Major League Soccer is giving itself a date and a goal as it tries to grow on the world stage.
Commissioner Don Garber wants MLS to be considered among the planet's top soccer leagues by 2022.
Garber announced Wednesday an outline for what he believes it will take for MLS to be recognized among the world's elite soccer leagues, one that calls for major capital investment in player development -- including youth programs, training for coaches and infrastructure improvements at training facilities.
"There is no reason that in time Major League Soccer can't be competitive with the world's best," MLS commissioner Don Garber said. "It's going to take a lot of hard work and continued investment."
There are also plans for increasing franchise exposure in local markets and expanding fan bases through new technologies.
The 2013 season begins Saturday with Philadelphia hosting Kansas City. That'll be followed by a Canadian showdown with Vancouver hosting Toronto, Houston vs. DC United, FC Dallas vs. Colorado, Chivas USA vs. Columbus and Seattle vs. Montreal. Sunday, defending champion Los Angeles hosts Chicago, Portland welcomes New York and San Jose faces Real Salt Lake.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.