Major League Soccer (MLS) - Statistics & Facts

Major League Soccer, the professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, includes a total of 20 teams, of which 17 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 ranked high in terms of value, placing behind only the Seattle Sounders. Houston Dynamo, Portland Timbers and Toronto Timbers are amongst some of the most valuable teams in the league.

Both Major League Soccer's attendance and viewership have increased since 2008. In the spring of 2015, the number of people who attended a Major League Soccer game amounted to 3.09 million within a period of 12 months. Seattle Sounders games were attended by an average of 44 thousand spectators in 2015, which is the highest average per game attendance in the league. Other teams with a high average attendance include Orlando City, New York City FC, Toronto FC and LA Galaxy. The number of people who watched a MLS event on broadcast TV reached the highest figure to date in the spring of 2015, when over 11 million people stated watching at least one MLS event within a period of 12 months.

Americans are more interested in soccer than ever. As of spring 2015, nearly seven million Americans reported to be avid fans of the league, and 2.84 million people have visited the official website of the league within the last month. In 2015, soccer team uniforms wholesale sales also reached the highest figure since 2007. Just over 135 million U.S. dollars were 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 nearly 810 thousand in the 2014/15 season.

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