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Major League Soccer attendance increases with Seattle leading the way

The Seattle Sounders set an MLS attendance record this season as totals were up across the league.

Otto Greule Jr

The 2012 MLS attendance numbers were released on Thursday and once again the Seattle Sounders led the way. Seattle not only led the MLS in attendance, but it set a North American soccer record for attendance.

Seattle drew 733,441 fans this season, beating the previous North American soccer record of 717,840 set by the New York Cosmos in 1978. The Sounders averaged 43,144 fans per game this season and outdrew the next closest team by more than 330,000 fans. Seattle averaged more than 30,000 more fans per game than Chivas USA, which ranked last in the league in attendance. This is the third straight season Seattle has beat its previous attendance record.

While the Sounders set franchise and league records, attendance was up throughout the league. The 19 teams combined to average 18,807 fans per game, breaking the previous record by more than 1,000 fans per game. The MLS also surpassed the 6 million mark in total attendance for the first team in league history.

Only six MLS teams saw their attendance decline from last season.