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Gerrard, Lampard, Kaka: Is the MLS Actually Getting Any Better?

October 31, 2015

- Grant Whittington

Football in America is a big deal. The countries top professional football league is of course the MLS (Major League Soccer) and it features the brightest and best footballing talent that the US of A has on offer. Comparatively speaking the league is still miles away from the quality and talent that some of Europe’s top leagues can offer, such as the Premier League, Bundesliga or La Liga. Comparably the MLS could be likened to that of the Championship but as we all know when the Americans get support, and more importantly, behind things they can soon take off in a big way. So how impactful could the MLS really be on world football?

Whilst the majority of American sports fans are still hesitant of welcoming “soccer” open-armed, despite the fact that it is and has always been the world’s most popular sport, there has been a clear and obvious cultural switch in recent years that has seen the sport increase greatly in popularity with the Yanks. Football may realistically still be in its infancy across the states but with MLS attracting more and more top flight players as well as TV and other sponsorship deals it could certainly try its damn hardest to compete with other US sporting leagues.

There has been this perception for the past few years that the league appears to be becoming a “retirement home” for various European stars well past their prime and with the best of their playing days firmly behind them. Of course it does appear to be the case in many examples especially when you consider that the likes of former Chelsea striker Frank Lampard, legendary ex-Anfield captain Steven Gerrard and Brazilian star Kaka have all headed to the league yet are all much on the wrong side of 30. So there could be some truth in that fact especially when some players may consider the MLS to be more of a less demanding league, an ideal alternative for those looking to wind down their careers somewhat and to ease their foot of the pedal a bit.

The MLS may be in its infancy in comparison with other top leagues around the world but it certainly is very much a unique league governed by its own rules, including salary caps and other initiatives as well as having a distinctive style of play. It will take some time for the MLS to truly challenge La Liga or the Premier League in terms of quality but with the right backing, support and financial security it could become much closer.

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