Add DeAndre Yedlin to list of people who think Major League Soccer would be better off with promotion and relegation.
Yedlin did an interview with ESPN this week in which he spoke about a range of topics, including how he thinks MLS can improve. The Newcastle United fullback stated he believes that adopting promotion and relegation would be greatly beneficial to the the league, as it would make for a more cutthroat environment in which matches mean more.
“There’s a different energy to when you win or lose a game in MLS to when you win or lose here. It is that feeling that here, every game matters,” Yedlin told ESPN. “Kids here are growing up knowing about relegation and how important it is and things like that. (In the United States and Canada), there’s just not that feel for it yet.
“If that got introduced, the league would be much more competitive. Something needs to be done to take the league more seriously, and I think that would be good.”
A former Seattle Sounders player, Yedlin joins a growing list of players that have recently come out in favor of Major League Soccer adopting promotion and relegation. DaMarcus Beasley told SBI last year before he retired that the league would benefit from introducing the system that is used widely around the rest of the world, while former LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic hit out at how the structure of the MLS season puts an emphasis on making the playoffs.
Like his former U.S. Men’s National Team teammate Beasley, Yedlin talked about how there is an overall indifference to defeats in MLS in the current system.
“My first game playing with Seattle we lost and I was pissed off and really frustrated and I remember them saying, ‘Don’t worry about it,’ and this and that,” said Yedlin. “Obviously you have to keep a balance of how you react to games and losses and wins and things like that, but I remember thinking, ‘How can these guys be so not angry about a loss?'”
Yedlin noted it would be difficult to introduce promotion and relegation in MLS because of the financial implications. He added, however, that he believed implementing the system would help breed a more competitive environment that would both help the league’s perception abroad and push players to another level.
“It was actually quite tough for me in the beginning,” said Yedlin of heading to Europe. “There were times when I was like, ‘This is too much,’ the jump from MLS to here in all aspects of it, not just the football aspect. I remember being in my apartment thinking like, ‘I can’t do this, I want to go back.’
“…I’ve learned a lot about myself and I think I’ve learned things about myself that I definitely wouldn’t have learnt if I wouldn’t have come over here.”