History UsefulNotes / MajorLeagueSoccer

1st Feb '16 11:23:03 AM FF32
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* ''Philadelphia Union'' - An expansion team started in 2010 and is based in the riverside suburb of Chester with a stadium having a beautiful view of the nearby Commodore Barry Bridge. A ''lot'' of their culture is related to BenjaminFranklin and UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution — they have 13 stars on the crest, their name is a reference to the union of the Thirteen Colonies, they put a snake on the crest to reference Franklin's famous "Join or Die" political cartoon, their oldest and biggest supporters group is called the Sons of Ben...you get the idea. Prior to the Union's establishment in 2008, Philadelphia was the largest media market without a MLS franchise, holding this distinction for nearly a decade.
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* ''Philadelphia Union'' - An expansion team started in 2010 and is based in the riverside suburb of Chester with a stadium having a beautiful view of the nearby Commodore Barry Bridge. A ''lot'' of their culture is related to BenjaminFranklin Creator/BenjaminFranklin and UsefulNotes/TheAmericanRevolution — they have 13 stars on the crest, their name is a reference to the union of the Thirteen Colonies, they put a snake on the crest to reference Franklin's famous "Join or Die" political cartoon, their oldest and biggest supporters group is called the Sons of Ben...you get the idea. Prior to the Union's establishment in 2008, Philadelphia was the largest media market without a MLS franchise, holding this distinction for nearly a decade.
28th Jan '16 8:58:10 AM Gsueagle31049
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* ''New York City FC'' - One of two new teams for 2015. Unlike the Red Bulls or the NFL's Jets and Giants, they're trying to play in the Big Apple itself; until a stadium is built, Yankee Stadium in The Bronx will host their games, becoming the second club (after D.C.) to share its ground with a Major League Baseball club. (This is not by coincidence—the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams New York Yankees]] own a 20% stake in the team, with [[EnglishPremierLeague Manchester City]] owning the rest.) Home of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Frank Lampard.
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* ''New York City FC'' - One of the two new teams for 2015.2015 expansion teams, and the second team based in the New York metropolitan area. Unlike the Red Bulls or the NFL's Jets and Giants, they're trying to play in the Big Apple itself; until a stadium is built, Yankee Stadium in The Bronx will host their games, becoming the second club (after D.C.) to share its ground with a Major League Baseball club. (This is not by coincidence—the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams New York Yankees]] own a 20% stake in the team, with [[EnglishPremierLeague Manchester City]] owning the rest.) Home of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo, and Frank Lampard.

* ''Orlando City SC'' - The other new club for 2015, and the first club based in Florida and the Southeastern US since the contraction of the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion FC after the 2001 season. Their ascent comes at the tail end of a whirlwind grassroots rise as a third-division minor league team. The team is playing in the newly remodeled Citrus Bowl Stadium while their permanent home stadium is constructed near the Amway Center; the new stadium was expected to open by their second season, but has now been delayed to the last half of that season. Home of Brazilian Ballon d'Or winner (Ricardo) Kaká. Also one of four MLS clubs with a DistaffCounterpart in the National Women's Soccer League; they operate the Orlando Pride, new to the NWSL for 2016.[[note]]Several other NWSL teams are in MLS markets, but do not have formal relationships with MLS teams.[[/note]]
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* ''Orlando City SC'' - The other new club for 2015, and A 2015 expansion team, they are the first club based in Florida and the Southeastern US since the contraction of the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion FC after the 2001 season. Their ascent comes at the tail end of a whirlwind grassroots rise as a third-division minor league team. The team is playing in the newly remodeled Citrus Bowl Stadium while their permanent home stadium is constructed near the Amway Center; the new stadium was expected to open by the start of their second season, but has now been delayed to the last half of that season.2017. Home of Brazilian Ballon d'Or winner (Ricardo) Kaká. Also one of four MLS clubs with a DistaffCounterpart in the National Women's Soccer League; they operate the Orlando Pride, new to the NWSL for 2016.[[note]]Several other NWSL teams are in MLS markets, but do not have formal relationships with MLS teams.[[/note]]

* ''Colorado Rapids'' - one of the ten charter franchises of the MLS. Not exactly a decorated club, though they do have one MLS Cup to their name. Also notable for being the last team to put advertisements on their kit, finally doing so during the 2014 season. They are owned by Stan Kroenke, owner of the NFL's St. Louis Rams and majority shareholder of EnglishPremierLeague club Arsenal; his family also owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche.[[note]]Due to NFL rules, he was forced to transfer his interests in the Nuggets and Avs to a family trust after becoming sole owner of the Rams. His son Josh now has day-to-day control of those two teams.[[/note]]
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* ''Colorado Rapids'' - one of the ten charter franchises of the MLS. Not exactly a decorated club, though they do have one MLS Cup to their name. Also notable for being the last team to put advertisements on their kit, finally doing so during the 2014 season. They are owned by Stan Kroenke, owner of the NFL's St. Louis Los Angeles Rams and majority shareholder of EnglishPremierLeague club Arsenal; his family also owns the NBA's Denver Nuggets and NHL's Colorado Avalanche.[[note]]Due to NFL rules, he was forced to transfer his interests in the Nuggets and Avs to a family trust after becoming sole owner of the Rams. His son Josh now has day-to-day control of those two teams.[[/note]]

* ''CD Chivas USA'' - Before the 2014 season, it was under the same ownership as its then-parent club, the Mexican team Club Deportivo Guadalajara, whose nickname is "Chivas" (Spanish for goat). It was regarded by both Guadalajara and Chivas USA fans as the B-team of CD Guadalajara, making the former the only football club in the world with a reserves team playing in another country in another league. Controversially known in the 2013 season for their push to have a team of all Mexican and Mexican-American heritage, with two dismissed non-Latino youth coaches filing a discrimination lawsuit. Shortly before the 2014 season, the team was bought by MLS. ** After two seasons of abysmal numbers,[[note]]Hint: they were outdrawn by half the pro minor leagues of soccer[[/note]] the league decided to fold Chivas USA, and instead sold the franchise rights to an investor group led by venture capitalist Henry Nguyen. The replacement, Los Angeles FC, will start play either in 2017 or 2018. This new team will not carry over the records from Chivas, making that franchise effectively dead in MLS' eyes.
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* ''CD Chivas USA'' - MLS' first attempt at a second Los Angeles team. Before the 2014 season, it was under the same ownership as its then-parent club, the Mexican team Club Deportivo Guadalajara, whose nickname is "Chivas" (Spanish for goat). It was regarded by both Guadalajara and Chivas USA fans as the B-team of CD Guadalajara, making the former the only football club in the world with a reserves team playing in another country in another league. Controversially known in the 2013 season for their push to have a team of all Mexican and Mexican-American heritage, with two dismissed non-Latino youth coaches filing a discrimination lawsuit. Shortly before the 2014 season, the team was bought by MLS. ** MLS. After two seasons of abysmal numbers,[[note]]Hint: they were outdrawn by half the pro minor leagues of soccer[[/note]] the league decided to fold Chivas USA, and instead sold the franchise rights to an investor group led by venture capitalist Henry Nguyen. The replacement, Los Angeles FC, will start play either in 2017 or 2018. This new team will not carry over the records from Chivas, making that franchise effectively dead in MLS' eyes.

* ''Minnesota United FC'' is scheduled to enter the league either in 2017 or 2018. MN United will become the sixth MLS club to be promoted from a lower-division league. The club's ownership group includes current NASL franchise owner Bill [=McGuire=], Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Twins owner Jim Pohlad. This group beat out Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf, as MLS preferred MN United's outdoor soccer-specific stadium plan, as opposed to Wilf's intentions of hosting the team in U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings' new domed stadium currently under construction. MN United originally planned to build their new stadium near the Twins' home of Target Field; however, the team now plans to build the stadium in St. Paul after plans in Minneapolis stalled. If the league permits them, the team is considering playing the 2017 season either at Target Field or the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium while the St. Paul stadium is being built.
to:
* ''Minnesota United FC'' is scheduled to enter the league either in 2017 or 2018. MN United will become the sixth MLS club to be promoted from a lower-division league. The club's ownership group includes current NASL franchise owner Bill [=McGuire=], Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Twins owner Jim Pohlad. This group beat out Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf, as MLS preferred MN United's outdoor soccer-specific stadium plan, as opposed to Wilf's intentions of hosting the team in U.S. US Bank Stadium, the Vikings' new domed stadium currently under construction. MN United originally planned to build their new stadium near the Twins' home of Target Field; however, the team now plans to build the stadium in St. Paul after plans in Minneapolis stalled. If the league permits them, the team is considering playing the 2017 season either at Target Field or the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium while the St. Paul stadium is being built.
23rd Jan '16 5:09:46 PM Gsueagle31049
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'''Major League Soccer''' ('''MLS''') is the United States' and Canada's top-tier professional [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]] league. Its predecessor league, the North American Soccer League (NASL) went out of business in 1984. MLS was founded in 1993 as a condition FIFA imposed on the US Soccer Federation in exchange for allowing the United States to host the 1994 [[TheWorldCup World Cup]]. MLS operates more like the other North American professional sports leagues. Unlike almost every other Association Football league in the world, it currently does not have a relegation/promotion system.[[note]]Another league that has fixed membership is the A-League of Australia, also with a team from New Zealand.[[/note]] Each of the teams in the league are franchises granted by the league, as opposed to being completely individual entities like their European counterparts.[[note]]The A-League operates the same way.[[/note]] The league has been criticized by its European counterparts and FIFA for its spring-to-fall scheduling, conflicting with the FIFA calendar and major summer tournaments, especially the World Cup.[[note]]In MLS' defense, playing during the winter would be less than ideal for MLS clubs in Canada and the Northern US. Seriously, running around in shorts in February in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New England or even New York or Philly isn't just dumb, it would get one committed to a mental hospital. Plus, from a marketing stand point, it only has to compete against UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueBaseball and UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} in the US and the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague CFL]] in Canada for viewership during the summer, while moving to a FIFA-compatible fall-to-spring calendar would mean MLS would not only have to compete against the top soccer leagues abroad (e.g. England's [[Main/EnglishPremierLeague Premiership]], France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Mexico's Liga MX, Spain's La Liga, etc.; the closest exception is Brazil's Brasileiro Série A, which runs from May to November\December), it would also have domestic competition against the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] and NCAA [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball college football]] and basketball for viewership.[[/note]] MLS also relies on an American-style playoff format to determine its championship.[[note]]As does the A-League; Australian sports developed playoff systems on their own. Liga MX, the top league in Mexico, also determines its champions via playoffs, although it operates on a promotion/relegation system.[[/note]] It currently has 20 teams, 17 in the U.S. and three in Canada. The league will expand to 23 teams by 2018. MLS commissioner Don Garber stated that league intends to expand by 24 teams by 2020, with Miami currently holding the 24th slot; however, Garber stated that MLS may expand beyond 24 teams.
to:
'''Major League Soccer''' ('''MLS''') is the United States' and Canada's top-tier professional [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]] league. Its predecessor league, the North American Soccer League (NASL) went out of business in 1984. MLS was founded in 1993 as a condition FIFA imposed on the US Soccer Federation in exchange for allowing the United States to host the 1994 [[TheWorldCup World Cup]]. MLS operates more like the other North American professional sports leagues. Unlike almost every other Association Football league in the world, it currently does not have a relegation/promotion system.[[note]]Another league that has fixed membership is the A-League of Australia, also with a team from New Zealand.[[/note]] Each of the teams in the league are franchises granted by the league, as opposed to being completely individual entities like their European counterparts.[[note]]The A-League operates the same way.[[/note]] The league has been criticized by its European counterparts and FIFA for its spring-to-fall scheduling, conflicting with the FIFA calendar and major summer tournaments, especially the World Cup.[[note]]In MLS' defense, playing during the winter would be less than ideal for MLS clubs in Canada and the Northern US. Seriously, running around in shorts in February in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New England or even New York or Philly isn't just dumb, it would get one committed to a mental hospital. Plus, from a marketing stand point, it only has to compete against UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueBaseball and UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} in the US and the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague CFL]] in Canada for viewership during the summer, while moving to a FIFA-compatible fall-to-spring calendar would mean MLS would not only have to compete against the top soccer leagues abroad (e.g. England's [[Main/EnglishPremierLeague Premiership]], France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Mexico's Liga MX, Spain's La Liga, etc.; the closest exception is Brazil's Brasileiro Série A, which runs from May to November\December), it would also have domestic competition against the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] and NCAA [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball college football]] and basketball for viewership.[[/note]] MLS also relies on an American-style playoff format to determine its championship.[[note]]As does the A-League; Australian sports developed playoff systems on their own. Liga MX, the top league in Mexico, also determines its champions via playoffs, although it operates on a promotion/relegation system.[[/note]] It currently has 20 teams, 17 in the U.S. and three in Canada. The league will expand to at least 23 teams by 2018. Miami is currently planned as the league's 24th team; however, MLS commissioner Don Garber stated that league intends to expand by 24 teams by 2020, with Miami currently holding the 24th slot; however, Garber stated that MLS may expand beyond 24 teams. to 28 teams sometime after 2020.

* ''Minnesota United FC'' is scheduled to enter the league in 2018. MN United will become the sixth MLS club to be promoted from a lower-division league. The club's ownership group includes current NASL franchise owner Bill [=McGuire=], Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Twins owner Jim Pohlad. This group beat out Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf, as MLS preferred MN United's outdoor soccer-specific stadium plan, as opposed to Wilf's intentions of hosting the team in U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings' new domed stadium currently under construction. MN United originally planned to build their new stadium near the Twins' home of Target Field; however, the team now plans to build the stadium in St. Paul after plans in Minneapolis stalled. Several other cities (Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Las Vegas) are also seriously vying for expansion slots, especially if one of the above mentioned planned expansions fall through or if[=/=]when the league decides to expand beyond 24 clubs.
to:
* ''Minnesota United FC'' is scheduled to enter the league either in 2017 or 2018. MN United will become the sixth MLS club to be promoted from a lower-division league. The club's ownership group includes current NASL franchise owner Bill [=McGuire=], Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, and Twins owner Jim Pohlad. This group beat out Vikings' owner Zygi Wilf, as MLS preferred MN United's outdoor soccer-specific stadium plan, as opposed to Wilf's intentions of hosting the team in U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings' new domed stadium currently under construction. MN United originally planned to build their new stadium near the Twins' home of Target Field; however, the team now plans to build the stadium in St. Paul after plans in Minneapolis stalled. stalled. If the league permits them, the team is considering playing the 2017 season either at Target Field or the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium while the St. Paul stadium is being built. Several other cities (Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis, and Las Vegas) are also seriously vying for expansion slots, especially if one of the above mentioned planned expansions fall through or if[=/=]when when the league decides to expand beyond 24 clubs.
10th Jan '16 5:49:02 PM phoenix
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'''Major League Soccer''' ('''MLS''') is the United States' and Canada's top-tier professional [[TheBeautifulGame soccer]] league. Its predecessor league, the North American Soccer League (NASL) went out of business in 1984. MLS was founded in 1993 as a condition FIFA imposed on the US Soccer Federation in exchange for allowing the United States to host the 1994 [[TheWorldCup World Cup]]. MLS operates more like the other North American professional sports leagues. Unlike almost every other Association Football league in the world, it currently does not have a relegation/promotion system.[[note]]Another league that has fixed membership is the A-League of Australia, also with a team from New Zealand.[[/note]] Each of the teams in the league are franchises granted by the league, as opposed to being completely individual entities like their European counterparts.[[note]]The A-League operates the same way.[[/note]] The league has been criticized by its European counterparts and FIFA for its spring-to-fall scheduling, conflicting with the FIFA calendar and major summer tournaments, especially the World Cup.[[note]]In MLS' defense, playing during the winter would be less than ideal for MLS clubs in Canada and the Northern US. Seriously, running around in shorts in February in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New England or even New York or Philly isn't just dumb, it would get one committed to a mental hospital. Plus, from a marketing stand point, it only has to compete against UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueBaseball and UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} in the US and the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague CFL]] in Canada for viewership during the summer, while moving to a FIFA-compatible fall-to-spring calendar would mean MLS would not only have to compete against the top soccer leagues abroad (e.g. England's [[Main/EnglishPremierLeague Premiership]], France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Mexico's Liga MX, Spain's La Liga, etc.; the closest exception is Brazil's Brasileiro Série A, which runs from May to November\December), it would also have domestic competition against the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] and NCAA [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball college football]] and basketball for viewership.[[/note]] MLS also relies on an American-style playoff format to determine its championship.[[note]]As does the A-League; Australian sports developed playoff systems on their own. Liga MX, the top league in Mexico, also determines its champions via playoffs, although it operates on a promotion/relegation system.[[/note]] It currently has 20 teams, 17 in the U.S. and three in Canada. The league will expand to 23 teams by 2018. MLS commissioner Don Garber stated that league intends to expand by 24 teams by 2020, with Miami currently holding the 24th slot; however, Garber stated that MLS may expand beyond 24 teams.
to:
'''Major League Soccer''' ('''MLS''') is the United States' and Canada's top-tier professional [[TheBeautifulGame [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]] league. Its predecessor league, the North American Soccer League (NASL) went out of business in 1984. MLS was founded in 1993 as a condition FIFA imposed on the US Soccer Federation in exchange for allowing the United States to host the 1994 [[TheWorldCup World Cup]]. MLS operates more like the other North American professional sports leagues. Unlike almost every other Association Football league in the world, it currently does not have a relegation/promotion system.[[note]]Another league that has fixed membership is the A-League of Australia, also with a team from New Zealand.[[/note]] Each of the teams in the league are franchises granted by the league, as opposed to being completely individual entities like their European counterparts.[[note]]The A-League operates the same way.[[/note]] The league has been criticized by its European counterparts and FIFA for its spring-to-fall scheduling, conflicting with the FIFA calendar and major summer tournaments, especially the World Cup.[[note]]In MLS' defense, playing during the winter would be less than ideal for MLS clubs in Canada and the Northern US. Seriously, running around in shorts in February in Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, New England or even New York or Philly isn't just dumb, it would get one committed to a mental hospital. Plus, from a marketing stand point, it only has to compete against UsefulNotes/MajorLeagueBaseball and UsefulNotes/{{NASCAR}} in the US and the [[UsefulNotes/CanadianFootballLeague CFL]] in Canada for viewership during the summer, while moving to a FIFA-compatible fall-to-spring calendar would mean MLS would not only have to compete against the top soccer leagues abroad (e.g. England's [[Main/EnglishPremierLeague Premiership]], France's Ligue 1, Germany's Bundesliga, Italy's Serie A, Mexico's Liga MX, Spain's La Liga, etc.; the closest exception is Brazil's Brasileiro Série A, which runs from May to November\December), it would also have domestic competition against the [[UsefulNotes/NationalFootballLeague NFL]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation NBA]], [[UsefulNotes/NationalHockeyLeague NHL]] and NCAA [[UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball college football]] and basketball for viewership.[[/note]] MLS also relies on an American-style playoff format to determine its championship.[[note]]As does the A-League; Australian sports developed playoff systems on their own. Liga MX, the top league in Mexico, also determines its champions via playoffs, although it operates on a promotion/relegation system.[[/note]] It currently has 20 teams, 17 in the U.S. and three in Canada. The league will expand to 23 teams by 2018. MLS commissioner Don Garber stated that league intends to expand by 24 teams by 2020, with Miami currently holding the 24th slot; however, Garber stated that MLS may expand beyond 24 teams.

The MLS is generally looked down upon by European fans/fans of European teams, who look at it as the place that over the hill European players go to get one final paycheck after they can't cut the mustard in Europe. The lack of relegation/promotion, the Eastern/Western Conference league structure[[note]]in England, the Conference is the division directly below the four professional leagues, and the division below that is divided into the Northern and Southern Conference, the teams of which are invariably staffed by part-timers. In other words, two 'Conference' leagues carries implications that the teams aren't even good enough to be fully professional.[[/note]], and the use of a postseason playoff rather than the Supporters' Shield to determine the league's champion doesn't help. However, like the US national team, it is beginning to, slowly, get respect, with European players like Steven Gerrard ([[TheCaptain talismanic captain]] of [[UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague Liverpool FC, second most successful club in English history]], [[TheAce considered by his peers to be the best player in his position on the planet in his prime]] and winner of just about every trophy short of the Premier League itself - and he was one slip away from winning that, too) the most recent acquisition of LA Galaxy, firmly insisting that he hadn't come to just see his career out and wanted to win trophies. On top of that, players that go to play in the MLS are often still in demand in Europe, with AC Milan and Paris St. Germain, two of the biggest clubs in Europe, taking David Beckham on loan in the MLS off-season, Frank Lampard forming a key part of Manchester City's team after New York City FC loaned him back and Landon Donovan having several highly successful stints at Everton FC, a well-regarded English club which is the long term home of US goalkeeper Tim 'Secretary of Defence' Howard, and becoming a fan favourite. Now, the US is seen as the sleeping giant of the football, thanks to increasing awareness of the game thanks to television coverage of UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague, which has the advantage of a similar culture/appealing to America's rampant Anglophilia, and a sprinkling of US players, the growing success of the national team (now regarded as a disciplined second tier team that can be a real threat to traditional power houses England, Germany and the Netherlands) a growing Hispanic population which is football mad and as a result, many of the big [[ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount (and rich)]] European teams regularly come on tour to the US, some, like Manchester City, forging links with MLS clubs (meaning that in time, we're likely to see talented young players from Europe being blooded in the MLS) while other teams set up academies to pick up talented players. [[note]] In doing so, possibly tapping into a vein of talent that traditional American sports don't, since American football in particular often prioritises size, speed and power. Soccer on the other hand, is much more flexible: while one or all of those things helps, if you're technically skilled enough, like Spain legend Xavi, mercurial Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and David Beckham in his later years, you don't need any of them. Though goalkeepers, centre-backs and centre-forwards ('target men', meant to provide an aerial threat from crosses and to knock long balls down for onrushing team mates) are expected to be tall (and sometimes not even then: Jorge Campos, Mexico goalkeeper at two World Cups, including US '94, was only 5'6'', and World Cup winning Italy Captain Fabio Cannavaro, regarded as one of the best centre-backs of all time, was only 5'9''), short players are often successful. Lionel Messi for instance, 7 time La Liga winner, 4 time [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] winner, 3 time Copa Del Rey winner (the Spanish domestic cup competition), unprecedented 4 time winner of the Ballon D'Or (awarded to the best player in the world, voted for by national team captains and coaches) at the age of 28 - so still in his prime - and widely considered to be the best player not just of his time but ''in all of history'', had growth hormone deficiency as a child and even after treatment, is only 5'7''.[[/note]] In short, for the MLS and UsefulNotes/TheBeautifulGame in the United States as a whole, the future looks bright.
to:
The MLS is generally looked down upon by European fans/fans of European teams, who look at it as the place that over the hill European players go to get one final paycheck after they can't cut the mustard in Europe. The lack of relegation/promotion, the Eastern/Western Conference league structure[[note]]in England, the Conference is the division directly below the four professional leagues, and the division below that is divided into the Northern and Southern Conference, the teams of which are invariably staffed by part-timers. In other words, two 'Conference' leagues carries implications that the teams aren't even good enough to be fully professional.[[/note]], and the use of a postseason playoff rather than the Supporters' Shield to determine the league's champion doesn't help. However, like the US national team, it is beginning to, slowly, get respect, with European players like Steven Gerrard ([[TheCaptain talismanic captain]] of [[UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague Liverpool FC, second most successful club in English history]], [[TheAce considered by his peers to be the best player in his position on the planet in his prime]] and winner of just about every trophy short of the Premier League itself - and he was one slip away from winning that, too) the most recent acquisition of LA Galaxy, firmly insisting that he hadn't come to just see his career out and wanted to win trophies. On top of that, players that go to play in the MLS are often still in demand in Europe, with AC Milan and Paris St. Germain, two of the biggest clubs in Europe, taking David Beckham on loan in the MLS off-season, Frank Lampard forming a key part of Manchester City's team after New York City FC loaned him back and Landon Donovan having several highly successful stints at Everton FC, a well-regarded English club which is the long term home of US goalkeeper Tim 'Secretary of Defence' Howard, and becoming a fan favourite. Now, the US is seen as the sleeping giant of the football, thanks to increasing awareness of the game thanks to television coverage of UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague, which has the advantage of a similar culture/appealing to America's rampant Anglophilia, and a sprinkling of US players, the growing success of the national team (now regarded as a disciplined second tier team that can be a real threat to traditional power houses England, Germany and the Netherlands) a growing Hispanic population which is football mad and as a result, many of the big [[ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount (and rich)]] European teams regularly come on tour to the US, some, like Manchester City, forging links with MLS clubs (meaning that in time, we're likely to see talented young players from Europe being blooded in the MLS) while other teams set up academies to pick up talented players. [[note]] In doing so, possibly tapping into a vein of talent that traditional American sports don't, since American football in particular often prioritises size, speed and power. Soccer on the other hand, is much more flexible: while one or all of those things helps, if you're technically skilled enough, like Spain legend Xavi, mercurial Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and David Beckham in his later years, you don't need any of them. Though goalkeepers, centre-backs and centre-forwards ('target men', meant to provide an aerial threat from crosses and to knock long balls down for onrushing team mates) are expected to be tall (and sometimes not even then: Jorge Campos, Mexico goalkeeper at two World Cups, including US '94, was only 5'6'', and World Cup winning Italy Captain Fabio Cannavaro, regarded as one of the best centre-backs of all time, was only 5'9''), short players are often successful. Lionel Messi for instance, 7 time La Liga winner, 4 time [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] winner, 3 time Copa Del Rey winner (the Spanish domestic cup competition), unprecedented 4 time winner of the Ballon D'Or (awarded to the best player in the world, voted for by national team captains and coaches) at the age of 28 - so still in his prime - and widely considered to be the best player not just of his time but ''in all of history'', had growth hormone deficiency as a child and even after treatment, is only 5'7''.[[/note]] In short, for the MLS and UsefulNotes/TheBeautifulGame UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball in the United States as a whole, the future looks bright.
10th Jan '16 3:29:01 PM Gsueagle31049
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In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, currently awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth United States berth is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the one Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]]. The MLS is generally looked down upon by European fans/fans of European teams, who look at it as the place that over the hill European players go to get one final paycheck after they can't cut the mustard in Europe. The lack of relegation/promotion and the Eastern/Western Conference league structure doesn't help. [[note]]in England, the Conference is the division directly below the four professional leagues, and the division below that is divided into the Northern and Southern Conference, the teams of which are invariably staffed by part-timers. In other words, two 'Conference' leagues carries implications that the teams aren't even good enough to be fully professional.[[/note]] However, like the US national team, it is beginning to, slowly, get respect, with European players like Steven Gerrard ([[TheCaptain talismanic captain]] of [[UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague Liverpool FC, second most successful club in English history]], [[TheAce considered by his peers to be the best player in his position on the planet in his prime]] and winner of just about every trophy short of the Premier League itself - and he was one slip away from winning that, too) the most recent acquisition of LA Galaxy, firmly insisting that he hadn't come to just see his career out and wanted to win trophies. On top of that, players that go to play in the MLS are often still in demand in Europe, with AC Milan and Paris St. Germain, two of the biggest clubs in Europe, taking David Beckham on loan in the MLS off-season, Frank Lampard forming a key part of Manchester City's team after New York City FC loaned him back and Landon Donovan having several highly successful stints at Everton FC, a well-regarded English club which is the long term home of US goalkeeper Tim 'Secretary of Defence' Howard, and becoming a fan favourite. Now, the US is seen as the sleeping giant of the football, thanks to increasing awareness of the game thanks to television coverage of UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague, which has the advantage of a similar culture/appealing to America's rampant Anglophilia, and a sprinkling of US players, the growing success of the national team (now regarded as a disciplined second tier team that can be a real threat to traditional power houses England, Germany and the Netherlands) a growing Hispanic population which is football mad and as a result, many of the big [[ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount (and rich)]] European teams regularly come on tour to the US, some, like Manchester City, forging links with MLS clubs (meaning that in time, we're likely to see talented young players from Europe being blooded in the MLS) while other teams set up academies to pick up talented players. [[note]] In doing so, possibly tapping into a vein of talent that traditional American sports don't, since American football in particular often prioritises size, speed and power. Soccer on the other hand, is much more flexible: while one or all of those things helps, if you're technically skilled enough, like Spain legend Xavi, mercurial Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and David Beckham in his later years, you don't need any of them. Though goalkeepers, centre-backs and centre-forwards ('target men', meant to provide an aerial threat from crosses and to knock long balls down for onrushing team mates) are expected to be tall (and sometimes not even then: Jorge Campos, Mexico goalkeeper at two World Cups, including US '94, was only 5'6'', and World Cup winning Italy Captain Fabio Cannavaro, regarded as one of the best centre-backs of all time, was only 5'9''), short players are often successful. Lionel Messi for instance, 7 time La Liga winner, 4 time [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] winner, 3 time Copa Del Rey winner (the Spanish domestic cup competition), unprecedented 4 time winner of the Ballon D'Or (awarded to the best player in the world, voted for by national team captains and coaches) at the age of 28 - so still in his prime - and widely considered to be the best player not just of his time but ''in all of history'', had growth hormone deficiency as a child and even after treatment, is only 5'7''.[[/note]] In short, for the MLS and UsefulNotes/TheBeautifulGame in the United States as a whole, the future looks bright.
to:
In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, currently awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth United States berth is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation.Federation[[note]]However, starting in 2016, any lower division team majority-owned by a higher division team is ineligible[[/note]]. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the one Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]]. The MLS is generally looked down upon by European fans/fans of European teams, who look at it as the place that over the hill European players go to get one final paycheck after they can't cut the mustard in Europe. The lack of relegation/promotion and relegation/promotion, the Eastern/Western Conference league structure doesn't help. [[note]]in structure[[note]]in England, the Conference is the division directly below the four professional leagues, and the division below that is divided into the Northern and Southern Conference, the teams of which are invariably staffed by part-timers. In other words, two 'Conference' leagues carries implications that the teams aren't even good enough to be fully professional.[[/note]] [[/note]], and the use of a postseason playoff rather than the Supporters' Shield to determine the league's champion doesn't help. However, like the US national team, it is beginning to, slowly, get respect, with European players like Steven Gerrard ([[TheCaptain talismanic captain]] of [[UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague Liverpool FC, second most successful club in English history]], [[TheAce considered by his peers to be the best player in his position on the planet in his prime]] and winner of just about every trophy short of the Premier League itself - and he was one slip away from winning that, too) the most recent acquisition of LA Galaxy, firmly insisting that he hadn't come to just see his career out and wanted to win trophies. On top of that, players that go to play in the MLS are often still in demand in Europe, with AC Milan and Paris St. Germain, two of the biggest clubs in Europe, taking David Beckham on loan in the MLS off-season, Frank Lampard forming a key part of Manchester City's team after New York City FC loaned him back and Landon Donovan having several highly successful stints at Everton FC, a well-regarded English club which is the long term home of US goalkeeper Tim 'Secretary of Defence' Howard, and becoming a fan favourite. Now, the US is seen as the sleeping giant of the football, thanks to increasing awareness of the game thanks to television coverage of UsefulNotes/EnglishPremierLeague, which has the advantage of a similar culture/appealing to America's rampant Anglophilia, and a sprinkling of US players, the growing success of the national team (now regarded as a disciplined second tier team that can be a real threat to traditional power houses England, Germany and the Netherlands) a growing Hispanic population which is football mad and as a result, many of the big [[ArbitrarilyLargeBankAccount (and rich)]] European teams regularly come on tour to the US, some, like Manchester City, forging links with MLS clubs (meaning that in time, we're likely to see talented young players from Europe being blooded in the MLS) while other teams set up academies to pick up talented players. [[note]] In doing so, possibly tapping into a vein of talent that traditional American sports don't, since American football in particular often prioritises size, speed and power. Soccer on the other hand, is much more flexible: while one or all of those things helps, if you're technically skilled enough, like Spain legend Xavi, mercurial Argentine playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme and David Beckham in his later years, you don't need any of them. Though goalkeepers, centre-backs and centre-forwards ('target men', meant to provide an aerial threat from crosses and to knock long balls down for onrushing team mates) are expected to be tall (and sometimes not even then: Jorge Campos, Mexico goalkeeper at two World Cups, including US '94, was only 5'6'', and World Cup winning Italy Captain Fabio Cannavaro, regarded as one of the best centre-backs of all time, was only 5'9''), short players are often successful. Lionel Messi for instance, 7 time La Liga winner, 4 time [[UsefulNotes/UEFAChampionsLeague Champions League]] winner, 3 time Copa Del Rey winner (the Spanish domestic cup competition), unprecedented 4 time winner of the Ballon D'Or (awarded to the best player in the world, voted for by national team captains and coaches) at the age of 28 - so still in his prime - and widely considered to be the best player not just of his time but ''in all of history'', had growth hormone deficiency as a child and even after treatment, is only 5'7''.[[/note]] In short, for the MLS and UsefulNotes/TheBeautifulGame in the United States as a whole, the future looks bright.
8th Jan '16 4:23:18 PM Gsueagle31049
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Will Ferrell was announced as a minority owner in LAFC.
* ''Los Angeles FC'' has been announced as an expansion team separate from CD Chivas USA, which folded after the 2014 season. The ownership group is led by Harry Nguyen and includes names like Vincent Tan, [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation Magic Johnson]] and Mia Hamm. The team currently plans to build its new stadium on the site of the LA Memorial Sports Arena; however, this delayed their entry into the league to 2018.
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* ''Los Angeles FC'' has been announced as an expansion team separate from CD Chivas USA, which folded after the 2014 season. The ownership group is led by Harry Nguyen and includes names like Vincent Tan, [[UsefulNotes/NationalBasketballAssociation Magic Johnson]] Johnson]], Mia Hamm, and Mia Hamm.Creator/WillFerrell. The team currently plans to build its new stadium on the site of the LA Memorial Sports Arena; however, this delayed their entry into the league to 2018.
25th Dec '15 6:24:58 PM Benne
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* ''Portland Timbers'' - The current MLS Cup champions. Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase and hosted the 2014 All-Star game. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
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* ''Portland Timbers'' - The current MLS Cup champions. Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase and fanbase, hosted the 2014 All-Star game.game and won their first MLS Cup in 2015. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
10th Dec '15 9:40:27 AM Gsueagle31049
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In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, currently awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth and final US slot is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation[[note]]MLS clubs have won the US Open Cup in all but one year of the league's existence; the lone exception was in 1999 by the then-second division Rochester Rhinos[[/note]]. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the one Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]].
to:
In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, currently awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth and final US slot United States berth is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation[[note]]MLS clubs have won the US Open Cup in all but one year of the league's existence; the lone exception was in 1999 by the then-second division Rochester Rhinos[[/note]].Federation. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the one Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]].

* ''Portland Timbers'' - The current MLS cup champions. Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase and hosted the 2014 All-Star game. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
to:
* ''Portland Timbers'' - The current MLS cup Cup champions. Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase and hosted the 2014 All-Star game. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
6th Dec '15 4:21:13 PM mlsmithca
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Don't use ampersands instead of the word "and". It looks lazy. It looks especially sloppy if the "and" is the first word after a comma.
In all but a few cases, teams play at 18,000 to 30,000 seat soccer-specific stadiums which are less expensive to construct and maintain, can also be used to host rock concerts and high school and college football games, and look much better packed with fans than in the early years of the league, when the majority of teams played in NFL and large NCAA stadiums which are downright cavernous for soccer. The New England Revolution and D.C. United still play in that type of venue, along with Seattle Sounders FC; in the latter case ticket demand is enough to justify it.[[note]] The stadium choices for the Revolution and the Sounders were not coincidental—both are owned either in full or part by NFL team owners. The Revolution are owned by Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots; the Sounders are part-owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks.[[/note]] The Vancouver Whitecaps FC share BC Place with the CFL's BC Lions, using a mechanized curtain system to close off the upper deck, and are the only current team to play in a retractable roof stadium. 2015 expansion clubs Orlando City SC and New York City FC are playing in the Citrus Bowl Stadium and Yankee Stadium, respectively, on an interim basis while they await construction of their own stadiums.
to:
In all but a few cases, teams play at 18,000 to 30,000 seat soccer-specific stadiums which are less expensive to construct and maintain, can also be used to host rock concerts and high school and college football games, and look much better packed with fans than in the early years of the league, when the majority of teams played in NFL and large NCAA stadiums which are downright cavernous for soccer. The New England Revolution and D.C. United still play in that type of venue, along with Seattle Sounders FC; in the latter case ticket demand is enough to justify it.[[note]] The stadium choices for the Revolution and the Sounders were not coincidental—both coincidental - both are owned either in full or part by NFL team owners. The Revolution are owned by Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots; the Sounders are part-owned by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks.[[/note]] The Vancouver Whitecaps FC share BC Place with the CFL's BC Lions, using a mechanized curtain system to close off the upper deck, and are the only current team to play in a retractable roof stadium. 2015 expansion clubs Orlando City SC and New York City FC are playing in the Citrus Bowl Stadium and Yankee Stadium, respectively, on an interim basis while they await construction of their own stadiums.

* ''New York City FC'' - One of two new teams for 2015. Unlike the Red Bulls or the NFL's Jets and Giants, they're trying to play in the Big Apple itself; until a stadium is built, Yankee Stadium in The Bronx will host their games, becoming the second club (after D.C.) to share its ground with a Major League Baseball club. (This is not by coincidence—the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams New York Yankees]] own a 20% stake in the team, with [[EnglishPremierLeague Manchester City]] owning the rest.) Home of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo & Frank Lampard.
to:
* ''New York City FC'' - One of two new teams for 2015. Unlike the Red Bulls or the NFL's Jets and Giants, they're trying to play in the Big Apple itself; until a stadium is built, Yankee Stadium in The Bronx will host their games, becoming the second club (after D.C.) to share its ground with a Major League Baseball club. (This is not by coincidence—the [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams New York Yankees]] own a 20% stake in the team, with [[EnglishPremierLeague Manchester City]] owning the rest.) Home of David Villa, Andrea Pirlo & Pirlo, and Frank Lampard.

Several other cities (Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis, & Las Vegas) are also seriously vying for expansion slots, especially if one of the above mentioned planned expansions fall through or if[=/=]when the league decides to expand beyond 24 clubs.
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Several other cities (Sacramento, San Antonio, St. Louis, & and Las Vegas) are also seriously vying for expansion slots, especially if one of the above mentioned planned expansions fall through or if[=/=]when the league decides to expand beyond 24 clubs.
6th Dec '15 4:04:56 PM Gsueagle31049
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Portland won the 2015 MLS Cup.
The league is divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences. A regular MLS Season is played in a modified double round robin format, with all 20 teams playing 34 regular-season games[[note]]Currently, a team plays against all 9 teams in their own conference at least twice with 6 additional intra-conference matches, and all 10 teams in the opposing conference once[[/note]], running from early March to late October. The standings are determined by the standard FIFA point system, with a win equal to 3 points, a draw with 1 point, and none for a loss. At the end of the regular season, the team with most points wins the Supporter's Shield trophy, and gains the top overall seed in the playoffs. The top 6 teams in each conference qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. The First Round in each conference consist of two one-game knockout matches, with the 4th seed hosting the 5th seed and the 3rd seed hosting the 6th seed, with extra time and penalty kicks if necessary. The winners of the knockout matches advance to the Conference Semifinals, and teams are reseeded with the lower remaining seed playing against the 1st seed and the higher remaining seed playing against the 2nd seed. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are two games each, with the team garnering higher aggregate goals advancing to the next round. In the case of a tie at the end of the second leg, the away goals rule will be applied first (a new feature for the 2014 season). In other words, the team that scored more goals away from home will advance. If the teams are tied on both total goals and away goals, extra time is played. If the teams are still tied, penalty kicks are used; the away goals rule ''is not'' applied for goals scored during extra time. The winners of the Conference Finals advance to the MLS Cup, a single match that is hosted by the team which finished higher in the Supporters' Shield standings. Again, in case of a tie at full time, extra time is used, with penalty kicks if necessary. From the league's inception until the 2011 season, the MLS Cup championship was held in a predetermined site, similar to the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl. In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth and final US slot is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation[[note]]MLS clubs have won the US Open Cup in all but one year of the league's existence; the lone exception was in 1999 by the then-second division Rochester Rhinos[[/note]]. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the lone Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]].
to:
The league is divided into the Eastern and Western Conferences. A regular MLS Season is played in a modified double round robin format, with all 20 teams playing 34 regular-season games[[note]]Currently, a team plays against all 9 teams in their own conference at least twice with 6 additional intra-conference matches, and all 10 teams in the opposing conference once[[/note]], running from early March to late October. The standings are determined by the standard FIFA point system, with a win equal to 3 points, a draw with 1 point, and none for a loss. At the end of the regular season, the team with most points wins the Supporter's Supporters' Shield trophy, and gains the top overall seed in the playoffs. The top 6 teams in each conference qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. The First Round in each conference consist of two one-game knockout matches, with the 4th seed hosting the 5th seed and the 3rd seed hosting the 6th seed, with extra time and penalty kicks if necessary. The winners of the knockout matches advance to the Conference Semifinals, and teams are reseeded with the lower remaining seed playing against the 1st seed and the higher remaining seed playing against the 2nd seed. The Conference Semifinals and Conference Finals are two games each, with the team garnering higher aggregate goals advancing to the next round. In the case of a tie at the end of the second leg, the away goals rule will be applied first (a new feature for the 2014 season). In other words, the team that scored more goals away from home will advance. If the teams are tied on both total goals and away goals, extra time is played. If the teams are still tied, penalty kicks are used; the away goals rule ''is not'' applied for goals scored during extra time. The winners of the Conference Finals advance to the MLS Cup, a single match that is hosted by the team which finished higher in the Supporters' Shield standings. Again, in case of a tie at full time, extra time is used, with penalty kicks if necessary. necessary. From the league's inception until the 2011 season, the MLS Cup championship was held in a predetermined site, similar to the UsefulNotes/SuperBowl. In continental competition, three to five MLS clubs participate in the CONCACAF[[note]]Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football[[/note]] Champions League. The United States is given four berths in the tournament while Canada is given one berth. Three of the United States berths are allocated through MLS, currently awarded to the MLS Cup champion and the two regular season conference champions. The fourth and final US slot is awarded to the winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, which is also contested by lower division professional teams (currently the second division NASL and the third division USL) and men's amateur teams sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation[[note]]MLS clubs have won the US Open Cup in all but one year of the league's existence; the lone exception was in 1999 by the then-second division Rochester Rhinos[[/note]]. If a US-based team earns qualification by more than one method or if a Canadian team holds any MLS-allocated berth, then the berth(s) are given to the highest ranked US-based team(s) in the Supporters' Shield standings who otherwise failed to qualify. For the lone one Canadian berth, the three Canadian MLS teams play in the Canadian Championship against the two Canadian teams in the NASL[[note]]Currently FC Edmonton and Ottawa Fury FC[[/note]].

* ''LA Galaxy'' - Five times and current MLS Cup champions (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), their most recent Cup broke a tie with D.C. United for most decorated team. Made big news in 2007 by signing David Beckham. Current team of Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard, and also home to Landon Donovan for the final 10 years of his career[[note]]with three short-term loan stints at European clubs in that time[[/note]]. * ''Portland Timbers'' - Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase (even if the closest they got to a title was the semifinals in 2013) and hosted the 2014 All-Star game. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
to:
* ''LA Galaxy'' - Five times and current time MLS Cup champions (2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014), their most recent Cup broke a tie with D.C. United for most decorated team. Made big news in 2007 by signing David Beckham. Current team of Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard, and also home to Landon Donovan for the final 10 years of his career[[note]]with three short-term loan stints at European clubs in that time[[/note]]. * ''Portland Timbers'' - The current MLS cup champions. Joined the league in 2011, replacing the United Soccer Leagues team of the same name. Has found quite a fanbase (even if the closest they got to a title was the semifinals in 2013) and hosted the 2014 All-Star game. Still another MLS team with an official DistaffCounterpart, namely Portland Thorns FC.
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