MLS: Why the League Must Be Wary of Heading Down the Wrong Path

Sixteen years ago the world's most popular sport experienced a rebirth in the United States of America, the third biggest country in the world, as a new soccer league was formed. The league had several goals, including to provide high quality competition for future and current national teamers stateside. 16 years later, the league has been an enormous success.While some may disagree and say that soccer is still not an interesting sport in the eyes of the average American sports fan, in just 16 years, the league has nearly doubled in size, going from 10 to 19 teams. That must mean something. And while considered by many to be a retirement league for European players, now many world class players are coming to the US from Europe at earlier ages (most recently Tim Cahill).The league is definitely not of the quality the top leagues in Europe can claim, but it's not by any stretch of the imagination a poor league. Look at Landon Donovan. He's never had a successful stint outside of the US in his lifetime. Two short spells at Everton doesn't count. Yet somehow he has the most goals in USMNT history. Somehow he manages to stay in ...
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MLS All-Star Game 2012: The 4 Players with the Most to Prove

On Wednesday the best MLS has to offer will face off against the defending European Champions Chelsea.Historically the MLS All-Stars have had mixed results against visiting clubs, with results varying anywhere from solid victories to crushing losses.While there may not be too much on the line for Chelsea, there will be many youngsters who want to solidify their place in the squad.As for the guys from the States and Canada, many of them want to prove that they can play against some of the best in the world and they will go all out for this matchup. Here are the top five players who have something to prove against the West Londoners.Begin Slideshow
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LA Galaxy: Is the Club Close to Losing Two of Its Best Players?

The LA Galaxy have been one of the most dominate teams in MLS over the last year. A big part of that is that they have all three of their Designated Player spots filled up with world class players. These players are Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane.All good things must come to an end, and in the case of the Galaxy, this is also true. The core of world class players will eventually have to break up, and today I'll be examining what the future has in store for each of the big three. David Beckham has been with the Galaxy since 2007 and signed a two-year contract earlier this year. He will be 38 when the contract expires. After deciding not to take up any offers from Europe, citing that his family loved SoCal among other things, and stayed in LA. It's unlikely that when he's two years older that he will turn around and leave the Galaxy. He'll either stay in LA or retire after his contract expires, but with his quality and love of the game, I think he'll stick around a few more years.Landon Donovan's situation is a bit more interesting. Arguably the best US ...
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Everton Accepts New York Red Bulls’ Bid for Tim Cahill

Another star is set to join MLS, and it might surprise you. It certainly surprised me. According to BBC, Everton have accepted a bid of roughly one million pounds from the New York Red Bulls for Tim Cahill.The Australian international has been a mainstay at Everton and a fan favorite for years, but he only managed to find the back of the net twice last year.At only 32 years of age (relatively young for a highly respected European player to make the move to MLS), Cahill is the latest of players to join MLS at a younger age. Scoring 68 goals in 278 appearances in the EPL and 24 goals in 55 caps for Australia shows that Cahill knows how to find the back of the net, something that could be desperately needed come playoff time.Two of the Red Bulls' designated player spots belong to Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez (the former has been outstanding this season, the latter not so much), and Cahill would likely occupy the third.  The Red Bulls already made noise this month by trading speedster Dane Richards for the veteran attacker Sebastian Le Toux.By adding Tim Cahill to the mix, the Red Bulls will be in ...
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Houston Dynamo Continue Most Important Week of MLS Season

"3 Games. 7 Days. 9 Points."That's the Houston Dynamo's promotional poster for this week, and it succinctly sums up the importance of the week.On Sunday night the Dynamo started off the week in the best possible way, thrashing top side DC United, 4-0. On Wednesday, the Dynamo face off against Sporting KC, followed by a Saturday matchup against the Montreal Impact. This is the biggest week of the season for the boys in orange, with three home games and a chance to make a real push for the playoffs.The Dynamo are only eight points behind SKC and in fifth place in the conference (enough to make it to the play-in round of the MLS Cup playoffs). SKC leads the conference so a Dynamo win on Wednesday would go a long way towards shortening that gap. On Saturday they face the Impact, who are currently only six points behind the Dynamo in the East. A good result is vital to making sure Montreal doesn't get closer in the standings, especially since the Impact are expected to improve once their new signings, Marco Di Vaio and Alessandro Nesta, get settled.One thing is for sure: Defense will be the key for the Dynamo in the ...
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3 Ways to Make MLS Better

MLS has come a long way since its inception in 1996, as support for the league has grown. It has also attracted more and more world-class players, albeit they are generally past their peak. Having said that, the league still has a ways to go before becoming level with the great leagues of Europe.There are many ways to improve the league, such as keeping younger talent longer in the MLS and attracting players from Europe and South America before they are long past their primes.While many of the necessary changes will be difficult to implement, I will share three very easy ways that the MLS can improve its infrastructure and continue the momentum that has been created in the past 16 years.Begin Slideshow
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2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League: Predicting How Each MLS Team Will Fare

In just over a month the first matches of the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champions League group stage will take place. Many are wondering if this will be the year that an MLS side will finally be crowned champion of North America or if the Mexican domination of the league will continue.All five (except TFC) of MLS' representatives are capable of hoisting the trophy this time around.The LA Galaxy have several world-class players and with their veteran experience they know how to navigate a tournament of this caliber.The Seattle Sounders know how to win cup competitions—they are three-time defending US Open Cup Champions going for four this year—and have some crafty players offensively and solid players defensively.Real Salt Lake were in the final two years ago and were one goal away from winning it, so they have more experience in this competition than any other MLS side.Houston Dynamo have a defense which can keep them in games against the best of teams.As for Toronto FC, they have picked up form recently but being drawn with Santos Laguna ends any realistic hope of silverware from this competition.With a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup on the line, there is plenty at stake ...
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