Larry Berg hasn't been shy about his love of football and MLS. As lead managing owner of LAFC, Berg helped build the first outdoor stadium in 50 years in Los Angeles and helped guide the Black & Gold from idea to reality.
With LAFC entering its third season in MLS and competing in the Concacaf Champions League, Berg has even grander designs for the future of the league.
"I think we definitely have the demographics in our favor in terms of youth and diversity," Berg said Wednesday at MLS Media Day. "I think we'll pass baseball and hockey to be the number three sport in the U.S. behind football and basketball. I think our crown jewel in the MLS are our academies.
"I think people don't appreciate how young we are in terms of the academy system, but it's such a large country that the that fact our academies are now organized in a way that harness that size and that talent. So, I think the academies will be pumping out this incredible talent, which will help both the league and the US men's national team such that the league will vault way past Liga MX and the US men's national team will vault past Mexico."
This offseason has been one of the busiest in MLS history. Ahead of MLS' 25th season, a large portion of that business has been stars from Liga MX coming north of the border. With that level of investment, people around the world are taking notice.
“I think we're already a league of choice to a certain extent, but whether we can be a top five league or top three league will really come down at the end of the day to money and our ability to compete for players,” Berg said. “I think the good news is players want to play here. We're the United States of America, people want to live here, it's an incredible lifestyle, the infrastructure is fantastic.
“We already have a terrific offering certainly for South American players et cetera, but we're not quite there yet with the European players. That will come down to money. If we can crack that in 10 years, we'll also be a top five league."