Major League Soccer 2019: Everything You Need to Know About the Teams.
Writing Major League Soccer 2019: Everything You Need to Know About the Teams was an honor and the whole experience was intriguing, to say the least. With fan bases like NYCFC, Atlanta, Sporting Kansas City, LAFC, Portland and Seattle, to name a tiny few, it’s hard not to get swept up. I was already watching, pretty much regularly. In writing the book I (of course) had to watch even more. This should go without saying, but, as I moved along with further research, a ton of interesting things came about, which included players, coaches, team histories, ownership, stadiums and much more. As with anything, I realized there were new and fascinating things to discover around each corner. Despite the league starting in 1996, there's a great deal of history that would require a room full of encyclopedias. Without a doubt, it was a great pleasure learning more about this exciting league, one on the move with a lot of momentum.
My first book, Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet, has a title alone that indicates a strong sense of “something’s wrong with American soccer.” Here’s the simple answer: Yes and no. The meaning behind the title is fairly simple: US soccer will be “there” when the men win the World Cup. The true nature of the book is based in hope, optimism, observation, and criticism for a nation finding its way. And, I should hasten to add, there’s much more to the story. There’s good and bad with American soccer. The bad would be the USMNT not winning the World Cup. The good would be MLS is crucial for the USMNT winning the World Cup, someday.
Having said that, in many ways, US soccer is “there.” (As it turns out, the word “there” is more complicated than it seems.) After all, soccer in America is more popular than ever, soccer is on American TV (it hasn’t always been that way youngsters!), the USMNT is definitely getting better (despite not qualifying for WC 2018), American players are taken more seriously around the world, and, probably most importantly, MLS is expanding and doing well.
This leads to my latest book, Major League Soccer 2019: Everything You Need to Know About the Teams. As I researched and wrote this book for the better part of a year, I came to realize, as usual, that I had no idea what day it was. Your welcome. I also realized that MLS is quite simply the world’s next super league. Give it a little time and it will happen, guaranteed. I predict that very soon it will be on par with the Bundesliga, La Liga and the other top European leagues. But it needs a little time, and this is understandable. Keep in mind, the league first started in 1996! Hell, if Tab Ramos had a little Cal Ripken in him, he could still be playing. 1996 is like yesterday. It’s so new it’s ridiculous. For some perspective, it seems like every other Western European league was founded the same year as Stella Artois. So for the critics of MLS (both domestic and foreign): Give the league a break; I’ve learned to. It’s a league full of professional players, and by that I mean how they conduct themselves on the field; the play has definitely improved over the years, and by that I mean the passing and thinking part of the game. The athletic-ness has always been there but to play soccer correctly has almost everything to do with thinking, which has a lot to do with team chemistry, among other things.
It’s actually a good thing that MLS is a new league. We’re seeing history unfold before our very eyes. It’s a league with a vast amount of potential and it’s proving that each year.
As we stand, the league has plenty of domestic talent, including Nguyen, Feilhaber, Zusi, Besler, Adams, Shea, Nagbe and Bradley, to name a few. The leading names of international talent would be Ibrahimovic, Rooney, Martinez, along with many others.
Atlanta United is looking strong for 2019, and it’ll be the team to beat. With that said, the field is wide open, with New York Red Bulls, NYCFC, D.C. United, LAFC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City, and FC Dallas all ready to seize the MLS Cup.
I was very honored to have written this book. There’s so much more around the corner for MLS and to have been a part of its journey is amazing. The 2019 season will undoubtedly be a remarkable one, along with many others that follow.