Over the last 10 years, Major League Soccer (MLS) has undergone significant changes that have transformed the league both on and off the field. From expansion to increased investment in player development and infrastructure, MLS has made great strides in elevating the league’s profile and competitiveness in the global soccer landscape.
One of the most significant changes in MLS over the past decade has been the league’s expansion. Since 2011, MLS has added 13 new teams, bringing the total number of teams to 27 as of 2021. This expansion has brought soccer to new markets across the United States and Canada, including Atlanta, Miami, and Nashville, among others. The growth of the league has also created new opportunities for players, coaches, and fans alike.
Increased Investment in Player Development
Another major change in MLS over the past decade has been the increased investment in player development. MLS teams have invested heavily in youth academies and development programs, which have produced a new generation of talented young players. This investment has helped to raise the overall level of play in the league and has also led to increased opportunities for players to compete at the highest levels of the sport.
In addition to player development, MLS has also invested in improving its infrastructure, including the construction of new stadiums and training facilities. Many teams have moved from shared facilities to their own stadiums, which has provided a more intimate and engaging experience for fans. The league has also improved its broadcast and media coverage, with games now regularly broadcast on national television and streaming platforms.
Improved Style of Play
MLS has also improved its style of play over the last 10 years. With an increased focus on possession-based soccer and technical ability, the league has become more attractive to international players and has also led to more exciting games for fans.
Off the field, MLS has also made strides in promoting diversity and inclusion. The league has launched several initiatives to promote diversity and social justice, including the creation of a diversity, equity, and inclusion department within the league office. The league has also launched several community outreach programs, including MLS Works, which focuses on using soccer as a platform to make positive social changes.
Overall, the changes in MLS over the past decade have been significant and have helped to elevate the league’s profile and competitiveness on the global stage. With continued investment in player development and infrastructure, as well as a commitment to diversity and inclusion, MLS is poised to continue its growth and success in the years to come.