Is MLS Making Legitimate Progress as a League or Is It Just Treading Water?

David Beckham arrived in 2007 with the ambition to transform MLS into a prominent league. The Englishman's time in the states has come and gone but the question remains—is MLS making progress or remaining the same?

While it may never boast the likes of Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, realistic expectations of what MLS can become range greatly. After nearly two decades of play, it is easy to see where the league has made strides and where it has come up short.

Following Beckham's arrival, the league announced expansion teams that began play in San Jose (2008), Seattle (2009), Philadelphia (2010), Vancouver and Portland (2011), and Montreal (2012), increasing the total number of teams to 19.

Each location was purposeful. The Pacific Northwest, a previously untapped market, exploded into a hotbed of MLS rivalries. Their supporters capture a passion rarely found in American professional sports.

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