Has soccer finally cracked the US?

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Mar 2, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; TSN and there camera mid field during the first half as the Vancouver Whitecaps host the Toronto FC at BC Place Stadium. The Vancouver Whitecaps won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

5. Sky Sports will broadcast MLS from the US for first time in 2015

British heavyweight broadcaster Sky Sports recently announced a mega deal which gives them the rights to exclusively broadcast the MLS from the US for the very first time.

This deal was in the pipelines for quite a while, and the confirmed arrivals of English stars Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to the MLS in July, may have been a deciding factor in Sky Sports pushing this deal over the finish line.

With the English Premier League (EPL) finishing in May and a three month gap until the new season begins in August, European soccer fans will have the option to tune in to watch the MLS for the first time at home.

Sky Sports is set to put the MLS in a window to display to the European market and this new deal can only bring positive things to soccer in the US. BSkyB (the company which owns Sky Sports) signed a mega money contract with the EPL in 1992 which enabled the network to broadcast more games, and in turn, transformed the league into an extremely lucrative organisation in financial terms, in which every team got a slice of the cake.

For all the controversy in the MLS with massive salary discrepancies between players, salary caps enforced on clubs and the limitations of designated players, the arguments of both sides can be seen. At such a pinnacle moment in the league, the MLS doesn’t want to upset the imminent growth it is about to experience or follow the trend of the old NASL into the abyss, but the MLS Players Union are still fighting for some issues to be ironed out, such as the option to become a free agent.

Hopefully the two parties can come to some sort of agreement before the new season commences on March 6. However, two things are for certain: this new deal is sure to evoke a renewed interest in the league, and 2015 is set up to be the most exciting season in the 20-season history of the MLS.

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