Over the course of the last few years, it’s become evident that Major League Soccer is a growing market in the realms of world football. It may not be valued as highly as the top four North American sports, but if we continue to give it the time it needs to grow and develop, then we could really be onto something.
There are many reasons for that and there are many reasons why we’ll continue to watch, but one of the primary factors is the development of players from abroad. Of course, bringing talented young Americans up through the ranks is always going to be important, but you’ve also got to consider the impact that stars from overseas have on the divisions too.
Just look at when David Beckham came over – that guy was a superstar within a matter of minutes upon his arrival in Los Angeles, and he helped to begin a trend of top names making the trip over to the States. Sure, for the first few years they found it pretty easy against most teams across the MLS, but soon enough the average level in terms of skill and ability began to develop.
Along comes Vela
Now, in the present day, we have players that are capable of being world beaters that are doing some really impressive things: such as Carlos Vela.
The 30 year old Vela started off his career with Premier League side Arsenal before jumping around a series of different clubs. He always seemed like the kind of player that was just waiting for his big break to come, and after five years with Real Sociedad, he finally got that break when he joined expansion team Los Angeles FC in 2018.
Since then he’s been an absolute revelation, and we don’t say that lightly. Sky Sports recently covered his rise to prominence in the MLS, to the point where people are starting to finally sit up and take notice of what he’s been able to accomplish.
The Mexican sensation has been firing in goals left & right, and simply put, that’s why we consider him to be such a memorable talent. He took all of the negativity and criticisms thrown his way throughout the course of his career, and he channelled that energy into doing something great with LAFC.
No more than he deserves
The LA Times recently confirmed that he received the Player of the Month award for March, too, and it really does feel like that’s just the beginning for him. At the age of 30 he could quite easily have another four or five years playing at the highest level in this league, and the great thing now is that there’s no guarantee of him firing LAFC to MLS Cup glory.
Why? Because the level of competition is so much better than it was just a decade or so ago. There’s a real sense of urgency from every single team in the league to go that extra mile in order to gain an edge or an advantage, and with that comes a renewed sense of passion for the game and the style of play in the United States.
If you want proof of that, just go and watch Carlos Vela play.