Open competition is the only means to establishing legitimacy of the American soccer pyramid.
5/16 MLS Teams lost to lower-Division competition in 2013 Open Cup. 9/16 MLS Teams lost to lower-Division competition in 2012 Open Cup. Most of the market is darkened by the current structure. NO reliable way to determine market bounds (Division I or otherwise) absent competitive distribution across multi-tiered league architecture. U.S. Soccer will continue to suffer from how current anti-competitive structure undermines legitimate competition and organic distribution of market participants. An overwhelming majority of soccer players, fans, and consumers are underserved by U.S. Soccer.