The United States men’s soccer team would have qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, if not for Major League Soccer.
But not in the way you’re thinking.
Team USA’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup isn’t due solely to the country’s leading players deciding to forgo their European careers in favor of playing closer to home. The number of players from fellow CONCACAF — the region comprised of North American, Central American and Caribbean nations — countries who ply their trades in MLS has raised their respective national teams’ level of play dramatically in recent years and led to USA’s World Cup 2018 demise.
That’s a theory NESN.com’s Marc DiBenedetto and Marcus Kwesi O’Mard posed this week on the “NESN Soccer Show.” Watch the video above to see how MLS might have helped CONCACAF nations beat Team USA, rather than vice-versa.
Or you can watch the entire episode here.
Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images