The History of the Major League Soccer (MLS)

The History of the Major League Soccer (MLS)

Soccer, or football as it is known in many parts of the world, has a long and storied history in the United States. While the sport has struggled to gain a foothold in the crowded landscape of American professional sports, the Major League Soccer (MLS) has emerged as the top professional league in the country, attracting top players and growing in popularity year after year. In this article, we will explore the history of the MLS and take a look at all of the teams that currently make up the league.

The Early Days of American Soccer

Soccer has been played in the United States since the late 1800s, but it wasn't until the 1960s and 70s that the sport began to gain wider popularity. The North American Soccer League (NASL) was founded in 1968 and featured teams from across the United States and Canada. The league enjoyed some success in the 1970s, but it eventually folded in 1984 due to financial difficulties.

The Birth of the MLS

In the early 1990s, soccer was once again on the rise in the United States. The success of the 1994 World Cup, which was held in the United States, sparked renewed interest in the sport and laid the groundwork for the creation of the MLS. The league was founded in 1993 and began play in 1996 with 10 teams.

How Many MLS Teams are there?

Currently, there are 27 teams in the MLS. The league is divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference, with each conference featuring seven teams.

When does the MLS Season Start?

The MLS season typically runs from March to November, with the top teams from each conference facing off in the MLS Cup playoffs to determine the champion.

MLS Teams, Locations, Stadiums, and Mascots

Below is a table listing all of the current MLS teams, their locations, stadium names, and mascots:

Team Location Stadium Name Mascot
Atlanta United FC Atlanta, GA Mercedes-Benz Stadium Stripes
Austin FC Austin, TX Q2 Stadium N/A
Chicago Fire FC Bridgeview, IL Soldier Field Sparky the Dragon
Colorado Rapids Commerce City, CO Dick's Sporting Goods Park Eddy the Eagle
Columbus Crew SC Columbus, OH Mapfre Stadium Crew Cat
D.C. United Washington, D.C. Audi Field Talon
FC Dallas Frisco, TX Toyota Stadium Tex Hoops
Houston Dynamo Houston, TX BBVA Stadium Dynamo Diesel
Inter Miami CF Fort Lauderdale, FL Inter Miami CF Stadium N/A
LA Galaxy Carson, CA Dignity Health Sports Park Cozmo
Los Angeles FC Los Angeles, CA Banc of California Stadium N/A
Minnesota United FC Saint Paul, MN Allianz Field PK the Loon
Nashville SC Nashville, TN Nissan Stadium N/A
New England Revolution Foxborough, MA Gillette Stadium Slyde
New York City FC New York, NY Yankee Stadium Clawed
New York Red Bulls Harrison, NJ Red Bull Arena Zola
Orlando City SC Orlando, FL Exploria Stadium Kingston
Philadelphia Union Chester, PA Subaru Park Phang
Portland Timbers Portland, OR Providence Park Timber Joey
Real Salt Lake Sandy, UT Rio Tinto Stadium Leo the Lion
San Jose Earthquakes San Jose, CA Earthquakes Stadium Q
Seattle Sounders FC Seattle, WA Lumen Field Blitz
Sporting Kansas City Kansas City, MO Children's Mercy Park Blue the Mascot
Toronto FC Toronto, ON BMO Field BMO
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Vancouver, BC BC Place Spike the Eagle


The MLS has come a long way since its inception in 1996, and today it is a thriving professional league with a devoted fan base. With teams located all across the United States and Canada, the MLS offers soccer fans the opportunity to cheer on their favorite club and experience the excitement of live professional soccer. Whether you are a seasoned fan or new to the beautiful game, the MLS has something for everyone.