The face of the next generation. He has quickly risen through the ranks of the Seattle Sounders and become a future face of the franchise at the ripe young age of 19. This is the face of Major League Soccer, and the Sounders. In a recent poll, ESPN revealed soccer is only second to the NFL when it comes to popularity in young people between the ages of 12-24 and even more popular than any other sport within Hispanics of that same age.
While other leagues are content with the status quo, MLS has looked to continually search for that next hero, that next Landon Donovan. For US Soccer, as more players come back to play for within MLS, Jermaine Defoe, Michael Bradley, and Clint Dempsey, they are no longer the long winded faces of legends gone by. Those faces are becoming more and more youthful.
In the opening weekend of MLS the Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City increased viewership over the inaugural weekend of last year by 283%. What is even more shocking is the fact, MLS’ record ratings were preceded with a lead-in from the Olympics, the most watched even in history.
The Sounders vs. Sporting KC got 330,000 viewers on NBCSN, or 28% more than Fox Sports 2 gets for the FA Cup.
— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) March 11, 2014
What does this tell us? The #future is coming faster than most would have anticipated, and the rumored $70 million deal MLS was anticipating signing may mean more dollars for the league and clubs like Seattle.
In case you needed to know what the #Future can do, I submit exhibit A: