Goal.com Worldview: Major League Soccer Not So Major

Goal.com USA asked our editors around the world what they knew and thought of the top-flight soccer league in the United States of America and Canada.
I do not follow the MLS, but I watched some matches, as Eurosport bought Los Angeles Galaxy matches. I think that the physical level is pretty high, but it's not so technical and tactical. I know David Beckham, Cobi Jones, Landon Donovan, and there are some Mexican players as well. I do not think that we can follow the MLS in France now, no one bought the TV rights. I do not know really who can win the championship, but I would have a slight preference to the Chicago Fire.
Alexandre Walraevens, Goal.com France

The MLS players I know are Juan Pablo Angel, Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones, and Landon Donovan. I've watched only one game from MLS. With reference to this, I found MLS highly physical. I do not know about who will be a champion.

Nobody follows MLS in Turkey, as its TV rights have not been bought. Turkish football fans think of MLS as a place that players can make lots of money. They also think that there is no real competition in
Cehun Bayel, Goal.com Turkey

From an English perspective, and even allowing for the geographical factors in a country many times bigger than our own, the organisational structure of American professional sport can seem somewhat arcane and impenetrable, with Eastern and Western conferences and play-offs adding a layer of complication that some see as undermining the integrity of a national league. Since each team pays the other twice, home and away, the two extra 'intra-conference' games scheduled for the 2009 season, and the play-offs themselves, can seem unnecessary to fans over here accustomed to a 20-team Premier League in which, after each has played the regulation 38 matches, the team with most points are crowned champions, end of story. That said, we have play-offs in our lower divisions, though not involving the teams finishing first and second, who are automatically promoted. Though now well-established, the concept of play-offs still arouses controversy (for example, when the team finishing third in the regular season fails to secure promotion and the sixth--placed side go up).
Personally, despite the East-West conference issue, I want to see MLS continue to make steady progress this season and welcome the addition of Seattle Sounders and the planned arrival next year of Philadelphia. The bigger the league, the greater, potentially, the national and international interest. The close season has of course been dominated by the David Beckham to Milan saga, which has been a two-edged sword: on the one hand it has helped heighten international awareness of MLS; on the other it has not exactly enhanced the League's profile, reinforcing perceptions that MLS is still far from big-time, at least in European eyes. Then again, the quality of EPL players like Brad Friedel, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey is an endorsement for MLS

Looking specifically to the imminent campaign, players I will be following with interest include ex-Gunners Freddie Ljungberg and Rohan Ricketts, plus Juan Pablo Angel, Beckham during his abbreviated tenure, and last season's leading scorers Landon Donovan, Kenny Cooper and Edson Buddle, Luciano Emilio, Jaime Moreno, and the like of Fred, Pat Onstad, Jon Busch and ex-pat Brits like Terry Cooke, Danny Dichio and Kyle Patterson.

The latter stages of the CONCACAF Champions League should be interesting, but for MLS 2009 specifically, I'll be willing Seattle Sounders to make an impact, but would tip Houston Dynamo to win the championship.
Graham Lister, Goal.com England

MLS is not very followed in Italy. Last year Sky TV followed the championship, but I think mainly for Beckham, so this season I do not know if we have TV matches here. We don't know many players except Juan Pablo Angel and Landon Donovan and we do not know who can win the championship.
Sergio Stanco, Goal.com Italy

We don't follow MLS much in South America. TV networks only give it a little space, ESPN broadcasts some live games, specially those with important Latin American players involved

The perception of fans is that it's an inferior league in comparison with most South American leagues. They see it as it as having less talented players although is a lot richer.

On a scale of 1-10, I'd rate MLS a 6.

I can name a few MLS players, like Cuauthemoc Blanco, Claudio Suarez, Landon Donovan, Freddy Adu, Juan Pablo Angel, Brian McBride, David Beckham, Guillermo Barros Schellotto, Jaime Moreno, and Claudio "Piojo" Lopez
All our media reported it last year when Barros Schelotto's Columbus Crew won the championship, so Argentinian fans, specially Boca Juniors fans, expect "El Mellizo" to win it again.
Martin Dechaux, Goal.com South America

There's no coverage of the MLS here in Spain, at all. Some media published little reports on LA GALAXY games when Beckham were playing, but just that. I do know MLS because I'm from Argentina and I worked for ESPN International channel there, covering the MLS several years ago, but here, in SPAIN, nothing at all about United States football.
Juan Lirman, Goal.com Spain