LAFC becomes first MLS club valued at $1 billion

Defending MLS Cup champions Los Angeles Football Club became the first-ever Major League Soccer club to be valued at $1 billion on Wednesday when Forbes released its latest assessment of North American soccer teams. In 2019, the last time Forbes rated North American soccer teams, LAFC was valued at $475 million.

Bought in 2014 by a 22-person investment group led by Vietnamese-American businessman Henry Nguyen, LAFC quickly established themselves as an MLS powerhouse, making the playoffs in four of five seasons in which it has been a club. In 2022, he won the MLS Cup by beating the Philadelphia Union on penalties. Recently retired Welsh icon Gareth Bale scored a goal in the 128th minute of extra time to send the game to a penalty shootout.

In second place is LAFC’s neighbor, the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy have won more MLS Cups (5) than any team in the league. Here is the list of the 10 most popular North American soccer teams:

1. LAFC, $1 billion
2. LA Galaxy, $925 million
3. Atlanta United FC, $850 million
4. New York FC, $800 million
5. DC United, $700 million
6. Toronto FC, $690 million
7. Austin FC, $680 million
8. Seattle Sounders FC, $660 million
9. Portland Timbers, $650 million
10. Charlotte FC, $625 million

MLS has grown tremendously since its inception in 1993, but over the past four years the average MLS team valuation has soared 85%. Combine that with the league’s new partnership with Apple TV and the growing presence of international stars, and it looks like MLS is headed in the right direction.

The 2023 MLS regular season begins on February 25.

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