The Birth and Rise of Major League Soccer (MLS)

The Birth and Rise of Major League Soccer (MLS) - sportingbet

The Birth and Rise of Major League Soccer

Major League Soccer is the premier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and was established in 1996, inspired by the soccer zeal left in the wake of the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Since its inception, MLS has been a hotbed of thrilling soccer action, intense rivalries and with exposure growing the American football market. This led to a number of international stars joining their ranks—including David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Messi to name only a few.

The league’s first championship game (known as the MLS Cup) saw D.C. United from Washington D.C., clinched the first of their impressive tally of four championships, a record they share with the iconic Los Angeles Galaxy. Each season since has been punctuated with nail-biting finishes, providing bettors and fans alike with unforgettable soccer betting moments.

Now, let’s take a look at the history and some of the legends behind the league.

The Clubs and Format

In 2024, MLS's landscape comprises 29 clubs split into Eastern and Western Conferences, each engaging in 34 matches across a gripping regular season, 17 at home and 17 away. Points are awarded in the traditional format—three for a win, one for a draw, and none for a loss, fueling the competition for the top spots and subsequent playoff berths.

Eastern Conference:

Western Conference:

From Atlanta United  to Vancouver Whitecaps FC, these conferences are replete with clubs that bring intense action and tactical finesse to the field.

MLS Cup - sportingbet

The High Stakes of MLS Postseason

The regular season crescendos into an electrifying postseason, featuring the top seven teams from each conference who automatically qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series. Postseason also features the cutthroat MLS Cup Playoffs Wild Card match where the next two teams in each conference standings will qualify for a single-elimination.

The winners of each Wild Card game will earn a spot in the Round One Best-of-3 series. The postseason culminates with the The ultimate prize, MLS Cup, in December, and is hosted by the finalist with the superior regular-season record, making every match a do-or-die battle.

MLS Fun Facts and Game-Changing Features:

  • David Beckham’s landmark move to LA Galaxy in 2007 marked a seismic shift for MLS. With a $250 million agreement in hand, he left behemoth club Real Madrid, bringing Major League Soccer's status on the global stage.
  • LA Galaxy and D.C. United are the two clubs with the most MLS Cup titles to date, boasting 5 (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014) and 4 titles (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004), respectively. Columbus Crew is the MLS’ current and most recent champion, trailing closely behind with 3 titles (2008, 2020, 2023).
  • El Tráfico - The LA Derby is MLS’s very own El Clásico, where LA Galaxy and LAFC battle it out at the Rose Bowl. The very first LA Derby was played on Independence Day in 2023, which set an all-time MLS attendance record with 82,110 fans.
  • The Star-Studded MLS All-Star Game garners widespread attention, showcasing league talents against renowned international clubs or players. This marquee event is a testament to MLS's exciting blend of local talent and global appeal.

Top 10 MLS Goals 2023

Noteworthy MLS Players: Ranked

Lionel Messi - Inter Miami (Market Value: 30 Million Euros)

The 2023 season saw the phenom and eight-time Ballons d’Or winner Lionel Messi move to the United States. A move that instantly increased the average worth of Inter Miami by 14%, unfortunately, they fell short of clinching the 2023 title.

Cucho Hernández - Columbus Crew (Market Value: 13 Million Euros)

Cucho Hernández was signed in 2022 and confirmed his move from the Premier League’s Watford. The Colombian however, certainly proved his worth, slotting away 21 goals with 8 assists, massively aiding Crew in lifting the 2023 title.

Luciano Acosta - FC Cincinnati (Market Value: 8 Million Euros)

2023’s Landon Donovan MLS MVP, the biggest individual honour right now in Major League Soccer.

Luis Suarez - Inter Miami (Market Value: 4 Million Euros)

After already securing big signings like Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, Inter Miami secured yet another European legend.

Hany Mukhtar - Nashville SC (Market Value: 12 Million Euros)

This 28 year old, 2022 MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner is currently on a 5 season stint in the MLS and with Nashville SC.

Sergio Busquets (Inter Miami)

Previously a household name, hailing from Spain and for FC Barcelona and arguably one of, if not the best, defensive midfielder in the league.

MLS Betting at Sportingbet

As Major League Soccer continues to flourish, attracting global superstars and fostering homegrown talent, Sportingbet has cemented its place as the go-to platform in the world of MLS, competitive Price Boosts & odds, and fan-first focus, enhancing the overall betting experience.

Join us and immerse yourself in the spirit of American soccer, celebrate its achievements, and even make some winning predictions along the way.

Remember to always bet responsibly and savour every moment as you experience the skills and finesse of the beautiful game.