On April 6, 1996, the Spartan Stadium in San José, California, gathered 30,000 spectators to witness the first official whistle of a league where stars such as Kaká, Beckham, Andrea Pirlo, or nationals such as Mauricio Cienfuegos have passed. and Fito Zelaya, among others.
By J. Mejía | Apr 06, 2021- 20:48
In a country with a history and tradition of baseball, which has inhabitants who are fond of many sports such as hockey or basketball, football arrived a bit late: just 25 years ago.
When the first official soccer game was played on April 6, 1996 on American soil, some teams in Europe had already existed for up to a century. Others, such as Real Madrid or AC Milan, already had several international championships and an enviable career.
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However, the North American country refused for a long time to take the “beautiful game” as a reference for its national hobbies, and it was not until 1994 that the interest of many turned to football.
In that year, the United States organized the World Cup and saw a parade of world soccer stars who faced each other in the different matches held throughout the country, a championship that was won by the Brazilian team.
The first meeting in MLS history was won by the San José Clash of California. Reference image / AFP
Two years later, at Spartan Stadium, located in San José, California, around 30,000 spectators gathered to witness the first official whistle in a league that, today, has been around for 25 years.
According to the newspaper AS, from Spain, in the meeting the local team San José Clash and DC United faced each other, a team that would be crowned as the first champion in history during the first season of Major League Soccer (MLS), as was named.
The game culminated in a victory in favor of the locals, however, it worked to start a league that at that time was presented with only 10 registered teams, an amount that has grown to 27 today.
The MLS, where great world figures such as Andrea Pirlo or Ricardo Kaká have come to play, to date has managed to gain followers throughout the country, and Central American figures have also played in their teams, for example, the Salvadoran Mauricio Cienfuegos , who served in the ranks of the Los Angeles Galaxy from 1996 to 2003.
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Despite the fact that other sports such as American football or baseball continue to reign in terms of number of fans, MLS promises to continue growing for the future, in fact, in 2019, the Atlanta United team averaged more than 50 thousand spectators per encounter in their stadium, amounts that resemble the influxes in large parties in Europe or South America.
The next edition of the MLS will begin on April 16 in an inaugural meeting between the Huston Dynamo and the San José Earthquakes, teams that will begin the 26th cycle of the American soccer league.