MLS has potential but structure isn't good, says former USMNT striker Boyd

Former U.S. national team striker Terrence Boyd has hit out at Major League Soccer's structure, saying the way the league is set up will continue to hold it back.

Boyd spent a brief period in MLS, playing with Toronto FC for the first half of the 2019 season before moving on to German third-division outfit Hallescher FC.

The 29-year-old believes that the North American top-flight is being hampered by a number of issues, among them a lack of promotion and relegation. 

"The league has a lot of potential but the structural things aren't good," Boyd told Goal and SPOX. "The system of a draft and the trades, no promotion or relegation – all that hampers the development.

"Furthermore, the developing of youth players is significantly worse than at clubs in Europe. The most talented kids do not choose football anyway, they choose the more important U.S. sports." 

Though MLS teams have the ability to develop and sign their own homegrown talent, many players entering the league are selected through a draft in which they have no say where they end up. Like in other American sports, MLS players can also be traded to other teams at a moment's notice.

Boyd featured with Borussia Dortmund's reserve side before moving to Rapid Vienna in 2014 as he searched for first-team minutes. The forward felt he needed to leave Dortmund as he saw his path to playing time blocked by the likes of Robert Lewandowski, among others.

"I should have been able to train with the professionals, but I saw zero chances of deployment," Boyd recalls. "[Lucas] Barrios left the club, but there was still Robert Lewandowski, who is world class on one hand and never injured on the other."

Boyd did have a chance to interact with Jurgen Klopp during his time with Dortmund, saying the now-Liverpool boss is exactly like he appears to be on TV.

"He's the same way with the team as you see it on TV," Boyd said. "He's always authentic. When I, as a player from the second team, was invited for a training session of the first team, he came up straight to me and said, 'Please, please be careful that you don't hurt anybody.' He definitely knew my style of play." 

Boyd earned 14 caps with the USMNT, having last featured in 2016.