Is MLS just a "retirement league" for aging soccer players?
via AP

Is MLS just a "retirement league" for aging soccer players?

#MLSRetirementLeague
#MLSMoreThanThat
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Every year, another old international star soccer player makes his way to Major League Soccer to extend his career. These players are shadows of their former selves, and they are looking for one last big paycheck before riding off into the sunset. Even though aging stars are past their primes, soccer fans come out in droves to catch a glimpse of top-level talent, and the league is developing young talent. What do you think? ⚽

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#MLSRetirementLeague
#MLSMoreThanThat

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 it's a kid 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 league's 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.

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