Major League Soccer in Orlando
Major League Soccer (MLS) is
the highest level of professional soccer in the United States and
Canada. The league is comprised of 19 teams, with none currently in the
southeastern United States. MLS is the 3rd most popular professional
sports league and has already eclipsed both the NBA and the NHL in terms
of average attendance at games, with approx. 19,000 fans per game.
Due to the rapid growth in soccer’s popularity, MLS has publically announced interest its intent to expand by two teams with New York City being awarded a franchise on May 21, 2013. Due to the success of the Orlando City Lions, Orlando is in strong contention to be awarded the next expansion team. MLS will only consider a city as expansion site if the team can play in a soccer-ready stadium. Cities including Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte and Minneapolis are currently interested in an expansion franchise. MLS is expected to make a decision about the final expansion team by the end of June 2013.