The MLS has had some great players over the years. From home-grown talents to foreign imports, these are the greatest MLS players in the history of the league.
Quite simply, there hasn’t been an American player quite like Landon Donovan. The forward showed he could play in pretty much any league in the world and was the great hope for the United States National Team for years. During his time in the MLS, Donovan collected four MLS titles and two Supporters’ Shields. Donovan made the MLS Best XI seven times in his career and became the all-time assist leader with 136. The player did so much for American soccer that in 2015 the MLS renamed the MVP award to the ‘Landon Donovan MVP Award.’
There was no denying that bringing a star like David Beckham to Los Angeles made the MLS much more popular. Beckham joined the league in 2007 and won two MLS Cups. Although he was criticized for returning to Europe whenever possible, Beckham’s time with the Galaxy was nothing but a success. The English midfielder had 40 assists and scored a bunch of trademark unforgettable free-kick goals.
David Beckham might have been responsible for raising the profile of the MLS, but Robbie Keane might be the best foreign import the league has ever seen. He joined LA Galaxy with one aim, scoring a ton of goals. In just 125 games in the MLS, the Irishman scored 83 goals, winning three MLS Cups during his short time in the league. Keane was at the end of his professional career but proved he still had what it took during his MLS seasons.
There were many MLS players to choose from, but these are the guys who had the biggest impact on the league. Their skills with the ball brought millions of eyes to the MLS, helping it become what it is today.
Competing in the Tokyo Olympics has been difficult due to nearly unbearable heat and humidity, but the city’s growth is making things considerably worse. NASA’s stark temperature maps of the area reveal insidious phenomena known as the “urban heat island effect.” Tokyo is an urban heat island, which traps heat and exacerbates the situation for athletes and citizens.
On its own, the forecast is bad enough. This year’s Olympics could be the warmest ever. Since the beginning of the games, air temperatures have reached 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures dropped slightly as a tropical storm passed through, but once it passed, the mercury will rise to blistering levels for the remainder of the week.
Unbearable Heat in Tokyo
Tokyo’s asphalt and large skyscrapers exacerbate the situation by trapping heat. Cities can become several degrees warmer as a result of this, compared to surrounding places with less urban growth and more greenery. (Plants use evapotranspiration to cool a neighborhood, which is comparable to how sweat helps a human chill down.) As a result, large cities like Tokyo become “heat islands” surrounded by cooler neighbors.
This can be seen from space by scientists. NASA’s satellites monitored land surface temperatures, which can reveal how cities’ dark, impermeable surfaces retain heat. They also re-emit that heat, which can affect the weather.
NASA Captured the “Urban Heat Island Effect” Back in 2019
The graphics below show how hot Tokyo is in comparison to forested locations. The photographs were taken by NASA in August 2019, on a day that was similar to the weather that competitors will face during the Olympics. Because of cloud cover this summer (the dark blue spot on the map of land surface temperatures is a cloud), NASA was unable to obtain more current photographs, but the transition from colder rural areas to the hotter city that is indicated on the map should be the same this year.
On a micro level, athletes might experience the urban heat island impact. “It’s quite hot, but also extremely humid. The heat is trapped in the hardcourts,” tennis player Novak Djokovic stated on July 24th, according to Reuters. Svetlana Gomboeva, an archer, had been treated for heat exhaustion the day before.
According to NASA’s blog article accompanying the satellite picture, climate change exacerbates the urban heat island effect. Temperatures in Tokyo have climbed by 5.14 degrees Fahrenheit. According to NASA, this is about three times the global average for warming.