Previewing Sunday’s MLS Cup between Dallas and New England, the Guardian’s Ian Plenderleith is encouraged by the decade-old league’s recent expansion.

Things are looking up to such an extent that it’s conceivable that one day football in the US may even make money. LA Galaxy has been running at a profit the past few years, thanks mainly to having its own stadium. And this year the league announced its first ever TV rights deal, estimated to be worth between $15m and $20m a season (although so far broadcasters have paid nothing), and a prime-time Thursday night live game spot. Shirt advertising will also be permitted next year, while ad and sponsorship revenue are increasing as companies realise that, this time, football is almost certainly here to stay.

Even negative sports journalism has been on the slide, as big-name columnists have given up cranking out their annual hate pieces against the game. Perhaps they’ve realised that football can carve out its own market and will not threaten basketball, gridiron or baseball, or turn the nation into a breeding ground for effeminate communists.

And perhaps they’ve decided it’s hard to find room to beat a dead horse every day when there’s so much T.O. and so few column inches. Besides, between bloggers and Jim Rome, the hate pieces are more than covered.