How Popular MLS Teams Would Do In Europe


The meteoric rise of Major League Soccer in the past few years hasn’t gone unnoticed by the soccer world. Every year, more and more older European stars decide to play in America for their last few years. This has in turn made the league much stronger. At the same time, the younger talent raining through the Ranks keeps getting stronger. This begs the question: how MLS clubs would fare in Europe. Could the most popular MLS teams clubs compete overseas? Here’s our analysis on how well America’s most popular teams would do in Europe.

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New York Red Bulls FC

With stars like Thierry Henry, Bradley Wright-Phillips, and Tim Cahill, the Bulls have showed they aren’t afraid to spend money to get top players. The club has also invested in a top of the line stadium and training facilities which have helped to improve attendance every year since its inception. Being backed by a major company like Red Bull GmbH means that they could afford the big time players if they were in Europe. But with their current team, how would they fare? Probably not very well, unfortunately.  The Red Bulls have shined at times this season, but have struggled at some points due to a lack of depth in their roster. Roster depth is what sets European clubs apart. You can’t just rely on your starters. The Red Bulls would realistically be relegated after one season.

LA Galaxy

Nov 7, 2013; Sandy, UT, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Landon Donovan (10) controls the ball during the first half against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. Real Salt Lake won the game 2-0 in overtime and won the series on an aggregate score of 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Galaxy are without a doubt one of Major League Soccer’s most popular teams. The growth of the league in the US can large be attributed to the Galaxy. When they signed David Beckham, hundreds of thousands of Americans started supporting the MLS.  But as of right now, the Galaxy would not likely be able to compete in the English Premier League. The club is 7-6-4, despite great performances from Forwards Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane and strong play from youngsters Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez. They might be able to compete for a season or two if they were able to sign some more talent, but I expect Los Angeles would be relegated after two seasons.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting has had a remarkable year. After winning the MLS Cup last season, the results as of week mid-July have been around what fans expected. They have a beautiful soccer specific park, strong young talent, and experienced international players like Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. In the World Cup, Zusi and Besler showed they can play with anybody. Besler was USA’s best defender and Zusi logged insane minutes contributing in every US game. But two players don’t make a team. Though they have young talent like Dom Dwyer, it would be tough for KC to play and compete on a consistent basis overseas.

Seattle Sounders FC

2014 has been a phenomenal year in Seattle. The club currently has 12 wins with a few games to go before the All-Star break. In their recent game against Tottenham, the Sounders performed admirably, playing a balanced offensive and defensive match, nearly beating the EPL club. If any team in the MLS could compete in Europe it would be the Sounders. They have an loyal and enthusiastic fan base, good young players, and a very marketable brand. In 2014, they averaged 40,000 fans per game which was more than double the league average.