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15 Facts About Major League Soccer

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Major League Soccer is a men's professional soccer league, sanctioned by U.S. Soccer, that represents the sport's highest level in both the United States and Canada.

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball.

HIGHLIGHTS: MLS All-Stars vs. Tottenham Hotspur | July 29, 2015 by Major League Soccer

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MLS constitutes one of the major professional sports leagues of the United States and Canada.

20 Years of Goals in Major League Soccer by Major League Soccer

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The league comprises 22 teamsβ€”19 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada.

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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 Supporters' Shield is an annual award given to the Major League Soccer team with the best regular season record, as determined by the MLS points system.

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The postseason includes twelve teams competing in the MLS Cup Playoffs through November and December, culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup.

2003 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2003rd year of the Common Era and Anno Domini designations, the 3rd year of the 3rd millennium, the 3rd year of the 21st century, and the 4th year of the 2000s decade.

The MLS Cup is the trophy awarded at the conclusion of the MLS Cup final, the post-season championship match of Major League Soccer, the top tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada.

The MLS Cup Playoffs is the postseason elimination tournament of Major League Soccer held at the end of the regular season en route to the MLS Cup, the playoff championship game.

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MLS teams also play in other domestic competitions against teams from other divisions in the U.S. Open Cup and in the Canadian Championship.

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MLS teams also compete against continental rivals in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football is the continental governing body for association football in North America, which includes Central America and the Caribbean region.

The CONCACAF Champions League is an annual continental football club competition organized by CONCACAF for the top football clubs in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

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Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' successful bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

The 1994 FIFA World Cup was the 15th FIFA World Cup, held in nine cities across the United States from 17 June to 17 July 1994.

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The first season took place in 1996 with ten teams.

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MLS experienced financial and operational struggles in its first few years: The league lost millions of dollars, teams played in mostly empty American football stadiums, and two teams folded in 2002.

American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada, and also known as gridiron, is a sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end.

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Since then, MLS has expanded to 22 teams, owners built soccer-specific stadiums, average MLS attendance exceeds that of the National Hockey League and National Basketball Association, MLS secured national TV contracts, and the league is now profitable.

Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada, to refer to a sports stadium either purpose-built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports.

The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league currently comprising 30 teams – 23 in the United States and 7 in Canada – with a 31st team in Las Vegas scheduled to begin play in the 2017–18 season.

The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America, and is widely considered to be the premier men's professional basketball league in the world.

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Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, MLS is a single entity in which each team is owned and controlled by the league's investors.

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The investor-operators control their teams as owners control teams in other leagues, and are commonly referred to as the team's owners.

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The league has a fixed membership, like most sports leagues in the United States and Canada, which makes it one of the world's few soccer leagues that does not use promotion and relegation, a practice that is uncommon in the two countries.

In sports leagues, promotion and relegation is a process where teams are transferred between two divisions based on their performance for the completed season.

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MLS headquarters is located in New York City.

The City of New York, often called New York City or simply New York, is the most populous city in the United States.

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