Michael Bradley

Shallow MLS player pool continues to hamper national team

Shallow MLS player pool continues to hamper national team

When the United States won the right to play host to the 1994 World Cup, one condition was the country had to form a competitive, first-tier professional soccer league.

Twenty-one years after its founding, Major League Soccer has delivered on only part of its promise. Yes, the league has grown to 22 teams from 10 and announced plans to add six more franchises in the near future. Last season, MLS claimed an average attendance of 21,692, better than first-division leagues in France, Brazil, Argentina, Portugal and the Netherlands. And its games were available on TV in more than 140 countries and territories.

But the league has not been nearly as successful on the field,...

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