How MLS Becomes a Top Soccer Destination

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Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) –- Sporting Kansas City Defender Matt Besler and Seattle Sounders FC Midfielder Brad Evans discuss the growing excitement for Major League Soccer in America and around the world and the challenges the league will face in the future. They speak to Carol Massar on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.” (Source: Bloomberg)

Time to be involved in major league soccer.

You see with the world cup being this summer some of the marquee names coming back to the united states and playing interleague.

It is taking off and growing.

I know myself as a player, i love playing in the mls right now because it is an exciting time.

Did you feel momentum in the u.s. in terms of soccer?

In terms of participation, growth of teams.

Participation is always been there at the youth level but now you are seeing it accidentally grow beyond that.

-- exponentially grow beyond that.

There may be some more teams.

To say it is not where we want to be is not valid.

We are in a great place right now, especially both of us are very fortunate.

He plays in front of a sellout crowd for you -- for a few years.

It was -- it puts pressure on us.

I think the crossover and season ticket is only about 10%. we should be able to have what the seahawks have, that championship.

It feeds us.

There is pressure.

You are seeing the shift now with the new ownership that are coming into the league that are paying insane amounts of money to have a team.

They are putting stadiums downtown, there is public transportation, bars, everything you can ask for with a big production of the game.

That will help elevate where we want to be.

How do you look at somebody like david beckham who put so much attention to the sport?

Collects -- he came at a time in 2007 when it was not that hard of a time appeared he brought a spark.

He is going to own his own team and people look at mls now.

I look at some of you like landon donovan.

A big legacy.

And he is another guy like beckham who paved the way for a lot of papers -- players like us.

He has been the face of the league.

He is a guy you can look at that stage and played his entire career in the mls and he has done amazing.

I know me and brad both look up to him and we are thankful that he has played so well and done a lot of things for us.

What is the challenge for you guys the following someone's put -- a someone's footsteps?

It is being committed to mls.

Mls is committed to both of us and re-signed our contracts and it is up to us to show why we are here.

That goes to the international stage, improving that the less bass mls is getting players that could advance.

That shows a whole world we don't have to go to europe to play and come to mls and grow as a player and continue to build what guys like donovan have done and beckham.

Do think the mls is putting out enough money to attract the right players?

They are starting to.

We are seeing a kind of tipping point.

You see guys like michael bradley and clint dempsey coming back and getting paid very well.

I think in the next couple of years, you will see guys really come back and mls is going to be the choice league of top players.

Do you envision staying in the u.s. your entire career?

I hope i can stay.

I want to stay.

It is about the situation.

I think every player is different and every player's life and situation is different.

For me, right now, my situation is best to stay in mls and play here in america.

Unless something drastically changes, i see myself staying here and playing my whole career.

I want to ask about and something that we have talked about a lot is about gay athletes.

You have michael sam came out -- he to be the first openly gay athlete in the nfl.

Is this a nonissue in terms of sports?

Does it matter?

No, it does not matter.

When i talk to robbie and found out, i could've cared less.

That is the type of person i am.

If he came into our locker room, just like in the galaxy, it would have been a nonissue.

It is a nonissue.

It is good that there was a conversation out there?

It has to start somewhere.

You saw jason collins and then robbie and i see michael sam coming.

-- now you see michael sam coming and it paves the way for athletes who are hopefully more comfortable.

Once michael sim is drafted in comfortable in a team in performing well, then you see guys were comfortable in coming out.

Hasn't always been that comfort?

-- has there always been that comfort?

I don't think there always has been comfort but that is perception.

It takes somebody to actually do it and once that happens and the media and people see that this really is a nonissue.

This is not a big deal at all.

I think once people start to see that, it doesn't really become a story.

It is part of everyday life.

It is more of the norm.

How do you think you will do as a team and individuals for the world cup?

We have a difficult group.

We play ghana, portugal, and germany.

I've seen it in all the articles.

There is no shying away from it.

We all admit it will be a difficult task but i think we all truly believe that if we play well and play our best, there is no reason why we won't advance.

Who scares you the most?

Ghana, portugal, germany?

I don't think anybody really scares us.

We played against germany and had a good result against them.

Gone as a team that has beaten us the past two world cups so it feels like a redemption game.

If you start off with donna -- ghana, we can do well.

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This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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