The Major League Soccer Cup Final was played between two sides in a season dominated by the new teams. There is no stranger to success. Seattle Sounders played Toronto F.C. for the third time in four seasons. Winning 3-1 for the top MLS prize.
However, the format of the MLS Cup Playoffs which goes against the traditional world championship league format at the end of a regular-season did not for the first time pose questions regarding the fairness and competitive structure of top football in the United States.
During their second season only, the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) dominated MLS by shattering the single-season records for most of the points (72) and highest goal differential (+ 48).
In 2018, Atlanta United set the standard for MLS expansion clubs and recorded themselves (though many did not last until the last regular dominance of the LA season) on their way to the title of the MLS Cup.
There is still plenty to improve in the top American league, but it is certainly the cornerstone. And the football world is starting to take notice of great players like Carlos Vela who start to find a place to play in MLS.
The culture of MLS spending shifts with the desire to spend large amounts of money on teams and brands like LAFC and Atlanta. However, Lalas believes that changes must be made for MLS to take the next step.
The League is still very new, and stringent financial regulations are in place to ensure that the MLS remains successful. With 16 different champions in 24 years, they were able to do that. These limitations, however, are an obstacle to the growth and global relevance of an LAFC and Atlanta-style league.
The MLS season has received more attention than ever in this country, and with the success of relative newcomers Minnesota, LAFC and Atlanta, the league’s potential has come to light. League culture changes, the play rate rises and the world sits and observes. League culture changes.