Major League Soccer (MLS) is a professional soccer league representing the sport's highest level in the United States and Canada. Sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (U.S. Soccer), the league is composed of 19 teams 16 in the U.S. and 3 in Canada. Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. Instead of operating as an association of independently owned teams, MLS is a single entity where each team is owned and controlled by the league's investors. The league's closed membership makes it one of the world's few soccer leagues not using promotion and relegation. The first season took place in 1996 beginning with ten teams. Seasons presently run from March to December, with each team playing 34 games in the regular season. Ten teams compete in the postseason MLS Cup Playoffs culminating in the championship game, the MLS Cup.