The world of soccer: Why St. Louis has brought life to the MLS

(Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

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(Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)

Ever since St. Louis was announced as an expansion team for the MLS, I have been overly excited to see how they would do. Not only is an expansion team exciting in general but it especially hits home for me because my mom is a St. Louis native and our family is full of die-hard St. Louis fans. Because Michigan doesn’t have an MLS team, I never really got into watching MLS until the introduction of St. Louis. This expansion has not only gotten me more invested in the league but also in many others across the country.

(Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The MLS  is still very much a league in its growing stage unlike other leagues in the U.S. that are pretty solidified such as the NFL and MLB. This means that the MLS has added quite a few teams to the league in recent years such as Cincinnati, Charlotte, and Atlanta. These teams have varied a lot in where they placed in their first season. Some have made the playoffs but not many have progressed much farther than the first round. However, St. Louis seems to have a good chance to make a run when playoffs come around.

St. Louis City SC – Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Exhibition Game (Photo by Tim Vizer/picture alliance via Getty Images)

When I watched St. Louis play Bayer Leverkusen, a Bundesliga team, in a preseason match, I was not impressed. St. Louis lack confidence and didn’t play too well as a team as they lost 3-0. However, they did show some signs of attacking prowess and talent all around. Once the MLS season rolled around, St. Louis was playing the best soccer in the league as they jumped out to a 5 game-win streak that put them atop of the league. Since their 5 game streak, St. Louis has lost 2 and won 1 more game which keeps them on top of the western conference table.

After watching the upsets of this past March Madness tournament, I realized that usually people who don’t understand a sport usually root for the underdog.

(Photo by Rick Ulreich/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

For example, when the Super Bowl rolls around and you ask your friends that don’t follow football who they want to win they will usually say whichever team is projected to lose. This is one of the big reasons why I believe that St. Louis doing well is very good for the growth of the MLS.

If the MLS can grow its fanbase then maybe it can start to become a more respected league in comparison to others in Europe and South America. While I do think that the MLS still has some work to do to become a league that can be compared to those of Europe, an underdog team such as St. Louis winning the league could bring some major attention to North America.