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.






25. Saved The Crew

How passionate fans of the Columbus Crew organized, protested and eventually saved the Crew and what it means to be a fan moving forward. Sources: Shout out to Keith Naas @Knass who helped proofread the outline How Columbus #SavedTheCrew by Arlo Moore-Bloom https://www.wbur.org/onlyagame/2019/11/08/columbus-crew-mls-save-the-crew Precourt takes thoughtful approach in Remaking the...


24. Miggy and Tata

How a bond between a player and a coach resulted in an unbelievable but for an MLS Expansion team, the largest sale in MLS history and an opening of an unprecedented pipeline of Latin American talent. Sources: Lanús acordó la incorporación del volante Miguel Almirón https://www.espn.com.ar/noticias/nota/_/id/2435943/lanus-acordo-la-incorporacion-del-volante-miguel-almiron http://sportwitness.co.uk/exclusive-agent-confirms-arsenal-approach-player-delighted-sign/ Atlanta United signs...


23. The Development and Sale of Alphonso Davies

How a Canadian phenom who's parents escaped a Liberian Civil War to settle in Edmonton eventually became MLS' greatest export and glimpse to the future it may hold. Sources: Sources: The War in Liberia by Sarah Left https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/aug/04/westafrica.qanda Becoming Canadian - The Alphonso Davies Story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqt5u1jtvGw Why Bayern Munich, the two paths of Alphonso...


22. The New Giants - Atlanta United and LAFC

How two new clubs, Atlanta United and LAFC, in MLS embraced the 3.0 model and became the giants in the league from spending, relevance and marketing. Sources: Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank for the Entreprenuer https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/197614 Home Depot Founder To Buy Falcons by the AP https://www.wired.com/2001/12/home-depot-founder-to-buy-falcons/ Falcons Owner Puts In Bid For MLS...


21. Entering MLS 3.0

How a report from a consultant group led to a new salary mechanism which propelled player spending in MLS to new heights. Sources: Inside the Confidential 2016 Study That Provided The Blueprint From MLS Modern Era by Paul Tenorio & Pablo Maurer https://theathletic.co.uk/1362372/2019/11/08/inside-the-confidential-2016-study-that-provided-the-blueprint-for-mlss-modern-era/ https://www.mlssoccer.com/glossary/targeted-allocation-money MLS HQ Denials of TAM Contracts Frustrating Front...


20. Return of the Yanks - Dempsey, Bradley, Jozy and Beasley

How four American stars were developed in MLS, got sold to Europe, had success and then returned to have more success and money than could've been imagined. SOURCES: How Seattle’s Stunning Clint Dempsey Deal Got Done by Grant Wahl https://www.si.com/soccer/2013/08/05/clint-dempsey-seattle-sounders-mls Beasley Angered by MLS Decision by Rupert Lowe for Daily Echo https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/5571343.beasley-angered-by-mls-decision/ Texas Tough: Dempsey’s Upbringing in Naco-Nowhere...


19. The History of CBAs & Free Agency

In our most technical episode yet, the brothers talk about how each collective bargaining agreement evolved player movement and salary spends of MLS that has helped shape the league today. Sources: Old MLS CBA Expires But No Strike Imminent by Brian Lewis https://nypost.com/2010/02/25/old-mls-cba-expires-but-no-strike-imminent/ Players Want Big Changes In MLS Structure by Simon...


18. The Reinvention of Kansas City

How the MLS team in Kansas City went from being last in attendance and fan engagement to being a model MLS franchise that's always sold out - one of the best turnarounds in all of sports. Sources: Special thanks to Mike McGrew and Mike Kuhn Lamar Hunt Sells MLS Wizards to Local Group http://www.espn.com/espn/wire/_/section/soccer/id/2567849 Serious Investment and Savvy Marketing Revive Soccer In Kansas City by Sam...


17. The Homegrown Rule

How MLS' Homegrown Rule pushed MLS teams to nurture young talent in their academies and why it took so long to take hold and meet it's full potential. Sources: Local Goalie Careers Poised to Go Global by Paul Tenorio for Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/25/AR2009052502163.html LA Galaxy Sign 17 Year Old Tristan...


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.