New York City FC's Claudio Reyna says MLS will be "one of the main leagues in the world in a decade"

New York City FC sporting director Claudio Reyna is all-in on Major League Soccer’s vision, telling English outlet The Times over the weekend that he expects MLS to be “one of the main leagues in the world in a decade.”

The former Rangers, Manchester City, New York Red Bulls and US national team midfielder has been with NYCFC since 2013, and views the league’s rise as an inevitability.

“In my eyes, there’s no stopping it now,” he said. “Looking at the growth, the MLS will be very different again in five years. At this rate, it will be one of the main leagues in the world in a decade. It’s certainly heading in that direction.”

Reyna, who made 112 international appearances and played for the US at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups, said the sport’s overall rise in the US has helped bring along MLS, and that the league should be able to ride soccer’s continued growth to new heights in the future.

“These days, a soccer player here isn’t the weird kid like I was,” he said. “Now there’s soccer in schools and kids running around proud of their jerseys. [Cristiano] Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, Neymar roll off the tongues of any fan. It’s on the main sports channels continuously. Add the female interest and it’s amazing to be on this wave of growth.

“For the MLS, it’s all helped with a huge turn in credibility, globally and domestically. And while the league has been going for a while, I think it has really taken off in the last two, three years.”