Many years ago, I knew that the quality of the MLS wasn’t very good and the truth is that the sport was nothing like what it is in South America or in Europe. My buddy Joseph and I however, have watched this league really grow in strength and in stature over the last 20 years and that is something which everyone in the country should be happy about.
The better that the league becomes, the better our national team will become, and that of course is good for us all.
For Joseph Cipolla Chicago Fire are everything and so too is the MLS. It was Joseph in fact who kind of twisted my arm into watching the MLS some years ago, and I am very pleased that he did. This is how the league has found its feet.
Less Legends, More Quality
There was a time when the MLS became a retiring ground for many of Europe’s top players, a slow paced and easy league where they could ply their trade for a few more years, making some big cash in the meantime. Whilst this is still the case to an extent, the teams in the league are far more keen on bringing quality to the division. Even if we look at a case like Ibrahimovic, he still offered an incredible amount of quality regardless of his age.
We are currently seeing a wonderful generation of US and Canadian players and that is because there has been a huge investment in grassroots soccer in the country. Now the thing which the league would of course like to prevent, is those talented young players looking to head across to Europe to play, although that is the next step which will come. We only need to look at the likes of Alphonso Davies and Christian Pulisic to see an example of the talent which we have here, if we can then keep that talent in the league we will see it level up very quickly.
It has taken a very long time but ultimately there is a general acceptance that the MLS is not like any other leagues, and so it has stopped trying. The fans are not like they are in Europe, there is not that edge here. The teams play differently, unlike they do in other countries and that is fine, because in reality this level of individuality is exactly what we are all looking for in a league. The MLS did try for a long time to fit in, but it doesn’t, it is different and that is something which should certainly be celebrated.
The league continues to go from strength to strength and we expect that in the coming years, the MLS will be right up there as one of the world’s best leagues to play in, with great clubs and exciting players. What do you make of the progress which the league has made so far?