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Why You Should Watch the MLS

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Why You Should Watch the MLS

Photo by AP Photo

Photo by AP Photo

Photo by AP Photo

Photo by AP Photo

Erik Nybro, Contributing Writer

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The MLS is a growing sport in America and you should start watching. There are stories all over the place and the sport has some great budding rivalries. There is also a great abundance of talent coming through the league right now. The sport of soccer is growing here in the states and we have great stadium atmospheres as it is. Soccer is great because people can go to a game and have a great time while having a couple of drinks. In addition, the fans often sing songs throughout the game. We all know you love to sing in the shower, so why not sing while enjoying a great sport with your friends. The game is exciting because it is nonstop movement. The clock never stops, so it always ends after 90 minutes plus a couple of minutes to make up for stoppage time. The players are actually active during every minute of the game unlike baseball and football. Plus, when you watch on the television, there are no commercials until halftime, which are only 15 minutes long. There is a lot of strategy involved in positioning players and deciding whether to attack the opposition or sit back and beat them on the counterattack. This is why you should watch soccer—now here are a couple of reasons why you should watch the MLS in particular.

 

  1. Any team can win the title

Unlike other leagues in Europe, which are usually dominated by a handful of teams, all 22 of the teams in the MLS have an equal chance of winning the title each year. For example, two years ago the Columbus Crew came out of nowhere and earned a spot in the championship game. The next year, they didn’t even make the playoffs which can be made by more than half the teams in the league. The same thing happened with the Portland Timbers. Both teams made a lot of moves to be better this year. Columbus used sneaky signings while Portland went for a big name, Sebastian Blanco. Both these team will look to bounce back from rough seasons this year.

 

  1. Stars, Stars, Stars

There are a decent of amount of stars in the MLS this year. Some of them are old and some are young. New York City FC has some of the biggest stars in the league with reigning MVP David Villa and former Italian National Team member Andrea Pirlo. Just because these guys are a little older doesn’t mean they are poor players. Both were considered the biggest stars in the game when they were at their prime. Then there is Orlando City who has a little budding rivalry with NYCFC since they both came into the league three years ago. Orlando City has young Canadian star Cyle Larin who will probably be playing for a huge team in Europe very soon if he continues to shine. They also have Kaka, a Brazilian attacker who was brilliant back in the day for some of the top teams in Italy and Spain. Atlanta United, a new team this season, has brought some great young talent like Miguel Almiron who was bought for $8.5 million. This is considered a huge amount to pay for a player in this league. However, Almiron should excel in the playmaker role for the new expansion team. They will also have young, good attackers in Hector Villalba, Yamil Asad and Josef Martinez. Together, this trio should make a fantastic offensive team. There is also Toronto FC who has US Men’s National Team stars Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. Neither of these stars are the best player on the team, though. It is the Atomic Ant, Sebastian Giovinco, who has arguably been the best player in the whole league since he joined in 2015. In two years, he is the all time leading scorer for Toronto FC.

 

  1. Speed

The MLS has some of the fastest players in the world.  Pizza lover Dominic Oduro has speed that will help create a commanding offense for the Montreal Impact. Other Canadian teams have speedsters as well. The Vancouver Whitecaps have Kekuta Manneh who is a player to watch for two reasons—his ridiculous goal producing speed and his recent attainment of US citizenship. If he has a good season, he will be on the US national team without a doubt. Then there is David Accam from Ghana whose speed has led him to become a top scorer for the Chicago Fire. While Accam is undoubtedly one of the fastest players in the league, the team itself has been lacking in talent. However, Chicago is optimistic that USA hopeful Dax McCarty and MLS champion Juninho will help the squad this season.
I didn’t even mention half of the teams, but this should be a good start for those of you who are new to the game. Find a team you like and go from there. Whether it’s FC Dallas (the regular season champions), or the Seattle Sounders (the playoff champions), you will love the sport.  My advice—join the bandwagon before too many people get on it.

Why You Should Watch the MLS

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Why You Should Watch the MLS