Major League Soccer's Best Teams
Let's address the elephant in the room - Major League Soccer is not a retirement league. The ideology that Major League Soccer relies solely on past-their-prime players, looking for one last paycheck is biased and disillusioned.
Although players such as; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Wayne Rooney, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic can be seen playing in the MLS, players such as Josef Martinez and Carlos Vela are far more common. Aside from European and South American Football, nowhere in the world do you see such a blend and mixture of talent spread out throughout the league. Currently today, the Major League Soccer has evolved into a fast, dynamic, attacking style of football. Rapid electric players such as; Diego Rossi, Diego Valeri, Ignacio Piatti, Jonathan Dos Santos can be seen running up and down the pitch.
Although far behind the more established leagues found in Europe and South America, the MLS has made major progress forward since its inauguration on April 6, 1996. Beautiful Stadiums with large electric crowds are beginning to become normality in the MLS, with Atlanta United's Mercedes-Benz Stadium atmosphere offering a glimpse of the potential of Major League Soccer.
Unlike the Chinese SuperLeague where eye-watering, mouth dropping amounts of cash are splashed on established stars, the Major League Soccer has sought out a more steady and slow approach. Seeking instead a road, in which building stadiums and youth-academies have been prioritized.
In order to be profitable and sustainable in the near future, Major League Soccer has set a groundwork in which it has seen them expand both in the number of teams and quality of play. So who are the Elite teams who have separated themselves from the good ones?
Notable Players: Josef Martinez, Pity Martinez, Ezequiel Barco, Brad Guzan, Hector Villalba
Titles: 2018 MLS Cup
In just two seasons, Atlanta United was constructed into winners of the MLS Cup in 2018. It's been a rapid rise for Atlanta United that very few saw coming. But that's just what happened. Led by former Barcelona Manager, and current Mexico National Team head coach, Gerardo "Tata" Martino Atlanta United set the MLS alight by defeating Portland Timbers with a scoreline of 2-0 on December 8, 2018.
Choosing to recruit un-known South American talent such as Venezuela Striker 25-year-old Josef Martinez, current Newcastle record signing Miguel Almiron, promising Argentinian winger Ezequiel Barco and Paraguayan winger Hector Villalba was seen as a risk by Atlanta United at the time. But it's one that reaped rewards.
On their way towards the title, Josef Martinez scored a record-breaking 31 goals while providing 5 assists in the regular season. Miguel Almiron, before his $27 million transfer fee to Newcastle, scored 12 goals and provided 11 assists. Villalba scored 7 goals and provided 6 assists. In between the post, United States Men's National Goalkeeper Brad Guzan kept 8 clean sheets.
Although Tata Martino and Almiron are gone, Atlanta United displayed why they're an elite squad by replacing them with former Inter Milan, Ajax, and Crystal Palace Coach Frank De Boer and Argentinian National Team player Pity Martinez. 2 draws and 2 defeats from 4 games hardly screams elite, but once all's set and done, expect Atlanta United to defend their throne.