The Rapid Rise of the MLS

This upcoming year is set to be the biggest yet for American Soccer (football). The league was only founded in 1993 yet has hosted some of the biggest names in world football and will get even more in this coming season. The MLS only first started due to the successful bid for the 1994 world cup and from there enough hype and excitement meant that a full league could begin. The first season began two years later with just 10 teams but struggled in its early years with financial problems. The leagues popularity has in many respects mirrored the success of the national team. When the USA unexpectedly reached the quarter finals of the 2002 world cup the league quickly progressed resulting in 2005 when the MLS signed up to the International Football Association Boards (IFAB) rules. The National teams success also meant that American players were playing all over the world and for big clubs. Brad Friedal, Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey are all examples of players who played at the highest level despite the lack of notability for American soccer at this time. The MLS was never really well-known  until 2007 where one man changed the level of the league forever. David Beckham. The global celebrities move to LA Galaxy from Real Madrid sparked a massive rise for the MLS in America as well as across the world. Everyone wanted to see him play and as a result soccer in the US rose dramatically. He has started a wave, we now see some of the greatest players of the last 10-15 years now playing or have played in the MLS. Thierry Henry, Kaka, David Villa have all featured and only raised the profile of the league more. We now see two of potentially England’s best ever central midfielders Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard moving to the league. The progression has been truly remarkable and of progress keeps at this level it will quickly be one if the biggest football leagues in the world, rivaling that of Serie A and Ligue 1 certainly. Obviously without huge amounts of investment this rise would not have been possible but football is increasingly becoming more and more based around money and if there is still big bucks to be made in the MLS the league will only get more popular.

David Beckham revolutionized the MLS and football in America
David Beckham revolutionized the MLS and football in America
Stars like Clint Dempsey have brought American football to the world stage
Stars like Clint Dempsey have brought American football to the world stage

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