I know the NBA and NHL are headed down the final stretch, and trust me, I’m excited as could be, but I’ve got my eyes set on the MLS.
The Major League Soccer season kicks off on March 6 with a replay of the MLS Cup last season. The Columbus Crew will face off against the Portland Timbers, and I cannot wait to watch.
The Timbers, along with New York City FC, are my two favorites teams. When I first started following the MLS, I chose the Timbers as my team simply because we had a Timbers scarf at my house. I didn’t know much about the team aside from the fact that they have amazing fans. Because of that, I wanted them to be successful, but never jumped into full-fandom.
On the other hand, I was all-in on NYCFC from day one. When MLS announced that NYCFC and Orlando City SC were going to join the league, I knew I wanted to jump on one of the bandwagons and choose one of those teams as my MLS team.
It was a tough decision, but I eventually chose NYCFC because they had signed David Villa and Frank Lampard, while Orlando City only had Kaká as their big signing. I love all three players, but I chose NYCFC because they had more names I recognized.
Since then, the league has signed plenty of other big names. Sebastian Giovinco signed with Toronto FC, Steven Gerrard and Nigel de Jong all signed with the Los Angeles Galaxy. Didier Drogba signed with Montreal Impact. NYCFC also added Andre Pirlo halfway through last season as well.
This season is setting up to be the best yet. Along with all those big names, there are plenty of lesser names that are as fun to watch as the likes of Drogba and Giovinco.
Kei Kamara was an MVP candidate last season for Columbus, Darlington Nagbe on Portland and Bradley Wright-Phillips on New York Red Bulls are just a few of the other exciting players who will be playing in the MLS this season.
I’m not going to lie, it’s not on the level of the English Premier League, I know that. Still, the level of our domestic league is getting better and better and that’s huge for the growth of soccer in our country.
Over the next few years, Minnesota, Atlanta and Los Angeles will all be adding new teams to the league. It’s a growing product with a ton of interest from star players around the globe. So much so that the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Cristiano Ronaldo have both mentioned about the possibility of playing in the MLS in the future. It may not be likely, but they’re talking about it.
Bottom line, this is going to be the best MLS season yet. You won’t want to miss it.