4 years after the initial announcement, David Beckham and MLS have confirmed a team for Miami. Will Beckham’s second phase of soccer in America mean huge success for a South Beach team?
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Soccer truly is ‘the world’s game’ and you need no more evidence than the cosmopolitan makeup of Major League Soccer. Not only has MLS broken down the cultural makeup by the numbers they have also created some great graphics.
The Portland Timbers won the MLS Cup at the end of the season but who were the biggest winners off the pitch? Kaka of Orlando City SC was the best-paid player in the MLS with a salary of $7.2 million. Two players from Toronto FC, Sebastian Giovinco and Michael Bradley came second and third with $7.1 and $6.5 million respectively. Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, two stalwarths of the English game have also enjoyed a lucrative time in the states, earning about $6 million each.
This chart shows the annual salary of MLS players in 2016.
Over the past few years, soccer has enjoyed an increasing amount of success in the United States. The arrival of successful foreign players including David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Frank Lampard, Kaka, Pirlo David Villa has helped soccer boost its profile in the country.
Average MLS attendance reached 21,546 in 2015(1) and there are plans to expand the league with the addition of new teams.
Despite the league’s recent success, however, MLS clubs still trail Europe’s heavyweights in value. The Seattle Sounders is America’s top club, valued at $175 million. By contrast, Europe’s (and indeed the world’s) wealthiest club, Real Madrid, is valued at $3.3 billion.
LA Galaxy is worth $170 million. By contrast, the Englishman’s former club, Manchester United is valued at over $3.65 billion.