Tonight sees the return of Major League Soccer or the MLS. I’ve always been a fan of the MLS for two reasons. Firstly as the games are played in the US, you can watch some live football in the UK later in the evening at weekends. We all know weekends are made for sport so now the whole weekend is covered. Secondly, defending in the MLS isn’t always the standard we’ve come accustomed to in the UK and this leads to some high scoring and entertaining games. So if you don’t know your Revolution from your Union, or your Whitecap from your Sounder then this is the guide for you.

The MLS is currently made up of 23 teams, 20 from the US and 3 from Canada. Each team play 34 regular season games and the team with the best regular season record are awarded the Supporters’ Shield. At the conclusion of the regular season 12 teams battle it out for the MLS Cup in the post season playoffs. Much like the NFL teams are split into 2 conferences, Eastern and Western and will play 23 games from your conference and 11 from the other. The popularity of the MLS really caught on outside the US when in 2007 the ‘Designated Player Rule’ was adopted which allowed teams to sign players above their salary cap. This allowed teams to compete for players in international markets and the first player signed was none other than David Beckham to LA Galaxy. Many big names have since followed Beckham to the US as they can have one last big pay day in their twilight years. It’s a win win all round for the league, players and the fans.

So who do you support? If you are yet to pick a team to follow then like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter where you will find our MLS team selector. If you’re lucky enough to pick a team in the Eastern Conference then read on, if your team is in the Western Conference you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for part 2 of this article. We’ll start with current MLS Cup holders Toronto FC.

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Toronto FC

Nickname – The Reds

Founded – 2005

Stadium – BMO Field

Honours – MLS Cup 2017; Supporters’ Shield 2017;

Notable players past or present – Jozy Altidore

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Atlanta United FC

Nickname – The Five Stripes

Founded – 2014

Stadium – Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Notable players past or present – Kenwyne Jones

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Chicago Fire

Nickname – Men in Red

Founded – 1997

Stadium – Toyota Park

Honours – MLS Cup 1998; Supporters’ Shield 2003;

Notable players past or present – Bastian Schweinsteiger

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Columbus Crew SC

Nickname – The Black and Gold

Founded – 1994

Stadium – Mapfre Stadium

Honours – MLS Cup 2008; Supporters’ Shield 2004, 2008, 2009;

Notable players past or present – Federico Higuain

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D.C. United

Nickname – The Black and Red

Founded – 1994

Stadium – Audi Field

Honours – MLS Cup 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004; Supporters’ Shield 1997, 1999, 2006, 2007;

Notable players past or present – Jaime Moreno

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Montreal Impact

Founded – 2010

Stadium – Saputo Stadium

Notable players past or present – Didier Drogba

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New England Revolution

Nickname – Revs

Founded – 1994

Stadium – Gillette Stadium

Notable players past or present – Taylor Twellman

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New York City FC

Nickname – The Pigeons, The Bronx Blues, The Blues, The Boys in Blue

Founded – 2013

Stadium – Yankee Stadium

Notable players past or present – Frank Lampard, David Villa, Andrea Pirlo

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New York Red Bulls

Nickname – The Metros

Founded – 1994

Stadium – Red Bull Arena

Honours – Supporters’ Shield 2013, 2015;

Notable players past or present – Thierry Henry

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Orlando City SC

Nickname – The Lions

Founded – 2013

Stadium – Orlando City Stadium

Notable players past or present – Kaka

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Philadelphia Union

Nickname – The U

Founded – 2008

Stadium – Talen Energy Stadium

Notable players past or present – Sebastien Le Toux

One Reply to “Your guide to the MLS, part 1”

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