Major League Soccer (MLS) will complete its 23rd season on the 8th of December 2018 when the MLS Cup Final is held. The competition is currently in the semi-final stage with Atlanta United FC, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City all still standing in the competition.
For those unfamiliar with the MLS, the competition design is somewhat different to European soccer leagues. For one the top domestic prize is referred to as a "cup". This is effectively akin to winning the league, but mirrors that of other popular US sports in that there is a regular season, followed by the playoffs. The upside of this approach is that teams finishing as low as 6th in either conference (split east/west) can be crowned winners of the MLS Cup.
This approach has similarities in Europe. The Champions League can be won by finishing as low as 4th in one's domestic league, and second in the qualifying group. The Championship Playoffs in English League Football involve teams placed 3-6 (or 4-7 in League 2) battling it out for promotion. Rugby league's Super League is the closest competition design I can think of in a European context to mirror the soccer in the United States.
Whether you are for or against this competition design, one cannot but marvel at the opportunity for franchises to succeed. Atlanta United are in just their second season of the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer, yet "The Five Stripes" are within touching distance of a place in the MLS Cup Final. Only New York Red Bulls stand in their way.
The closed system that is MLS, and most of US sport, somewhat facilities this. Maybe this is the reason why the 23 franchises in the league this year will become 24 once FC Cincinnati join in 2019, and 26 by 2020 once Inter Miami and Nashville join the league. And their chances of success are much higher than in top European leagues. The figure below presents data on the number of league winners in each league since the first MLS season in 1996, and the number of league wins accumulated by the most successful club.
On the other hand, in a closed system (such as the MLS or Major League Baseball), in theory each team has equal probability of success (winning the Championship) at the start of the regular season. Maybe this why there have been 12 different MLS Cup Champions since 1996, and just 5 different champions in England, Spain and Italy.
The system in the US might be much different to Europe but there are certainly things that could be learned. I'm sure fans of German and Italian soccer, other than Bayern Munich and Juventus supporters, would agree as the former look to win their seventh title in a row, and Juventus their 8th title on the spin.