20 years ago, it seemed that in the United States there would always be only one kind of football – American football. The one that the whole world played did not take root even on the legacy of the 1994 World Cup. However, today there are 24 teams in the league, and there will be more. In 2016, 32 million Americans watched the MLS games at least once a season. The popularity of football in the USA has gone so far that even famous players from Europe decided to play in America.
David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
In 2007, the England midfielder left Real Madrid and moved to Los Angeles. It was the first such high-profile transition of a European football star to MLS. After the arrival of Beckham, the attendance and popularity of soccer in the United States increased markedly as well as bets on football. For Galaxy, David played 124 matches, in which he scored 20 goals, he twice became the champion of the MLS.
Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
After not the most successful four years in Barcelona, the Frenchman left for New York in the summer of 2010. In the new team, the Arsenal legend continued to demonstrate a great game and scored 52 goals in 135 matches. As a footballer for an American club, he played several matches on loan for Arsenal, and in December 2014 he hung up his boots.
Stephen Gerrard (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Lampard’s colleague in the England national team and an opponent in the Premier League moved to LA that year. Stevie G. made the playoffs twice, but the team failed to get to the medals. The Liverpool legend hung up his boots in November 2016.
Didier Drogba (Montreal Impact, Phoenix Rising)
After leaving Chelsea in 2012, the Ivorian dabbled in various clubs. Once in Montreal, the leader made it to the playoff semi-finals in 2016. Drogba ended up in Phoenix last April, co-owning the club along the way. True, Rising play in the second-strongest US division.
Kaka (Orlando City)
In the summer of 2014, another great European footballer traveled to the United States. Having terminated the contract with Milan, he joined the ranks of the Orlando Lions. In 78 matches, Kaka has scored 25 goals, but his team has not been able to get into the playoff zone in three seasons. As a result, in 2017 the eminent Brazilian retired.
Did it affect the betting market?
The appearance of famous European players in American football has incredibly changed betting on football in America. Interest in bets has increased significantly, and the size of the bets themselves. The presence of these players in American teams revived interest in this sport and gave a new impetus to the development.