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Most eyes in Europe are turned towards the upcoming Champions League games or the race for the titles, but across the Atlantic in the USA, the MLS has made the news again with David Beckham’s plans for a new team grabbing some headlines. This listening report is a shortened version of the regular weekly podcast. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above and you can read the transcript below with key vocabulary explained at the bottom of the post
Major League Soccer in Numbers
Recently, David Beckham, former star of Manchester United, Real Madrid, AC Milan, PSG and LA Galaxy, has been in the news again. The ex-midfielder is set to start his own football team based in Florida, USA, with plans to join the American professional league, Major League Soccer, some time in the near future. What better time, then, to take a look at this thriving league, which often gets overshadowed by the European Leagues.
So here are some quick facts about this league in numbers.
19 – The number of teams that will compete next season. The MLS started in 1996 with 10 teams after the USA was awarded the 1994 World Cup by FIFA.
2 – There are two conferences – The Eastern and The Western. The Eastern has 10 teams and the Western the remaining 9. The top teams from each conference battle it out in the MLS Cup competition – the winner of this cup is considered the season’s champions.
4 – LA Galaxy and D.C. United have both won the MLS Cup four times – a record in the MLS
10 – The number of teams that compete in the MLS Cup competition – the top five from each division.
134 – The all-time leading goals scorers Landon Donovan, LA Galaxy, and Jeff Cunningham, Columbus Crew, have scored 134 goals.
11- The number of ‘Rivals Cups’. These are cups contested between local rivals, usually two, and awarded to the team with the better season record. They are an attempt to create derbies and rivalries to generate interest by giving bragging rights to the winner’s fans.
44.030 – The Seattle Sounders have the highest attendance average of any MLS team for the fifth year running – a figure similar to Liverpool in the Premier League. However, the average across the league is 18,000, which is more like averages in the second tier in England.
21 – Plans to expand the MLS with the addition of two more teams, one in Orlando and the other in New York, have already been announced. The expansion will take place in 2015.
The MLS continues to go from strength to strength and with David Beckham’s plans for a new team, I think we will see increased attendances and of course a 22 team league.
thriving: grwoing, healthy, doing well
battle it out: compete, play against each other in a tournement
bragging rights: A winning team’s fans can celebbrate and boast that their team is better – this is called bragging rights
attendance: the number of fans that go to watch the games