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The progress of the MLS


Major League Soccer has its 20th cup final this weekend.   It is therefore an appropriate time for a review of how it has developed over the last twenty years, providing the US and Canada with a successful professional soccer league.

The league has expanded to 24 teams and, with one exception, this expansion has been managed prudently and successfully.   Attendances stuck for a while at around the 14,500 mark, but are now into the twenty thousands.   According to Forbes an average franchise is now worth $147m.   There are also some excellent purpose built stadiums.

In Europe, of course, we expect a proper league to have promotion and relegation, but that doesn't fit with the American idea of sporting franchises.