Soccer in the US, the other league of superstars
Washington, Apr 23 (EFE).- Hollywood actors like Will Ferrell and Matthew McConaughey, current and former NBA stars like James Harden, Kevin Durant and Magic Johnson, and music idols like Macklemore all have something in common: they are shareholders of teams in the US professional soccer league, Major League Soccer (MLS).
Football, or “soccer”, is the fastest growing professional sport in the US, so investing in one of the 27 franchises that currently make up MLS (the league has already been approved to expand to 30 teams) has become a savvy financial decision.
Its domestic growth and long-standing global appeal is an appealing mix that is attracting the likes of A-list Hollywood celebrities as investors and owners.
One of them is Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, who has been touted as a potential future governor of his home state of Texas. He is also a seasoned businessman who in 2014 was included in the list of the 100 most influential people by “Time” magazine.
And since 2019, McConaughey has been a co-owner of Austin FC, a Texan soccer team that this year began playing in MLS. The actor is clear about the potential of soccer in the United States.
“Youth soccer in the United States is big, it’s huge. There is a real commitment. there. My hope is that in eight to 10 years you’re going to see that generation actually having something to do with soccer around the world at a high level,” McConaughey said at the end of 2019.
The actor is convinced that MLS will eventually surpass the popularity of professional ice hockey league (NHL) and professional baseball leagues (MLB) in the future.
Another Hollywood star, comedy actor Will Ferrell, has also invested in an MLS team, the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC).
Ferrell, who is passionate about sports like baseball, invested in LAFC in 2016, two years before the team joined MLS, is as convinced of the power of soccer as McConaughey.
“I love that it’s played all over the world. So many incredible players and so many great leagues. And I hope that, at some point, MLS will be on par with the European leagues,” Ferrell said after taking a stake in LAFC.