|Countries|| United States
|Number of teams||16|
|Levels on pyramid||1|
|Domestic cup(s)||MLS Cup
U.S. Open Cup
|Current MLS Cup||Real Salt Lake|
|Current Supporters' Shield||Columbus Crew|
|Most MLS Cups||D.C. United (4)|
|Most Supporters' Shields||D.C. United (4)|
|TV partners||ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes
Fox Soccer Channel,
Fox Sports en Español
Rogers Sportsnet, GolTV Canada,
|2010 MLS season|
Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league based in the United States and sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer). The league comprises 16 teams, 15 in the U.S. and one in Canada, which is scheduled to become 18 teams by the beginning of the 2011 season. MLS represents the top tier of the American and Canadian soccer pyramids.
Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The first season took place in 1996 beginning with 10 teams. Seasons run from late March or early April to November, with teams playing 30 regular season games each. Eight teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs culminating in the championship game, MLS Cup.
The 2010 Major League Soccer season runs from March 25 through November 21. The 16 teams in the league are evenly divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences. Each team competes against every other team twice, home and away, for a total of 30 games. The team with the most total points at the end of the regular season is awarded the Supporters' Shield. Eight teams then proceed to the MLS Cup Playoffs ending with the MLS Cup championship final.
MLS has three automatic berths in the CONCACAF Champions League with extra berths possible via the U.S. Open Cup and the Canadian Championship. For the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League, qualifying teams are MLS Cup 2009 champion Real Salt Lake, Supporters' Shield winner the Columbus Crew, MLS Cup runner-up the Los Angeles Galaxy, and 2009 U.S. Open Cup winner Seattle Sounders FC.
MLS also has four berths in SuperLiga, a competition jointly organized by MLS and Mexico's national football governing body, the FMF. The top four overall teams from the 2009 season, excluding those participating in the Champions League, will compete in the 2010 SuperLiga—the Houston Dynamo, the Chicago Fire, Chivas USA, and the New England Revolution.
|MLS Supporters' Shield
|2009||Real Salt Lake||Columbus Crew|
|2008||Columbus Crew||Columbus Crew|
|2007||Houston Dynamo||D.C. United|
|2006||Houston Dynamo||D.C. United|
|2005||Los Angeles Galaxy||San Jose Earthquakes|
|2004||D.C. United||Columbus Crew|
|2003||San Jose Earthquakes||Chicago Fire|
|2002||Los Angeles Galaxy||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|2001||San Jose Earthquakes||Miami Fusion|
|2000||Kansas City Wizards||Kansas City Wizards|
|1999||D.C. United||D.C. United|
|1998||Chicago Fire||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|1997||D.C. United||D.C. United|
|1996||D.C. United||Tampa Bay Mutiny|
In 1996, Major League Soccer's original ten teams, the Columbus Crew, D.C. United, the New England Revolution, the NY/NJ MetroStars, the Tampa Bay Mutiny, the Colorado Rapids, the Dallas Burn, the Kansas City Wiz, the Los Angeles Galaxy and the San Jose Clash, began play. The early years of the league gave rise to the Bruce Arena-led dynasty of D.C. United, which won MLS Cups in three of the league's first four seasons. It took the expansion Chicago Fire in 1998 to end United's stranglehold on MLS Cup. Also joining the league in 1998 was the Miami Fusion.
After its first season, MLS suffered from a decline in attendance. The league's quality was cast into doubt when the U.S. men's national team, made up largely of MLS players, was eliminated in the first round of the 1998 World Cup and finished in last place.
The league began to market itself on the talents of American players, both experienced veterans and fresh talents. Breakout stars like DaMarcus Beasley and Landon Donovan began making names for themselves in MLS before breaking into and starring for the U.S. national team, while established players such as Brian McBride, Eddie Pope, and Clint Mathis continued to prove their value to both their MLS clubs and the U.S. national team.
The league's ongoing financial problems led to the departure of Commissioner Doug Logan after the end of the 1998 season. Don Garber, a former NFL International chief, was hired in his place and his leadership became instrumental to shoring up the league's future. Construction of soccer-specific stadiums for the league's teams, largely funded by financiers such as Lamar Hunt and Phil Anschutz, became a point of emphasis to bring fiscal health and ensure the league's survival. Hunt's Columbus Crew Stadium, built in 1999, is often cited as a league model.
On the field, the early wave of international players who had joined MLS at its inception drifted into retirement or moved on to clubs elsewhere in the world. The run-up to the 2002 World Cup saw a gradual shift in the league's philosophy toward the development of American talent, a move that would eventually lead to success for U.S. soccer.
Despite this movement, declining attendances forced MLS to stop the bleeding by contracting the two Florida franchises, the Tampa Bay Mutiny and the Miami Fusion, just a few years after their establishment. This left the league with 10 teams, the same number as when the league began. Also, the league has been reorganized back to the Western/Eastern conference basis.
The 2002 World Cup, in which the United States unexpectedly made the quarterfinals through wins against Portugal and Mexico, triggered a resurgence in American soccer and MLS. The MLS Cup 2002, held four months after the 2002 World Cup final, set an attendance record as a sellout crowd at Gillette Stadium saw the Los Angeles Galaxy win their first title.
MLS drew international attention in 2004 with the debut of 14-year-old Freddy Adu for D.C. United, who entered the league with much fanfare and was heralded as one of the top prospects in American soccer history.
MLS underwent a significant transition in the years leading up to the 2006 World Cup. After marketing itself on the talents of American players, the league saw some of its homegrown stars depart for more prominent leagues in Europe. Tim Howard, goalkeeper for the MetroStars, was sold to Manchester United in one of the most lucrative contract deals in league history. DaMarcus Beasley of the Chicago Fire left for PSV Eindhoven, while Landon Donovan, on loan from Bayer Leverkusen, was recalled to Germany. Donovan's stint in Germany was brief; before the start of the 2005 MLS season he was sold back to MLS to play for the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Many more American players, though they factored little in the U.S. national team picture, did make an impact in MLS. In 2005, Jason Kreis of expansion club Real Salt Lake became the first player to score at least 100 career MLS goals. In 2005, the now-defunct MLS Reserve Division was created, with each reserve squad playing 12 games, providing valuable playing time to develop non-starters on team rosters.
It was also in this era that MLS expanded for the first time since the contraction of 2001. Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA began play in 2005, with Chivas USA becoming the second club in Los Angeles, sharing The Home Depot Center with the Galaxy. Chivas USA also became the first team in MLS to be directly connected to a foreign club, their sister club of Guadalajara. By 2006 the San Jose Earthquakes moved to Texas, becoming the Houston Dynamo, after funding for stadium could not be found in San Jose. The Dynamo became an expansion team, leaving their history behind for a new San Jose ownership group that would materialize years later in 2008.
|Los Angeles Galaxy||2||2005||6|
|San Jose Earthquakes||2||2003||2|
|Kansas City Wizards||1||2000||2|
|Real Salt Lake||1||2009||1|
|New England Revolution||0||4|
|New York Red Bulls||0||1|
Since 2007, Major League Soccer's leadership has taken steps to further internationalize the league in an effort to raise the level of play. Among the first moves in this regard was the Designated Player Rule, which helped MLS bring international stars into the league, despite the relatively meager MLS salary cap, and the creation of the SuperLiga, which places top MLS clubs against top Mexican clubs in an effort to provide more meaningful competition for both leagues. MLS changed the rules regarding foreign players in the league to allow a total of 8. This period also saw expansion reach beyond the United States' borders into Canada, beginning with Toronto FC.
The 2007 season witnessed the MLS debut of David Beckham, whose signing had been seen as a coup for American soccer. Beckham's contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy was made possible by the Designated Player Rule. Players such as Cuauhtémoc Blanco of Club América signed for the Chicago Fire, and Juan Pablo Ángel, who moved from Aston Villa to the New York Red Bulls, are some of the first Designated Players who have made major contributions to their clubs.
The departures of Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore, coupled with the return of former U.S. national team stars Claudio Reyna and Brian McBride to New York and Chicago, respectively, highlight the exchange of top prospects to Europe for experienced veterans to MLS. Several other well-known foreign players have followed Beckham and Blanco to MLS, including Guillermo Barros Schelotto to Columbus and Freddie Ljungberg to Seattle.
By 2008 San Jose had returned to the league, and in 2009 the league expanded again to welcome in Seattle Sounders FC, opening to a crowd of 32,523 at Qwest Field. 2010 ushers in the expansion franchise Philadelphia Union, and two more expansion teams will be added in Vancouver and Portland in 2011.
Recently "expansion" and "rebranding" have become buzzwords for the league and its fans. The league has renewed its emphasis on improving the quality of play by its teams via initiatives such as the Designated Player Rule and the creation of a league-wide youth development system.
MLS operates under a single-entity structure in which teams are centrally controlled by the league. In order to keep costs under control, revenues are shared throughout the league, player contracts are negotiated by the league, and ultimately players are contracted not with individual teams but with the league itself. The league fought a bitter legal battle with its players over its economic system, but this was eventually resolved with the players gaining some improved benefits in return for accepting the single entity structure. A court had also ruled that even absent their collective bargaining agreement, players could opt to play in other leagues if they were unsatisfied.
The league's cost-controlling measures have attracted new ownership that have injected more money into the league, improving it and focusing the league's resources on fewer clubs. Examples include the Anschutz Entertainment Group's sale of the MetroStars to Red Bull, for an "excess of $100 million," according to the New York Times. Commissioner Garber said to the Los Angeles Times that, "the sale was part of a plan to have AEG decrease its holdings in MLS. We're pushing Hunt Sports to do the same thing."
Commissioner Garber has stated that having multiple clubs owned by a single owner was a necessity in the first 10 years of MLS, but now that the league appears to be on the brink of overall profitability and has significant expansion plans, he wants each club to have a distinct owner. In order to help bring this about, the league is now giving more incentive to be an individual club owner, with all owners now having 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 individual club jersey sponsorships.
At one time AEG owned six clubs in MLS, and have since sold the Colorado Rapids, the MetroStars, D.C. United and the Chicago Fire to new owners. AEG's remaining teams are the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. The other major owner-investor in MLS has been Hunt Sports, which owns the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas, having sold the Kansas City Wizards to a local ownership group in 2006. The league now has 16 owners for their 18 clubs (including the 2010 Philadelphia Union and the 2011 Vancouver and Portland teams).
The 2006-2007 MLS offseason has been considered by some to be the most productive in the history of the league, and there were a number of changes made to the league, which have brought about an increase in the league's ability to compete financially as well as on the field. The league announced a youth development initiative, which will require youth development programs for all of the league's teams. The hope is that by being able to sign up to two of its own youth players to the senior team each year that the league's teams will have an incentive to improve the quality of the league's talent in an organic way that will also benefit the league through transfer fees for outgoing players. Perhaps the first example of a success in "home-grown" talent development was New York's Jozy Altidore, who rose to prominence as one of the league's most skilled young strikers before fetching the league's record transfer fee in his move to Villarreal in 2008.
The league also announced "Game First", a series of initiatives aimed at improving the league in several ways. One of the most immediate changes is that U.S. Soccer hired the first full-time professional referees in league history. Another part of "Game First" was the creation of an official league anthem similar to other competitions from around the world. There are two versions of the MLS Anthem, an orchestral version that is performed before every regular season game and an orchestral chorus version with a chorus that is played before the MLS All-Star Game and MLS Cup.
Since 1999, the league has overseen the construction and completion of seven venues specifically designed for soccer. Lamar Hunt broke new ground in this endeavor by financing the construction of MLS's first soccer-specific stadium, Columbus Crew Stadium. The Los Angeles Galaxy followed four years later with the opening of The Home Depot Center in 2003. Chivas USA has shared this venue with the Galaxy since their expansion season in 2004. It also played host to two consecutive MLS Cups, until FC Dallas opened Pizza Hut Park in 2005 and hosted the next two championships. The Chicago Fire began playing their home games in Toyota Park in 2006. 2007 saw the opening of Dick's Sporting Goods Park for the Colorado Rapids and BMO Field for Toronto FC. Near the end of the 2008 season, Rio Tinto Stadium became the home of Real Salt Lake.
Other stadiums are currently under construction. Red Bull Arena, the new home of the New York Red Bulls, began construction in December 2007 with the goal of opening sometime in 2009, but construction delays have pushed back the opening until 2010. The Kansas City Wizards expect to move into their new stadium sometime in 2011. Philadelphia Union plans to call the new PPL Park home when they enter the league in 2010. In 2011, the Portland Timbers hopes to make its MLS debut in a newly renovated PGE Park.
Five remaining clubs play in stadiums not originally built for MLS. The New England Revolution and D.C. United play home games at NFL venues Gillette Stadium and RFK Stadium. New England and D.C. are actively seeking to build their own soccer stadiums.  Seattle Sounders FC play in a dual-purpose stadium, designed to be used for both American football and soccer. For Sounders matches, Qwest Field staff tarps off the upper bowl to provide a more intimate atmosphere. The Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes are in the planning stages for their own soccer venues replacing Robertson Stadium and Buck Shaw Stadium. In 2011 the Vancouver expansion team, after beginning play at the temporary Empire Fields stadium, will move into a refurbished BC Place, and will remain there until at least 2016, by which time the team hopes to complete construction on a planned waterfront soccer stadium. The Portland expansion team will play in PGE Park, which is currently being renovated to be soccer only.
At the outset, MLS signed deals for coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, while Univision, Galavision, and Telemundo broadcasted matches in Spanish. The original Univision deal lapsed after a few years, leaving only the ABC/ESPN family of networks as the league's national broadcasters. Fox Sports World (later renamed "Fox Soccer Channel" in 2005) and Fox Sports en Español began airing matches in 2003. The 2007 MLS season was the first season, however, for which television rights were sold to networks at a profit. Previously, MLS paid networks to broadcast its games. It is estimated MLS will receive about $30 million from TV revenue alone within the next eight years.
The league's MLS Direct Kick package, which broadcasts out-of-market matches, has been expanded to ensure that every league match is broadcast. Univision and its family of networks resumed MLS broadcasts in 2007 as well, with most matches airing on TeleFutura and Galavision on Sunday afternoons and evenings.
The 2007 season was the first in the league's history in which every regular season match was telecast live, and many games were shown on national television. ESPN's coverage now features a live match each week, usually in primetime, and Fox Soccer Channel's MLS Saturday added a pregame and postgame show wrapped around their featured matches.
Major League Soccer also offers streaming live video of some matches via its website.
Sports Business Journal reported on December 23, 2008 that MLS and Soccer United Marketing had signed an international television broadcast contract with sports media company MP & Silva through 2013. The figure is reportedly an "eight-figure deal" that covers the "rights to all MLS games, tournaments and events, including MLS regular season, MLS Cup Playoffs, MLS Cup, and the international competitions SuperLiga, InterLiga, and Pan-Pacific Championship." InterLiga is the only non-MLS competition included in the deal. MP & Silva CEO Carlo Pozzali boasted that high profile, international players who were lured to MLS by the designated player rule have raised the international awareness and potential for popularity of MLS in international markets.
MP & Silva's package generally does not include ESPN-televised matches. ESPN International purchased the rights to broadcast MLS in Great Britain and Ireland in 2009, and other ESPN networks around the world also broadcast games.
|Chicago Fire S.C.||Best Buy||$2.5M per year|
|Columbus Crew||Glidden||$1M per year|
|D.C. United||Volkswagen||$2.8M per year|
|Houston Dynamo||Amigo Energy||$1.9M per year|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||Herbalife||$4M-$5M per year|
|New York Red Bulls||Red Bull||$100M (includes club and stadium ownership)|
|Real Salt Lake||XanGo||$900K per year|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Amway Global||$2-$3M per year|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Xbox 360 Live||$4M per year|
|Toronto FC||BMO||$1M-$1.5M per year|
Major League Soccer lost more than $350 million between its founding and the year 2004, according to a report by BusinessWeek released that year. However, there are positive signs for profitability in the near future. As soccer-specific stadiums are built, ownership expands and television coverage increases, MLS has seen its revenues increase while minimizing costs. The 2003 season saw the Los Angeles Galaxy make a profit in their first season at The Home Depot Center, while FC Dallas turned a profit in similar fashion after moving into Pizza Hut Park in 2005.
Television coverage has consistently expanded throughout the league's history, as MLS brokered a deal with ESPN in 2006 for rights fees and a greater presence across its networks. The 2007 season saw the return of MLS to Univision and its Spanish-language networks. They joined Fox Soccer Channel and HDNet as the U.S. national outlets, and the league has mandated that every league game receive television coverage either nationally or locally in one or both teams' cities for broadcast on its Direct Kick package.
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 back of club jerseys, following the practice of international sport, specifically soccer. The league has established a floor of $500,000 per shirt sponsorship, with the league receiving a flat fee of $200,000 per deal. Online gambling and hard liquor sponsorships are prohibited. As of January 2009, eleven of the league's fifteen teams have signed sponsorship deals to have company logos placed on the front of their team jerseys.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber said on May 11, 2006 that he expects the league's clubs to be profitable by 2010 overall. He reported that FC Dallas and the Los Angeles Galaxy are already profitable, with several other clubs nearing profitability. A year later, he revealed that the Chicago Fire, the Colorado Rapids, and Toronto FC were on track for profitability by 2008. However in 2008 there were only three profitable MLS franchises; Los Angeles Galaxy, Toronto FC and FC Dallas .
Among them was the use of a countdown clock, rather than a standard progressive clock, with time paused for dead ball situations at a referee's discretion. Halves ended when the clock reached 0:00, rather than at the whistle of the referee as was customary elsewhere.
Also implemented was the use of shootouts to resolve tie games. These best-of-five contests placed a player 35 yards from goal with five seconds to put the ball past the opposing goalkeeper; if needed the shootout progressed into extra frames. A winning team received one standings point (as opposed to three for the regulation win).
While IFAB rules allow teams to substitute three players during games, MLS allowed a fourth, goalkeeper-only substitute. MLS discarded the rule after 2003 and adopted the IFAB standard, prompted in part by a match in which then MetroStars coach and current U.S. national team manager Bob Bradley used a loophole to insert an outfield player as a fourth substitute.
MLS eventually conceded that the rules changes, particularly the shootout, had alienated some traditional soccer fans while failing to draw new American sports fans as hoped. The shootout and countdown clock were eliminated after the 1999 season.
MLS continued to experiment with the settling of tie games in regular season play. In 2000, a 10-minute golden goal period replaced the shootout for tied games. It was abandoned after 2003. The golden-goal overtime remained through 2004 for playoff matches, where it had been used since the league's inception.
In 2005 the league adopted a playoff extra time structure that followed new IFAB standards for such situations: two full 15-minute periods, followed by penalty kicks if necessary. The away goals rule is not used in any playoff round.
Before its maiden season and inaugural draft, MLS allocated four marquee players across the initial ten teams. These inaugural allocations consisted of key U.S. national team and international players such as Eric Wynalda and Hugo Sánchez. By the 1998 season, the league added its first two expansion teams: the Miami Fusion and the Chicago Fire. The 2000 season saw the league divide into three conferences with teams in either the Eastern, Western, or Central Divisions.
However, following the 2001 season, Miami and the Tampa Bay Mutiny were disbanded and MLS returned to ten teams with two conferences. Since the 2004 season, the league has expanded with six new clubs: Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA in 2005, the Houston Dynamo in 2006, and Toronto FC in 2007. After relocating as an expansion team to Houston in 2006, the San Jose Earthquakes returned from hiatus in 2008. Seattle Sounders FC joined MLS for the 2009 season, and Philadelphia Union joined for the 2010 season.
As of 2010, MLS has had eighteen different clubs over the years, but only eight have won the MLS Cup. Of the league's fourteen seasons, only five have seen the Supporters' Shield winner become league champion.
For the 2010 season, teams are aligned as follows:
|Chicago Fire S.C.||Bridgeview, IL||Toyota Park||1997||1998||Carlos de los Cobos|
|Columbus Crew||Columbus, OH||Columbus Crew Stadium||1994||1996||Robert Warzycha|
|D.C. United||Washington, D.C.||RFK Stadium 1 2||1995||1996||Curt Onalfo|
|Kansas City Wizards||Kansas City, KS||CommunityAmerica Ballpark 1 2||1995||1996||Peter Vermes|
|New England Revolution||Foxborough, MA||Gillette Stadium 1||1995||1996||Steve Nicol|
|New York Red Bulls||Harrison, NJ||Red Bull Arena||1995||1996||Hans Backe|
|Philadelphia Union||Chester, PA||PPL Park||2008||2010||Piotr Nowak|
|Toronto FC||Toronto, ON||BMO Field||2006||2007||Preki|
|C.D. Chivas USA||Carson, CA||The Home Depot Center||2004||2005||Martin Vasquez|
|Colorado Rapids||Commerce City, CO||Dick's Sporting Goods Park||1995||1996||Gary Smith|
|FC Dallas||Frisco, TX||Pizza Hut Park||1996||1996||Schellas Hyndman|
|Houston Dynamo||Houston, TX||Robertson Stadium 1 2||2005||2006||Dominic Kinnear|
|Los Angeles Galaxy||Carson, CA||The Home Depot Center||1995||1996||Bruce Arena|
|Real Salt Lake||Sandy, UT||Rio Tinto Stadium||2004||2005||Jason Kreis|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Santa Clara, CA||Buck Shaw Stadium 2||1995||1996||Frank Yallop|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Seattle, WA||Qwest Field 1||2007||2009||Sigi Schmid|
|Portland Timbers||Portland, OR||PGE Park||2009||2011||TBA|
|Vancouver Whitecaps||Vancouver, BC||Empire Fields (start of 2011 season)4
BC Place Stadium (mid to late 2011)1 2
|Miami Fusion||Fort Lauderdale, FL||Lockhart Stadium||1997||1998||2001|
|Tampa Bay Mutiny||Tampa, FL||Houlihan's Stadium(from 1996-1998)
Raymond James Stadium (from 1999-2001)
MLS will expand to 16 teams in 2010 and 18 teams in 2011. The league has long-term plans to expand to 20 teams, possibly as soon as 2012. The Philadelphia Union club is in place for 2010 with Vancouver and Portland joining the following season. The Union will play in an 18,500-seat stadium  to be built just west of the Commodore Barry Bridge in Chester, Pennsylvania.
On March 18, 2009 a press conference announced that a new MLS team in Vancouver, Canada will replace the existing USL-1 club in that city, and that it would keep some form of the "Whitecaps" name. Vancouver will join the league in 2011. Because renovations to BC Place Stadium to replace the current fixed roof with a retractable roof and to include a soccer-specific configuration will not be complete until sometime during the 2011 season, the Vancouver team will start its first season at Empire Fields, a temporary stadium on the Pacific National Exhibition grounds in Vancouver. The team will move into BC Place upon project completion. However, the Vancouver ownership group is still hopeful that a new, completely soccer specific stadium will be approved for construction on the waterfront in downtown Vancouver. The franchise announced they would keep the Whitecaps name on November 25, 2009.
On March 20, 2009 a press conference announced that a new MLS team in Portland will replace the existing USL-1 club in that city, and would keep the Portland Timbers name. Portland will play in PGE Park, which will be renovated to be a soccer-specific stadium by the time the team joins the league in 2011.
Originally, in the style of other U.S. sports, teams were given nicknames at their creation such as the Columbus Crew, the San Jose Clash, or the Tampa Bay Mutiny. Two exceptions to this were D.C. United and Miami Fusion F.C., adopting naming conventions usually seen in European clubs. However, new teams such as Real Salt Lake and Toronto FC continued this trend along with the Dallas Burn renaming themselves FC Dallas. Some of the club names have their origins in defunct American professional soccer leagues like the NASL, such as the 70s-era San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders, and Portland Timbers.
C.D. Chivas USA is the only MLS team whose name does not specify a city, state, or region. The club is named for the Mexican team C.D. Guadalajara, who are often known by their nickname "Chivas," which translates to "Goats". The Mexican club, based in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Chivas USA share the same ownership. Though Real Salt Lake was not originally affiliated with Real Madrid, in 2006 the two clubs signed an agreement to play friendly matches every two years, and to co-sponsor a soccer academy and training facility in Utah. The beverage company Red Bull owns the New York Red Bulls as well as teams in other leagues and sports.
All teams in the league have independent supporters groups
Bold indicates active MLS players.
There are 10 awards given out by the Major League Soccer each year.
|Division 1 Soccer League in the United States
|Major League Soccer|
|Country||United States and Canada|
|Number of teams||18|
|Domestic cup|| U.S. Open Cup|
|Current champions|| Supporters Shield: LA Galaxy|
MLS Cup: Colorado Rapids (2010)
|Most successful club||DC United (4 Shield's and 4 Cup's)|
Major League Soccer is an American soccer league that started in 1996. There are sixteen teams in this league, with two more teams to be added in 2011. The commissioner of the league (the person in charge) is Don Garber.
|1996||DC United||Los Angeles Galaxy|
|1997||DC United||Colorado Rapids|
|1998||Chicago Fire||DC United|
|1999||DC 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||DC 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||Red Bull New York|
|2009||Real Salt Lake||Los Angeles Galaxy|