Think World Cup 1994. The setting: nine cities across the United States. Who won? Brazil…and, well, the United States and Canada too. The 1994 FIFA World Cup ignited soccer in North America and paved the way for Major League Soccer (MLS). The MLS kicked off for the first time, two years after the ’94 World Cup in 1996.
With the launch of the league soon after the World Cup, the MLS was able to draw multiple well-known international soccer players from the 1994 World Cup. Team USA soccer players Alexi Lalas, Tony Meola and Eric Wynalda joined the league along with Mexico’s Jorge Campos and Columbia’s Carlos Valderrama.