Could MLS find success by following the NFL in sending teams to Wembley?

It’s no secret that Major League Soccer’s growth is continuing to turn heads. Not only is the league attracting some of Europe’s best footballing talent, but its expansion is showing no signs of slowing down, with new franchises bursting onto the scene at an alarming rate.

But what if Major League Soccer followed in the footsteps of the NFL and brought competitive fixtures to the UK, at Wembley?

The NFL’s success in England has been staggering since the International Series’ inception saw competitive fixtures start being played across the pond a decade ago. The fact it’s a different sport helps massively with the attraction, but there is an ever-growing support base of UK-based MLS fans, so there is certainly an opportunity for MLS to do something similar in the coming years.

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Driving up interest for a fixture would arguably be easier for MLS. Instead of bringing over a regular season game, a fixture similar to those played in the International Champions Cup format each summer could work well in Britain. A side from MLS playing a top Premier League club at Wembley in front of 90,000 soccer-crazed fans would make for some spectacle.

You only have to look at the interest that the MLS All-Stars fixture garners each year – with this season’s instalment seeing Real Madrid take on the best of MLS in Chicago on August 2. Allowing English fans to watch their favourite club face off against an MLS outfit firsthand here in the UK would surely heighten the league’s growth.

A mini-league could even be an option. Let’s say, for example, the top side from both the Eastern and Western Conference come to Wembley and play against the Premier League’s first and second place teams each year. The Premier League clubs could each face the two MLS sides, with the showcase finale allowing the two MLS sides to battle it out on the same field at the end of the tournament.

There are plenty of options to be explored if the league’s expansion overseas steps up over the coming seasons and MLS would undoubtedly put on a great show. The ideas above are simply just suggestions in their rawest form. But we would love to see MLS teams showcased on UK soil in the near future.

Have your say below – Would you like to see MLS teams play in the UK? And which MLS clubs would you most like to see play at a stadium like Wembley?

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Messi and Ronaldo to meet in Miami as El Clasico heads stateside this summer

The two biggest clubs in world football will go head-to-head in Miami this summer, with Real Madrid and Barcelona gearing up for just the second ever El Clasico to be played outside of Spain.

Some of the game’s biggest stars – including Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – are expected to be on show as the Spanish giants prepare to face off in the 2017 International Champions Cup series. The game will be played on Saturday July 29 in front of over 60,000 people at the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium.

It will be the first time El Clasico has ever been played on American soil and will be just the second time the rivalry has been played outside of Spain, with the only previous meeting abroad coming 35 years ago in Venezuela.

Barcelona will have their famous MSN trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar at their disposal, while Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to make the game, despite his involvement in the Confederations Cup in Russia a month before.

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It’s another huge boost for an ever-growing soccer audience in the USA and particularly for Miami, considering the continuous troubles with the attempts to get David Beckham’s MLS Expansion Franchise off the ground.

It would be an incredible day to announce that Miami is finally set to get an MLS team, but we’ll try not to get too ahead of ourselves on that one.

However, it is highly likely that either Barcelona or Real Madrid will be the opponent for the 2017 MLS All-Star match, which is set to take place in Chicago just four days after the game in Miami.

PHOTOS: Exclusive images from Manchester United’s win against Barcelona in California

Manchester United kept their 100% record on their US tour going by beating FC Barcelona 3-1 in front of 68,414 fans at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Saturday night.

Louis Van Gaal will have been delighted with the performance and result as his team put on their best display yet, following a 1-0 win over Club America and a 3-1 victory against San Jose Earthquakes prior to Saturday’s match.

Wayne Rooney, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj were all on target for the Red Devils, while Rafinha netted for Barcelona.

United play their last preseason game of their US tour against Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago on Wednesday night before returning home in time for the Premier League season opener against Tottenham on August 8.

Check out our exclusive photos from the game in California below, courtesy of our North American photographer Denise McCooey.

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PHOTOS: Exclusive images from United’s win over Club America in Seattle

Manchester United got their preseason campaign underway in fine style with a solid 1-0 win over Club America in their International Champions Cup match at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, the home of both the Seahawks and Sounders.

Morgan Schneiderlin scored the only goal of the game inside five minutes as he enjoyed a dream start to life in a United shirt, heading in Juan Mata’s cross to the delight of Louis Van Gaal.

“He scored with Southampton, I believe five goals, so it is not a coincidence but we have practised this with him so I was very pleased with the performance,” the Dutchman said after the game.

“We didn’t give a goal away, only one or two chances, so I am satisfied about that. We played like a team and [Club] America was very handy with the ball, all of the players were very aggressive and quick, so it was not so easy.”

United continue their ICC run when they face Major League Soccer outfit San Jose Earthquakes at their new Avaya Stadium on Tuesday night, before facing FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

Check out our exclusive photos from the game in Seattle on Friday night below, courtesy of our North American photographer Denise McCooey.

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PHOTOS: Exclusive images of United training in Seattle, new signings featured

Manchester United start their preseason campaign on Friday night with their first International Champions Cup match taking place in Seattle against Club America.

The Red Devils then fly out to California to face the San Jose Earthquakes, before key games against FC Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.

New United signings Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Matteo Darmian all made the trip to the United States, along with David De Gea despite ongoing exit talks.

Check out all of those players in action as our North American photographer Denise McCooey watched United train at the Seattle Seahawks’ Virginia Mason Athletic Center – the second largest training facility in the NFL:

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PHOTOS: Steven Gerrard makes LA Galaxy debut in win over Club America

Steven Gerrard made his LA Galaxy debut in the club’s International Champions Cup game against Club America on Saturday night, playing 45 minutes with his new teammates in front of 27,924 fans at StubHub Center.

The former Liverpool midfielder helped the Galaxy to a 2-1 win on the night, despite going behind early on, and he was delighted to have got his first piece of action under his belt.

“It was a great feeling,” Gerrard said after the game. “It was a difficult game and I thought [Club América] were very good. I thought after 15 or 20 minutes that the team settled really well, we played some good football and we got our deserved equalizer.

“For me personally, it was good to get 45 minutes under my belt and I’ll keep getting better and better and the more I get used to my teammates, I’ll improve.”

WATCH – Highlights of Steven Gerrard’s first performance in an LA Galaxy shirt:


His manager, Bruce Arena, was equally pleased to see the English hero make his debut but he refused to confirm whether or not Gerrard will play against Real Salt Lake in their US Open Cup quarterfinal clash on Tuesday.

“I think Steven played well, we are going to see how he feels tomorrow and Monday before we make a decision moving forward for Open Cup,” Arena said.

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“His passing was very good, his partnership with Juninho was good, he won some tackles, helped create some chances, he could have had a goal, the ‘keeper made a great save on him. For his first time out it was very encouraging, he looked like he belonged, his leadership was really good, and I thought he was solid.”

If Gerrard doesn’t play on Tuesday night, he will expect to make his MLS debut against fierce rivals San Jose Earthquakes next Friday.

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