At first you might think the professional soccer league in the United States, the MLS, doesn't have teams from Canada in it. But there's actually three: Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. And Toronto was just in the final of the MLS Cup and Montreal was in the semi-final. Both now top teams that will certainly be considered potential winners of the 2017 MLS Cup final.
Plus, all three Canadian teams were in the top ten for fan attendance during the season. Toronto was in fourth place with an average of 26,583 fans per game and a season total of 451,917. The Vancouver Whitecaps were in sixth place with an average of 22,330 fans per game and a season total of 379,603 for the year. And the Montreal Impact had an average of 20,669 fans per game with a season total of 351,366. Just look at the passion of the Toronto FC supporters in this video for proof that Canadians love soccer and their team:
Soccer (or football as it is known across most of the globe) is the world’s most popular sport and it has grabbed a significant amount of popularity in North America. Major League Soccer has grown in popularity and stature since stating play in 1996 becoming the preeminent league in both Canada and the United States. Soccer fans with a more international interest in “the most important thing in the world” also follow the leading leagues in Europe as well as the premier international tournaments.
And top United States soccer players like Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley have all played for top teams in Europe and then returned to play in the MLS. With both Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore of course playing for Toronto FC.
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Undoubtedly, soccer is the world’s most popular sport and increasingly a presence in North American and Canada. And surely there will be another MLS team in Canada in the future, perhaps in Calgary, Ottawa or Edmonton.
Even if you can’t tell your Pele’s from your Neymar's, soccer wagering can prove profitable. Each league and sportsbook offers unique player perks so choosing one can be as simple as matching your style of play to options offered on the “Beautiful Game”.
Major League Soccer has doubled from its original ten teams in just over twenty years with plans for future expansion in the season’s to come. If the predictability that comes from all the big spending in Europe has you looking for new avenues to cure your soccer fever, or if you just don’t want to get up early to watch their games, get in on the MLS action every March to November.
Despite some marquee players signing on to play in New York, LA, Toronto and other big cities, Major League Soccer remains a highly competitive league where parity and competitive balance are on full display.
Montreal and Toronto raise their game when they face each other as is the case when Vancouver locks horns with Seattle and Portland. Rivals are also keen to get one up on the big spenders at NYC and the LA Galaxy.
Add to the mix the North American-style playoffs and the mix of results they throw up on the road to the MLS Cup at season’s end and there’s no shortage of soccer drama this side of the Atlantic.
In the future, I'm sure the MLS would love to have not just teams in Canada but a few teams in Mexico as well, so it's a fully North American soccer professional soccer team.