September 16, 2012 by backofthenetjl
If you’re a huge football fanatic, you 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
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)
Juan Pablo Angel Chivas USA & New York Red Bulls
Bernardo Corradi Montreal Impact
Kris Boyd Portland Timbers
Paulo Wanchope Chicago Fire
Marco Pappa Chicago Fire
Nery Castillo Chicago Fire
Rafael Marquez New York Red Bulls
Hugo Sanchez FC Dallas
Shaka Hislop FC Dallas
Stern John Columbus Crew
Ryan Nelsen D.C United
Giles Barnes Houston Dynamo
Chris Birchall LA Galaxy & Columbus Crew
Tim Cahill New York Red Bulls
Simon Dawkins San Jose Earthquakes
Richard Eckersley Toronto FC
Danny Koevermans Toronto FC
Lewis Neal D.C United
Andy O’Brien Vancouver Whitecaps
Darren O’Dea Toronto FC
Dane Richards New York Red Bulls and Vancouver Whitecaps
Lloyd Sam New York Red Bulls
Ryan Smith Sporting Kansas City & Chivas USA
Steven Smith Portland Timbers
Teemu Tainio New York Red Bulls
Hendry Thomas Colorado Rapids
DaMarcus Beasley LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls
Brian McBride Columbus Crew & Chicago Fire
Freddy Adu D.C United, Real Salt Lake & Philadelphia Union
Tim Howard Metrostars (New York Red Bulls)
Brad Friedel Columbus Crew
Eddie Johnson Sporting Kansas City & Seattle Sounders