Not many know who he is here either. Beckham obviously because he has the looks plus his wife is famous whereas Rooney’s wife isn’t.
I think even Ibrahimovich wasn’t that well known but he got a boost by being on one of the late night tv shows recently. Colbert I think it was. Can’t remember.
I can’t get into the mls either. I look out for Unions scores and follow them on Facebook so always see their goals and an occasional win. No clue where they are on the table though. Probably near the bottom I’d guess.
That Guardian article is a bit of an MLS hit piece -- what did the author suspect to find from a survey of people at a baseball game? In my view, it reflects the naivety with which Europeans (including Brits in that) typically view both MLS and U.S. soccer culture, including many Europeans that have spent time in the United States.
First, people tend to forget just how huge and diverse the USA is, and thus fail to realize that while some parts of the country care little for soccer, others are soccer crazy (see, e.g., LA, NYC, Seattle, and Atlanta). Further, Europeans tend to look down on MLS with unwarranted disdain, writing it off as a "retirement league." Relative to other pro sports leagues in the USA and other soccer leagues abroad, it is still pretty young (MLS's inaugural season was in 1996), but it already competes with many leagues in Europe, both with respect to attendance and talent. MLS already has the third highest average attendance of all USA pro sports leagues (trailing only NFL and MLB), and it has the seventh highest average attendance of all soccer leagues -- a stat that I suspect will surprise many of you on here. Moreover, the US is increasingly attracting high caliber players -- including both vets of the top five leagues in Europe and emerging talents from Central and South America -- and they are now joining the league while still in their prime. Giovinco, Giovanni Dos Santos, Maximiliano Moralez, and David Villa* are some examples of such talents, but there are loads of others now too. Indeed, 19 MLS players featured on World Cup squads this year -- including for the likes of Egypt, Sweden, Mexico, and Peru -- a stat made all the more remarkable by the United States failure to qualify. And even MLS squad players frequently have top five league pedigree now. Also telling is the relative failure of a lot of top European talents in MLS during recent seasons -- including the likes of Pirlo, Kaka, Lampard, and, especially, Gerrard -- showing that even formerly world class players can't just expect to show up in MLS and dominate anymore.
Recently, I have started going to NYC FC matches, and I have really enjoyed them for the most part. NYC FC's fan base is pretty rabid and their games fast-paced and exciting. While I doubt I will ever come to support an MLS team as much as I do Everton, there is no question that the league is only getting better, and I suspect that its talent level will rival the likes of all but the top five leagues in Europe within the next decade. It is already arguably the equal of Liga MX (just look at the CONCACAF Championship results this year), a league even most Europeans would concede is decent.
, where do you live in the USA? In NYC, tons of people know who Ibrahimovic and Rooney are. And nearly every single bar has been packed for each and every World Cup match.
*Yes, Villa was 33 when he arrived, but he had scored 13 in La Liga the previous season for Atletico, and there is little question he could still play at that level for a year or two.