By Keegan Poulton
Soccer continues to be the most played sport in the world but like never before; we are seeing the sport reach new heights across North America.
Not only are we seeing some exceptional Canadian and American talent make their way overseas, like Alphonso Davies (Canadian) and Christian Pulisic (American), we are seeing the growth of a professional league in our own backyard. The MLS is becoming a force to be reckoned with and may very well soon compete with the three powerhouse leagues (MLB, NFL and NHL). In the last ten years alone, this league has grown from 19 to 29 teams, with an influx of talent coming from outside Canada and the US. The league's expansion does not look to be slowing down either, and with the addition of a team in San Diego in 2025, the MLS will eclipse 30 active franchises.
Not only has the league started pulling some of the world's greatest talent, it has begun to have its fair share of influential investors take a stab at team ownership. Recognizable stars such as James Harden, Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey, The Antetokounmpo Brothers and Steve Nash are just a few of the names that have thrown money at the sport.
Some of the most incredible soccer talent in the world has now graced the pitch on North American soil. We have to give these prolific superstars their flower for giving this league a greater sense of credibility and elevating the level of play. World-renowned players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry were two of the most prominent names to lead the charge and not only generate significant buzz stateside but carry a portion of their fan bases over to their new clubs. Shortly followed by some of the most recognized scorers of this generation, like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, these players continued to help the league gain global recognition. Just last week, Lionel Messi, debatably the greatest soccer player of all time, made his MLS debut in a packed-out arena in Miami.
The league has piqued my interest, and it's at its highest point, so what is next for the MLS? What international star will sign next? Only time will tell!