Creating a sports league in the US is a monumental task (USFL, Pro soccer, Arena football). In 1996, Major League Soccer was founded in the US. Soccer is not new to the US; in fact, it is one of the most played sports by kids in this country. Because of the lack of a major professional soccer league, only for the few who played internationally was there a professional path.
On the heels of the 1994 World Cup, MLS was born. Working with the previous San Jose franchise, the San Jose Clash (now Earthquakes), I was able to attend the very first game of the league, where the amount of enthusiasm was impressive. From the beginning negotiations with FIFA were tough, making the success of the league all but certain. The global governing body wouldn’t allow even a team logo at the center of the field and posed major financial challenges to development.
Fast forward to 2014 and the league is showing that it is a force and in some markets has outshone even the NFL. Yes, we’re talking about Los Angeles, the nation’s 2nd largest TV market, and a place that is unable to hold onto an American football team but has two Major League Soccer teams, the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA. While the LA Galaxy dominates with strong attendance, the league announced that it was purchasing Chivas USA team and will install new management and most likely rebrand the team.