Home » » MLS vs Europe

MLS vs Europe

A few European clubs are in the states for their pre-season tour (jersey sales/martketing). Let's recap how they've been doing. Keeping in mind the following arguments:
-MLS teams are in the middle of their season, and are fit, Euros are in pre-season.
-Euro teams are fielding weak lineups, stars aren't playing.
-MLS teams try hard, and have a point to show the big boys that they can wear pull-ups now.

MLS vs Europe
Philadelphia Union 0-1 Manchester United
San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur
DC United 4-0 Portsmouth
New York Red Bulls 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur
New York Red Bulls 2-1 Manchester City
Kansas City Wizards 2-1 Manchester United
..and a few more are still to come, including Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Originally, I figured that the big Euro clubs saw the USA as an un-tapped market to sell their marketing and jerseys, and gain a few fans. But now it seems that some decent footie is being played, and the MLS clubs are actually turning in decent performances. Dare I say that the drop-off in talent from Europe to the MLS is not that large anymore?

What about big name players. MLS allows each team to have 3 Designated Players. Some have chosen to use this option (LA, New York, Chicago), others have decided that the team is the star (RSL).

David Beckham: washed up, marketing legend, right? Over the hill, came to the States for the paycheck, can't play in the big leagues anymore. Then...goes on loan to AC Milan, sees some first team minutes, and contributes at the highest level, interesting.

Freddy Ljungberg: was going to show up in the MLS, and tear teams apart. After 2 years, he is now "exploring other options".
2009 - 2 goals, 9 assists (made all-star team)
2010 - 0 goals, 3 assists
He gets paid 1.3 million this season to yell at the ref, and get injured. Next.

Thierry Henry: Just signed with New York Red Bull
Nery Castillo: Just signed with Chicago Fire
Rafael Marquez: Rumors say that the deal is all but done for him to join Henry in New York.
Ronaldinho to LA Galaxy? They sure hope so. Galaxy are looking for a player with a name big enough to "move the needle", and $24 million for 4 years is waiting for him.

To sum up. I think the MLS is gaining credibility. Teams are getting better, over-aged yesterdays are finding out you can't just show up and get paid. The MLS is a physical playground, and are gaining ground on other leagues in the world. One more test will be conducted on Wednesday, July 28th, when the MLS All-stars take on Manchester United. True, the All-stars have never lost this game....but then again, they've never played the Red Devils, who are coming off a loss to a 10-man Kansas City Wizards. (Who?)
Share this article :


  1. The MLS is interesting. It is really hard to figure out what you can take from these "friendlies" or "marketing tours" that the Euros do in the US. You bring up some good points at the beginning.

    It's interesting though the point that the MLS teams try hard to prove to the Euros that they can play. That is undoubtedly true. The Euros don't really care too much about these games - especially the starters who usually don't play the entire game. But the bench guys and players that do have a lot to prove to the coaches see a decent amount of playing time on these marketing tours. One would think that they would be playing as hard as they could and trying to take advantage of every opportunity they get on the field. Could you argue that the MLS is as good as the bench players for the Euro clubs? I actually don't know if I would go there, but I do agree that the talent gap isn't massive, or as big as most people think. I think a decent amount of the MLS players could probably get on with clubs in lesser leagues in Europe.

    I also wonder how much the MLS game improves by playing against better competition. Against better competition you either get blown away or elevate yourself to their level. I think the Euro clubs probably come down a bit on their quality of play and the MLS teams raise their play level a bit. If only these MLS teams could play against the Euro clubs more often, instead they are left playing each other week in and week out. I wonder how much an MLS team would improve if they were in the Premier League for an entire season. Would they even win a game? I would think so. They couldn't do any worse than the teams that get relegated each year, right?

    Anyways, it is all interesting to ponder. I think the MLS is getting better and gaining some credibility. Hopefully they can become a good feeder league or more of an option for players that are just past their prime but still want to compete. Until they get a larger revenue stream and start selling out stadiums, I think that is the best they can hope for.

  2. The US has a professional soccer league?

  3. Just when I think the MLS is gaining ground on Europe....Manchester United decides to deflate the confidence, and show us where we belong on the totem-pole of talent.

    United 5-2 All-Stars.

    It took Macheda all of 22 seconds to score the opener. An entertaining game, the crowd got their money's worth.

    Dave, Europe has started paying attention to the MLS...how much longer can you hold out? :)


Copyright © 2015. Fastbreak Futbol
Blogger Templates