MLS isn’t comparable to its top counterparts in Europe quite yet, but Bastian Schweinsteiger can see a day where the American league could be even with some of the best leagues in the world.
Speaking to ESPN, Schweinsteiger said that he believes MLS can be on par with some of the top European leagues within the next 10 years. His comments come as he prepares for MLS All-Star festivities as the group of MLS stars take on the reigning UEFA Champions League winners, Real Madrid.
“MLS is a quite young league, but somehow it says to me in 10 years this league could be on the same level as, maybe like the Italian league or also very close to the Bundesliga,” Schweinsteiger told ESPN FC. “There’s a lot of potential and I hope the people know that.”
“There is difference between Europe and MLS, every league has a difference: Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga, there is a difference,” he added. “There is also a difference to MLS.”
Schweinsteiger went on to highlight some of those differences, adding that the allure of big cities will always help bring in European stars. However, if MLS is to truly catch up, the German star believes some changes will be needed.
“The rules, first of all, are different than in Europe,” Schweinsteiger said. “I’m sure players in Europe would like to play in MLS, but you maybe have to change some little things to make it more attractive for the players in Europe.
“The goal should be that in 10 years maybe that players like [Christian] Pulisic, they are not playing in Europe, that they are playing in MLS.”
It’s not impossible. Just look at where the league was 10 years ago:
1. 13 teams including the Chivas USA, and the KC Wiz.
2. DP rule was created for Beckham’s first year in the league.
3. DC United was 3rd in the league in attendance with just under 20K.
4. The were only six SSS: The newly debuted DSGP and BMO Field as well as Mapfre Stadium, Stubhub Center, Toyota Park and Toyota Stadium.
These aren’t predictions, but given 28 teams by 2020, is it unreasonable to expect the following:
1. 36 teams and two conferences, each with two 9 team divisions or something similar.
2. A 4th DP, more TAM/GAM and a salary cap of around $20M.
3. Due to the added money from #2, MLS has won the CCL at least once and is now a coin flip with LMX to win it each year going forward.
4. MLS passes the NHL as the US’ 4th most popular pro sports league.
5. MLS is only surpassed in popularity only by the EPL, La Liga, Serie A and Bundasliga.
6. MLS is only surpassed in talent by the above leagues and Ligue 1, the Argentine Primera, the Brasileirao.
I guess it all depends on how you interpret “on par with some of the top European leagues within the next 10 years”. Some implies “not all”, so if MLS is on par with Russia, Portugal, etc. is he wrong?
“Single entity ” is not the problem that European players care about. It’s the salary cap, and how recruiting their friends would be pointless because MLS rules would make that difficult.
“The goal should be that in 10 years maybe that players like [Christian] Pulisic, they are not playing in Europe, that they are playing in MLS.” —
We have a WC here in the US in 9 years, is our goal to win this tournament or just grow this business venture called MLS?
Kind of really doesn’t tell us anything. from his perspective, what’s the difference, what’s different about the rules. I can guess, but what did Schweinstieger say?
Yeah, what exactly are the changes that he was talking about? Hopefully the writer followed up on that.
Not if there is still single entity.