In 1968 the North American Soccer League began. At first it was hard to sell the Americans to the game of football, or in their case 'soccer', and a major influence was the addition of world renowned players such as Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Giorgio Chinaglia and Johan Cruyff. 

All these players, at a certain stage in their career decided to have a change and enlighten the Americans to their and the rest of the worlds style of play. 

Eventually the MLS was established in 1996 as a result of an incredible increase in the amount of fans that had been won over by the beautiful game. Players who had grown up watching the likes of Pele and Beckenbauer had seen that the MLS was an opportunity. The most recent big name player to have played in the MLS is David Beckham.

Not needing much of an intro, Beckham was a hit the moment LA Galaxy signed him. With a resume listing the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid, the Galaxy fans had all they needed. 

Signing in 2007, the former England captain would spend the next five years wowing the nation with his incredible free-kicks and individual play. 

Next up was Robbie Keane who made the move to LA Galaxy in 2011. The duo of Keane and Beckham proved pivotal as they linked up to great effect to help win the MLS cup two years in a row.

With much speculation as to who will be the next big name player to sign for a team in the MLS, with Frank Lampard being the current frontrunner after Chelsea have somewhat controversially refused to offer him another contract, it remains to be seen the long-term effect these players arrival will have. 

A few other players in Europe who may be tempted to move to the US are Andrea Pirlo and Miroslav Klose. Perhaps one day Barcelona's Lionel Messi will join the MLS? That may turn some heads.

Whatever their motives, be it for financial gain or to help improve and develop American soccer, the likes of Beckham, Keane and Thierry Henry have helped increase the profile on the MLS, and the very fact you're reading this shows that the game as a whole has taken to a new level.

In the future, perhaps players will move to the MLS at the pinnacle of their careers as the division continues to improve in quality? Only time will tell.


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