In the space of this article we’re going to convince you that Major League Soccer is worth watching this season.
We’ve all been guilty of brushing it aside as a retirement home for European veterans and those who favour a life in the Los Angeles sun over slogging it out in League One every week.
But we’re here to put an end to this myth. Here’s why you should be watching MLS this season.
There’s a new team
Last year saw Atlanta United and Minnesota United join the roster, but this year it’s the turn of Los Angeles FC.
Bob Bradley is the head coach, overseeing a squad including former future Arsenal legend Carlos Vela and Benny Felihaber, who turned out for Derby when they lurched their way through statistically the worst Premier League season ever.
Not that inspiring, we accept. But there’s more. Will Ferrell is one of LAFC’s 26 co-owners, joining a group that includes Mark Wahlberg, Vincent Tan and Mia Hamm. So the transfer policy should be worth keeping an eye on.
LAFC are sponsored by YouTube and will be turning out in this lovely little black number…
While we’re on the topic of kits
Take you pick when it comes to the best MLS kit.
From Seattle Sounders’ broccoli inspired green effort to Houston’s striking orange and black kit, there’s plenty to choose from.
But our favourite is Minnesota United’s kit, which proves grey doesn’t always have to be dull.
The Brits are here
Graham Potter aside, Europe has been unkind to British managers this season.
Not so in MLS, where statistically one in every 7.66666666667 side is managed by a Brit.
Anthony Hudson, whose managerial career has taken him to Bahrain, New Zealand and, most exotically, Newport, is in charge of Colorado Rapids.
Adrian Heath, who you’ll probably remember well from eight England Under-21 caps between 1981 and 1982, continues in his role at Minnesota United.
Last but by no means least, Welshman Carl Robinson enters his fifth year as Vancouver Whitecaps coach. It’s Costa del MLS.
They aren’t the only familiar faces on the sidelines
When New England Revolution and New York City FC play each other it’ll be like a vintage episode of Premier League Years.
Brad Friedel will be in New England’s dugout, opposite New York City’s Patrick Vieira.
Other familiar faces include Atlanta United’s Tata Martino, once of Barcelona and Argentina, and Remi Garde, who’s taken the reins at Montreal Impact.
MLS has a genuine wunderkid
Atlanta caught the eye when they splashed a league-record amount of dollars on Argentine Ezequiel Barco.
The former Independiente attacking midfielder is a genuine talent who, at the age of 18, has played eight times for Argentina’s Under-20 side.
If you want to seem like you know more than your mates about football then you can find all you need to know about Barco here.
So when does it start?
The season kicks off with title holders Toronto versus Colombus Crew on Saturday.
It means a chance to see the league’s best player in Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco.
Go on, give it a go. You won’t regret it.
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