Maybe LeBron James can play goalie?

While the National Basketball Association players and owners continue to bicker and bellyache about divvying up the cash pie, other sports leagues pass them by.

Major League Soccer doesn't get the buzz on sports radio or the blogs, but it has corner kicked its way past the NBA in average attendance, according to the news site MLS attendance has gone up 6.6 percent this season, helping it become the new No. 3 sports league in the United States, based on per-game attendance.

An average of 17,870 fans have attended MLS games over the course of the 2011 season -- that's 3.0 percent more than the NBA and 4.1 percent more than the National Hockey League.

The National Football League, with an average attendance of 66,950, is the king of kings for American sports fans. Major League Baseball's average attendance of 30,352 is good enough for the No. 2 spot.

Fans in Seattle are the main reason for this impressive MLS move. The Seattle Sounders play in the Seahawks stadium and led the league in attendance with 38,495 fans on average, according to the Examiner.

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There's more good news for the domestic soccer league: MLS attendance is 10th-best internationally, ahead of the Scottish Premier League and England League Championship, among others.

Critics will say these numbers are deceiving, since soccer stadiums are much bigger than basketball and hockey arenas. Also, the soccer season is shorter than the never-ending schedules in sports like hockey and hoops. Yet this is still a big step for passionate soccer fans who daydream about the MLS being a relevant sport for Americans.

Seattle Sounders fans lead the way in Major League Soccer

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