What Exactly is the MLS?
By Claire Miles - May 22, 2023

The Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league in the United States and Canada that began play in 1996. The league has 30 teams, with 20 from the United States and ten from Canada. The MLS is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) and operates under a unique salary cap system that limits teams’ spending on player salaries. The league’s regular season runs from March to October, followed by a seven-month playoff tournament culminating in the MLS Cup championship game. The regular season winner receives an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Champions League, which is considered one of the most prestigious club competitions in world soccer and includes clubs from many countries around the world.

The MLS was created because of dissatisfaction with the NFL’s failure to properly enforce rules governing what players could wear on their uniforms during games at times when they were not playing for their home teams: in particular, players could wear any color jersey or pants regardless of whether or not they were playing for the home team’s colors during those games. The MLS is made up of 20 teams: 16 teams compete in a regular season, with each team playing 34 games over a course of an entire year.

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The winners of these matches are awarded points depending on their performance throughout the season; each team gets another point if they win a match (1 point for a draw), or two points for winning two matches (3 points for winning three). The top eight teams then compete in playoffs over two legs, where they fight it out until one team wins all four games by scoring more goals than the other team(s). With each year that goes by the league continues to grow in popularity and size with new teams being added to the roster.