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