The history of Major League Soccer dates back to 1996. The league was a “Wild West,” with a wild and chaotic schedule during its early years. Teams were organised by and for soccer fans and played in parking lots. The first season was a sellout, and the players and coaches were all unknown. However, the influx of fans led to a dramatic change in the sport. In 1996, the first MLS championship was held.
In 1993, Alan Rothenberg announced the formation of the league. In February 1995, the first teams were announced. The league began with ten teams but soon expanded to 12 as expansion continued. Though the league’s initial years were fraught with difficulties, its attendance and popularity have steadily grown. During its earliest years, the MLS was played in NFL stadiums. It was almost in danger of folding by 2002, but a strong team effort and a solid fan base were successful.
The first American soccer league was called the NASL. It brought international superstars to the United States and introduced the sport to the mainstream. However, the NASL dissolved in 1984, and the MLS was born. There were several changes in the rules for the league, including the introduction of a “shootout,” which placed a player 35 yards from goal with five seconds to put the ball through the opposing goalkeeper. The winning team received one point in the standings.
Despite the expansion, the league continued to refine its rules. The development was accompanied by the addition of a few international teams. In the United States, the league added the Los Angeles Galaxy, which became the first professional team in the country. In addition to these new teams, MLS expanded again in 2004 and 2007. The league added two more teams during the same period, including the Dallas Texans and the Chicago Fire.
MLS had several problems throughout the earlier years, including refereeing, rules, and economics. It was not until 2006 that MLS started expanding again. In 2005, Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA were added to the league. In addition, the league was the first to have foreign teams in the league. In addition, in 2010, the Montreal Impact became the 19th team in MLS and made its home debut in front of a crowd of 58,912. In 2013, the Houston Dynamo joined the new team, which failed to build a stadium in San Jose.
Major League Soccer saw famous soccer stars like David Beckham, Jermaine Jones, and Landon Donovan during its years of existence. In the United States, the league expanded to 22 teams in the North. After a decade, the popularity of MLS has risen dramatically, and today there are currently 28 teams in the league. It has become the most popular sport in the world.