02 Mar Major League Soccer, Live
Major League Soccer, Live
Major League Soccer 2022 promises an action-packed season.
The top soccer league in America premieres on ESPN Africa this weekend. Stellar African players take to the field.
Johannesburg, 2 March 2022: After the shortest off-season in history, the 2022 Major League Soccer (MLS) season kicks off this weekend. Set to premiere live on ESPN Africa (channel 248), the top soccer league in America gets underway on Saturday, 26 February. Philadelphia Union starts the action by taking on Minnesota United at 8 PM (20:00 CAT), followed by the clash between Columbus Crew and Vancouver Whitecaps at 10:30 PM (22:30 CAT). The action continues on Sunday with Orlando City facing CF Montreal at 8 PM (20:00 CAT) and Atlanta United going head to head with Sporting Kansas City at 10 PM (22:00 CAT).
This season, an exciting slate of African players will show their prowess on the field. Minnesota United beat several clubs to sign promising Bafana Bafana international striker Bongokuhle Hlongwane from Maritzburg United. South African youth prospect Tsiki Ntsabeleng joins FC Dallas after being selected as the number 28 pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. Ntsabeleng signed a one-year deal with the Texan club, with further club options until 2025.
Yaw Yeboah, capped four times by the Black Stars of Ghana, has signed a three-year deal with Columbus Crew, exiting Polish team Wisla Krakow. Nigerian left winger James Igbekeme has also signed with The Crew on loan from the Spanish club Real Zaragoza. Meanwhile, veteran Ghanaian fullback Harrison Afful left Columbus Crew after seven years to sign a one-year deal with expansion club Charlotte FC.
Senegalese goalkeeper Clement Diop has inked a one-year deal with Inter Miami. Ghanaian striker Abu Danladi has joined Minnesota United on a one-year deal from Nashville SC, his second spell with the club affectionately known as The Loons. 37-year-old striker Kei Kamara, currently fifth on the all-time scoring list of the MLS, returns to MLS this year after signing a one year deal with Canadian club CF Montreal.
The competition on the field will be fierce as multiple international new signings enter the fray this season. Swiss dynamo Xherdan Shaqiri, nicknamed the Alpine Messi, has signed for Chicago Fire. LA Galaxy has added mercurial Brazilian winger Douglas Costa from Italian Serie-A club Juventus. Atlanta United have completed the acquisition of a 20-year-old Argentinean prodigy: Thiago Almada from Velez Sarsfield. Toronto FC recently announced the signing of Italian Lorenzo Insigne from Napoli, who will join the club in June once the European season has concluded. Insigne, who will earn roughly $13 million per year, will become the highest-paid player in MLS history.
The 27th campaign of MLS will have 28 teams, with Charlotte FC making their debut as the new expansion franchise. New York City FC will enter the season as defending champions after defeating the Portland Timbers in MLS Cup 2021. The New England Revolution will enter the season as the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners. The entire MLS 2022 regular season will play out over 225 days, with the MLS Cup Final scheduled to take place on 5 November 2022, sixteen days before the 2022 FIFA World Cup taking place in Qatar.