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Team USA falls but MLS rises

Team USA falls but MLS rises

Posted by Liliana Castaño on July 02, 2014

There may have been broken hearts and shattered dreams across the United States on Tuesday, but MLS promoters say unprecedented enthusiasm for the national team is evidence that Major League Soccer has come of age.

In the MLS offices in New York, all eyes were on Brazil, where USA weathered a 90-minute assault by a powerful Belgium to lose 2-1 in extra time at the FIFA World Cup™, sending the Americans home.

On the same day, league officials celebrated in Orlando, Florida, where attacking midfielder Kaka, who in 2002 helped Brazil win a fifth World Cup, signed a contract with expansion MLS club Orlando City to become one of the biggest names in the league.

Both events add to the growing evidence that soccer has finally secured more than just a foothold in the United States, and that the anti-soccer fatalism that followed the collapse of the North American Soccer League in 1984 has withered.

In Brazil, coach Jurgen Klinsmann's USA side impressively managed to go through from the so-called "Group of Death" featuring Germany, Portugal and Ghana, a feat many observers described as all but impossible.

"We proved to the world we are a soccer nation!" MLS Commissioner Don Garber said onTwitter minutes after the USA-Belgium clash.

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