Kw-logo-smaller

The Evolution of the MLS

David Beckham joins the LA Galaxy in 2007 in an attempt to bolster turnout for the MLS.
MLS Soccer

Soccer may be the most popular sport in the world, but it's had a hard time catching on in the United States. Overshadowed by sports such as baseball, basketball, football and even hockey, soccer has failed to win over American fans. Can the arrival of David Beckham change that?

Major League Soccer - History of US Soccer

Professional soccer was first introduced in the [KWLINK ]United States[/KWLINK] in 1968 with two leagues - The United Soccer Association and The National Professional Soccer League. One season later, the two leagues merged to form the North American Soccer League (NASL). For the next 16 years, NASL struggled to stay afloat, finally folding in 1984 due to poor turnout. Ten years went by before another professional league was formed in North America. Just like its predecessors, the MLS has faced many hard times including several bankruptcy scares.

Major League Soccer - Can Beckham Save the MLS?

It's debatable whether the much-anticipated arrival of David Beckham will take the MLS to the next level. This isn't the first time North America has tried to drum up support for the sport. Pele, arguably the single greatest soccer player in history, joined the New York Cosmos of the National Professional Soccer League in 1975. At the time, Pele was way past his prime, but he created a huge buzz in the US. The Cosmos averaged 40,000 fans per game and in the 1978 Championships, there were more than 70,000 in attendance at the Cosmos' home field. Despite the excitement in NYC, the rest of the league continued to average 15,000 fans a game. When Pele retired from the Cosmos in 1978, the team reverted back to its old fan base and was forced to fold six years later.

Major League Soccer - Our Take

David Beckham will definitely bring some excitement to soccer in the US. But is it enough to take the MLS to the same level as the NBA or NFL? Probably not. Just like Pele, Beckham is past his prime and one superstar will not turn around an entire league. What the league needs is more American stars, like Freddy Adu, to dominate the league. If American kids have role models and players in their own country to look up to, it will encourage their interest to watch and play soccer.

Major League Soccer - Did U Know?

  • There are 13 MLS teams; seven in the east and six in the west.
  • The 2007 MLS season runs from April to November.
  • David Beckham signed a five year deal with the MLS for $250 million.
  • The MLS has lost more than $350 million since its inception in 1994.
Related Stories:
>
>

readers voted!

Comments

Soccerluv2313

Soccerluv2313 wrote:

Exactly (: I Watched him play last week!
commented: Mon Mar 14, 2011

gummiebear3423
of course Henry does he played with the best team in the world...Barcelona baby!!!
commented: Mon Mar 14, 2011

Soccerluv2313

Soccerluv2313 wrote:

I think Thierry Henry brings more fans than Beckham...
commented: Mon Mar 14, 2011

there are 3 more comments

Please login or register to add comments


like this article?
Sign up now to get more just like!

latest videos

Beckhampoll

How Will David Beckham Do?

  • Nothing, he's overated!
  • He will dominate!
  • He will be a good player.
  • Who cares?

related stories

Sports in the forums

cutedude13
They beat the Bengals 27-0, and Reggie Wayne is the 9th player in NFL history to get 14,000 pass yards!!!
reply about 8 hours
-BrownEyes-
"Justin_A00" wrote:Thank you, some one who finally understands!!! i love marching band (im on the drumline) and i hate it when people call it "gay" or "stupid" and when people say that its not a sport, if they joined, they would understand. marching band is the best I'm on flute and it's really hard to march 54 sets and memories 221 measures of music!!!!!! 
reply about 10 hours
I_lov3_myself
what all tricks or stunts can you do with your rollers ;) ????????  :) ;) :hippie :D
reply about 20 hours
Braxton88
Talladega Results: 1.) Timothy Peters #17 2.) Taylor Malsam #32 (Best Career Finish) 3.) Spencer Gallagher #23 (Best Career Finish) 4.) Tyler Reddick #19 5.) Ryan Blaney #29 POINTS: 1.) Matt Crafton #88 2.) Ryan Blaney #29 3.) Darrell Wallace Jr. #54 4.) Johnny Sauter #98 5.) Joey Coulter #21 (SURPRISE)
reply 3 days
Kirsteeeeen
"ParadiseHeart" wrote: "11rainbow" wrote: you are braging  Haha I think so too. But good for you girl. There's nothing wrong with bragging about achievements. It's a happy thing and should be talked about. Also congrats to the OP. 
reply 3 days

play online games

Candy-100

A great online version of the famous Candy Crush. This is the best game launched...

Big_icon_(7)

Have you ever fancied being a ranger like those fantasy characters you love so m...

Big_icon_(4)

You run across the city in a car chase with the police officers.

Big_icon_(6)

The evil master kidnapped all of your friends!

Ow_fright_ad_100x100

Explore the world or hang out with friends in your own condo. Get a unique look,...