Soccer in the United States is continuing to rise in popularity. But to achieve a truly legendary status, Major League Soccer teams should take notes from Manchester United's history books.
Manchester United is the best team in Premier League football. They have the players, coaches, titles, and heart to continue to hold that honor forever. Here are the top ten reasons why Manchester United will always be number one:
David Beckham is one of the sexiest soccer players I have ever seen. His spiky blonde hair, bad-boy tattoos, and electric presence light up the field.
Beckham is also a skilled midfielder. He is one of the few international players to win three league titles with teams in three different countries. Although he currently plays for the L.A. Galaxy, Beckham got his professional start with the Reds.
2. Ryan Giggs
Like Beckham, Ryan Giggs came up through Manchester United's youth development program. He scored his first goal on the same day as his first club start in 1991. Since then he has played over 900 matches for Manchester and holds the club record for most matches played.
Giggs has scored 163 career goals and has been an instrumental part of Manchester United's success over the last decade.
3. First Premier League champions
The Premier League began its inaugural season in 1992. Twenty-two teams competed that season, including Manchester United. The Reds gained fiery forward Eric Cantona that same year, who led the team to become the first Premier League champions.
4. First to earn a "Double"
A "Double" in English football happens when a team wins its own league championship and wins the Footballers Association Cup in the same season. Only a handful of Premier League teams have done so.
Manchester United was the first in the Premier League to secure a "Double", doing so in 1994. Since then they have done it twice more, during their 1996 and 1999 seasons.
5. First to earn a "Treble"
The 1999 season was arguably the most successful season ever in Manchester United's long history. They lost only five matches that year and went 33 games without a loss. After securing their third "Double", the Reds went on to win the UEFA Champions League trophy in the same season. They were the first English club to do so.
6. Only English winners of Intercontinental Cup
As a result of their "Treble" Manchester United was considered the football champions of all Europe in 1999. They were invited to play in Tokyo at the Toyota Intercontinental Cup. The match was designed to bolster soccer interest in Japan.
A single goal scored by Roy Keene won the match and earned Manchester United the title of world champions. The I.C. stopped competition in 2004, so the Reds were the first and last British team to hold its championship trophy.
7. Scored largest lopsided victory
Manchester United holds the Premiership record for the largest lopsided victory ever. In April, 1995, the Reds defeated the Ipswich Town FC by nine goals. During the match Manchester's Andy Cole scored five goals. He still holds the Premier League record for goals scored in a single match.
8. Twelve Premier League Championships
In 2011 the Premier League celebrated its 20th season. During the season Manchester United earned its twelfth league championship trophy. That trophy gave them yet another team record, and made them the most successful club in the Premier League's short history. In addition to holding the Premier League record for season championships, the trophy also earned them a record 19 championships across all European play.
9. Fought for the Professional Footballers Union
Nearly a century before the Premier League began Manchester United was part of the old Football League. In the early 1900s players throughout the league organized the Professional Footballers Union.
The League banned unionism during the 1909 season, barring union footballers from play. Manchester United players were outraged and refused to give up their union to play. The club couldn't fill its roster for the season, and the League was forced to recognize the union.
10. Girls Football Development
The Reds created the Manchester United Foundation to reach out to their community. One of the goals is to foster football participation and skill development in girls to make them competitive at the international level.
It melts my heart to see any professional club become involved in bettering the members of its community. Girls are far less welcome on the international sports stage and far too few earn the recognition they deserve. More programs need to follow Manchester United's lead.
Kathryn has played soccer since she was 10 years old, competing in AYSO, high school, and college programs. She is an avid fan and roots for the Manchester United Reds every chance she gets.