25 Stories That Made MLS-logo

25 Stories That Made MLS


Ahead of Major League Soccer's 25th season, brothers Tutul and Neetol Rahman tells 25 stories that made the league that it is today.

Ahead of Major League Soccer's 25th season, brothers Tutul and Neetol Rahman tells 25 stories that made the league that it is today.


United States




Ahead of Major League Soccer's 25th season, brothers Tutul and Neetol Rahman tells 25 stories that made the league that it is today.






16. The Supporters Shield and the Cascadia Cup

How the supporter culture and following of MLS teams led to the creation of one of the three main trophies & the eventual expansion into 3 new teams. Sources: A History of the Supporters Shield by Ryan Gates for Stumptown Footy https://www.stumptownfooty.com/2011/2/15/1995978/a-history-of-the-supporters-shield A Pacific Passion Play by Grant Wahl for...


15. I've Got A Fever & The Only Prescription Is More CCL

How two corrupt CONCACAF officials made Concacaf Champions League which eventually propelled MLS to improve their quality of...


BONUSODE! - Let's Grade All The New MLS Kits!

Neetol grades every new MLS Jersey from a designer's point of view. Tutul chimes in with some marketing points.


14. Beckham & Blanco - Enter the Designated Player Era

How the largest signing in league history, David Beckham, happened in the first place and how it changed the direction of MLS forever. The brothers talk about how and why the Designated Player happened, how Blanco was the better player in the early years and why it took a few years before everyone started to spend money on Designated Players. Sources: Looking back at fires last big signing by Guillermo Rivera for Chicago...


BONUSODE! - The State of the USA 2020

An early BONUSODE at the pods halfway point. The brothers discuss the state of the pod and give shoutouts (04:10), talk about Gressel and Chicharito (13:55), and close with comparing the players in this January camp vs the team that lost in Trinidad in 2017 (29:15).


13. Northward Bound to Toronto

How MLS expanded into Canada for the first time, stepping into MLS 2.0 for the first time. The brothers also talk about the long windy road that made the circumstances right for Toronto FC to join the league. Sources: “A nice little job to learn stuff by” By Duncan Fletcher for SB Nation: https://www.wakingthered.com/2013/9/9/4705472/tfc-a-nice-little-job-for-anselmi-to-learn-stuff-by-richard-peddie-tom-anselmi-mlse Maple Leaf Owners Through The Ages by Jeremy Sandler for the National...


12. Do You Know The Way To San Jose

How the business plan and strategy that saved the league also came with a bad side: the relocation of a storied franchise. Luckily it works out in the long run for the San Jose Earthquakes. Sources: What now for Columbus? Learning From the Earthquakes Relocation And Retrun by Scott French for Four Four Two https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/what-now-columbus-crew-history-san-jose-earthquakes-relocation-houston-return Earthquakes Look At Houston by Graham Jones for LA...


11. The American Savior - Freddy Adu

How MLS's first true star to penetrate pop culture came in a 14 year old, Freddy Adu in 2004. Sources: A 12-YEAR OLD’s AMAZING FEAT by Jason La Canfora for Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2001/08/25/a-12-year-olds-amazing-feat/9923da6b-4f3d-4f9a-bd31-bb67449c437f/ READY FOR FREDDY? AT 14, FREDDY ADU IS ALREADY THE HIGHEST PAID AND MOST CELEBRATED PLAYER IN MLS by Grant Wahl for Sports Illustrated:...


10. Enter New Owners & Re-Expansion

How MLS went from 3 owners and 10 teams in 2003 to 6 owners and 12 teams in 2005. Includes the new owner for Colorado Rapids, and the entry of Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake. Source: From Owner to Quietest Sports Emperor by Jere Longman https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/sports/soccer/15owner.html Mexico’s Chivas to Play MLS All-Stars by Grahame Jones https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2003-jun-24-sp-chivas24-story.html 2 Decades of...


BONUSODE! - To A Happy New CBA Year

The brothers talk about what to look forward to in the new year including the new schedule, CBA negotiations and our wishes for the next MLS season.


9. The Project 40 Pipeline

How a co-venture between US Soccer and MLS brought a new pipeline of talent into the league.


8. The Internet Killed MLS's Quirks

Early MLS had some weird rules. No ties. Running shootouts. Clocks going up and not down. 4th subs for goalkeepers. What's weirder were some of the rules they were looking at, like bigger goals or kick-ins instead of throw ins. Listen to how Don Garber, the internet and Bob Bradley each had a hand in ending those rules. Sources: https://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season An Oral History of Major League Soccer’s Frenzied First Season by Doug...


7. Manchester By A Transfer

How Tim Howard was scouted as a prospect, became an MLS star and eventually transferred to the best team in the world. Sources: https://www.coloradorapids.com/post/2019/04/11/thankyoutim-howard-recalls-historic-transfer-mls-manchester-united https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxnHbC-hYOw https://www.si.com/vault/2003/08/11/347775/a-keeper-of-promise-tim-howard-a-24-year-old-from-new-jersey-could-be-the-first-american-to-start-in-goal-for-world-powerhouse-manchester-united


6. The Boss

How a former US national lacrosse and soccer player became the most accomplished coach in MLS and US Soccer history. Sources: Hidden Caps - Bruce Arena’s Appearance in Israel by Tom Dunmore https://web.archive.org/web/20130117223126/http://www.ussoccer.com/news/centennial/01/hidden-caps-arena.aspx Dissecting Bruce Arena’s Legacy https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/bruce-arena-legacy-oral-history-through-eyes-those-around-him-mls-usmnt-la-galaxy?page=0%2C2 “USMNT competing at World...


BONUSODE - A Pro/Rel Thanksgiving

The brothers take a break from the 25 Stories to thank those who are listening and to then debate the merits of Promotion / Relegation in the US. 2:00 - Thank you to the listeners 9:00 - Let's talk Pro / Rel


5. Uncle Phil's Ranch

The brothers talk about the most important meeting in Major League Soccer history. Sources: Garber Opens Up on SUM’s role in US Soccer / MLS by Grant Wahl for SI https://www.si.com/soccer/2018/01/25/sum-soccer-united-marketing-garber-gulati-carter MLS goes to near extinction to remarkable success by Kevin Baxter for LA times - https://www.latimes.com/sports/soccer/la-sp-soccer-baxter-20151206-story.html Don Garber “Truly an Honor” by German Sferra for US Soccer...


4. Bradenton

Tutul tells the story of how a 1998 World Cup failure and a report from a foreign coach led to the first soccer residency which would change the face from MLS in the early 2000s. Sources: The Q-Report - http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~clc5q/Project2010.pdf Bradenton’s Residence Is Dead, What Does It All Mean - https://www.soccerwire.com/resources/bradenton-residency-is-dead-what-does-it-all-mean/ US Soccer Closes u17 Residency Program by David Wilson and Jason Dill -...


3. Sweet Home Columbus

Tutul tells the story of how the combination of an ambitious owner, declining attendance, financial losses, losing public votes and stadium repairs led to the first soccer specific stadium in the US. Neetol recalls the pains of watching early MLS in half empty football stadiums and how this was the first domino into a much better viewing experience today. Sources: The Story of The Chiefs, One of Kansas City’s Pleasures by Monroe Dodd for KCUR 89.3:...


2. Fraser Goes Down

Neetol takes over host duties. Tutul tells the story of how a failed lawsuit established the backbone of the MLS business model - single entity. Neetol explains that MLS is basically like Applebees. Sources: An Oral History of Major League Soccer’s Frenzied First Season by Doug Sibor for Complex Magazine: https://www.complex.com/sports/2015/05/oral-history-major-league-soccer-first-season How MLS Single Entity Status Works and Its Relationship with Antitrust Law by Terry Brenna in Law In...


1. 1984

In the first episode, Tutul tells the story of how the soccer tournament in the 1984 Olympics eventually led to the founding of Major League Soccer. Sources: How USA was chosen to host World Cup 94 by Michael Lewis for the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/jul/04/usa-world-cup-94-inside-story How US won the World Cup by Steve Berkowitz for the Washington Post:...