Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughBorn in the USA. (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Born in the USA. (Video) - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Born in the USA. (Video)

The MLS sure is a lot more than an ex-Pro’s graveyard now’a’days. It never really was to be fair, it’s just always given a bad press owing to the fact that the American’s have failed to embrace ‘Soccer’ as much as we have here on the shores of blighty, Europe and further afield. And why should they? They have big sports such as Basketball, Baseball, American Football, countless Car racing formats as well as the terrain in which to fulfil their fantasies of all things great and small. Why should they love exactly what we love? 

I can’t answer that, however the tides appear to be turning… 

The MLS and soccer in the USA actually has a rich history, one that spans almost two decades since its launch in 1996. Not to mention the ‘North American Soccer League’ years prior where Pelé graced playing fields for the New York Cosmos as did George Best for the LA Aztecs. The MLS has had a steady following over this time, evident by the first MLS Cup final in 1996 attracting 34,000+ fans through to the Chelsea’s pre-season friendly in Seattle this summer that was witnessed by over 53,000. Let’s not forget that the US staged the greatest soccer show on earth, the World Cup back in 1994. For me, this was my baptism into the world of football. My earliest memories of hero’s to admire and goals to recreate. (I never opted for the Roberto Baggio ponytail though…)

Do you remember Diana Ross’s ‘penalty’ at USA ’94? Of course you do… well, if you don’t here it is: 

Cracking stuff. 

Well the USA and soccer have moved on a lot since they hosted the World Cup and their love for the game has too. Today, the MLS boasts 2 conferences comprised of 19 teams in total from the USA and Canada, with more due to join over the next few years. 2011 saw over 5 million fans attend live games (Wikipedia). 

We all know about David Beckham’s well-publicised move to the LA Galaxy in 2007 – but who else has taken to life in the land of the free? Thierry Henry, Torsten Frings & Robbie Keane to name a few, but the latest addition to this ever-growing list of global superstars is Tim Cahill, that’s right, Everton’s Tim Cahill. Were you wondering where he’d gone? I’m sure we’ll see him in the Premier League again, maybe even as soon as January, but for now, the Aussie will be plying his trade for the NY Red Bulls, alongside Mr Henry, Rafa Marquez and Teemu Tanio… sorry who? Yes that’s him! Ex-Tottenham player Tanio moved to the USA in 2011.  

Are these guys ex-pro’s? Most definitely not! These guys have all smashed it on the shores of Europe and felt they needed a new challenge. The MLS allows these guys to continue doing what they love, whilst spreading the word of our beautiful game. In addition to our heroes, there is a vast array of home grown talent on show that we’ll more than likely see in our leagues very soon, such as Brad Davies of the Houston Dynamo, Jack Jewsbury of the Portland Timbers, Dax McCarty of the New York Red Bulls & Leeds United’s US recruit Robbie Rogers. These are a few names that you should be on the lookout for, along with more familiar names like the LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan who has been loaned to Everton on two occasions. 

I am sure you can tell that I have a love for this thriving league and I invite you to join me. The coverage available on the MLS Website is fantastic and if you ever get the chance to attend, I thoroughly recommend it.

The best bit of all is that when our leagues go into hibernation, the MLS rolls on. With the league running from March to November, you are guaranteed your football fix year round. 

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