple divorced in 1980 with no children.
Married Stefano in 1983, the sportsman heir to an Italian industrial fortune. The two had to marry in a civil ceremony rather than a religious ceremony because Caroline, a Catholic, was divorced. Caroline was 3 months pregnant at the time of their wedding.
They have three children:
  1. Andrea Casiraghi (1984)
  1. Charlotte Casiraghi (1986)
  1. Pierre Casiraghi (b. 1987)
Note: The Casiraghi’s are all very beautiful and very fashionable but I don’t want to go much into them here because they are so far down the line of succession. They’re fun to follow for their fashion if you have the time to check them out.
Married Ernst August, a Prince, in 1999. They have one daughter, Princess Alexandra.
Caroline is thus a Princess twice-over, through her family and through her husband. She and Ernst August have been separated since 2009 however are still legally married, thus she retains the title of Princess Caroline of Hanover.
Read about all of her weddings here
See her speaking in English around 12:00 here
Princess Stephanie (b. 1965)
Stephanie was in the vehicle with her mother when Grace died. She suffered a fracture of the neck.
She has studied classical dance and piano, and competed in gymnastics and horse riding. She interned at Christian Dior and debuted as a model in 1984. She has a swimwear and perfume line, and owns cafes and stores in both Monaco and Barcelona. She also has sold more than 2 million copies of her song, Ouragan, and sold 1.5M copies of her album Besoin. She recorded “In the Closet” with Michael Jackson, however is listed as “mystery girl” in the credits.
Marriages/Relationships:
Stephanie married her former body guard, Daniel Ducruet, in 1995. When Rainier learned of their relationship Daniel was not only still his employee, but had a pregnant girlfriend too. Stephanie gave birth to their two children “out of wedlock” because Rainier refused to grant permission for them to marry, however eventually relented. The two divorced a year later after Ducruet was photographed naked with a stripper.
Read more
They have two children:
  1. Louis (b. 1992)
  1. Pauline (b. 1994)

Stephanie and Jean never married, however have a child together. He was Rainier’s Head of Security. She did not identify him on the birth certificate and it was not confirmed that he was Camille’s father until she confirmed it herself on her Instagram.
More about Jean

Stephanie met elephant trainer (yeah, you read that right) when she presented him with the award for “best animal tamer” at the Monaco Circus Festival in 1997. Franco, a decade older than Stephanie, was married with two children at the time. Franco left his family for Stephanie, moving her and her three children into his circus caravan in Zurich. Marrying in 2001, their relationship lasted 18 months until their divorce.
An interview with Stephanie in English in 1990
Why is he a Prince and not a King?
From vogue:
It goes back deep into the history of Monaco. Monaco has always been a tiny nation, and, for protection, allied itself with (or, at some points, was flat-out annexed by) big powerful countries, with big powerful rulers—aka kingdoms, or, a nation ruled by a king or queen. So Monaco’s rulers styled themselves as prince and princess. That, by definition, made the nation a principality, or one ruled by prince or princess.
Regardless, Albert actually plays a bigger role in the day to day operations of the country than most of his European peers. Legislative power is divided between the Prince who initiates the laws, and the National Council who votes on them. Executive power is retained by the Prince, and he has full judiciary powers.
Jewels
See their tiara collection
I think the Ocean Tiara, gifted to Charlene for her wedding, is particularly interesting. You either love it or you hate it.
The Grimaldi Curse
What do you think?
submitted by cincbus to RoyalsGossip [link] [comments]

Subreddit Stats: RedditDayOf top posts from 2019-12-16 to 2020-12-14 20:53 PDT

Period: 364.24 days
Submissions Comments
Total 1000 3498
Rate (per day) 2.75 9.53
Unique Redditors 239 1369
Combined Score 44704 12314

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 4330 points, 90 submissions: Superbuddhapunk
    1. Margaret Hamilton, NASA's lead software engineer for the Apollo Program, stands next to the code she wrote by hand that took Humanity to the moon in 1969. (250 points, 15 comments)
    2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind Geocache in Northern Italy (242 points, 10 comments)
    3. Cleaning tips from CleaningTips (195 points, 3 comments)
    4. Cheesy Origins - The etymologies behind the names of some of the world's most popular cheeses. (166 points, 45 comments)
    5. Around the World in 50 traditional breakfast dishes (155 points, 30 comments)
    6. Roosevelt dime 10c coin Mint error, off center strikes (143 points, 7 comments)
    7. President Obama Roasts Donald Trump At White House Correspondents’ Dinner (2011) (139 points, 30 comments)
    8. Beautiful elderly Common Snapping Turtle just coming to say Hello. Spring Lake, San Marcos, TX (131 points, 6 comments)
    9. Christmas tree in the main hall of the Galleries Lafayette department store in Paris, France. (129 points, 5 comments)
    10. Not open during a CAT 5 hurricane? 1 star for you! (121 points, 7 comments)
  2. 3830 points, 138 submissions: 0and18
    1. The final Calvin and Hobbes strip ran on Sunday, December 31, 1995 (170 points, 6 comments)
    2. In the final minute of the 1984 game at the Orange Bowl, Doug Flutie's "Hail Mary" pass as time expired to lift Boston College over the University of Miami, 47-45 (120 points, 3 comments)
    3. Ozymandias Prevents Nuclear War (90 points, 5 comments)
    4. Between 1995 and 2000 music companies were found to have used illegal marketing agreements such as minimum advertised pricing to artificially inflate prices of compact discs in order to end price wars by discounters such as Best Buy and Target in the early 1990s. (84 points, 1 comment)
    5. Yuki-toKori discovers his new jeans have a hidden inside pocket for a condom (80 points, 12 comments)
    6. ‘The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved,’ by Hunter S. Thompson (80 points, 3 comments)
    7. Geof Darrow’s Hard Boiled (77 points, 2 comments)
    8. His Face All Red by Emily Carroll (75 points, 4 comments)
    9. This chart shows the most common display resolutions, makes zero sense to me. (66 points, 17 comments)
    10. Mouse Guard members Saxon, Kenzie and Lieam (65 points, 1 comment)
  3. 2454 points, 36 submissions: InvisibleLemons
    1. The House of Slaves in Gorée Island, Senegal, is a museum and memorial dedicated to the Atlantic slave trade that some believe served as a major trading port for slaves captured from Africa. It's argued that up to 15 million people were put through the “Door of No Return” and shipped off as slaves. (174 points, 2 comments)
    2. Losing a language means more than the disappearance of words. This six-part film and multimedia experience follows four Indigenous communities who are revitalizing their languages and cultures. (137 points, 5 comments)
    3. Anna Bērzkalne was the first Latvian to earn a degree in Folkloric Studies. She purposely wrote her thesis in English rather than German as a form of non-violent resistance against the Nazi occupation of Latvia during World War II. Her degree was not recognized by the Soviet authorities. (135 points, 2 comments)
    4. Hilma af Klint belonged to "The Five", a circle of women who shared her belief in the importance of trying to make contact with what she called the High Masters, often by way of séances. Her paintings, which sometimes resemble diagrams, were a visual representation of complex spiritual ideas. (130 points, 7 comments)
    5. Stephen Duneier, aka Yarn Bomber, has the world record for the largest crochet granny square made by a single person. The granny square measures 1,311 square feet, weighs over 60 pounds, took two years to make, and has over a half million stitches. (121 points, 7 comments)
    6. Fictional Map from one of my favorite book series as a child, Dinotopia (118 points, 7 comments)
    7. The indigenous city of Cahokia, across the river from St. Louis, is thought have had at most 40,000 people living there. Cahokia was large enough to have suburbs and had an equal pop. to London in the 1200s. No city would have surpassed it's pop. in north America until Philadelphia in the 1780s (110 points, 8 comments)
    8. Rand Paul was the national debt for halloween in 2015. He said it was a very scary costume. (105 points, 23 comments)
    9. World's Largest Rubber Stamp in Cleveland, Ohio (103 points, 7 comments)
    10. In 1949, Warren Buffett, the most successful investor in the world, was infatuated with a young woman whose boyfriend had a ukulele. In an attempt to compete, he bought a ukulele and has been playing it ever since, often at stock meetings. (92 points, 3 comments)
  4. 2136 points, 56 submissions: sbroue
    1. A successful slave rebellion against the French made Haiti the second independent nation in the Americas. (118 points, 2 comments)
    2. Rare 300-Year-Old 'Beard Tax' Coin Discovered in Russia (110 points, 4 comments)
    3. The song Funiculi Funicula was composed to celebrate the opening of a Funicular railway up Mt Vesuvius (86 points, 5 comments)
    4. Internet trolls are not who I thought — they're even scarier (79 points, 2 comments)
    5. The Shocking True Tale Of The Mad Genius Who Invented Sea-Monkeys (73 points, 6 comments)
    6. Ethiopian 18th Century crown returns home (72 points, 1 comment)
    7. When America Despised the Irish: The 19th Century’s Refugee Crisis (72 points, 0 comments)
    8. Step Inside the World's Most Dangerous Garden (If You Dare) (70 points, 4 comments)
    9. Blue Weevils "wrestling" (68 points, 8 comments)
    10. Alcohol belts of Europe (59 points, 5 comments)
  5. 1850 points, 27 submissions: Mr_Caterpillar
    1. Diane's NPR ringtones [Bojack Horseman] (228 points, 15 comments)
    2. The Hulk throws a bear into space (173 points, 15 comments)
    3. Bryan Cranston tells the story of an ad-libbed joke as dentist Tim Whatley on Seinfeld (133 points, 3 comments)
    4. There's something about holding a good, solid mace in your hand (124 points, 8 comments)
    5. Side-by-Side scenes from Ghost in the Shell and the original animated film (105 points, 7 comments)
    6. Twilight in Prague (98 points, 2 comments)
    7. Roller Derby Fact [SLAM #1] (87 points, 3 comments)
    8. Mapping out the evolution of Rock Music from the film School of Rock (86 points, 24 comments)
    9. Tracer Bullet - Calvin and Hobbes' hardboiled detective parody (85 points, 4 comments)
    10. Ronald Jenkees started his career by making music in his bedroom and posting to youtube. This is his song "Try The Bass" (80 points, 10 comments)
  6. 1756 points, 46 submissions: tillandsia
    1. What do you mean we, paleface? (125 points, 4 comments)
    2. Fragment of a Queen's Face, possibly either Queen Nefertiti or Tiye, Egypt, New Kingdom, Amarna period, ca. 1353-1336 B.C. (97 points, 4 comments)
    3. Pumpkin Spice Latte Tiramisu (83 points, 17 comments)
    4. The garbage pickup on my street, before covid, was always sometimes a minute before 8 am, sometimes a couple of minutes after. Sitting in the house, drinking my coffee on Monday and Thursday mornings, I'd always know what time it was when I'd hear the truck. (76 points, 3 comments)
    5. 1970s Key West (73 points, 12 comments)
    6. Trojan Horse clip from "Troy" (72 points, 5 comments)
    7. Color Aid Paper, used in art school to teach Josef Albers' theory of color (68 points, 5 comments)
    8. How to make spaetzel, a pasta made with fresh eggs (68 points, 6 comments)
    9. The Doctor who Gave Himself an Ulcer & Solved a Medical Mystery - an old advance in medicine, but a really great one (67 points, 1 comment)
    10. Not a lizard nor a dinosaur, tuatara is the sole survivor of a once-widespread reptile group (61 points, 1 comment)
  7. 1076 points, 22 submissions: gorditasimpatica
    1. “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” (127 points, 3 comments)
    2. The First Labor Strike in History: In 1159 BCE, the tomb-builders and artisans at Set-Ma’at refused to wait any longer for their wages and marched toward the city shouting “We are hungry!” (121 points, 2 comments)
    3. Get the feel of a winner, 1978 Sears Catalog (100 points, 6 comments)
    4. Polls are not always right (92 points, 38 comments)
    5. "Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism..." (86 points, 4 comments)
    6. They took away our land, our language, and our religion; but they could never harness our tongues..." Brendan Behan (80 points, 6 comments)
    7. The Sonoran Desert is thought to have the greatest species diversity of any desert in North America, including 60 species of mammals, 350 bird species, 20 amphibians, 100 reptiles, 30 species of native fish and more than 2,000 species of plants (78 points, 5 comments)
    8. "Lafayette We Are Here" (61 points, 2 comments)
    9. The Wuppertal Suspension Railway is the oldest electric elevated railway with hanging cars in the world. Designed by Eugen Langen, it opened in 1901 and is still in use as public transport, moving 25 million passengers annually. (52 points, 2 comments)
    10. Mugshot model Jeremy Meeks continues his topless runway streak (44 points, 1 comment)
  8. 1039 points, 18 submissions: eladarling
    1. Ways the Great Lakes try to Murder Ships - illustrated (212 points, 17 comments)
    2. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: the least competent are more likely to overestimate their ability (122 points, 4 comments)
    3. Before video games, Nintendo sold a variety of other products including playing cards depicting nude women, and by-the-hour sex hotels. Their first big customer was the Yakuza, who used their cards in illegal casinos. (104 points, 6 comments)
    4. Earl Grey tea is black tea flavored with oil of bergamot, a green citrus fruit grown mostly in Italy (104 points, 9 comments)
    5. "At Last," Etta James's signature song that most people today associate with her (77 points, 3 comments)
    6. One of the largest piñatas on record was a 65 ft tall donkey filled with 8000 lb of candy. It was smashed open with a wrecking ball to release the sweets inside. (69 points, 3 comments)
    7. World Islands, a cluster of man-made islands in Dubai, was supposed to be a lavish multicultural paradise. Most are still undeveloped or abandoned due to economic, climate, and construction issues. (67 points, 3 comments)
    8. What If God Was One of Us - Joan Osborne (52 points, 2 comments)
    9. GonzoVR was a short lived VR app where users could drive an rc car around my living room and buy treats for my dog Gonzo (44 points, 4 comments)
    10. Hysteria High: How Demons Destroyed a Florida School (36 points, 1 comment)
  9. 989 points, 24 submissions: coiso
    1. a high school football coach got half the fans of his own team to cheer for the other team, because the other team was from a maximum-security juvenile correctional facility and didn't have any fans of their own (158 points, 5 comments)
    2. Animals see more colours than humans. Here's a chart. (135 points, 16 comments)
    3. If a beta male mandrill wins a fight, it physically morphs into an alpha male over time, gaining facial coloration, bigger testicles, and the ability to breed.) (93 points, 6 comments)
    4. Urinetown - a 3 times tony award winner musical about a town where private toilets are outlawed... (68 points, 5 comments)
    5. the longest single set at the laugh factory lasted 7h and 34m (by Dane Cook in 2008). (64 points, 64 comments)
    6. Stormtrooper hits his head (63 points, 4 comments)
    7. 5 Ways to Spot Greenwashing (52 points, 1 comment)
    8. Jeffrey Dahmer’s Childhood Friend Talks About His Graphic Novel "My Friend Dahmer" and Its Movie Adaptation (40 points, 3 comments)
    9. Daily life in Russia – gallery by The Guardian readers (38 points, 1 comment)
    10. List of retired Atlantic hurricane names (33 points, 0 comments)
  10. 965 points, 19 submissions: ShimataDominquez
    1. The head of a tapeworm under an electron microscope (256 points, 19 comments)
    2. What happens when you have heated tile flooring (149 points, 4 comments)
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What a USL D1 league might look like

TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there.
Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored.
So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD.
Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership
First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
  1. All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
  2. MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
  3. The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
  4. All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
  5. The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
  6. Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements:
- League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three
- Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value.
- Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones
- 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people.
- All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000
The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand.
Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair?
Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces.
So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do?
For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined.
Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC
Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594)
Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem.
Candidate: Charleston Battery
Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700)
Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal.
Candidate: Charlotte Independence
Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314)
Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion)
Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021.
Candidate: Hartford Athletic
Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066)
Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion)
Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something.
Candidate: Indy Eleven
Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421)
Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion)
Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there.
Candidate: Louisville City FC
Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000)
Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion)
Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital.
Candidate: Memphis 901 FC
Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325)
Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option.
Candidate: Miami FC, “The”
Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000)
Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club.
Candidate: North Carolina FC
Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583)
Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion)
Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close.
Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450)
Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion)
Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.”
Candidate: Saint Louis FC
Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494)
Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion)
Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history.
Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies
Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511)
Time zone: Eastern
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518)
Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion)
Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign.
Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be.
Candidate: Austin Bold FC
Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594)
Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion)
Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price.
Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939)
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692)
Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion)
Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage.
Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC
Location: El Paso, Texas
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500)
Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion)
Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s?
Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC
Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000)
Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion)
Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed.
Candidate: New Mexico United
Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Time zone: Mountain
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion)
Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem.
Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC
Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066)
Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion)
Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach.
Candidate: Orange County SC
Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250)
Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion)
Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining?
Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC
Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962)
Time zone: Arizona
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400)
Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion)
Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock.
Candidate: Reno 1868 FC
Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion)
Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it.
Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC
Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion)
Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion)
Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface.
Candidate: San Antonio FC
Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000)
Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion)
Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf…
Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC
Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749)
Time zone: Pacific
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561)
Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million)
Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support.
Candidate: FC Tulsa
Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561)
Time zone: Central
Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000)
Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion)
Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark.
And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our…
VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field).
Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight.
But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League:
Hartford Athletic
Indy Eleven
Louisville City FC
Miami FC
North Carolina FC
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
Saint Louis FC
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
Phoenix Rising FC
Las Vegas Lights FC
Orange County SC
San Diego Loyal SC
Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories.
Firm “yes”
Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here.
Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million.
Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in.
Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami?
Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league.
Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs.
Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem.
Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on.
Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer.
San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle.
Cautious “yes”
New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted.
North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black.
Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight.
San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through.
Cautious “no”
Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in.
Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue.
Austin Bold FC: See the other two above.
FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top.
Firm “no”
Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk.
Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship.
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances.
El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one.
Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse.
Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid.
Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through.
Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship:
Birmingham Legion FC
Charleston Battery
Charlotte Independence
Memphis 901 FC
Austin Bold FC
Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC
El Paso Locomotive FC
Oklahoma City Energy FC
Reno 1868 FC
Rio Grande Valley FC
FC Tulsa
With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year:
Chattanooga Red Wolves SC
Forward Madison FC
Greenville Triumph SC
Union Omaha
Richmond Kickers
South Georgia Tormenta
FC Tucson
Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion.
USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs.
USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small.
USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up.
And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated.
Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
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New Music Monday (Week 28) | Fresh tunes have arrived! [+weekly updated playlist]

Weekly updated Spotify Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass
Soundcloud Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Soundcloud
Youtube Playlist H2L: New Drum & Bass Youtube
Last Week's list http://reddit.com/hm7yer
 

Picks Of The Week (by u/lefuniname)

1. Audio - Genesis Device Remixes [Virus Recordings]

Recommended if you like: Pythius, State Of Mind, Rido
You know what we haven’t had in a long time? Remixes!
Ten years after the initial release on his Virus album debut, it is time for a remix package of Audio’s Genesis Device album. Originally the plan was to premiere these four remixes of some of his most well-known classics during the 10 years of Genesis Device Virus takeover in the legendary venue that is Fabric in London.
As you might have guessed, they instead pivoted to a livestream with most of the acts booked for that event, including Black Sun Empire, a classic Matrix set and the neurofunk godfathers themselves, Ed Rush & Optical. The remixes were premiered during Audio’s own set and just 2 very long months later, here they are!
For this milestone, the ungoogleable producer got together with four of the best neurofunk producers the scene has to offer. First off, we have Black Sun Empire who took the titular Genesis Device and turned up the hype factor to 11. I’m going to be honest with you, a 4x4 type beat during the buildup gets me hyped like nothing else. It worked for Enei’s Sinking or the mega collab that is Sidewinder by Camo & Krooked & Mefjus, it worked for this. What follows isn’t any less ridiculous though, that drop just screams energy. Next, Redpill. On his Emissions Remix, Redpill took the “newschool”-techy route that he is known for from tracks like Flesh & Blood or his Rido collab Time.
Compared to the first remix a bit of a vibe switch for sure, but I think we needed that. He even sneaked in a cheeky voice sample from the executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program in there at the end. The third remix is Agressor Bunx’s take on the frog-croaking classic Jibba Jabba. Even though they didn’t stray too far off the original, the changes they did certainly succeeded in updating it to the current “modern” neurofunk sound.
Finally, we have Prolix on remix duties for Scanners. The TrendKill label boss managed to transform the original fast-paced neuro roller into one of the biggest bangers of this year. Absolute monster of a remix. Hide your shoes somewhere safe.

2. Current Value - Time Gap [Blackout]

Recommended if you like: Machine Code, Underhill, Curry Value
Why don’t we stay in the neuro spectrum for a little while longer?
Let’s talk about one of DnB’s most productive producers of our time: Current Value. Seriously, just scroll through his releases on Spotify. It takes a while. After releasing two albums last year (just let that sink in), PUER on Souped Up and Senex on Methlab, the Berlin-based personification of prolificness returns once again to Black Sun Empire’s Blackout with a four-track EP with some of his work to date.
He opens the EP with the titular Time Gap, a track that sums up his appeal in just 4 minutes. Strange vocals, cyberfunk-esque atmosphere and a drop that is just straight up weird. But good weird. Chaotic weird. The follow-up Operator reminds me of the more stepper-y tunes on his Methlab album Senex. How he keeps finding this strange sounds is a mystery to me.
Planar is an endless barrage of noises coming straight for your ears, but arranged in such a way that you still end up enjoying it. The EP closer Deadspot sounds a bit like my neighbours banging on my door to keep the noise down. What I’m saying is, this EP might not be for everyone. But it certainly is for me. If you like strange and unique drum and bass, you’ll be in heaven.

3. Various Artists - Modern Soul LP 5 [Vandal Ltd]

Recommended if you like: GLXY, Redeyes, Halogenix
I think we all deserve a break after the madness we just witnessed. Good thing Vandal Ltd just released their fifth installment in their Modern Soul compilation series!
Founded in 2014 by SKS and Redeyes, the sister label of Toulouse-based Vandal Records has since then become one of the finest places to find soulful and deep liquid. The Modern Soul series perfectly encapsulates what the label is all about. Regularly featuring genre legends like Lenzman, Monty or GLXY, mixed in with contributions by some of the best up-and-coming liquid producers, it is always worth checking out.
And this installment is no exception. While the big name tracks on this release by Monty, Invadhertz, Amoss and Mark Dinimal (also known as MD or one part of Data 3) are all just excellent, the relatively lesser known producers also put in their work.
Arp XP’s provides such a chill vibe that it made me want to check out more of their back catalogue, Rizzle is once again on fire, Vandal regular Forum’s contribution is also very much something to look out for and Arcatype delivers not just one, but two great vibes. Last but definitely not least we got some delightful tracks by Phase and LaMeduza, legendary french producer Peyo, polish hidden gem In-Deed and Metalheadz regular Adred.
Perfect lovely vibes for a chill sunday.

4. DKN - Auf Den Start / The Peak [Subtitles Music]

Recommended if you like: Survey, GROUND, Grey Code
It’s time. For what? Do you really have to ask? For the Underrated Track Of The Week™ of course! This week’s pick might not fit in completely, because I’m sure the creator will become way more famous in no time. I mean, the A side was even played by Dimension in his DJ Mag livestream on saturday. Oh well, still worth talking about.
I’m of course talking about DKN’s debut release Auf Den Start / The Peak on Teebee & K’s label Subtitles Music. If you listen to the double single you will understand why I believe that this man will blow up very very soon. The Brightonian DKN rose through the ranks with his mixing abilities, winning the Data Transmission DJ Competition in 2015 and eventually catching the attention of TeeBee. Soon enough he was featured on Subtitle Music’s Podcast The Sub Club, culminating in this debut release on that same label.
Both Auf Den Start and The Peak bring a lot of raw and deep energy to the table. Both use great vocal samples that are stuck in my head for hours after listening to them. In conclusion: Both are bangers. My favorite has to be The Peak though, just because of that fast-paced high-pitched instrument (wish there was a shazam for instruments) that comes in half-way through the rolling drop. If this is just the debut release, imagine what else he has in store.
Other Hidden Gems this week:
  • Speksi - Beg / Veil (hooooly Magnetude vibes)
  • Drumsik - Noise In My Mind (was already released on Beatport previous, but it’s really really good and I missed it before)
  • Freqax - Upfack the Cosmofunk Sloth
  • Vypes - Brand New  

New Releases

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Trump has attempted to get the presidency many times in the past

The beginning
When Q is saying “Was Trump asked to run for President w/ assurances made to prevent tampering?” my initial thought was that the alliance asked him to run some time before the 2016 election but with a little bit of research it becomes obvious that this is not the case. So, let’s go back in time.
The year is 2011, Trump is giving interviews as a potential candidate for the Presidency. While he is not sure if he will end up running or not that doesn’t stop him from going full attack on Obama. In one interview (1) he says about Obama’s background “I have people that actually have being studying it and they cannot believe what they are finding”. In another (2) with Sean Hannity he seems to know every detail when it comes to Obama’s connections with extremists such as Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright and a mobster named Tony Rezko. What is interesting about the events that transpire then is something that Trump said about Obama in his 2015 (3) speech at CPAC “Hillary Clinton wanted his birth certificate … John McCain fought really hard and really viciously to get his birth certificate … Trump comes along and I am not a sitting senator I am not a sitting anything else … he gave a birth certificate … Hillary Clinton wanted it, McCain wanted it and I wanted it. He didn’t do it for them, he did it for me (!) …”
This wasn’t the first time Trump attempted to get the Presidency. According to some articles (4) he was mulling with a presidential run for 2004 and 2008 but both times decided against running. He did however came much closer to a presidential run in 2000 when he campaigned for the nomination of the Reform Party. It is important to note who is backing Trump this time. First, it’s his long time pen pal and star of the Reform Party, Jesse Ventura. To be exact, Ventura privately encouraged Trump to run but official told reporters that “… If he announces that he will be a candidate he will absolutely get my full consideration” as he put it. Second it’s his longtime aide Roger Stone who was hired as director of the exploratory committee. Again this wasn’t the first time Trump came close to running for President. For that we have to go back in 1987, where there are reports stating that Sumner Baye and Abe Hirschfeld launched a campaign to make Donald Trump the first multi-billionaire president of the United States. Also there is a political activist named Mike Dunbar who launched a “Draft Trump” campaign hoping that he will convince the billionaire to run.
So, what year was he asked to run for President? If you look at the above timeline and consider the effort put to make Trump President it appears that this effort intensifies as we come close to 2016. The first attempt in 1987 appears uncoordinated by some secret benevolent force. It is just some guys who thought Trump had what it needed in order to become great President. Plus back then Trump completely backed George Bush for the Presidency (5) so he didn’t seem to have good info or inside knowledge. If you think maybe Bush wasn’t at the time the scam he turned out to be you will probably be wrong. Between 1977 and 1979, he was director of the Council on Foreign Relations, prior to that he was Director of the Central Intelligence (CIA) for about a year. The second attempt (2000) however is a whole different case. This time he does a lot more than attend a couple of rallies as he did in 1987. He forms a presidential exploratory committee, makes numerous media appearances as a candidate, travels to campaign events in Florida, California, Minnesota and even qualifies for two presidential primaries. What is really interesting about this potential presidential run is the timing. Donald Trump announced the creation of a presidential exploratory committee on October 7 1999 on Larry King’s show. JFK Jr. died July 16, 1999. Not even three full months after his death Trump is considering a presidential run. But how is this related to Trump’s decision? Trump and JFK Jr were friends (Trump said it in his interview with Larry King) (6). JFK Jr was considering a run for the New York Senate. Hillary Clinton was targeting the same seat. JFK Jr was the favorite to win the seat. The Clintons murdered JFK Jr (or so they thought) in order to massively increase Hillary’s chances of winning. My theory is that this is the event that convinced Trump to join the alliance and run for President. I am assuming that there is already an effort to get rid of the cabal since 1963. As Q put it “Rest in peace Mr. President (JFK), through your wisdom and strength, since your tragic death, Patriots have planned, installed, and by the grace of God, activated, the beam of LIGHT." Maybe that was The “Start” Q mentioned in post 1082.
Important to note that even back then you can clearly see the MSM are doing their best to paint a negative picture of “The Donald” (7) as they called him. But remember who controls the media, it’s the CIA. Operation Mockingbird started in the early 1950s so by the 1999 they must have had complete control of the media. So when MSNBC is bitching about Trump back in 2000 who is really bitching about Trump. Yep, you guessed it, it’s the CIA. So either they knew there was an organized effort to take the Presidency or simply that Trump wasn’t one of them.
Unfortunately at this point and time the alliance’s attempt to win the Presidency seems rushed and not well prepared. Take for example Trump’s picks/considerations for his cabinet. Oprah Winfrey for Vice President and Colin Powell for Secretary of State. I left the “best” for last. John McCain for Secretary of Defense. Wait what, no name for DOD?? (۝ṌṌꙬ@).
Years pass by, Trump continues to run his empire and joins The Apprentice in an attempt to build his reputation (?). He mentions in a couple articles about a potential Presidential run for the 2004 and 2008 years but nothing happens. Until 2011. Then, he is literally everywhere, giving interview after interview, attacking Obama with very well research points, being more serious than ever to run. Everything looks ideal for them, he even leads some polls (according to him) but in the end decides not to run. What happened? Why didn’t he run for the 2012 election? Maybe the alliance wasn’t ready?
To get a better picture you should also consider this. Members of the alliance are using the US military for their counter coup but remember the military is equipped to fight tanks, fighter jets and other armored vehicles, it is not equipped to fight the mainstream media and all other corrupt officials. It must have taken the white hats years in order to transform the military with new abilities (plus they would have needed to be extra careful in the beginning).
So ask yourself these questions. Trump joined the apprentice in 2003, what if he didn’t join to make his name a bigger brand? What if this move was part of the plan? The show made him look powerful, in control and friendly to millions of Americans. Just listen to what Roger Stone said in an interview (8) “He is perfectly made up. He is perfectly coiffed. He is perfectly lit. He is in a high back chair making tough decisions. What is he look like? He looks like a President! …I understand the elite say that’s reality TV. Voters don’t see it that way”.
Yet, there are evidence suggesting that the organized plan to make Trump President goes way before 1999 (which was my initial guess) with unknown forces supporting it and others opposing it. These evidence are not direct but suggest foreknowledge and negative preconditioning for the public.
First, it’s the famous Illuminati card game published in 1982. In one of the later versions of the game, Illuminati New World Order Assassins (1995), a card was published with a potential great significance to our research. The card is titled “Enough is Enough”, is depicting a guy yelling and it writes “At any time, at any place, our snipers can drop you. Have a nice day.” What is particularly interesting about this card is the similarities with real life and the timeline that led to where we are now. To begin with the analysis the guy depicted in the card bears a strong resemblance to the 1995 Donald, furthermore the picture cleverly conceals the guy’s hair. All these years people though that this card predicted Trump’s Presidency but I don’t think it did. I have an alternative explanation, probably better. What if Trump is the one saying “Enough is Enough” (He has said it many times in his rallies (9), I even found it on his twitter 3 times one of which was on 9/11/2014! Even Q wrote the exact same phrase 3 times in posts 930, 1010 and 1494) and the bad guys are the ones saying the other part “At any time, at any place, our snipers can drop you. Have a nice day.” Maybe the card was published as warning for the good guys not to try anything. Maybe that was the reason the guys’ hair was concealed. Donald’s hair is unique, if it wasn’t concealed it would have been obvious to whom this card was addressed but that wasn’t necessary. The message could be sent and received without unrelated people finding out what is all about. It is worth mentioning that the game was published by a gaming company (Steve Jackson Games) who has a pyramid with an eye as its logo and had its offices raided by the Secret Service in 1990 for supposedly making a 'Hacking Guide'.
Second, “Back to the Future Part II” screenwriter Bob Gale recently confirmed in an interview that Donald Trump was the inspiration for the character (Biff Tannen) he and director Robert Zemeckis created back in 1989. Long story short, future Biff steals time travel machine, goes back in time and gives his younger shelf a sports almanac with the outcomes of the games for the next 50 years. Biff uses this info, becomes a billionaire and a playboy, buys a casino and gets involved in many shady businesses. His ascent to power is accompanied with the burning of the local school, the rise of the police state, increase in poverty, prostitution and gang related crimes. Overall, the beautiful town of Hill Valley descends into anarchy. In the same movie that predicted the attacks on 9/11 Trump’s character is portrayed as someone that will endanger society’s future. In case you don’t know in Back to the future 1 Libyan nationalists attack Doctor Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) in the Twin Pines Mall at 1:16 Α.Μ. (which is 9:11 if you turn it upside down), in Back to the Future 2 you can see two pines appearing in Marty McFly's (Michael Fox) tv which later turn into the twin towers as his mother keeps changing the channels. If you observe the whole scene from grandpa McFly’s point of view (he is hovering upside down from some medical device) you can clearly see that the towers appear to be falling. The same people that feel the need to reveal their plans before they end your life they are also “telling” you that Trump’s ascent to power can have severe consequences. Again, consider the timeline. The second movie is published in 1989. It would have been in production for at least one or two years. What year Trump attempted a run for the Presidency for the first time? 1987!
I know I didn’t prove exactly when he was asked to run but I think I made it obvious that this underground war has been going on long before any of us knew anything about it. I am also wondering if bad actors were aware of an attempt to end their empire with Donald Trump destined to lead this effort then how did he manage to avoid assassination all these years? I will leave you with this, one of Trump’s tweets “…I went from VERY successful businessman, to top T.V. Star.....to President of the United States (on my first try). I think that would qualify as not smart, but genius....and a very stable genius at that!” Is he taunting anyone?

“I knew this day would arrive, it is only a question of when…” Donald J Trump



  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Blckpwk1voQ
  2. http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2011/04/15/exclusive-donald-trump-rips-into-president-obama-past.html
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEnkJNEMLH0
  4. https://mashable.com/2015/06/16/donald-trump-president-fake/?europe=true#XK8sJ2M58aqL
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acpmInqcuH4 (@6:20)
  6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1F6OTigqQo0 (@37:10)
  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkPSds6085I
  8. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltuugbKPJ9g (@1:00, 4:25)
  9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kkp3gARJEes (@2:45, 2:57)
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