We always hear so much talk about the perceived biggest and best leagues in the world, and while we understand where people are coming from, we don’t like the message behind it. The message indicates that there is only a selection of leagues and divisions that deserve to be spoken about as being amongst the very best, which is laughable at best.
One league that we feel doesn’t get enough love is Major League Soccer, as you’ve probably already been able to guess by the title alone. Alas, that isn’t to say that the league has no fans or anything like that, but instead that the general media outside of North America (and sometimes in it) don’t give it the respect it deserves. That’ll probably all change once the 2026 FIFA World Cup rolls around, but we can’t bring ourselves to wait that long.
The joys of the MLS
So, instead, we’re going to be taking a look at an example of how beneficial the MLS can be for not just clubs or media members, but players. Johnny Russell, 29 years of age, currently plays for Sporting Kansas City and has done since last year. He made the move over from Derby County where he was, in many respects, considered to be a talisman for the Rams. Ever since then he has done a great job of turning himself into one of the MLS’ most underrated attacking players, and in his most recent game, he did a great job of making everyone stand up and take notice. As reported by Pro Soccer USA and The Kansas City Star, Russell scored a hat trick to help Sporting KC snap a seven game winless streak. That may not sound like the most outrageous of winless streaks in world football, but in the MLS, it can be hard to drag yourself up and out of a funk like that sometimes.
But drag themselves out of it they did, and it was great to see it happen. Who would’ve thought some lad from Glasgow could have such an impact on a team from the almighty United States? Soccer, or football, is the only game in which that would seem remotely feasible – and it has come to fruition.
Good old Johnny
Russell has an infectious personality, and we’ve been able to see that come out more and more in recent weeks. He, himself, has had some issues when it comes to making an impact in recent times, but that Scottish grit and determination is something that is hard to match in any game or sport. He can easily continue to be this team’s talisman, as he was for Derby County a few years back.
This man has been able to adapt so well to the American style of play, and now that he’s up and rolling with some real momentum under his belt, the sky is the limit for what he could go on to achieve.
Is he the best player in world football? No, but he doesn’t need to be.