The soccer landscape in the US looks very different now to what it was around a decade ago. Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea with a squad featuring 11 MLS players (including a 20 year old Landon Donovan), the 2003 MLS season played out with just 10 teams competing with 8 of them going on to the play-offs. Hardly very competitive.
Fast forward to the present day, and it’s barely recognisable. Firstly in this post, I’ll be looking at the ways MLS has transformed its fortunes over the years. The latter section will look specifically at league expansion and attitudes towards it franchises.