Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and began play in 1996 after the USA hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Originally represented by 10 teams, MLS has witnessed incredible growth, welcoming 11 new clubs to the league since 2015. Commissioner Don Garber has held his current role at MLS since 1999.
In 2023, 29 clubs compete in MLS play, including expansion team St. Louis CITY SC. Fifteen teams compete in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the Western Conference.
2023 MLS Season
The 2023 MLS regular season began on February 25, 2023 and will conclude on Decision Day, October 21. Each of the 29 MLS clubs will play 34 matches in the MLS regular season, 17 at home and 17 away.
The top nine teams from each conference will qualify for the 2023 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The 2023 MLS Cup presented by Audi will be played on December 9.
MLS is home to world-class stadiums and training facilities, having opened 11 new stadiums built for soccer in the past seven years, with more to come in San Diego, New York City, and Miami in the next few years.
MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
On February 1, Apple and Major League Soccer launched MLS Season Pass – an unprecedented subscription service available to fans in over 100 countries and regions featuring live broadcasts and replays of every match of the MLS regular season, Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs, and Leagues Cup – all in one place and with no blackouts.
All matches are available on billions of devices through the Apple TV app on Apple devices, smart TVs, streaming devices, set-top boxes, and game consoles, and the web at tv.apple.com. The launch of MLS Season Pass marked the official kickoff of the 10-year partnership between MLS and Apple, a historic first for a major professional sports league.
MLS is the Most Globally-Diverse Men’s Professional League in North America
With players from 81 countries across six continents represented on 2023 rosters, Major League Soccer features the most geographically diverse and youthful player pool of any men’s professional league across North America.
MLS is also the most globally-represented league among the top men’s soccer leagues around the world, including Italy’s Serie A (69 countries represented), the English Premier League (66), France’s Ligue 1 (63), Germany’s Bundesliga (61), and Spain’s La Liga (59).
Record-Setting 2022 FIFA World Cup Representation
Major League Soccer was represented by a league-record 37 players at the World Cup in Qatar – the most of any league in the Western Hemisphere and only eclipsed globally by the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 in overall number of players called in to the World Cup. Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada, the dynamic 22-year-old midfielder of Argentina, became the first active MLS player to be a member of the victorious World Cup squad.
Per a Forbes report in February 2023, MLS clubs were valued at an average of $579 million, an 85% increase since 2019 ($313 million). In 2023, LAFC became the first MLS team to be valued at $1 billion in just the club’s sixth season of play.