In Defense of MLS

There is a type of soccer fan out there that feels that Major League Soccer is terrible. That it is a weak league full of players who used to be good combined with players who aren’t good enough. They complain about the corporate structure of MLS.

They complain about the salary cap. They complain about the allocation rules. They complain about the regular season time frame. They complain, complain, complain and complain again.

I understand. I get it.

Major League Soccer is not the Premier League, Bundesliga, or even Liga MX. As a matter of fact, according to the most recent rankings of world leagues by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, Major League Soccer comes in 49th.

Forty-Ninth.

Obviously there is a long way to go before objectively speaking, MLS can be mentioned in the same breath as the power leagues of the world. Subjectively however, the top flight of American soccer has never been better and has a long bright future. How is that possible, you say? I’ll respond to that with some facts.

Soccer has never been more popular in the USA than it is right this second.

Don’t believe me? Talk to Sacramento Republic FC, a USL Pro team that averaged 11,293 in attendance per game. Talk to Orlando City SC president Phil Rawlins and head coach Adrian Heath who built a team from nothing in 2008 and 6 years later signed Kaká ahead of their Major League Soccer inaugural season. Both of those sentences are insane.

Major League Soccer is the 10th best attended soccer league in the world. MLS’average attendance of 19,149 is higher than the NHL (17,587) and the NBA (17,274). Never has there been such a level of support for soccer in this country.

Major League Soccer has corrected 68 years of poor management of the game in the USA.

Major League Soccer is the 10th best attended soccer league in the world. MLS’average attendance of 19,149 is higher than the NHL (17,587) and the NBA (17,274). Never has there been such a level of support for soccer in this country.

Major League Soccer now has a regular national television time slot for the first time ever.

Major League Soccer is the 10th best attended soccer league in the world. MLS’average attendance of 19,149 is higher than the NHL (17,587) and the NBA (17,274). Never has there been such a level of support for soccer in this country.

The United States Men’s National Team has never been stronger

Major League Soccer is the 10th best attended soccer league in the world. MLS’average attendance of 19,149 is higher than the NHL (17,587) and the NBA (17,274). Never has there been such a level of support for soccer in this country.

If all that is not enough to convince you that MLS is poised to make the leap then not much else will. This is still a young league that just hit its 20th anniversary and it will only continue to grow in the United States.

The stars from overseas will get younger and the talent will only get better as the salaries grow and the league’s profile grows along with it. We are entering a new era of MLS and I could not be any more excited for what is to come.