MLS owners predict league will surpass MLB
NEW YORK (AP):
Three days ahead of the Major League Soccer's 25th season, owners, executives and players gathered for a day of unbridled optimism and hyperbole. Los Angeles FC lead owner Larry Berg predicted MLS will surpass Major League Baseball (MLB) in popularity during the next 10 years and Inter Miami managing owner Jorge Mas maintained it will be of higher quality than the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga by 2045.
MLS anticipates football's status in the US will be boosted when the Americans co-host the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada.
"We definitely have the demographics in our favour, both in terms of youth and diversity. So I think we'll pass baseball and hockey and be the No. 3 sport in the US behind football and basketball," Berg said Wednesday at the league's kickoff event.
MLS expanded to 26 teams this season with the addition of David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville, and plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 - triple the league's low from 2002-04. The league has increasingly attracted better players from South America, and Berg called youth academies the league's "crown jewel."