Major League Soccer
Major League Soccer (MLS) is an American soccer league that started in 1996. As of the upcoming 2020 season, 26 teams will play in the league. Two more teams are planned to start play in 2021, and two others in 2022. The commissioner of the league (the person in charge) is Don Garber.
|Country||United States and Canada|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Most championships||Cups: LA Galaxy (5)|
Shields: D.C. United, LA Galaxy (4 each)
MLS, founded in the United States, is a fully professional league with 26 teams, three of which are based in Canada, and is the top soccer league in both countries. Referees are approved by the United States Soccer Federation and Canadian Soccer Association, which run the sport in the two countries. In turn, U.S. Soccer and the CSA are members of FIFA, which governs all play between national teams and sets the rules for the sport along with the national governing bodies of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.
MLS was formed in 1993 as a professional league, with play starting with 10 teams in 1996. The MLS regular season starts in late March and ends in October, with each team playing 34 games. The regular season is followed by a 14-team playoff tournament to decide the league champion.
- Atlanta United FC
- Colorado Rapids
- Columbus Crew SC
- Chicago Fire FC
- D.C. United
- FC Cincinnati
- F.C. Dallas
- Houston Dynamo
- Inter Miami CF
- Los Angeles FC
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Minnesota United FC
- Montreal Impact
- Nashville SC
- New England Revolution
- New York City F.C.
- New York Red Bulls
- Orlando City S.C.
- Philadelphia Union
- Portland Timbers
- Real Salt Lake
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Seattle Sounders F.C.
- Sporting Kansas City
- Toronto F.C.
- Vancouver Whitecaps
- Austin FC – MLS officially awarded a franchise to Austin, Texas in January 2019, shortly after Anthony Precourt, who had owned Columbus Crew SC, sold the Crew to a group led by the owners of the NFL's Cleveland Browns. The team will begin play in 2021 at a new stadium being built in north Austin.
- Charlotte – MLS awarded a franchise, as yet unnamed, to Charlotte, North Carolina in December 2019. It is owned by hedge fund billionaire David Tepper, who also owns the NFL's Carolina Panthers. The new team will start play in 2021 at the Panthers' home of Bank of America Stadium, which will be renovated to make it more soccer-friendly.
- Sacramento Republic FC – MLS awarded a franchise to Sacramento, California in October 2019. The city was already home to a popular team in the second-level USL Championship (USLC), and the MLS team will take the name of the USLC team when it joins MLS in 2022. The team is building a new stadium at the city's former rail yards near downtown and plans to open it in time for its MLS debut.
- St. Louis – MLS awarded a franchise, as yet unnamed, to St. Louis in August 2019. The team will start play in 2022 at a new downtown stadium.
MLS Cup WinnersEdit
|1996||D.C. United||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|1997||D.C. United||Colorado Rapids|
|1998||Chicago Fire||DC United|
|1999||D.C. United||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|2000||Kansas City Wizards||Chicago Fire|
|2001||San Jose Earthquakes||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|2002||Los Angeles Galaxy||New England Revolution|
|2003||San Jose Earthquakes||Chicago Fire|
|2004||D.C. United||Kansas City Wizards|
|2005||Los Angeles Galaxy||New England Revolution|
|2006||Houston Dynamo||New England Revolution|
|2007||Houston Dynamo||New England Revolution|
|2008||Columbus Crew||New York Red Bulls|
|2009||Real Salt Lake||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|2010||Colorado Rapids||FC Dallas|
|2011||Los Angeles Galaxy||Houston Dynamo|
|2012||Los Angeles Galaxy||Houston Dynamo|
|2013||Sporting Kansas City||Real Salt Lake|
|2014||Los Angeles Galaxy||New England Revolution|
|2015||Portland Timbers||Columbus Crew SC|
|2016||Seattle Sounders FC||Toronto FC|
|2017||Toronto FC||Seattle Sounders FC|
|2018||Atlanta United FC||Portland Timbers|
- Best Players in Major league Soccer (MLS) in 2012. hub, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
- Major League Soccer. Princeton, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
- An Overview of American Soccer History. Dave Litterer, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.
- Soccer Politics / The Politics of Football. Duke University, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2012.