If you’re a huge football fanatic, it is likely that you will tend to watch all sorts of football, all types of leagues, divisions, from non-league to the top leagues in Europe and South America. One of the leagues that you are missing out on though, is the MLS. So here is an article to inform and explain a bit more about the Major League Soccer.
What Is The MLS?
MLS stands for Major League Soccer and is the top division in the United States. The league was formed in 1996. For its first few years, it was a league unknown to people outside of the United States. But in 2002, when the United States had a successful world cup campaign, reaching the quarter finals, the league became a bit more popular, producing talents such as DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan; who have went on to succeed in Europe. The league captured even more attention two years later, when 14-year-old Freddy Adu made his debut for D.C United and has since become one of the most famous players ever to grace the MLS. Now the MLS, is proving to be one of the most popular leagues in the world, with many famous names accepting to have a crack at the MLS.
How Does It Work?
One of the greatest things about the MLS, is that it is a very extraordinary league and its format is different to most leagues. The league is split into two divisions, mainly because of how huge a country America is. In total there are 19 teams that compete in the MLS, nine in the Western Conference and ten in the Eastern Conference. The top 5 teams in each division advance to the play-offs, with the top 3 in each league receiving a bye into the next round, meaning that 4th and 5th place in each division play each other in a one-off game. Each team in each league is seeded 1 to 5, so in the conference Semi-finals they play each other home and away, the lower seeded team host the first game. The same thing happens for the Conference final as it also remains two legged, with the winner reaching the final, earning a place in the CONCACAF Champions League 1st round, whereas the winner is handed a place in the group stage and crowned the MLS Champions.
Why Is It A League For The Future?
It is so different to other leagues, it stands out from the rest. The standard of football being played is vastly improving and developing, making the league even better. Another great thing about the MLS is that it is an extremely competitive league; no team runs away with the league, the league is full of great teams, so games are unpredictable and you simply cannot predict the outcome of a game. All the time famous players are moving to the MLS, because it is a league that they want to be apart off. Support is good in the MLS, with many fans watching the games at several different arenas and venues across the United States. Coverage of the MLS is fairly good, with ESPN heavily covering the big games on their channel as well as other local channels and American TV Channels. All the highlights of games can also be seen on the official MLS website.
I have recently become very interested in the MLS, as it is such an entertaining league. Teams start and finish the game with the same intensity and momentum and are constantly attacking. It may not be the most physical and controversial league but it is so exciting to watch. The league is funded massively and the Major League Soccer lost more than $350 Million between 1993 and 2004, much to the huge investment that they made in order to help the league receive more attention and exposure. If your looking for some stunning goals, late drama and super attacking football, then the MLS deserves your attention. With more well known players moving to the MLS all the time, it can only help the league. Big names are being attracted to the MLS and the challenge of the division is so appealing to them, they cannot turn it down. The division can only get better and will eventually establish itself as one of the top league in world football, the MLS is certainly a league for the future.
Famous Players Who Have Played/Currently Play In The MLS Include:
David Beckham, LA Galaxy.
Robbie Keane, LA Galaxy.
Kenny Miller, Vancouver Whitecaps.
Barry Robson, Vancouver Whitecaps.
Jay Demerit, Vancouver Whitecaps.
Alessandro Nesta, Montreal Impact.
Thierry Henry, New York Red Bulls.
Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy.
Frank Rost, New York Red Bulls.
Steve Howey, New England Revolution.
Darren Huckerby, San Jose Earthquakes.
John Rooney, New York Red Bulls.
Laurent Robert, Toronto FC.
Arne Friedrich, Chicago Fire.
Freddy Ljungberg, Chicago Fire & Seattle Sounders.
Torsten Frings, Toronto FC.
Lothar Matthaus, Metrostars (New York Red Bulls).
Caleb Folan, Colorado Rapids.
Juan Pablo Angel, Chivas USA & New York Red Bulls.
Bernardo Corradi, Montreal Impact.
Kris Boyd, Portland Timbers.
Paulo Wanchope, Chicago Fire.