Now in its 13th season, Major League Soccer (MLS) has become an established and respected professional league in North, Central America and the Caribbean. FIFA.com asks you, the users, just how much of a difference you think the teenage top flight has made on the American soccer scene and beyond.
Expanded to 14 teams from the original ten of the inaugural season in 1996, MLS plans to have two more more clubs in Seattle and Philadelphia by 2010. In 2007, the league opened its first franchise in Canada and MLS sides have regularly reached the later rounds of the CONCACAF Champions Cup in recent years after DC United won the regional showpiece in 1998 during the capital club's glory days.
With modest objectives and low attendances early on, MLS now attracts some of the biggest names in the Americas and beyond and draws increasingly greater numbers of fans. The presence of David Beckham, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Marcello Gallardo argue the expansion of Major League Soccer has brought the game in the States to a new level in 2008.
The vast majority of the current USA national team play, or have played, in Major League Soccer. Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Clint Dempsey and Freddy Adu are just a few examples. A similar trend exists in Canada with Dwayne De Rosario of Houston Dynamo captaining the Canucks as they head into 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa ™ qualifying in June.
Whether you are a fan of MLS or not, FIFA.com asks you this question: how much of an impact has the league had in America, Canada and even farther afield in its 13-year lifespan?
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