Major League Soccer – Wikipedia

professional soccer league in the United States and Canada
“ MLS ” redirects here. For other uses, see MLS ( disambiguation )
Football league

Major League Soccer ( MLS ) is a men ‘s professional soccer league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, which represents the fun ‘s highest level in the United States. [ 3 ] [ 4 ] The league comprises 28 teams—25 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada—and plans to expand to 30 teams by the 2023 season. [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] Although not one of the “ big four ”, the MLS, along with the Canadian Football League, is considered one of the “ big six-spot ” major master sports leagues in the United States and Canada. [ 10 ] [ 11 ] The league is headquartered in Midtown Manhattan. Major League Soccer is the most holocene of a serial of men ‘s premier professional national soccer leagues established in the United States and Canada. The predecessor of MLS was the north american Soccer League ( NASL ), which existed from 1968 until 1984. [ 12 ] The MLS was founded in 1993 as part of the United States ‘ successful invite to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. [ 13 ] The inaugural address season took place in 1996 with ten teams. [ 14 ] MLS experienced fiscal and operational struggles in its first few years, losing millions of dollars and folding two teams in 2002. [ 15 ] Since then, developments such as the proliferation of soccer-specific stadiums around the league, execution of the Designated Player Rule allowing teams to sign star players such as David Beckham, and national television receiver contracts have made MLS profitable. [ 16 ] With an average attendance of over 20,000 per game, MLS has the fourth-highest average attendance of any master sports league in the U.S. and Canada after the National Football League ( NFL ) and Major League Baseball ( MLB ), and canadian Football League ( CFL ) [ 17 ] and was the seventh-highest accompanied professional soccer league worldwide by 2013. [ 18 ] The MLS even season typically starts in late February or early March and runs through mid-october, with each team playing 34 games ; [ 19 ] [ 20 ] the team with the best record is awarded the Supporters ‘ Shield. Fourteen team compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs in recently October and November, culminating in the league ‘s backing game, the MLS Cup. [ 21 ] alternatively of function as an association of independently owned clubs, MLS is a single entity in which each team is owned by the league and individually operated by the league ‘s investors. [ 22 ] The league has a sterilize membership like most sports leagues in the United States and Canada, which makes it one of the earth ‘s few soccer leagues that does not use a promotion and delegating process. [ 23 ]

competition format [edit ]

Major League Soccer ‘s regular season runs from late February or early March to October. Teams are geographically divided into the Eastern and western Conferences, playing 34 games in an brainsick schedule. With 27 teams in 2021, each team plays two games, home and away, against every team in its league and one plot against all but four or five of the teams in the inverse league. The 2020 temper was the first season in league history in which teams did not play against every other team in the league. [ 24 ] At the end of the regular season, the team with the highest steer entire is awarded the Supporters ‘ Shield and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. [ 25 ] Teams breakage for the annual All-Star Game midway through the season, an exhibition game containing the league ‘s best players. The format of the All-Star Game has changed several times since the league ‘s origin ; 2020 was the first year in which the MLS All-Stars were planned to play against an all-star team from Mexico ‘s Liga MX, before the event ‘s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic. [ 26 ] [ 27 ] Unlike most major soccer leagues around the worldly concern, but similar to other leagues in the Americas, [ 28 ] the MLS regular season is followed by a postseason smasher tournament to determine the league champion. Fourteen team enter in the MLS Cup Playoffs in October, which concludes with the MLS Cup championship bet on in early December. [ 29 ] Major League Soccer ‘s spring-to-fall schedule results in scheduling conflicts with the FIFA calendar and with summer international tournaments such as the World Cup and the Gold Cup, [ 30 ] causing some players to miss league matches. [ 31 ] While MLS has looked into changing to a fall-to-spring format, there are no current plans to do so. Were the league to change its schedule, a winter fracture would be necessity to accommodate teams located in harsh winter climates. [ 32 ] [ 33 ] [ 34 ] It would besides have to compete with the popularity and media presence of the National Football League ( NFL ), National Basketball Association ( NBA ), and National Hockey League ( NHL ), which all run on fall-to-spring schedules. [ 34 ]

early competitions [edit ]

MLS teams besides play in early international and domestic competitions. Every class, four to five MLS teams—four from the U.S. and one from Canada—play in the CONCACAF Champions League against other clubs from the CONCACAF region. Two U.S.-based MLS teams qualify based on regular-season results from the former year : the teams with the highest point total from each of the two conferences, one of whom is the Supporter ‘s Shield champion. The one-third U.S. team to qualify is the reigning MLS Cup champion. A fourth U.S.-based MLS team can qualify by winning the U.S. Open Cup. [ 35 ] If a team qualifies through multiple berths, or if any of the three MLS berths are taken by a team based in Canada, the berth is reallocated to the highest-placed U.S.-based team in the previous season ‘s overall table that has differently not qualified. Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver compete against other canadian sides in the canadian Championship for the one CONCACAF Champions League moor allocated to Canada. [ 36 ] seattle Sounders FC became the first MLS team to win the modern interpretation of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2022 after four former attempts by Real Salt Lake, Montreal Impact, Toronto FC, and Los Angeles FC. [ 37 ] [ 38 ] Since 2018, the reigning MLS Cup champion plays in the Campeones Cup, a single game against the Campeón de Campeones from Liga MX, hosted by the MLS team in September. [ 39 ] The inauguration edition saw Tigres UANL get the better of Toronto FC 3–1 on September 19, 2018, at BMO Field in Toronto. [ 40 ] Another inter-league competition with Liga MX, the Leagues Cup, was established in 2019. The 2020 edition of the tournament was originally planned to pair eight MLS clubs against eight Liga MX clubs in a single-elimination tournament hosted in the United States, reviving an inter-league competition that previously took rate in the now-defunct north american Superliga, before its cancelation. [ 41 ]

Teams [edit ]

Major League Soccer ‘s 28 teams are divided between the Eastern and western Conferences. Each team is allowed up to 30 players on its first team roll. [ 42 ] All 30 players are eligible for choice to each 18-player game-day squad during the regular season and playoffs. MLS has regularly expanded since the 2005 temper. The league plans to grow to 29 teams with the addition of St. Louis City SC in 2023. [ 43 ] The league features numerous competition cups that are contested by two or more teams, normally geographic rivals. [ 44 ] Each trophy is awarded to the team with the best record in matches during the regular season involving the participating teams. The concept is comparable to rivalry trophies played for by American college football teams. [ 45 ]

future teams [edit ]

erstwhile teams [edit ]

1 Shared adeptness ; not a soccer-specific stadium
2 Standard reduced capacity for soccer ; can be increased

timeline [edit ]

League member Former penis Future penis other leagues

history [edit ]

Major League Soccer is the most holocene of a series of men ‘s premier professional national soccer leagues established in the United States and Canada. The harbinger of MLS was the north american english Soccer League ( NASL ), which existed from 1968 until 1984. [ 46 ]

administration [edit ]

In 1988, in rally for FIFA awarding the right to host the 1994 World Cup, U.S. Soccer promised to establish a Division 1 professional soccer league. [ 47 ] In 1993, U.S. Soccer selected Major League Professional Soccer ( the precursor to MLS ) as the exclusive Division 1 master soccer league. [ 47 ] Major League Soccer was formally formed in February 1995 as a limited liability company. [ 47 ] Tab Ramos was the inaugural musician signed by MLS, on January 3, 1995, and was assigned to the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. [ 48 ] MLS began play in 1996 with ten-spot teams. The first game was held on April 6, 1996, as the San Jose Clash defeated D.C. United before 31,000 fans at Spartan Stadium in San Jose in a game air on ESPN. [ 49 ] The league had generated some buzz by managing to lure some marquee players from the 1994 World Cup to play in MLS—including U.S. stars such as Alexi Lalas, Tony Meola and Eric Wynalda, and foreign players such as Mexico ‘s Jorge Campos and Colombia ‘s Carlos Valderrama. [ 50 ] D.C. United won the MLS Cup in three of the league ‘s first four seasons. [ 51 ] The league added its first two expansion teams in 1998 —the Miami Fusion and the Chicago Fire ; the Chicago Fire won its first title in its inaugural season. [ 52 ] After its beginning season, MLS suffered from a decline in attendance. [ 53 ] The league ‘s low attendance was all the more apparent in light of the fact that eight of the original ten-spot teams played in big american football stadiums. [ 52 ] One aspect that had alienated fans was that MLS experimented with rules deviations in its early years in an attack to “ Americanize ” the sport. The league implemented the use of shootouts to resolve tie games. MLS besides used a countdown clock and halves ended when the clock reached 0:00. The league realized that the rule changes had alienated some traditional soccer fans while failing to draw newfangled american english sports fans, and the gunfight and countdown clock were eliminated after the 1999 season. [ 54 ] The league ‘s quality was cast into doubt when the U.S. men ‘s home team, which was made up largely of MLS players, finished in final target at the 1998 World Cup. [ 52 ] Major League Soccer lost an estimated $ 250 million during its first five years, and more than $ 350 million between its establish and 2004. [ 55 ] [ 56 ] [ 57 ] [ 58 ] The league ‘s fiscal problems led to Commissioner Doug Logan being replaced by Don Garber, a erstwhile NFL executive, in August 1999. [ 59 ] Following decreased attendance and increased losses by late 2001, league officials planned to fold but were able to secure new finance from owners Lamar Hunt, Philip Anschutz, and the Kraft family to take on more teams. [ 60 ] MLS announced in January 2002 that it had decided to sign the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion, leaving the league with ten-spot teams. [ 61 ]
Despite the fiscal problems, though, MLS did have some accomplishments that would set the stage for the league ‘s revival. Columbus Crew Stadium, now known as Historic Crew Stadium, was built in 1999, becoming MLS ‘s first gear soccer-specific stadium. [ 62 ] This began a tendency among MLS teams to construct their own venues alternatively of leasing American football stadiums. [ 63 ] In 2000, the league won an antimonopoly lawsuit, Fraser v. Major League Soccer, that the players had filed in 1996. The court ruled that MLS ‘s policy of centrally contracting players and limiting player salaries through a wage cap and other restrictions were a legal method for the league to maintain solvency and competitive parity bit. [ 64 ]

revival [edit ]

The 2002 FIFA World Cup, in which the United States by chance made the quarterfinals, coincided with a revival in american soccer and MLS. [ 44 ] MLS Cup 2002 drew 61,316 spectators to Gillette Stadium, the largest attendance in an MLS Cup concluding until 2018. [ 65 ] MLS limited teams to three substitutions per crippled in 2003, and adopted International Football Association Board ( IFAB ) rules in 2005. [ 66 ] MLS underwent a transition in the years leading astir to the 2006 World Cup. After marketing itself on the talents of american players, the league lost some of its homegrown stars to big european leagues. For model, Tim Howard was transferred to Manchester United for $ 4 million in one of the most lucrative compress deals in league history. [ 67 ] [ 68 ] Many more american players did make an impact in MLS. In 2005, Jason Kreis became the first player to score 100 career MLS goals. [ 69 ] The league ‘s fiscal stabilization plan included teams moving out of large American football stadiums and into soccer-specific stadiums. [ 61 ] From 2003 to 2008, the league oversaw the construction of six extra soccer-specific stadiums, largely funded by owners such as Lamar Hunt and Phil Anschutz, so that by the end of 2008, a majority of teams were now in soccer-specific stadiums. [ 52 ] It was besides in this earned run average that MLS expanded for the first time since 1998. real Salt Lake and Chivas USA began play in 2005, with Chivas USA becoming the second golf club in Los Angeles. [ 70 ] By 2006 the San Jose Earthquakes owners, players and a few coaches moved to Texas to become the expansion Houston Dynamo, after failing to build a stadium in San Jose. The Dynamo became an expansion team, leaving their history behind for a new San Jose ownership group that formed in 2007. [ 71 ]

arrival of Designated Players [edit ]

The 2010 season besides brought the open of the New York Red Bulls ‘ soccer-specific stadium, Red Bull Arena In 2007 the league expanded beyond the United States ‘ borders into Canada with the Toronto FC expansion team. [ 72 ] Major League Soccer took steps to further raise the horizontal surface of play by adopting the Designated Player Rule, which helped bring international stars into the league. [ 73 ] The 2007 season witnessed the MLS debut of David Beckham. Beckham ‘s sign had been seen as a coup for american soccer, and was made potential by the Designated Player Rule. Players such as Cuauhtémoc Blanco ( Chicago Fire ) and Juan Pablo Ángel ( New York Red Bulls ), are some of the first Designated Players who made major contributions to their clubs. [ 74 ] The departures of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, coupled with the render of early U.S. national team stars Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride, highlighted the exchange of top prospects to Europe for experience veterans to MLS. [ 75 ] By 2008, San Jose had returned to the league under new ownership, and in 2009, the expansion side Seattle Sounders FC began play in MLS. [ 72 ] The Sounders set a newfangled average attendance record for the league, with 30,943 spectators per equal, and were the first expansion team to qualify for the playoffs since 1998. [ 76 ] The 2010 season ushered in an expansion franchise in the Philadelphia Union and their new PPL Park stadium ( now known as Subaru Park ). [ 72 ] The 2010 season besides brought the afford of the New York Red Bulls ‘ soccer-specific stadium, Red Bull Arena, and the debut of french striker Thierry Henry. [ 77 ] The 2011 season brought far expansion with the addition of the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the second canadian MLS franchise, and the Portland Timbers. [ 78 ] Real Salt Lake reached the finals of the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League. [ 79 ] During the 2011 season, the Galaxy signed another international star in Republic of Ireland all-time leading goalscorer Robbie Keane. [ 80 ] MLS drew an average attendance of 17,872 in 2011, higher than the average attendances of the NBA and NHL. [ 81 ] In 2012, the Montreal Impact became the league ‘s 19th franchise and the third in Canada, and made their home debut in front of a crowd of 58,912, [ 82 ] while the New York Red Bulls added australian all-time leading goalscorer Tim Cahill .
With an average attendance of over 20,000 per crippled, MLS has the third highest average attendance of any sports league in the U.S. after the National Football League ( NFL ) and Major League Baseball ( MLB ), [ 17 ] and is the seventh highest attended professional soccer league global as of 2013. [ 18 ] In 2013, MLS introduced New York City FC [ 83 ] as its 20th team, and Orlando City Soccer Club [ 84 ] as its 21st team, both of which would begin playing in 2015. In 2013, the league implemented its “ core Players ” enterprise, allowing teams to retain key players using retention funds rather of losing the players to alien leagues. [ 85 ] Among the first high-profile players re-signed in 2013 using retention funds were U.S. national team regulars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. Beginning in summer of 2013 and continuing in the rivulet astir to the 2014 World Cup, MLS began signing U.S. stars based abroad, including Clint Dempsey, Jermaine Jones, and Michael Bradley from Europe ; and DaMarcus Beasley from Mexico ‘s Liga MX. [ 86 ] By the 2014 season, fifteen of the nineteen MLS head coaches had previously played in MLS. [ 87 ] By 2013, the league ‘s popularity had increased to the period where MLS was adenine popular as Major League Baseball among 12- to 17-year-olds, as reported by the 2013 Luker on Trends ESPN poll, having jumped in popularity since the 2010 World Cup. [ 88 ] [ 89 ] In 2014, the league announced Atlanta United FC as the 22nd team to start toy in 2017. [ 90 ] even though New York City FC and Orlando City were not set to begin free rein until 2015, each team made headlines during the summer 2014 transportation window by announcing their beginning Designated Players— Spain ‘s lead scorekeeper David Villa and Chelsea ‘s go scorer Frank Lampard to New York, and Ballon d’Or winner Kaká to Orlando. [ 91 ] The 2014 World Cup featured 21 MLS players on World Cup rosters and a phonograph record 11 MLS players playing for foreign teams—including players from traditional powerhouses Brazil ( Júlio César ) and Spain ( David Villa ) ; in the U.S. v. Germany match the U.S. fielded a team with seven MLS starters. [ 92 ] On September 18, 2014, MLS unveiled their new logo as partially of a brand inaugural. In accession to the new cap logo, MLS teams display versions in their own colors on their jerseys. [ 93 ] Chivas USA folded following the 2014 temper, while New York City FC and Orlando City SC joined the league in 2015 as the 19th and 20th teams. [ 94 ] Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo moved from the Eastern Conference to the western Conference in 2015 to make two 10-team conferences. [ 94 ] [ 95 ] In early 2015, the league announced that two teams— Los Angeles FC and Minnesota United —would union MLS in either 2017 or 2018. [ 96 ] The 20th season of MLS saw the arrivals of several players who have starred at the highest levels of european baseball club soccer and in international soccer : Giovanni do Santos, Kaká, Andrea Pirlo, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Didier Drogba, David Villa, and Sebastian Giovinco. [ 97 ] MLS confirmed in August 2016 that Minnesota United would begin play in 2017 along with Atlanta United FC. [ 98 ] In April 2016, the league ‘s commissioner Don Garber reiterated the intention of the league to expand to 28 teams, with the adjacent orotund of expansion “ probably happen in 2020 ”. [ 99 ] [ 100 ] In December 2016, he updated the expansion plans stating that the league will look to approve the 25th and 26th teams in 2017 and to start play in 2020. [ 101 ] In January 2017, the league received bids from 12 ownership groups. [ 102 ] In July 2017, it was reported that Major League Soccer had rejected an offer by MP & Silva to acquire all television rights to the league following the ending of its stream contracts with Fox, ESPN, and Univision, where MP & Silva insisted that the cover would be conditional on Major League Soccer adopting a promotion and relegation system. The league stated that it rejected the volunteer due to the exclusive periods that the current rightsholders have to negotiate extensions to their contracts. additionally, media noted that Major League Soccer has long-opposed the adoption of promotion and relegation, continuing to utilize the repair, franchise-based model used in other U.S. sports leagues. [ 103 ] [ 104 ] Furthermore, MP & Silva founder Riccardo Silva besides owned Miami FC of the NASL, which stood to benefit from such a forwarding and relegation system. [ 104 ] In October 2017, Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt announced plans to move the franchise to Austin, Texas by 2019. [ 105 ] The announcement spawned a league-wide backfire and legal carry through against the league by the Ohio state politics. [ 106 ] On August 15, 2018, the Austin City Council voted to approve an agreement with Precourt to move Crew SC to Austin, and on August 22, 2018, the club ‘s new list, Austin FC, was announced. [ 107 ] After negotiations between Precourt and Jimmy Haslam, owner of the Cleveland Browns, were announced, MLS made it clear that Austin would receive an expansion team only after a distribute to sell Columbus to a local buyer had completed. [ 108 ] The purchase of Crew SC by Haslam ‘s group was finalized in recently December 2018, [ 109 ] and on January 15, 2019, Austin FC was formally announced as a 2021 MLS entry. [ 5 ] MLS announced on December 20, 2017, that it would be awarding an expansion franchise to Nashville, Tennessee, to play in a yet-to-be-built 27,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium, and would join MLS in 2020. [ 110 ] The management of the Nashville franchise announced in February 2019 that the MLS side would assume the Nashville SC name then in use by the city ‘s USL Championship team. [ 111 ]
FC Cincinnati ‘s inaugural MLS home meet drew a 32,250 sellout crowd. On January 29, 2018, MLS awarded Miami an expansion team, led by David Beckham. Inter Miami CF started MLS turn on March 1, 2020, and plan on opening the proposed 25,000-seat stadium erstwhile in the near future. [ 112 ] An expansion team was awarded to Cincinnati, Ohio on May 29, 2018, to the possession group of USL ‘s FC Cincinnati. The team, which assumed the existing FC Cincinnati name, started MLS play in 2019 and moved to the new 26,000-seat TQL Stadium in 2021. [ 113 ] In 2013, New York City FC agreed to pay a record $ 100 million expansion fee for the correct to join MLS in 2015. [ 114 ] This record was surpassed by the ownership groups of FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC, which each paid $ 150 million to join MLS ( FC Cincinnati in 2019 and Nashville SC in 2020 ). [ 115 ] Despite being announced in January 2018, Inter Miami CF entirely paid a $ 25 million expansion tip due to a article in part-owner David Beckham ‘s original play contract signed in 2007. [ 116 ] The same $ 150 million was paid as an effective entrance fee by a group that bought Columbus Crew in 2018, which led to that team ‘s previous operator receiving rights to Austin FC, which joined MLS in 2021. [ 117 ] [ 118 ] MLS has besides announced the possession groups of the 28th and 29th teams would each pay a $ 200 million entrance fee. [ 114 ] The league planned to expand to 30 teams with the addition of Austin FC in 2021, [ 5 ] Charlotte in 2022, [ 119 ] and Sacramento and St. Louis in 2023 ; however, this was reduced to 29 after Sacramento ‘s wish was placed on indefinite hold. [ 43 ] [ 120 ] [ 9 ] [ 121 ] Commissioner Don Garber has suggested that another round of expansion could lead to 32 teams in MLS. [ 122 ] The league suspended its 2020 season on March 12, 2020, after two weeks, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and other U.S.-based sports leagues did the same. [ 123 ] [ 124 ] [ 125 ] The 2020 season resumed in July with the MLS is Back Tournament, a competition in which 24 out of the 26 teams competed at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando for a blemish in the CONCACAF Champions League. In September 2020, the league announced the formation of MLS Next, an academy league for MLS academy teams from the under-13 to under-19 degree. [ 126 ]

League championships [edit ]

As of the 2021 season, 30 unlike clubs have competed in the league, with 14 having won at least one MLS Cup, and 15 winning at least one Supporters ‘ Shield. [ 127 ] The two trophies have been won by the lapp cabaret in the same year on seven occasions ( two clubs have accomplished the feat twice ). [ 128 ] MLS Cup titles and Supporters’ Shield wins

organization [edit ]

ownership [edit ]

Major League Soccer operates under a single-entity structure in which team and player contracts are centrally owned by the league. [ 4 ] [ 129 ] [ 130 ] Each team has an investor-operator that is a stockholder in the league. [ 131 ] In holy order to control costs, MLS shares revenues and holds players contracts rather of players contracting with individual teams. In Fraser v. Major League Soccer, a lawsuit filed in 1996 and decided in 2002, the league won a legal battle with its players in which the court ruled that MLS was a single entity that can legally centrally shrink for musician services. [ 4 ] The court besides ruled that even absent their collective bargaining agreement, players could opt to play in other leagues if they were unsatisfied. [ 4 ] Having multiple clubs operated by a single investor was a necessity in the league ‘s beginning ten years. [ 132 ] At one clock Phil Anschutz ‘s AEG operated six MLS franchises and Lamar Hunt ‘s Hunt Sports three franchises. In ordain to attract extra investors, in 2002 the league announced changes to the operational agreement between the league and its teams to improve team revenues and increase the incentives to be an individual club operator. [ 133 ] These changes included concede operators the rights to a certain number of players they develop through their club ‘s academy system each year, sharing the profits of Soccer United Marketing, and being able to sell person club jersey sponsorships. [ 133 ] As MLS appeared to be on the brink of overall profitableness in 2006 and developed significant expansion plans, MLS announced that it wanted each clubhouse to have a clear-cut hustler. [ 134 ] The league has attracted new investors that have injected more money into the league. [ 135 ] Examples include Red Bull ‘s buy of the MetroStars from AEG in 2006 for over $ 100 million. [ 132 ] [ 136 ] For the 2014 season, the league assumed control of the former Chivas USA club, which had suffered from mismanagement and poor people fiscal results under its individual operator relationship. [ 137 ] [ 138 ] The league finally dissolved the team, [ 139 ] in privilege of awarding rights to a second soccer club in the Los Angeles area to a new investor group on October 30, 2014. [ 140 ] The league now has 30 investor-operators for its 28 stream and 2 future clubs, with no extremity of any golf club ‘s investor group having a stake in that of any early baseball club. Since December 2015, when AEG sold its remaining 50 % concern in the Houston Dynamo, the early multiple-team operators AEG and Hunt Sports, with the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas respectively, now merely control one franchise. [ 141 ] [ 142 ]

League executives [edit ]

Don Garber has been the commissioner of Major League Soccer since 1999, serving as the league ‘s foreman executive. The league ‘s foremost commissioner was Doug Logan, who served in the character from 1995 to 1999. [ 143 ] [ 144 ] Mark Abbott, a former MLS business partner, has served as the league ‘s president and Deputy Commissioner since 2006. [ 145 ]

Player acquisition and salaries [edit ]

The average wage for MLS players is $ 373,094, [ 146 ] lower than the average salaries in England ‘s second-tier EFL Championship ( $ 420,000 in 2015 ), [ 147 ] the Netherlands ‘ Eredivisie ( $ 445,000 ), [ 148 ] or Mexico ‘s Liga MX ( $ 418,000 in 2015 ). [ 149 ] The league ‘s minimum actor wage increased in 2017 to $ 65,000 for most players, and roll players # 25–30 saw their minimum wage increased to $ 53,000. [ 150 ] [ 151 ] MLS salaries are limited by a wage ceiling, which MLS has had in identify since the league ‘s origin in 1996. The determination of the wage hood is to prevent the team ‘s owners from unsustainable spending on player salaries and to prevent a competitive asymmetry among teams. [ 47 ] The wage cap survived a legal challenge by the players in the Fraser v. Major League Soccer lawsuit. The 2017 wage cap increased to $ 3.845 million per team. [ 150 ] [ 151 ] Teams may augment their squads by signing players from other leagues. MLS has two transfer windows —the chief pre-season transfer window lasts three months from mid February until mid May, and the secondary mid season transfer window runs one month from early July to early August. [ 152 ] When an MLS club sells one of its players abroad, the golf club and the league split the remove revenues, with the club retaining from 33 % to 75 % depending on the player ‘s condition and tenure. [ 153 ] MLS teams have a limited count of international roll slots that they can use to sign non-domestic players. however, MLS teams frequently obtain k cards for their non-domestic players in order to qualify them for domestic condition and thus free up external roll slots. [ 154 ] In 2015, 49 % of MLS players were born outside of the U.S. and Canada, with players from 58 countries represented. [ 155 ] [ 156 ]

MLS has a set of consortium goalkeepers who are signed to a contract with the league and are loaned to teams during emergencies in which they are missing a goalkeeper due to injuries or suspensions. [ 157 ] The pool goalkeeper trains with an MLS baseball club or an affiliate team when not assigned to a team ; some pool goalkeepers, including Tim Melia, have gone on to be signed to permanent shrink with their impute teams. [ 158 ] In the past, when rosters were smaller, there were multiple goalkeepers signed to the consortium, however, in holocene years entirely one or two keepers are signed as team rosters are much larger. [ 159 ]

Designated Players and allocation money [edit ]

MLS has besides introduced respective initiatives and rules intended to improve quality of players while even maintaining the wage cap. Rules concerning Designated Players and allotment money admit for extra engage outgo that is nontaxable from the wage cap. These initiatives have brought about an increase in on-field contest. [ 160 ] [ unreliable source? ] The designated player ( DP ) rule allows teams to sign a limited issue of players whose wage exceeds the maximum cap ; in 2017, each DP musician entirely counted as $ 480,625 ( the utmost non-DP wage ) against the capital. Instituted in 2007, England ‘s David Beckham was the first sign under the DP principle. [ 73 ] The DP rule has led to big income inequality in MLS with circus tent DPs earn a much as 180 times more than a player earning the league minimum. [ 161 ] In the 2013 season, 21 % of the league ‘s engage spend went to merely five players ; this stretched to 29 % on the top 6 players in the 2014 temper. [ 162 ] [ 163 ] [ unreliable source? ] The league ‘s “ core Players ” first step allows teams to re-sign players using retention funds that do not count against the wage cap. [ 85 ] Retention funds were implemented in 2013 as a mechanism for MLS to retain key players ; among the first high-profile players re-signed using memory funds were U.S. national team regulars Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. [ 85 ] MLS teams can besides obtain allocation money, which is money that the team can use on actor salaries that does not count against the hood, and teams can earn allotment money in several ways, such as from the transfer fees earned by selling players to teams in other leagues. [ 164 ] MLS teams can besides use target Allocation Money ( much referred to as TAM ), an inaugural announced in 2015. Teams can use TAM funds to attract high-profile players by “ buying down ” contracts of players to below the Designated Player level. [ 165 ] High-profile players for which TAM funds were used include Hector Villalba and Zlatan Ibrahimović .

young person development [edit ]

MLS has introduced diverse initiatives and rules intended to develop young players. Rules concerning Generation Adidas players and home grow players provide incentives for clubs to develop and retain young players. [ 160 ] MLS has required all of its teams to operate youth development programs since 2008. [ 166 ] MLS roll rules allow teams to sign an inexhaustible number of players straight from their academies and bypassing the blueprint serve. [ 167 ] There is besides auxiliary wage budget made by MLS only for homegrown players that are registered using senior roll slots called homegrown player funds. [ 168 ] One of the most outstanding and lucrative examples of success in “ home-grown ” development was Jozy Altidore, who rose to prominence as a adolescent in MLS before his record transfer fee $ 10 million motion to Villarreal in Spain in 2008. [ 169 ] The versatile MLS teams ‘ development academies play matches in a U.S. Soccer developmental league against youth academies from other leagues such as the north american Soccer League ( NASL ), which had been a Division II league prior to 2018, and USL Pro, originally a Division III league but now the Division II USL Championship. [ 170 ] The league operates a Generation Adidas course of study, which is a joint guess between MLS and U.S. Soccer that encourages young american players to enter MLS. [ 171 ] The Generation Adidas program has been in place since 1997, and has introduced players such as Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Michael Bradley into MLS. Players under the Home Grown Player rule are signed to Generation Adidas contracts, [ 152 ] all players on Generation Adidas contracts are “ off budget players ” and their salaries do not count against the ceiling. MLS once operated a reserve league that gave playing prison term to players who were not starters for their MLS teams. The Reserve League was formed in 2005, and operated through 2014 ( with the exception of the 2009 & 2010 seasons ). [ 172 ] MLS began integrating its Reserve League with the league then known as USL Pro in 2013, [ 173 ] and after the 2014 season folded the Reserve League, with MLS now requiring all teams to either affiliate with a USL team or field their own reserve side in that league. Following the fold of the Development Academy, [ 174 ] MLS announced its own development league in 2020. [ citation needed ] It includes all of the MLS team academies a well as 95 clubs across the state ; many of which were a part of the Development Academy. [ citation needed ]

Stadiums [edit ]

Since 1999, the league has overseen the structure of twelve stadiums specifically designed for soccer. The development of soccer-specific stadiums owned by the teams has generated a better gameday experience for the fans. [ 175 ] The soccer-specific stadiums have yielded convinced fiscal results as teams were no retentive required to pay to rent out facilities and gained control over gross streams such as concessions, park, naming rights, and the ability to host non-MLS events. [ 138 ] [ 175 ] respective teams have doubled their temper tickets following the team ‘s act into a soccer-specific stadium. [ 176 ] The establishment of soccer-specific stadiums is considered the key to the league and the ability of teams to turn a profit. [ 177 ] In 2006, Tim Leiweke, then CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, described the proliferation of soccer-specific stadiums as the turn point for MLS. [ 177 ] Columbus Crew owner Lamar Hunt started this drift in 1999 by constructing Columbus Crew Stadium, now known as Historic Crew Stadium, as MLS ‘s first soccer-specific stadium. [ 62 ] The Los Angeles Galaxy followed four years late with the opening of the Home Depot Center, now Dignity Health Sports Park, in 2003. [ 178 ] FC Dallas opened Pizza Hut Park, immediately Toyota Stadium, in 2005, and the Chicago Fire began playing their home games in Toyota Park, now SeatGeek Stadium, in 2006. The 2007 season brought the opening of Dick ‘s Sporting Goods Park for the Colorado Rapids and BMO Field for Toronto FC. [ 179 ] Near the end of the 2008 season, Rio Tinto Stadium became the home of Real Salt Lake, which meant that for the first meter in MLS history a majority of MLS ‘s teams ( 8 out of 14 ) played in soccer-specific stadiums. [ 180 ] Red Bull Arena, the newly home of the New York Red Bulls opened for the begin of the 2010 season, [ 181 ] and the Philadelphia Union opened PPL Park, now Subaru Park, in June 2010, midway through their inaugural address season. [ 182 ] The adopt season, in 2011, the Portland Timbers made their MLS introduction in a newly renovated Jeld-Wen Field, immediately renamed Providence Park, which was originally a multi-purpose venue but turned into a soccer-specific facility. [ 183 ] besides in 2011, Sporting Kansas City moved to newly Livestrong Sporting Park, now Children ‘s Mercy Park. [ 184 ] The Houston Dynamo relocated to their raw home at BBVA Compass Stadium, now PNC Stadium, in 2012. [ 181 ] In the like year, the Montreal Impact joined the league in an expanded Stade Saputo, which reopened in June 2012, when renovations pushed the seat capability to over 20,000. The Impact has used Olympic Stadium for early season matches and for games that require a larger capacity. [ 185 ] The San Jose Earthquakes, who had played at Buck Shaw Stadium from 2008 until 2014, opened their new Avaya Stadium ( now PayPal Park ) before the 2015 temper. [ 186 ] Orlando City SC intended to begin constructing its soccer-specific stadium, now known as Exploria Stadium, in 2014 to be completed in 2015. [ 187 ] Delays caused by changes to the stadium plans pushed back the new venue ‘s first step, first to late 2016 and last to the start of the 2017 season. [ 188 ] Orlando City played at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, now Camping World Stadium, while awaiting the construction of their new venue through the 2016 season. Exploria Stadium hosted its first base MLS peer on March 5, 2017, against New York City FC as Orlando City Stadium .
The growth of extra MLS stadium has continued to progress. D.C. United had played their base games at former NFL and Major League Baseball venue RFK Stadium. In 2013, D.C. United announced the sign language of a public-private partnership term sheet to build a newly soccer stadium in Washington, D.C., and a final softwood was reached in late 2014. In former February 2017, D.C. United ultimately broke ground on their new stadium, Audi Field. [ 189 ] After 21 years of playing at RFK Stadium, DC United played their beginning game at Audi field in July 2018. Two teams have announced their desire to build a soccer-specific stadium, although these teams have not finalized the stadium locate and received all necessary government approvals. New York City FC play home games at Yankee Stadium, a Major League Baseball venue, although they intend to move into a soccer-specific stadium in the future. The New England Revolution play home games at a National Football League venue, Gillette Stadium, but are presently in discussion with the City of Boston regarding a potential soccer-specific stadium in South Boston. [ 190 ] several remaining clubs play in stadiums not primitively built for MLS and have not announced plans to move. The Seattle Sounders FC gambling at Lumen Field, a dual-purpose facility used for both American football and soccer. The Vancouver Whitecaps FC joined the league with Portland in 2011 and temporarily held matches at Empire Field before moving into the refurbished BC Place in October 2011, [ 191 ] a retractable-roof stadium that hosts canadian football deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as soccer. [ 192 ] Of the three teams that made their MLS debuts in 2017 and 2018, one opened a soccer-specific stadium in 2019, a second is playing in a shared football stadium, and the final opened a soccer-specific stadium for its inaugural 2018 season. Minnesota United FC, which debuted in 2017, built Allianz Field in St. Paul which hosted its inauguration game against New York City FC on April 13, 2019. [ 193 ] [ 194 ] Until that prison term, the team played in Minneapolis at TCF Bank Stadium ( now Huntington Bank Stadium ), home to University of Minnesota football. [ 195 ] Atlanta United FC began play in 2017 at a college football adeptness, Georgia Tech ‘s Bobby Dodd Stadium, before moving into its permanent home at the retractable-roof Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which it shares with the NFL ‘s Atlanta Falcons ; the two teams share a coarse owner and the stadium is equipped with screens to cordon off the upper tiers for most matches. [ 196 ] Los Angeles FC, which began play in 2018, opened Banc of California Stadium on the erstwhile web site of the Los Angeles Sports Arena in April of its inaugural season. [ 197 ] FC Cincinnati made its MLS debut in 2019 at Nippert Stadium, the football base of the University of Cincinnati. The stadium had been home to FCC ‘s USL Championship harbinger for all of its three seasons of play. The club moved within Cincinnati to the new TQL Stadium in 2021. [ 198 ] Inter Miami began play in 2020 at Inter Miami CF Stadium, immediately known as DRV PNK Stadium, at the early site of Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale before opening Miami Freedom Park in the future. [ 199 ] Nashville SC has announced it will play the 2020 and 2021 seasons at an NFL facility, the Tennessee Titans ‘ Nissan Stadium, before opening the Nashville Fairgrounds Stadium in 2022. [ 200 ] Austin FC opened Q2 Stadium for its first season in 2021. [ 5 ]

profitableness and revenues [edit ]

Average franchise valuations
Year Value
2008 $37 million
2013 $103 million
2015 $157 million
2016 $185 million
2017 $223 million
2018 $240 million
2019 $313 million
2021 $550 million

Major League Soccer began to demonstrate positive signs of long-run profitableness ampere early as 2004 with the single-entity ownership social organization, wage hood, and the media and market umbrella Soccer United Marketing ( SUM ) all contributing towards MLS ‘s fiscal security system. [ 56 ] As soccer-specific stadiums are built, ownership expands, and television coverage increases, MLS has seen its revenues increase while controlling costs. [ 15 ] television coverage and tax income have increased since the league ‘s early years. In 2006, MLS reached an 8-year television receiver deal with ESPN spanning the 2007–2014 seasons, and marked the first fourth dimension that MLS earned rights fees, reported to be worth $ 7–8 million annually. [ 201 ] In September 2012 the league extended its distribution agreement with London-based Media rights means MP & Silva until 2014 in a hand deserving $ 10 million annually. Total league television revenues are over $ 40 million per annum. [ 202 ] [ 203 ] In 2011, MLS earned $ 150 million when it sold a 25 % stake in SUM. [ 15 ]

In early 2005, MLS signed a 10-year, $ 150 million sponsorship cover with Adidas for its jerseys and other equipment. [ 56 ] In 2007, MLS teams started selling ad space on the front of jerseys to go along with the league-wide sponsorship partners who had already been advertising on the bet on of baseball club jerseys, following the practice of international mutant, specifically soccer. MLS established a floor of $ 500,000 per shirt sponsorship, with the league receiving a directly fee of $ 200,000 per bargain. [ 232 ] As of July 2014, sixteen teams had signed sponsorship deals to have company logo placed on the front of their jerseys ( and another team is directly owned by its shirt sponsor ), and the league average from jersey sponsors was about $ 2.4 million. [ 233 ] All MLS teams have had jersey sponsors since February 2016. [ citation needed ] Sleeve sponsorship was introduced to MLS in the 2020 temper, with the teams able to sell a 2-by-2-inch ( 51 by 51 millimeter ) section on the right branch where the league logo spot is normally positioned. [ 234 ] The Los Angeles Galaxy made a profit in 2003 in their foremost season at The Home Depot Center, [ 55 ] and FC Dallas turned a profit after moving into Pizza Hut Park in 2005. [ 235 ] For each temper between 2006 and 2009, two to three MLS clubs ( by and large clubs with a soccer-specific stadium ) were reported as profitable by the league. [ 235 ] [ 236 ] [ 237 ] By 2012 the league had shown a marked improvement in its fiscal health. In November 2013, Forbes published a report that revealed that ten of the league ‘s nineteen teams earned an engage profit in 2012, while two broke even and seven had a passing. Forbes estimated that the league ‘s corporate annual revenues were $ 494 million, and that the league ‘s corporate annual net income was $ 34 million. Forbes valued the league ‘s franchises to be worth $ 103 million on modal, about three times ampere much as the $ 37 million modal evaluation in 2008. The Seattle Sounders FC franchise was named the most valuable at $ 175 million, a 483 % gain over the $ 30 million league entrance tip it paid in 2009. [ 138 ] The tendency in increased team values has continued with MLS teams seeing a impregnable 52 % increase in franchise values from 2012 to 2014. In August 2015 Forbes updated its MLS franchise values with the most profitable team measuring $ 245 million and the least $ 105 million. The average value jumped from $ 103 to $ 157 million. [ 16 ] As of 2018 Forbes estimates Atlanta United FC are the most valuable MLS team, worth $ 330 million, while the Colorado Rapids are the lowest value, at $ 155 million. [ 238 ] These valuations do not include the respect of stadiums or training facilities owned by the respective clubs. MLS teams typically use commercial flights to transport players and staff between matches, with merely four charter flights allowed under league rules. [ 239 ]

Rules and officials [edit ]

MLS follows the rules and standards of the International Football Association Board ( IFAB ). Since 2005, the playoff excess clock structure follows IFAB standards : two full 15-minute periods, followed by a penalty gunfight if necessary. U.S. Soccer hired the first full-time master referees in league history in 2007 as part of the league ‘s “ Game First ” initiatives. [ 240 ] Major League Soccer has been implementing fines and suspensions since the 2011 season for pretense ( diving ) through its Disciplinary Committee, which reviews plays after the match. The inaugural player fined under the new rule was Charlie Davies, fined $ 1,000 for intentionally deceiving meet officials. [ 241 ] MLS uses the number of banned substances published by the World Anti-Doping Agency. [ 242 ]

Branding [edit ]

The current MLS logo debuted in 2014, ahead of the league ‘s 20th temper, replacing an earlier logo that featured a conventionalized kick and ball. The current logo is a childlike crest with a diagonal band, the MLS wordmark, and three stars that represent “ community, club, and country ”. The logo was designed to be remixed in different color schemes that match teams when used on merchandise and jersey. [ 243 ] The current league anthem debuted in 2020 and was composed by film score composer Hans Zimmer. It will be used during league broadcasts and as a prelude to kickoff at stadiums. [ 244 ]

team names [edit ]

For more information on MLS team names, see the individual team entries .
In the early years of MLS, teams were typically given official nicknames in the style of other U.S. sports leagues ( for example, Columbus Crew, Los Angeles Galaxy, New England Revolution ). several clubhouse names in MLS originated with former professional soccer clubs, such as the 1970s-era NASL team diagnose San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps. [ 245 ] D.C. United and Miami Fusion FC were the lone two MLS teams to adopt european diagnose conventions during the 1990s. [ 246 ] In late years, European-style names have become increasingly common in MLS, with expansion teams such as very Salt Lake, Toronto FC, New York City FC, Atlanta United FC, Minnesota United FC, and FC Cincinnati, along with rebrandings such as FC Dallas ( once the Dallas Burn ), Sporting Kansas City ( once the Kansas City Wizards ) [ 247 ] and CF Montréal ( once the Montreal Impact ). austrian beverage company Red Bull GmbH owns and sponsors the New York Red Bulls a well as other sports teams outside the U.S. [ 136 ]

Media coverage [edit ]

United States [edit ]

As of the 2021 temper, MLS matches are broadcast nationally by ESPN networks and Fox Sports in English, and Univision networks in spanish under an eight-year compress. Each broadcaster has a window for national even season matches, with UniMás airing a game on Friday nights in spanish and extra matches on Univision Deportes Network, and ESPN and Fox Sports 1 airing games on Sunday evenings in English. ESPN, FS1, and Univision plowshare in coverage of the playoffs, while ABC and Fox alternate broadcasting the MLS Cup concluding in English. In sum, at least 125 matches are aired per-season across all three networks. The three contracts have an average estimated value of $ 90 million per season—five times larger than the average $ 18 million value of the former contracts with ESPN, Univision, and NBC Sports. [ 248 ] [ 249 ] [ 250 ] Matches not televised nationally are broadcast regionally, frequently by regional sports networks like Bally Sports, NBC Sports Regional Networks, Spectrum Sports and Root Sports, and sometimes by sublunar stations like KTXA, WGN and KMYU. [ 81 ] regionally televised matches are available outside their local anesthetic markets on ESPN+, which replaced MLS Live in 2018. [ 251 ] From 2012 to 2014, MLS matches were broadcast by NBC Sports, with 40 matches per year—primarily on NBCSN, and choose matches air on the NBC net. [ 252 ] The motion from Fox Soccer to the more widely distributed NBCSN caused viewership numbers to double for the 2012 season. [ 253 ] soccer United Marketing partnered with Google and Bedrocket Media Ventures in 2012 to launch “ KickTV ”, a bounty YouTube channel with original soccer programming. [ 254 ] KickTV was sold to Copa90 in 2015 to form its american arm. [ 255 ] In 2020, Soccer United Marketing signed a multi-year agreement with Bleacher Report to produce content and highlights for MLS and the U.S. national teams through the 2022 season. [ 256 ]

Canada [edit ]

coverage of MLS expanded into Canada in 2007 with the addition of Toronto FC. Currently, English-language national MLS broadcast rights in Canada are held by the TSN networks through a five-year deal first renewed in 2017. The networks chiefly broadcast matches involving the league ‘s canadian franchises, in combination with separate “ regional ” rights deals giving TSN exclusive rights to all Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps FC matches. [ 257 ] [ 258 ] [ 259 ] A circumscribed act of matches are besides carried by CTV. [ 259 ] TVA Sports holds single French-language rights to MLS in Canada as of the 2017 season. As part of a separate “ regional ” rights distribute, it besides holds single rights to all CF Montréal games. [ 259 ] [ 260 ] In 2018, online streaming service DAZN obtained Major League Soccer ‘s digital out-of-market service MLS Live—with live and on-demand stream of matches featuring U.S. teams ( matches with canadian teams are lone available after a 48-hour delay to protect the league ‘s independent rightsholders TSN and TVA Sports ). [ 261 ]

International [edit ]

MLS besides entered into a four-year condense with Sky Sports to broadcast two MLS matches per week in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 2015 to 2019. [ 262 ] As part of the agreement, Sky Sports broadcast at least two MLS regular-season matches each week, a well as the MLS All-Star Game, every MLS Cup Playoff game, and the MLS Cup final examination. The matches appeared across Sky ‘s family of networks. It besides carried weekly MLS highlights across diverse platforms, including Sky Sports News and Sky Sports besides broadcast at least one equal from MLS ‘s “ Decision Day ” – the concluding day of the MLS even season. Many of the matches on Decision Day every year are expected to determine the concluding spots for the MLS Cup Playoffs. [ 263 ] DSport, owned by Discovery Communications, will televise league matches in India begin in 2017. [ 264 ]

Video games [edit ]

Major League Soccer is a playable league in both the FIFA and the Football Manager series. The league made its television bet on debut in 1999 with FIFA 2000. In 2000, Konami released ESPN MLS GameNight, and two years late, they released its sequel, ESPN MLS ExtraTime 2002. The league made its first appearance in the management serial Football Manager 2005 in 2004. [ 265 ]

player records [edit ]

Statistics below are for all-time leaders. Statistics are for regular season lone. Bold indicates active MLS players .

As of November 7, 2021[266]

musician records ( active voice ) [edit ]

Statistics below are for all-time leaders who are still playing. Statistics are for regular season alone .

As of November 7, 2021[266]

MLS awards [edit ]

At the decision of each season, the league presents several awards for outstanding achievements, by and large to players, but besides to coaches, referees, and teams. The finalists in each category are determined by voting from MLS players, team employees, and the media. [ 267 ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

source :
Category : News


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