Major League Soccer was founded in 1993, as part of successful bid to host 1994 World Cup in football. The league had its ups and downs, but the question remains, is Major League Soccer improving?
Major League Soccer isn’t that old. Premier League is a little bit older, but has become much bigger than MLS. Some say that the reasons for this is that Americans just don’t like soccer, and that there just isn’t any room for another sport. Meaning that NBA, NFL, etc., are simply too big. I believe that it has a lot to do with a meltdown in 2002 when 2 teams out of 10, folded from the league.
Back than, teams were playing in stadiums that were build for American football, or rugby. There was basically no crowds, and no profits. Everything smelled like a failed attempt.
Its funny enough that another world cup kick started the league again. This time it was World Cup 2002, where USA managed to get to quarter finals. This was totally unexpected, and people started to take notice about soccer.
The league really transformed in space of four years, with a focus on homegrown players. This resulted with European teams buying American soccer players. The clubs also moved away from American football stadiums onto their own soccer build stadiums. This all helped to get MLS profitable which is a basis for any successful league now days.
In the following years, the league expanded to 20 teams, which really boosted the league strength. Even more important was the signing of David Bechkam in 2007. Although Beckham playing impact wasn’t that big, his brand helped MLS enormously. Beckham was at the time probably one of the most know soccer players in the world. I believe that this really put MLS on the map of soccer. Similar thing happened with Thierry Henry in 2010.
One of the crucial aspects of Major League Football now is that there is more money involved every year. This season New York City and Orlando City started playing in the league with David Villa and Kaka as their star players. Soon Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard will star playing in the league, which will increase its popularity even further.
Major polls are suggesting that Majore League Soccer is becoming more popular than Major League Baseball, which is another clue that MLS is really improving.
|MLS IS GOING UP|
One of the things that is changing, is ability to hold homegrown talents in MLS clubs. This clubs have become very well funded and they don’t really need money from selling their key players. I remember a while ago when Sebastian Giovinco signed for MLS club Toronto. This was one of the first signings that included a young quality European player, and I think we will see a lot of this kind of signings in the future.
To sum up, I believe that MLS or Major League Soccer is improving, and that in time, its going to be similar to NBA, and NFL. Its hard to say if its going to beat Premier League, but the USA market is very big, and profits might just make MLS the best football league in the world.