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5 Reasons the Casual Sports Fan Should Watch MLS in 2014

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Reasons the Casual Sports Fan Should Watch MLS in 2014

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

With Florida State winning the national championship, the Seattle Seahawks winning the Super Bowl and March Madness and the NBA Finals quickly approaching, the casual sports fan is running out of things to watch. As luck would have it, however, just when these sports are all winding down, an unexpected savior to your late spring and summer sports blues shows up – Major League Soccer.

First of all, here is a quick rundown of Major League Soccer to get you started.

Major League Soccer is normally shortened to “MLS,” and never say “the MLS” or a thousand angry MLS fans led by Alexi Lalas will come get you in your sleep. It’s the United States’ foremost soccer league with 19 teams. Before you ask, Yes, I know it’s strange to have an uneven number, but it works.

Contrary to the popular belief that MLS is not that popular with most Americans, Major League Soccer is the third most attended professional sport in the United States; that’s more than both the NBA and the NHL. It is rapidly growing with an average increase in attendance of close to 900 per game per year and has seen significant increases during World Cup years. It’s the eighth most attended professional soccer league worldwide, only led by the major European leagues and Mexico’s Liga MX.

Just in case my Alexi Lalas joke didn’t point it out, 90 percent of this article is not meant to be completely serious, and you should watch MLS anyway. Here are five reasons that the casual sports fan should watch the 2014 MLS season.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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No. 5 There’s a World Cup Coming Up

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

There is no time that America pretends to care about soccer more than when the World Cup is going on and, newsflash, there’s one this Summer in Brazil. With players like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Graham Zusi and Brad Evans highlighting the U.S. Men’s National team as well as several MLS teams, watching MLS could be an opportune time to learn names and faces early so that you’re not in the awkward position of trying to remember who that “one balding guy who’s really fast” is.

Hint: It’s Landon Donovan.

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No. 4 You’re Supporting America

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Like I said earlier, Major League Soccer is eighth in the world in average attendance rates. We’re America. We’re always No. 1, and we need your help to get there. If you don’t hate America, you have a duty to support MLS. ‘Merica.

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No. 3 You’ll Be Ahead of the Curve

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re from the Southeast like I am, you probably don’t meet many MLS fans on a daily basis. Part of the reason for this is because there aren’t any MLS teams south of Columbus, Ohio or east of Houston, Texas and Kansas City, Missouri. However, that’s going to change very soon as both Orlando and Miami are going to have future franchises and rumors of a possible expansion that includes Atlanta circulates on a daily basis. MLS is coming to a town near you; you should be prepared.

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No. 2 It’s Actually Exciting

Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve loved soccer my entire life, and even I can admit that sometimes soccer games can be extremely boring. However, the more you understand the positioning and the consequences of each player’s actions, the more exciting it becomes. If you enjoy playing FIFA, you can enjoy MLS.

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No. 1 It’s Better than Baseball

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball is fun to play and all, but come on. America’s past time is, well, past its time. Leave your “peanuts and Cracker Jack” back in the 1920s, grab a beer (or six) and listen to 65,000 screaming Seattle Sounders fans at CenturyLink Field. Welcome to the 21st century, folks.