Soccer (football to the world outside the US and Canada) is traditionally thought of as a minority sport in those two countries – but the success of MLS shows that the minority is growing each year in leaps and bounds. Attendance is greater than for the comparable leagues in basketball and hockey and the games are featured on nationwide TV channels. The MLS league represents the sport’s highest level in both the United States and Canada and it is now one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada.
There are twenty teams of which all but the three Canadian clubs are in the USA. The MLS regular season runs from March to October, with each team playing 34 games; the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters’ Shield. The post season includes twelve teams competing in the MLS Cup Playoffs during November and December, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup. MLS teams also play in other domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship and against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.
One immense difference with the way that football is organised everywhere else in the entire world is that, in common with other major sporting leagues such as those for basketball, baseball, hockey and American football, the league has a fixed membership. The usual concerns about promotion and relegation play no part in MLS.
Undoubtedly the most successful club in MLS history, since the League kicked off in 1993, has been LA Galaxy. The franchise is one of the league’s most-decorated clubs, having won the MLS Cup five times—more than any other club—the Supporters’ Shield four times, the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice, and the old CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, making them one of just two MLS teams, along with D.C. United, to win a CONCACAF tournament.
D.C.United have won the MLS Cup four times and the Supporters Shield four times and the San Jose Earthquakes have two victories in each of these tournaments.
Many great players, often with previous success elsewhere, have and still are contributing to the standard of soccer played in the MLS. D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno is the all-time leading scorer with 133 goals, and is fourth all-time in playoff goals with 12 and s fourth all-time in games played with 340.
Midfielder Landon Donovan debuted in 2001 as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, scoring 32 goals in 87 appearances while helping the Quakes win the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003. Afterwards, Donovan was bought by the Galaxy, who he helped lead the Galaxy to an MLS Cup and US Open Cup in 2005 and a Supporters’ Shield last season.
Ex-Manchester United and England icon David Beckham played for several seasons for LA Galaxy and is currently launching his own franchise Miami Beckham United.
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@Houston Dynamo, @TorontoFC,