The History of Major League Soccer
As part of the deal between FIFA and the United States which allowed the 1994 World Cup tournament to be hosted by the U.S., Major League Soccer (MLS) was developed. Since the league started play in 1996, it has become a solid part of the American sporting landscape. MLS plays an instrumental role in the ongoing development of American professional soccer players.
Teams such as D.C. United, with four MLS Cups, and the Los Angeles Galaxy, with two MLS Cups, have also represented the United States well in international competitions. In 1998, D.C. United won the CONCACAF Champions Cup -- the regional club championship -- defeating Mexico's Toluca, 1-0. Also in that year, they were the last winners of the Interamerican Cup, a face-off between the North and South American club champions. The Galaxy were the first MLS team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions Cup final, losing to Mexico's Cruz Azul in 1997. Los Angeles later vindicated that loss with a 3-2 victory over Olimpia of Honduras in the 2000 final.
In 2007 MLS will go international, as they welcome Toronto FC, their first Canadian side and 13th overall team, to the fold. Also, with the implementation of the new "Designated Player Rule," teams will be able to go after recognizable international stars, which will add to the fan appeal of the game.