Major League Soccer (MLS) is a North American professional association football league. The league serves as the top level professional league in the United States and Canada. The league began play in 1996 and it is scheduled to have 30 franchises by the 2023 playing season. Several broadcasters that carry NHL games also carry MLS games with some NHL announcers also announcing MLS games. The league is considered on of the Big Six sports leagues in North America along with Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, Canadian Football League.