Soccer has long been known as the "world's sport," with popularity living outside the United States in leagues like the English Premier League, Germany's Bundesliga and Spain's La Liga. While these countries remain among the top talents in soccer, MLS has worked its way into the conversation by attracting international talent such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on top of the already top-notch American players. The competition level has even convinced international teams to travel to the U.S. and compete with MLS teams in friendly matches. One of the most popular friendlies has been the MLS All-Star Game. In 2005, it was reformatted to feature one MLS All-Star team against an international guest, rather than the previous format of MLS East vs. MLS West. With world-class teams lining up in stadiums on American soil, the MLS has been able to capitalize on this increasing popularity.
Two of the biggest stories of the 2019 soccer season will be the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the Women's World Cup. The Gold Cup will be played in the United States next Summer. The Gold Cup will be spread across the major stadiums with the Gold Cup Final being played July 7th at Solider Field in Chicago. The Women's World Cup will be played in France next Summer and will draw big crowds to see the best women's teams in the World. As the popularity of the sport continues to grow in the U.S., so too will the ticket demand. With a 2019 lineup of the world's best teams on the schedule for this summer, the soccer boom in America is just getting started.