Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Atlanta United topped Forbes' list as the most-valuable team in Major League Soccer and overall average team values are up 30 percent since last year.
Forbes released its annual list Monday, with Atlanta United valued at $500 million. The reigning MLS Cup champions brought in $78 million in revenue in 2018 and had an operating income of $7 million. The average MLS team is worth $313 million, compared to $240 million last year. For comparison sake, the Dallas Cowboys are the most-valuable NFL team at $5.5 billion. The New York Yankees were the most valuable MLB team at $4.6 billion. The New York Knicks led the NBA with a $4 billion valuation. La Liga soccer power Real Madrid was valued at $4.24 billion.
The 30 percent increase in average MLS team value tops that of the NBA (13 percent), NFL (11 percent), MLB (8 percent) and NHL (6 percent).
Atlanta United has made the playoffs in each of the franchise's three seasons. LAFC posted the best record in MLS this season, the franchise's second season in the league.
The Los Angeles Galaxy ranked No. 2 on the MLS franchise value list, at $480 million. The Galaxy also had $64 million in revenue and $5 million in operating income in 2018. LAFC ($475M), the Seattle Sounders ($405M) and Toronto FC ($395M) round out the top-five most-valuable teams in MLS.
The Portland Timbers ranked sixth, followed by: New York City FC, Chicago Fire, D.C. United, Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United, Orlando City SC, New York Red Bulls, FC Cincinnati, Houston Dynamo, San Jose Earthquakes, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, FC Dallas, Vancouver Whitecaps, Montreal Impact, Columbus Crew and Colorado Rapids.
FC Cincinnati had six wins, six draws and 22 losses in its first season in 2019, finishing with the worst record in MLS. The new franchise ranked No. 14 in the league with a value of $285 million. FC Cincinnati had the third-best attendance per game in MLS.
Toronto FC had a negative operating income of $19 million, leading MLS. Six of the 23 MLS teams that played in 2018 turned a profit, with half of that number barely doing so.
Seattle takes on Toronto in the 2019 MLS Cup final at 3 p.m. EST Sunday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. They are both looking to win their second title. The Galaxy lead MLS with five titles all-time.