With the MLS Cup just five days away, the future of the MLS looks bright and it's not because David Beckham is with the LA Galaxy. Why MLS has a reason for so much optimism, is the fact that they have almost figured it out.
At the beginning of MLS they tried to "Americanise" soccer, trying to fix all the things that Americans didn't like about soccer. Ties, the lack of scoring, MLS tried different things to make it "better"—the one-on-one penalty shoot out at the end of regulation and playing at the mercy of NFL and college football teams.
These flaws at the beginning were quickly fixed and corrected. The first thing that MLS did right was build its own stadiums. Lamar Hunt had a vision, and if you look at it now eight of the thirteen teems in MLS have there own stadiums and more are on the way.
The next step that MLS took in the right direction was to establish strong relationships with the best of the best in the world of soccer and having individual clubs have business relationships with international clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Barcelona.
The next step in the right direction was backwards—yes, back words—by retracting the Miami Fusion and moving San Jose to Houston. Once the League stabilised in it's infancy, MLS looked to expansion and Toronto, Canada turned out to be a great idea.
Now, in the week of the MLS Cup, MLS looks to the future and the future is bright.
With two new MLS franchises coming in 2009 and 2010 and stadium plans for three or four more MLS teams, and cities all over the US competing for more MLS franchises, MLS has a bright future. For all the doubters saying that it would never work and that there is no market in the United States for soccer, look at it now.
For MLS, the sky's the limit.