A A lot has happened since the World Cup in USA ’94. Back then, soccer in the United States was a sport with a limited following.
Now, 28 years later, things have changed a lot and Major League Soccerwhich will have 29 teams next year, is making huge strides to resemble the four major American leagues (NHL, NFL, MLB and NBA).
In fact, it has already become the fourth largest sport in the country, surpassing hockey Nelson Rodriguezright hand of the MLS commissioner Don Garber.
The last franchise to take part in the tournament, Charlotte F.CHe had to pay $300 million to enter the competition.
Well, it’s not just a question of money. As in the other major leagues, other requirements in terms of behavior, reputation, business plan, etc. must be met to enter this select group.
“The aim is to compete with the big European leagues,” he explains Alfonso Mondelosthe MLS sporting director.
MLS staff are reluctant to set an appointment, but believe they can make it happen.
There is money, infrastructure and they are committed to importing the methods and knowledge of the big clubs in Europe. It’s only a matter of time.
The League Cup
A big part of that commitment is making sure the country is able to produce its own players, US-trained players on par with their European or South American counterparts.
Investing in youth football and making it visible to the general public in North America.
One initiative they want to use to arouse the interest of tomorrow’s soccer players is the Leagues Cup, a tournament in which all the teams of the MLS and the Mexican league compete against each other in a format similar to the World Cup or the Champions League.
The other big bet is the 2026 World Cup to be held in the United States, Mexico and Canada.
“If the 1994 World Cup served to establish the sport in the country, the 2026 World Cup should be another big leap forward.” Mondelo said.
“It has to serve as a point of attraction. Those who come will notice how things have changed here. You will see the facilities, the professionalism, the standard of living.
“It will not only be an attraction for the players, but for everyone involved. From the masseur to the groundskeeper.”
MLS is streamed worldwide
An agreement recently signed with Apple Streaming all of the competition’s matches around the world should also help.
“The agreement was for 2.5 billion euros, but the economic aspect is irrelevant in this case,” added the director.
“You will be able to watch all the games around the world. It will change everything.”