Major League Soccer

MLS attendance up, TV ratings lag

Graphic shows MLS attendance in comparison to other leagues and average TV viewers

NEW YORK (AP) Major League Soccer's attendance is up and fan interest is booming, even if television broadcasts are far less popular and some young Americans would rather play in Europe.

MLS averaged 22,000 in attendance for the first time in its history this season, ranked among the top seven leagues in the world. The league is set to add a second Los Angeles franchise next year, announce two expansion cities next month and at some point finalize David Beckham's long-pending Miami club.

But viewers averaged under 300,000 for nationally televised regular-season matches, fewer than the average for a New York Yankees game on their regional sports network. Several top young Americans, such as Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, have chosen to forego the MLS to play in Germany and test their mettle in a more demanding environment.

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