According to abbreviationfinder, MLS stands for Major League Soccer. In the United States of America, “football” is the sport we know as ” American football “. But “European football” in the United States is called “sokker” (soccer). Therefore, the league that unites professional football teams in North America is called Major League Soccer (MLS).
Major League Soccer is not part of the traditional “big four” of American professional sports (NFL – American football, MLB – baseball, NBA – basketball and NHL – hockey), but in recent years is rapidly gaining popularity. Speaking about the expansion of MLS in America, even the word “expansion” is often used – so quickly new clubs appear and the number of fans increases (in terms of the number of fans present at matches, MLS is ahead of NBA and NHL).
Football in the United States of America has been known since the middle of the 19th century, and already in 1884 the first organization was created to unite fans of this sport: the American Football Association (American Football Association). In 1913, the United States Football Association was founded, later it was renamed the US Soccer Football Association, and now it is called the US Soccer Federation.), which became one of the first members of FIFA in the same year. In the USA, “European” football has always been inferior (and significantly) in popularity to baseball (and later to “American” football), nevertheless, the American Soccer League, created in 1921, was second only to Major League Baseball in terms of the number of fans. The Great Depression, which greatly influenced the development of sports in the United States, led to the collapse of this league, again Americans became massively interested in football only in the sixties, when several strong student teams appeared.
A surge of interest in soccer was caused by the 1994 FIFA World Cup in America. Already in 1988, the American Football Federation, fulfilling the FIFA requirements necessary for the hosts of the World Cup, undertook to create a major football league in the country. Such a league was MLS, the first season of which was held in 1996. Back then, there were only ten teams in the league, and most of them played in American football stadiums. Over the years, Major League Soccer has experienced ups and downs, rules have changed, new teams (including Canadian ones) have appeared, new stadiums have been built. Today MLS continues to develop rapidly, acquiring more and more new fans.
MLS now includes twenty-three clubs (twenty American and three Canadian), which are divided into two conferences: Eastern (Eastern Conference) and Western (Western Conference). The MLS regular season is held from March to October, each team plays thirty-four matches during it. In the middle of the season, the traditional American sports All-Star Game takes place. Unlike professional league baseball, basketball, or hockey (where two national teams of “their” players play in a “star match”), the All-Star Game of Major League Soccer pits a team of the best MLS players with one or another invited foreign club.
At the end of the regular season, the top twelve teams (six each from East and West) advance to the playoffs, a series of knockout games that first determine the conference winners and then the league champion.
The strongest MLS team receives the Phillip F. Anschutz Trophy, among other Major League Soccer awards are the Supporters Shield (awarded to the team with the most points in the regular season), “Most Valuable Player Award” (MLS Most Valuable Player Award, MVP), ” MLS Golden Boot “(MLS Golden Boot, awarded to the best striker), “Defender of the Year” (MLS Defender of the Year Award), “Goalkeeper of the Year” (MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award), “Rookie of the Year” (MLS Rookie of the Year Award) and others.
Every year “European football”, including professional football, has more and more fans in the United States. It can be assumed with high probability that in the near future the ” big four ” will become the “big five” and soccer will be the fifth sport in it.
|MLS (Major League Soccer) roster||Year||City (nearest major city), state (province), country|
|Eastern Conference (Eastern Conference)|
|Atlanta United FC (Atlanta United FC)||2017||Atlanta, Georgia, US|
|Chicago Fire (Chicago Fire)||1998||Bridgeview (Chicago), Illinois, USA|
|FC Cincinnati (FC Cincinnati)||2018||Cincinnati, Ohio, US|
|Columbus Crew SC||1996||Columbus, Ohio, US|
|DC United (DC United)||1996||Washington, D.C., USA|
|Inter Miami (Inter Miami)||2018||Miami, Florida, US|
|Montreal Impact (Montreal Impact)||2012||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Nashville SC||2017||Nashville, Tennessee, US|
|New England Revolution (New England Revolution)||1996||Foxborough (Boston), Massachusetts, USA|
|New York City FC||2015||New York City, New York, USA|
|New York Red Bulls (New York Red Bulls)||1996||Harrison, New Jersey, (New York City, New York), USA|
|Orlando City SC (Orlando City es-si)||2015||Orlando, Florida, US|
|Philadelphia Union (Philadelphia Union)||2010||Chester (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, USA|
|Toronto FC (Toronto FC)||2007||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Western Conference (Western Conference)|
|Colorado Rapids (Colorado Rapids)||1996||Commerce City (Denver), Colorado, US|
|FC Dallas (FC Dallas)||1996||Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA|
|Houston Dynamo (Houston Dynamo)||2006||Houston, Texas, US|
|LA Galaxy (L-A Galaxy)||1996||Carson (Los Angeles), California, USA|
|Los Angeles FC (Los Angeles fc)||2018||Los Angeles, California, USA|
|Minnesota United FC||2017||Minneapolis, Minnesota, US|
|Portland Timbers (Portland Timbers)||2011||Portland, Oregon, US|
|Real Salt Lake (Real Salt Lake)||2005||Sandy (Salt Lake City), Utah, USA|
|San Jose Earthquakes (San Jose Earthquakes)||1996||San Jose, California, USA|
|Seattle Sounders FC||2009||Seattle, Washington, USA|
|Sporting Kansas City (Sporting Kansas City)||1996||Kansas City, Kansas, US|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC (Vancouver Whitecaps fc)||2011||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|