With Major League Soccer continuing to develop, more and more British youngster’s should look to play football across the pond. Jamie Ives explains why…
The growing demand for soccer in America is escalating, and as a result, standards of players are set to rise.
With this being said, the major sports in America such as American football, basketball and baseball will always tend to appeal to young American athletes.
And although more are looking to soccer, the opportunity for young British players is there for all to see.
With MLS steadily growing, and with the introduction of expansion teams, more players will be required, and rosters are going to get bigger.
With the growth, this can become a route into the beautiful game for young British players who struggle to make it in the Premier League.
With the current set up in the UK, less than 10% of academy players in England will turn professional.
So what options do they have?
Most of these players will take up full time occupations, some of them will coach, and some will go to university. But where?
Each year, American scouts scour Britain for players that will improve their college squads in America, with the aim to offer them a full scholarship.
The prospect of playing in MLS, or any form of professional football in America should not be viewed as a ‘step down’, as there have been many cases where Englishmen have excelled in the United States.
David Beckham may have started the trend, but there are now more and more English players looking to Major League Soccer.
(David Beckham’s Miami team would certainly bring more English players to MLS)
Nigel Reo-Coker, Bradley Wright- Phillips and Jermain Defoe are just a few familiar names that have played in the Premier League, and are all currently playing in the US
The league has restrictions on the number of players a team is allowed over the age of 25, and so the opportunities are there for youngsters.
There will always be critics that suggest MLS will not take off, but with new teams continue to join the league, and David Beckham’s Miami-based club possibly joining in a few years, interest here in the UK is set to climb.
From a financial and academic standpoint, the American scholarship system has to be worth a look at for any players in Britain that have struggled to get a break in the UK.