Thursday, 8 August 2013

A Legit Comparison to be Made

   Friday will be the 25th anniversary of "The Trade" that sent Wayne Gretzky from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. We all know the impact it brought to the NHL. Players salaries went up and cities that were not known for hockey had obtained franchises such as Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Anaheim and San Jose just to name a few. While the impact of "The Trade" lasted throughout much of the 1990's, a similar impact move happened in the latter part of the 2000's but in MLS.
  The news that brought major shockwaves to MLS was the announcement that when the 2007 La Liga season would finish, David Beckham would be leaving Real Madrid to join the Los Angeles Galaxy. Before Becks arrival, MLS was a relatively small league with only twelve teams mostly playing in building designed for football. After his arrival brought much fanfare to the North American league, the majority of the teams finally started to play in stadiums primarily designed for soccer as well as another expansion. Between 2007 and 2012, MLS added another seven teams which saw three of them from Canada. These cities were Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as well as Seattle, Philadelphia, Portland and the revival of the San Jose Earthquakes.
  Like what Gretzky did for one Los Angeles team many moons ago, Beckham's presence in MLS made an impact very similar to "The Great One" by developing the game in the North America league. If Becks decided not to join the Galaxy, would the MLS see expansion let alone still exist? Probably not.

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