Major League Soccer, the professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, includes a total of 28 teams, of which 25 are located in the U.S. and three in Canada. The league’s inaugural season in its current format was played in 1996, and the first championship game was between LA Galaxy and D.C. United. D.C. United won the MLS Cup ’96, defeating LA Galaxy 3-2 in overtime, making D.C. United the first MLS champion. The LA Galaxy is one of the league’s most prestigious teams. Besides having one of the highest revenue among all MLS franchises, the LA Galaxy is the only team which has won five MLS Cup trophies. The LA-based team is also the team with the third highest franchise value as of 2021, behind Atlanta United and Los Angeles FC. The Seattle Sounders and New York City FC round out the top five in the league in terms of franchise value.
Both Major League Soccer's attendance and viewership have increased since 2008. Atlanta United FC games were attended by an average of 43.96 thousand spectators in 2021, which is the highest average per game attendance in the league. Other teams with a high average attendance include the Seattle Sounders, FC Cincinnati and the Portland Timbers.
Americans are more interested in soccer than ever. In 2020, soccer team uniforms wholesale sales dropped significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, to 117.4 million U.S. dollars, generated from the sales of soccer team uniforms in the U.S. The same pattern can be observed with the sales of soccer equipment in the country, which have consistently risen since 2008. This increasing interest in soccer is also apparent in the sport’s popularity amongst amateur players. The number of participants in U.S. high school soccer increased from about 782 thousand in the 2012/13 season to over 853 thousand in the 2018/19 season.
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In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 36 most important statistics relating to "Major League Soccer".