Major League Soccer or MLS is the soccer league in the United States of America. Although soccer in the USA has not that long history, but still it has become one of the most popular leagues not only in the country but also around the fans of soccer. Won’t you like to know all about Major League Soccer or MLS?
All about Major League Soccer – MLS
Brief Information about Major League Soccer – MLS
Countries Involved: United States and Canada
Confederation Aligned: CONCACAF
Founded on: 17th December, 1993
Head Quarters: Fifth Avenue, New York City
Number of Participating Teams: 19 (USA – 16, Canada – 3)
Conferences: Eastern Conference and Western Conference
Domestic Tournaments: US Open Cup and Canadian Championship
Qualification Tournament: CONCACAF Championship
Current MLS Champions: Sporting Kansas City (2nd Title)
Most Number of MLS Championship Winners: D. C. United and LA Galaxy (4 titles)
Attached Performance based Trophy: Supporters’ Shield
Current Supporters’ Shield Holders: New York Red Bulls (1st Shield)
Most Number of Supporters’ Shield Holders: D. C. United and LA Galaxy (4 Shields)
Television Partners: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NBC Sports Group, UniMas, Univision Deportes, TSN,TSN2, RDS and TVA
Official Website: mlssoccer.com
Introduction to Major League Soccer – MLS
Major League Soccer or MLS is the premier soccer league in the United States and Canada just like the EPL in the UK. It has total 19 teams out of which 16 teams are from the US and rest 3 is from Canada. The regular season of MLS starts in March and ends in October, every year. Each team plays 34 games in total and they play for the Supporters’ Shield to get the recognition for their best performance in the tournament. Teams play for the MLS Cup Playoffs in the off season to get qualified in the MLS. The MLS is recognized by the United States Soccer Federation or US Soccer. Check Interesting Facts about Major League Soccer
The Early Days of Major League Soccer – MLS
United States bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup and in the process the Major League Soccer was founded exactly a year before. Before that USA never had a history of having a quality soccer playing and that showed during the early days of the MLS. When the first MLS begun in the year 1996 with 10 teams, it received empty stadiums and for the first few years MLS lost millions of dollars because of this. The speculations were on that MLS will soon be dying on it’s own. But then it was expanded to 19 teams and suddenly people came to watch the soccer. The MLS also built some soccer specific stadiums, and now the following of the MLS is more than it is of the NBA or the NHL. By getting lucrative television broadcasting contracts, MLS is now one of the hugely profitable leagues in the world.
More about the Teams Structure
Unlike the other sporting leagues in the USA, MLS is not a franchise owned league. MLS is a single entity and the teams are owned by the league shareholders. Technically, they are not the owners of the teams, but they do call like that by the public in general. One more unique thing about MLS is that it has a closed membership and it also doesn’t have the promotion and relegation system, which is very uncommon in sporting leagues of the Americas. Check some more MLS Team facts.