So let’s recap:
- Men’s national team failed to qualify the 2018 World Cup.
- The U23 Men’s team has failed to qualify for the last two Olympics.
- Columbus Crew is possibly moving to Austin/holding Columbus hostage for a new stadium.
- NASL is suing USSF for denying the NASL Division 2 sanctioning.
- Youth clubs are suing USSF for not paying FIFA-mandated solidarity and training compensation fees.
- Pyramid? What Pyramid? This year there were two Division 2 leagues and zero Division 3 leagues. Next year there will be either 1 or 2 Division Two leagues and 0, 1 or 2 Division 3 leagues.
- MLS has 3 defunct teams. USL has at least 10. Latest incarnation of NASL has at least 4.
- MLS TV ratings are abysmal and not getting better, despite claims to contrary. 
- MLS attendance is flat, despite claims to contrary. 
- The entity that regulates MLS (the USSF) is actually a business parter with MLS (through SUM). Don Garber, commissioner of MLS, is on the USSF board, which regulates MLS. What?
- USSF gave USL 30 days to be in compliance with D2 standards. That “deadline” passed more than a month ago.
- MLS claims all franchises must have a soccer-specific stadium. NYFC will play in Yankee Stadium indefinitely. Atlanta plays in a football stadium. Etc.
- USL claims all franchises will a soccer-specific stadium. Atlanta and Memphis were announced as new franchises … playing in baseball stadiums (not to mention the many current franchises not playing in soccer-specific stadiums).
- Three clubs have jumped from USL to NASL. Two clubs have moved to MLS. Half-a-dozen clubs have folded. There is no stability.
- The San Francisco Deltas won the NASL championship but are set to fold. Nashville has never had a team and is set to play in MLS.
- In 2006 Don Garber said MLS wanted to expand to Rochester. In 2017 Rochester is set to fold unless $1.3 million can be found in the next few weeks.
- For many years ECNL was the top girls youth league. US Soccer recently chose to usurp that league’s position by establishing their own “top league for girls,” and a cold war rages.
- Is MLS a ponzi scheme?
This is not an exhaustive list, but it is exhausting. As you can see, no level of soccer in the country is immune to infighting, half-truths, struggles, corruption. From youth to pro, US soccer is unstable and under-performing. And it’s only because I care that I focus on all of the negative in soccer. Admittedly, some of the items in this list could be debated and/or removed, or seen in a different light, but the illustration holds that there is a lot to be worked on in US Soccer. We could be a world power if we unified our pyramid all the way down to the youth level, and it makes me sad that we aren’t.
 2017 saw a 4% uptick in MLS TV ratings, but looking closer, ESPN was down, while FOX and Univision were up. Also, Atlanta and Minnesota came on as expansion franchises, accounting for the 4% growth (basically the only one watching MLS are people in MLS cities). Finally, ratings weren’t good in the first place, so lipstick on a pig.
 If you look at 2015 to 2016 change, 11 of the 20 MLS team attendance averages fell or remained flat. The 2017 numbers (up only 1.8%) are inflated by Atlanta.