Is MLS just a "retirement league" for aging soccer players? | The Tylt
Is MLS just a "retirement league" for aging soccer players?
Major League Soccer has always been looked at as the red-headed stepchild of professional leagues in the United States—it always wants attention, but the product is so behind every other professional soccer league. MLS has no standing in the world, which is why the league only gets top talent when those players are past their primes.
You'll never see Phillipe Coutinho, Lionel Messi, or Neymar jump ship from Europe to play in the MLS. The league doesn't have the money nor the popularity to draw big names away from overseas. Until it is able to do that, MLS will always be a retirement league.
People like to take jabs at MLS like its the kids who ate paste in elementary school. Detractors like to say that it's only relevant because of the aging stars it employs after they are done playing real soccer in Europe. In reality, Major League Soccer has taken great strides in recent years to recruit young talent from overseas to develop them in the United States and Canada, and expand the leagues reputation in the world.
According to Kevin Kinkead of the Philly Voice, as of February 2017, there are 59 international players under the age of 30. The mean age among them is 25.7. That's a lot of young international talent that is being featured in the league. To call MLS a "retirement league" would be inaccurate with the number of up and coming stars playing on league rosters.