Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Spell at LA Galaxy Was a Huge Deal for MLS
Just several decades ago, soccer was almost non-existent in the US. Almost nobody played it and there were very few of those who would call themselves soccer fans, and even fewer of the ones who would use Betting Bonus Codes to bet on soccer matches. Then things started to change slowly and today millions of men and women play football on some level, and even more follow it.
However, MLS still cannot compare to any European football league, either in popularity or in the quality of the game.
One man that changed everything was Zlatan Ibrahimovic. He started playing at MLS in March 2018 and had fantastic several seasons. The popularity of the sport has risen significantly in the US since then. However, Zlatan has recently announced that he will be leaving LA Galaxy at the end of the year when his contract ends. It seems that he is going back to Spain and will be playing once again in La Liga.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Dominated the MLS
The experienced 38-year-old Swede did not find it hard to absolutely dominate the American soccer. He scored 53 goals in 58 matches and was the best player in the league. He has a reputation of an outspoken person who does not have a problem with sharing his opinions, so he attracted a lot of media attention as well.
Following his decision to leave MLS and go back to playing in La Liga, he posted the following on his Twitter account:
“I came, I saw, I conquered. Thank you @lagalaxy for making me feel alive again. To the Galaxy fans — you wanted Zlatan, I gave you Zlatan. You are welcome. The story continues… Now go back to watching baseball.”
His tweet might seem vain, but he is completely right. In a year and a half, he did much more for Major League Soccer than any other European player. It would not come as a surprise if a large number of American soccer fans actually took his advice and went back to watching baseball instead of soccer.
MLS Needs to Solve Many Problems
Even without Ibrahimovic leaving LA Galaxy and MLS, the biggest American league already has a lot of problems to deal with.
The popularity of the sport is growing, but soccer clubs and soccer schools are not creating enough young talents. Therefore, the pressure on American soccer youth is quite high. Soccer in the US is no longer just a pastime or a hobby, it is turning into a chase for success and financial gain.
Zlatan has fired a shot at American soccer recently by saying that nobody will remember what Major League Soccer was when he leaves LA Galaxy. That could become a reality if MLS does not manage to attract enough new talents who would develop the league.
MLS Not Attractive Enough Due to Lack of Promotion & Relegation
One potential reason why Ibrahimovic has decided to leave LA Galaxy is the fact that MLS still has not adopted the promotion & relegation system that has existed in European leagues for a long time.
That means that teams from lower leagues cannot advance to higher leagues and the worst high-league teams cannot be relegated to lower leagues.
Apart from putting the idea of competitiveness in question, this system also affects the popularity and attractiveness of the sport. The system makes MLS quite homogenous, which is something European fans are not used to. Promotion and relegation make European football more dynamic and more unpredictable.
There is no doubt Zlatan Ibrahimovic has done a lot for MLS. He has made it more popular and showed the US what American soccer could look like in the future. However, it is time for him to go back and do what he does best — wreaking havoc on his opponents.