If you have read my blog(s) in the past you know that I love MLS, but I am one of the first to say that the current path they are on is growth at snails pace. I question many things the league does, and so when the head of FIFA says to Al Jazeera:
“There is no very strong professional league (in the U.S.), They have just the MLS but they have no professional leagues which are recognized by the American society.”
A lot of people take offense, I understand that as many players, coaches, media members and fans have poured a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into the league in the last 17 years, I count myself as one of them. They are wrong to take offense, they should instead read that quote and demand answers, demand better, and demand accountability.
People quickly jump to say that MLS has grown and this year had over 6 million fans show up at matches this year, they are right but one has to look at where that growth has really come from. First growth has come from expansion, we added another team in 2012, the Montreal Impact and they brought with them home attendance of just under 400,000 in their first year.
Growth has also come as a result of the Seattle Sounders, over 730,000 of the 6 million fans to attend MLS matches last year were at CenturyLink Field, their average of over 43 K per match puts them with the top soccer teams in the world when it comes to attendance.
There is also the 34 match schedule, adding more matches in the last two years than at any time in MLS history. So yes when you have more teams playing and more matches scheduled your attendance will go up. But read what Blatter said once again, he didn’t say MLS wasn’t growing, he said there was no strong professional league.