We are down to the wire when it comes to the ongoing labor negotiations between Major League Soccer and the MLS Player's Union, and it's looking grim. What little information that's been leaked suggests that the sides are still far apart on a resolution, and it's seeming less and less likely that the season will start on time. So what's a Union fan to do?
- There are still domestic leagues to follow. Sure, MLS is the top-flight league here in the United States and Canada, however there are still lower divisions that you can follow during the hiatus. First, your team probably has a USL affiliate, so it's natural to follow them. The Philadelphia Union's affiliate are the Harrisburg City Islanders, so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter. Beyond that, PDL side Reading United AC is in the area and has produced a ton of MLS players. The NASL is around, although none of their teams are exactly local. There are also a slew of college teams in the area as well as independent amateur teams such as Bearfight FC - a team founded by Union supporters - and semi-pro teams like the Philadelphia Fury.
- There are foreign leagues to follow too. MLS may be the top-flight league in the US and Canada, but it's not even the best league in the region. Mexico's Liga MX holds that honor, winning the last nine CONCACAF Champions League tournaments. Liga MX is readily available in the United States on over-the-air channels such as Telemundo, Azteca, and Univision, and if you have to watch it on cable, ESPN Deportes and Univision Deportes as well. While the language barrier may be a bit much for some, two teams have English-language digital social media accounts - Tijuana and Santos Laguna. Besides, how many of us haven't watched a streamed match of dubious legality in Albanian or Russian? Beyond Mexico, South America is full of great leagues. If you're looking for something that has ties closer to the Union, check out where some of the Union's current and former players play and follow those teams. Ex-Union players can be found in Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and South Korea among other places.