Let’s take a look at MLS’s place in the world and the future of the league.
What is the MLS?
Major League Soccer is the men's Professional Soccer league in the United States of America. It consists of twenty-one teams in America and three teams in Canada. It had gained popularity recently and even broke its records when Atlanta United joined the league in 2017.
Soccer in Canada and America (H2)
The world loves soccer or as the rest of the world call it “football.” It is everywhere from Europe to South America and even Africa. The development of the sport in the USA and Canada has been slow, and it only started to gain popularity in recent years. Both countries are dominated by American football, baseball, and hockey fans (like Fanduel fans), but people are beginning to see that soccer can have a place in these countries.
Since 2012 the interest in the sport in the U.S. and Canada has increased by 27%. The top cities that have the highest interest in the sport are:
- New York
- Los Angeles
Miami is the next city in line after the top five listed above. There are plans to add Miami and Nashville to the league in 2020. We suspect that after that interest in the sport will increase even more.
The MLS has gained popularity mainly through television broadcasts, social media, and heritage. More interest equals more profit. F.C. Cincinnati and Nashville F.C. paid $150 million to get in the league.
Soccer legends in the MLS
Over the years some international stars have transitioned into the league and made it their home for a time. The most popular names on the list are soccer stars like:
- Zlatan Ibrahimović
- Wayne Rooney
- David Beckham
- Bastian Schweinsteiger
David Beckham is also one of the owners of the newest addition to the MLS family – Inter Miami. They will debut exactly 13 years from Beckham's first venture into American soccer in 2007 to the team L.A. Galaxy. Some people consider thirteen to be an unlucky number, but for the sake of MLS, I hope it a lucky one.
American players in leagues abroad
We mentioned that international sports stars had joined the MLS, but have American players made it to a global level?
Leagues such as Bundesliga, the Premier League and Ligue 1 have acquired a total of thirty-six player over the years. They have played in great teams like:
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Borussia Dortmund
- Newcastle United F.C.
The most notable name on the list is the players Christian Pulisic, who beat John Brooks' record when Chelsea purchased him from Borussia Dortmund for $73 million.
The future of the MLS
While we can't say that this is the “golden age” of the MLS, we can say that it's close. The ingredients for an unbeaten soccer league are the promotion of new talent, investments in the sport, and the process and investment in new soccer stadiums with more seats. Maybe the international legends will teach the young stars a trick or two and MLS will sky-rocket into one of the top 10 International Soccer Leagues.