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Major League Soccer, commonly abbreviated as MLS is the highest professional soccer league that contains 21 teams from the United States and three teams from Canada. It is organized, managed, and supervised by the United States Soccer Federation. The growth of MLS has been put into question over the last few years, but there seem to be significant changes in the perception of the league, and its growth as well.
Major League Soccer Expansion
One of the major questions behind the success of the league has been its limited number of teams. With only 24 teams, major league soccer has very few teams to influence and attract the imagination of the entire country. With only 21 teams in the United States, it is clear that there are states that do not have representation in the league. Such states will have nothing to do with Major League Soccer.
However, the United States Soccer Federation has been working on a strategy to expand the league, so that it can have a wider representation around the country. Plans are already in place to have 30 teams participating in the annual soccer league, which is likely to create a huge soccer buzz around the country.
Bringing Up Talented Footballers
The next idea towards the growth and the future of the MLS is ensuring that the league has talented players. When you compare some of the players in the NBA such as Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Naz Mitrou Long, you will realize that their profiles are so high as compared to the profiles of players in Major League Soccer such as Carlos Vela, Ezequiel Barco, and Heber, you will realize that NBA players have a strong profile.
Historically, Major League Soccer needs to change from being a consumer league to a producer soccer league. Currently, most of the professional footballers who have enjoyed their time in European leagues are moving to Major League Soccer. This has positioned the league as a consumer rather than a producer.
However, it is worth highlighting that stakeholders are committed to a long term strategy of producing talents that will not only take over the league by storm, but also dominate the European leagues.
Major League Financing
Major League Financing is another major issue that will play a vital role in the growth and the future of MLS. Without the necessary finances, the league will not be able to grow. However, the issue of raising funds from the clubs has not been an issue. Most of the club owners have committed to support their teams financially whenever required. This can be seen from the high profile acquisition of players from the European leagues.
The United States Soccer Federation has been highly involved in strategic decisions that will see the league get external finances from other interested parties. Television rights stand to be one of the major sources of revenue, but it is not being utilized due to the poor penetration of the league. Some television companies will not pay to show a league where local teams in their States are not participating.
However, despite the current problems in league financing, there is a clear policy for expanding the league, and making it one of the best in the world. However, the management committee must fast-track the entire process, including expansion, growth of talented players, and expansion of soccer stadiums.