Lionel Messi's impending transfer to Inter Miami will be a great tool to help MLS grow, says Michael Dawson.
Messi confirmed on Wednesday that he will join Miami after leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent.
Barcelona wanted to re-sign the 35-year-old, but could not make the finances work, with Messi claiming he did not want a potential return to his old club to result in other players having to cut their salaries or be sold.
Now, a new venture in the United Stats awaits, and former Tottenham defender Dawson thinks it will be a huge positive for the growth of the sport in the United States.
Speaking to Stats Perform at an exclusive launch event for Club and Nike Members held at Alexandra Palace, Dawson said: "I always look back to the MLS when David Beckham went [in 2007 to LA Galaxy] and I always believe he was the start of the MLS improving and growing.
"You look at Cristiano Ronaldo going to Saudi [Arabia] and playing over there, it gives people a different interest.
"Messi [and Ronaldo], they are icons of football, the best players of my generation. So if you attract that to your country, to your league, it's only going to bring people watching it.
"I say the Premier League is the best league in the world. I've never played in a different country. Maybe that's something I would have maybe liked if the opportunity to come along.
"But with these kinds of players going over there, it will always attract interest from the supporters because as a fan, you follow Messi, you follow Ronaldo, and that's why the owners of these football clubs spend all the money to go and get them because they try and enhance their brand, their football team and their league."