A guide to the US models for Major League Soccer and United Soccer League
Many fans may not know that soccer has a long history in the United States. The first US soccer league was established in 1884, making it one of the oldest sports leagues in the country, second only to the National League of Baseball. Soccer was so prosperous in the 1920s that approximately fifty European players were employed with soccer clubs in the United States. However, throughout the last century and a half, the soccer landscape has experienced one failed attempt after another (primarily by leagues) to make it as beloved in the United States as it is elsewhere.
This article briefly discusses the history of soccer in the US and then compares the US’s two prominent leagues – Major League Soccer and United Soccer League – from a business and legal standpoint. Specifically, it looks at:
- how the history of soccer informs the modern game;
- the ‘single-entity’ structure and the evolution of Major League Soccer;
- the rise of the United Soccer League;
- where US soccer goes from here.
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- Tags: Commercial | Competition | Corporate | Football | Governance | Major League Soccer | Regulation | United Soccer League | United States | United States Soccer Federation (USSF)
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Mohsen Parsa is a sports and business attorney based in Irvine, California. He currently serves as the General Counsel to the Orange County SC professional soccer team which competes in the USL Championship.