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The Saga of the Major Leagues: An Unorthodox Rags to Riches

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

America has always been the "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave" — an anthem that has been proclaimed at every sports game this country has had since World War I. With that, this country has had to have sports that reflected their strength, innovation, and unyielding constitution.

We, as American sports fans, have had a blessed life: the New York Yankees; the "Miracle on Ice"; and, most importantly, Michael Jordan in Space Jam. And although we have had our ups-and-downs — my adult molars were coming in when I watched Dale Earnhardt's car amassed in smoke — this country rallies when it comes to sports.

David Ortiz and Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman. Photo Credit: Adam Glanzman

The Major Leagues

Major League Soccer, sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation, is comprised of 26 teams in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. With our northern brethren (as well as our southern brethren) present, MLS was founded in 1993 as part of the successful bidding of the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

After the inauguration, the MLS began to lose millions and even lost two teams. But thanks to that 'good ole' American ingenuity, the MLS grew up with the implementation of the Beckham Rule.

2007, LA Galaxy at Giants Stadium. Photo Credit: Adam Serrano/LA Galaxy

With new rules allowing elasticity to club cap spaces, the MLS allowed for more players like Cuauhtémoc Blanco and Juan Pablo Ángel to elevate the status quo. So the MLS now sits at one of the highest viewed sports in the United States and Canada.

Since then, soccer fans have seen the rise of ten more teams -- and the fall of a few -- with more to come. MLS has also dipped back into the community with MLS Next, an academy designed for ages from the under-13 to under-19 brackets.

Twenty years later, we're here.

Major League Soccer.

29 teams in the United States and Canada, able to attract audiences around the county and the world.

From borrowing American football fields to the construction of CityPark: St. Louis City SC's beautiful stadium (with enough seating for almost 25,000).

Lionel Messi, one of the greatest of all time, arriving to Inter Miami later this month.

To all the Americans, have a safe and happy Independence Day. Worldwide, and at home, it's a good time to be a soccer fan. We are on the precipice of something great.


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