Juan Pablo Angel is confident football can take off in the United States after claiming mistakes in the past have been learnt from as he moved from Aston Villa to New York Red Bulls on a three-year contract.
The United States has experienced false dawns in the past where soccer is concerned - in the 1970s with the North American Soccer League which featured the likes of Pele, George Best and Franz Beckenbauer, and then in the aftermath of the 1994 World Cup finals.
But Angel, who has ended a six-and-a-half-year spell at Villa Park, believes there is a greater chance of the game making the major breakthrough via Major League Soccer, one of the pledges made by organisers of the 1994 tournament.
The Colombia striker said: "Obviously time will tell what is going to happen with the league in America. But I feel they have learnt from those experiences in the past. They haven’t made the mistakes that they made before when those previous opportunities came along.
"The league has been growing steadily over the last few years, they have invested a lot in youth development and I think that is very important. Hopefully it will keep growing like that and it will get bigger and bigger.
"I spoke to the officials and coach (Bruce Arena) at Red Bulls, they told me what they were looking for and I felt it was a good opportunity to take.
"I just think it is a big opportunity for me to go and play a few years more and enjoy a different part of my career."
Angel’s biggest regret is that the Villa revolution under manager Martin O’Neill and owner Randy Lerner did not happen earlier in his career with the club.
He said: "That is probably the saddest situation in that I wish all these changes had happened three or four years ago but the fact they are happening now is exciting for everyone.
"I think the club is going in the right direction. It needs some changes, to restructure some things, but I am sure the manager and the owner will do everything they can to make this club successful and to take it to where it belongs."