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Growth of soccer in the US has been 'phenomenal' - ex-Chelsea star Le Saux

Former Chelsea midfielder/defender Graeme Le Saux feels the growth of soccer in the United States has been 'phenomenal'.

The 43-year old ex-England international first visited the country about 18 years and has seen a brilliant transformation in the game in North America during that time, especially from a grassroots level.

"Well, I've been over here many times. I think I first came in 1994. The transformation has been phenomenal," he told philly.com's The Goalkeeper.

"And it's not so much at the top, the elite level - it's the grassroots that I have really appreciated.

"I think that ultimately, you need to have the pyramid, where you have the elite players at the top. Obviously, MLS has done a fantastic job in creating engagement over the last 10, 15 years - well, since 1994 and the World Cup.

"But more important is the development of young players, getting out there and getting children playing football from a very young age.

"Once they've made that connection, you've got a lot of young players who have been playing the game since age four or five, they're now 14, 15, they're demanding that the standard continues all the way through college and on to the professional game. I think that's a basis for the game to continue to develop."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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