MLS owners predict league will surpass MLB, Premier League

By RONALD BLUM - AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Los Angeles FC lead owner Larry Berg predicts Major League Soccer will surpass Major League Baseball in popularity during the next 10 years and Inter Miami owner Jorge Mas maintains it will be of higher quality than the Premier League or La Liga by 2045.

The pair spoke at the league’s kickoff event Wednesday, two days ahead of the start of its 25th season.

MLS anticipates the status of soccer in the U.S. will be boosted when the Americans co-host the 2026 World Cup with Mexico and Canada.

“We definitely have the demographics in our favor, both in terms of youth and diversity. So I think we’ll pass baseball and hockey and be the No. 3 sport in the U.S. behind football and basketball,” Berg said. “I think we will be the league of choice. I think we’re already a league of choice to a certain extent, whether we can be a top-five league or a top-three league will really come down at the end of the day to money, our ability to compete for players.”

MLS has increasingly attracted better players from South America.

“I think the good news is players want to play here,” he said. “We’re the United States of America. People want to live here. It’s an incredible lifestyle. The infrastructure is fantastic.”

Mas co-owns the Miami team that launches this weekend, partnering with former England captain David Beckham. He talked about what MLS will look like for its 40th year in 2045.

“I think the MLS will be one of the top sports leagues in the United States. I think it will be on par or exceed the best leagues in the world, the Premier League or Serie A or La Liga worldwide,” Mas said. “I think that the MLS 25 years from now will be Premier League-ish if we want to so-call it that on the metrics that leagues are measured by.”


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AP Sports Writer