The MLS (Major League Soccer) is the premier football league in the United States and Canada.
The competition began in 1996 and there are 34 games played in a season, which runs from March to October each year.
The league consists of 19 teams (U.S.A. 16 and Canada 3) and falls under the CONCACAF authority.
Each season the teams play for the Supporters Shield, awarded to the team with the best home and away record, the MLS Cup, which is decided in a postseason playoff, and the right to participate in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The most Supporters’ Shields won by a side is 4 (won by D.C. United & LA Galaxy), while the most MLS Cups won by a side is also 4 (once again, D.C. United & LA Galaxy).
Well known players to have played in the MLS include David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill, Rafael Marquez and Landon Donovan.
Recently the owners of Manchester City have announced the establishment of their own MLS club, New York City FC, and have signed English international Frank Lampard and Spanish international David Villa take part, while another new club, Orlando City SC, has already signed Brazilian international Kaka to play for them in 2005.
Ex-English international David Beckham has been making MLS news recently with his attempt to form a team playing out of Miami, Florida. It remains to be seen whether this team will eventuate and what part Beckham will play in it.
The USA’s recent admirable performance in the 2014 World Cup has also helped garner interest in the MLS. Finishing second in a tough group consisting of Germany, Ghana and Portugal, the national team went on to play in the Round of 16, losing out there to Belgium 2-1.
With 21 current or soon to be MLS players taking part in the 2014 World Cup, Major League Soccer is a competition on the rise.
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