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Why The MLS Is On Track To Be The World's Best League

Updated on November 11, 2012
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The MLS: Shooting For Greatness

Even with David Beckham and many other stars swapping Europe for America, it still remains a little dot in the world of soccer. Unfortunately, for the rest of the world, it's time for the North American soccer revolution.

Reason 1: Attendence

While the EPL may dominate overall average attendance, there are several MLS teams ready to give them a run for their money. For example, the Seattle Sounders averaged38,495 fans last year, leaving just 5 empty seats. That would put them 8th in the EPL in terms of attendance, in front of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, Stoke, Fulham among other notable teams. This also would but them in 5th in the La Liga, in front of teams like Sevilla and 13th in the Bundesliga, still ahead of teams like Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg. A brand new team to the league, the Montreal Impact, managed to average 25,357 in their first season in the MLS a very impressive tally for a team making the leap from the NASL to the MLS. This creates a good fan base for the MLS that they can only grow to EPL levels with.

Reason 2: Homegrown Stars

While top European leagues have aging old stars, the MLS manages to produce homegrown stars, and keep them inside the states until they are ready for the prime-time. Players like Stoke's Geoff Cameron and Fulham's Clint Dempsey were MLS products, proving that Americans can play soccer at the EPL level, while the MLS teams still get to cash in on them for a good period of time. While some move to other teams, some stay in the USA, such as FC Dallas's Brek Shea who has been recruited by Arsenal among other big name clubs. This lets the US Men's National Team perform better, boosting the popularity of the MLS and soccer in America, which eventually improves the quality of soccer in America.

Reason 3: Quality Of Play

The quality and style of play of the MLS was once a joke. Now, with the influence of European and South American soccer players, the league has developed it's own style of play. It has tints of the "beautiful" soccer that is played in South America, along with the grit and harshness of British soccer. This being infused with a "never say die" ambition introduces a "good-looking" and entertaining game of soccer. With it's own style of play, the MLS can grow in quality, adding to the good base it already has. International players such as Seattle's Fredy Montero, LA's Beckham and Keane and even New England's Saer Sene have boosted the quality of the game, teaching younger Americans how to finish and cross with pace and touch. The American (and Canadian) game will grow from this, boosting the MLS.

MLS Players To Look Out For

Diego Fagundez, New England Revolution: As he is only 17, he is primarily used as a sub, but when he comes on, the pace of the game changes to a fast-paced South American style of soccer. So far he has 3 goals in 15 appearances.

Danny Mwanga, Portland Timbers: Only 20 years old, the Congolese striker was nominated for the MLS All-Star game, and wishes to play for the US National Team instead of his homeland of Congo. He is powerful, yet quick, which is a deadly combination.

Darren Mattocks, Vancouver Whitecaps: Mattocks has scored 7 goals in 13 games in his rookie season in the MLS. He will be a star for the Jamaican National Team, and he is only 21. He is currently rated number two in the MLS rookies rankings, and will compete for the rookie of the year award.


The Seattle Sounder's Fans March To The Stadium

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    • CyclingFitness profile image

      Liam Hallam 4 years ago from Nottingham UK

      Wheres the rest of the info? There's hardly anything to give reasoning here. More than two reasons would help as you're never going to be the best league in the world on just attendance

      All leagues seem to have their own homegrown stars so not sure this can be cited as a reasoning

      The fact that Beckham is deemed one of your better players degrades from the league- he can't get into his national team and is more effective as a marketing machine for England.

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 4 years ago from England

      Seatle Sounders have great supporters, i remember when Manchester United played them in their 2010-2011 pre season tour and they really enjoy the Football and support their team.

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      Well.. what defines the best league. Brazil's clubs are full of homegrown talent, legendary clubs, huge attendances. If you consider many of Brazil's stadiums for their top clubs are too big for them.

      I think economically, MLS can rise to be very potent simply because of the economic potency of the USA's populace. This is a business, not amateur.

      so, money talks. the fiscal brand of the MLS will grow large, but athletically, the MLS will never be the best.

      Every top league in europe and south america has a very deep tiered system for talent.

      MLS doesn't? the EPL has the championship, MLS has USL. and the new NASL.

      Second, the first test is Mexico. the fact that the CCL has been totally dominated by mexican teams proves a lot.

      When an MLS side lifts that trophy then MLS can say they have jumped their first hurdle to being a better league. As long as an MLS side doesn't lift that trophy, I will doubt.

      @CCahill, new england revs, new york redbulls, columbus crew, chivas usa, all have poor attendances currently, historically, or relatively.States in the northwest of the USA are uncommon. they dont have a huge history of success in other sports.

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 4 years ago from England

      @ Rich

      What in any sports? Or just good at Soccer?

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Well, a very interesting hub! I would have to agree with you, I think somewhere down the road the MLS and USMNT will become a dominating force in world soccer. It might be awhile, 10-30 years perhaps, but at the rate the MLS is improving, and the USMNT, I think America is on a fast track to success. The US team did just beat Mexico and Italy in the same year....

      As for the MLS, I am a big fan of the Union, and have been to a few of their games. They almost always sell out, with about 20,000 fans. Their location in Philadelphia and success there, would suggest other teams like the NYRB just have poor marketing.

      Oh, maybe add a little more on up and comming MLS stars? Like Zusi and some of the other younger players around the league.

    • CCahill profile image

      CCahill 4 years ago from England

      The potential is huge, such a high population of people to tap into both talent and support wise

    • mmsu profile image

      mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

      It's definitely becoming better and better.

    • seh1101 profile image

      Sean Hemmer 4 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I attend a few Chicago matches each summer. Attendance and the Section 8 supporter's section has definitely grown and continues to. Luckily, they have booked some great friendlies over the past few years as well.

      Chi-ca-go FIRE! Chi-ca-go FIRE!

    • nlazar profile image
      Author

      N. Lazar 4 years ago from USA

      Sorry all, looks like the last parts which I did on the hubpages app on my phone didn't carry over or save. I'll be adding those so it actually proves my case.

    • nlazar profile image
      Author

      N. Lazar 4 years ago from USA

      Unfortunately, my Revs aren't having the crowd they deserve, but thats more because their stadium is about 40 minutes out of Boston and what would be it's main fan base area.

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      @CCahill, no they are the worst, the best soccer players are in new york city and los angeles, the problem is that in the USA soccer development is very suburban. So, you rarely see urban , especially big city environments with soccer development even though the best fans are there.

      And, it is a poor region.

      to say it in ways you can see easy, most of the basketball, football, baseball and hockey clubs in the area would be relegated more than most other regions over the past 50 years. But, relegation doesnt exist in those sports in the USA.

      as a new yorker, the reason the redbulls are poor is because the redbulls/metrostars have never won a championship, which is a no no for a true nyc club. You must comprehend CCahill, a new york city team has won in every single major league. MLS is not considered major and the nyc representative , the redbulls, hasnt lifted the trophy. And, the fact that new yorkers aren't in love with suburbanites doesnt help. It is culturall. MLS didn't think of this, and many other things, and is paying the price.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      I wouldn't say the MLS is 'paying the price'. They are doing pretty well at growing and expanding. Yes, they have made mistakes in some markets, but overall there are many places that have incredible attendance records for soccer in america. Seattle, Portland, Philly, Vancouver, Houston, Montreal, and Kansas city all have very high attendance records. I think thats a success.

    • profile image

      Richard-Murray 4 years ago

      @internpete

      faire nough

    • nlazar profile image
      Author

      N. Lazar 4 years ago from USA

      Saw the Revolution vs Union game, and the attendance of the revolution is getting better, but the stadium just isn't convenient enough to have a EPL or (npower) Championship size crowd.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 4 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      too bad the Union only got a tie....they needed a win!

    • nlazar profile image
      Author

      N. Lazar 4 years ago from USA

      So did the revs though ):

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