Like it or not, Major League Soccer has made huge strides both on and off the pitch in terms of the sport’s prowess in the United States.
On the field, the league has shifted away from an old-man policy and began resorting to a younger Designated Player approach. No longer do we see the David Beckhams and the Andrea Pirlos of the world joining the league, instead, we see a plethora of young talented South Americans making lasting impressions.
Off the field, we see the league showing off its culture and progressiveness. From its respect for the LGBTQ community to its passion for race and gender equality, the league appears to be climbing the moral high ground. (For now, let’s ignore other headlining factors that demote the league, i.e. Tyler Deric, Cyle Larin, and baseball pitches).
One aspect that the league has shown enormous growth in is music culture. Just announced last week, the Houston Dynamo is set to have American rapper Wale perform at their season’s home opener. In addition, U.S. Soccer’s National Hall of Fame has also announced that the infamous rock band Imagine Dragons will perform during their induction weekend.
Not before this year did we see so many talented and famous musicians taking interest in the league, but there is one good source for where and when being a musician and supporting the MLS became cool: the unveiling of one of MLS’ newest franchises, Atlanta United FC.
The day Atlanta United FC was revealed to the world, Atlanta’s biggest and brightest stars put on the team’s jerseys, two of which were Ludacris and 2 Chainz.
Not only did some of the country’s most beloved southern hip-hop artists sign on to support their hometown club, an immense amount of their fans joined along with them.
As a Dallas native and a current St. Louis resident, I had no desire to root for a team miles away from me but I would be lying if I did not say I envied Atlanta’s approach. In a way, the club’s ambition and desire to embrace pop media culture made me fall in love with it.
I’ve only been to Atlanta once in my life but after seeing how this club and these rappers made soccer somewhat cool in American was awesome.
And I think Atlanta United and MLS understand that.
When revealing their newest kit for the season, Atlanta United once again called upon the services of 2 Chainz to help their campaign. In their video, you can see the don dawn the club’s new jersey.
As for MLS, they called upon 2 Chainz to help narrate their ‘MLS is Back’ campaign.
All in all, the idea of music and MLS never placed itself in my head but now with the arrival of these entertaining artists, I can’t keep the two apart.