The MLS is professional soccer currently regarded as the second-best on the North American continent behind the Méxican Liga MX. Major League Soccer is considered the number one professional top-flight men’s soccer league in Canada and the United States.
Twenty-eight teams currently participate in the competition, with more teams expected to join, and the number of teams in the league could increase by 30 units in 2023. Out of the 28 teams, 24 are from the United States, while three are Canadian soccer teams.
Highlighting the Canadian soccer teams in the Major League Soccer
About three teams from the country actively participate in the division. Toronto FC was the first team from Canada to join the MLS, followed by Vancouver Whitecaps and CF Montréal.
List of Canadian Soccer teams in the MLS
1. Toronto FC
Toronto FC is a professional Canadian soccer team based in Toronto. TFC was the first Canadian based side to join the MLS franchise in 2007 as an expansion franchise.
Debuting the league, Toronto FC became a member of the Eastern Conference, which has 14 teams. The club plays its home matches at BMO Field in Toronto, which has a capacity of 30,000.
Founded in October 2005, the Reds are the most successful team in the history of the Canadian Championship, with over seven titles.
When it comes to soccer in Canada, the club achieved the ‘Treble’ in 2017, following the success of the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and Canadian Championship. This was one of the high points in the club’s existence as a team in Canada competing in the Major League Soccer.
Today, Toronto FC is one of the most successful and the most decorated team in Canada, with 7 Canadian Championships, 1 MLS Cup and one Supporters Shield each.
At the North American club competitions, TFC were runners-up in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League. According to 2019 data, Toronto FC has an estimated value of US$395 million.
2. Vancouver Whitecaps
Vancouver Whitecaps is a professional Canadian soccer team based in Vancouver and competes in Major League Soccer.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC was the second club from Canada to join the MLS after Toronto FC’s addition in 2007. Whitecaps competes in the MLS as a member of the Western Conference.
The club holds the record as the first team from Canada in the MLS to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs round. The club plays its home games at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, having a capacity of 22,120.
Founded on March 18, 2009, Whitecaps entered the MLS and became the first team to qualify for two MLS Cup playoffs round. Whitecaps have one Canadian Championship in 2015 and runners up in five finals.
3. CF Montréal (Club de Foot Montréal)
Club de Foot Montréal, CF Montréal or Montreal Impact is a professional Canadian soccer team based in Montreal. It was the third MLS team from Canada and competed in the division as a member of the Eastern Conference.
Founded in 2010, Montreal Impact were inducted into the division as an expansion franchise and renamed CF Montréal in 2021.
Despite Toronto’s FC Canadian dominance, CF Montréal became the first club from Canada to reach the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2015.
In the final, CF Montréal lost to Mexican and North American giants Club América over two legs. Impact are three-time winners of the Canadian Championship, the country’s domestic Cup competition in 2013, 2014 and 2019.
The club won the old Voyageurs Cup, only open to USL teams before it was rebranded as an award for the new Canadian Championship winners. Impact won all six titles in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007.
Performance of teams from Canada in the Major League Soccer
The three teams, Toronto FC, CF Montréal and Vancouver Whitecaps, have been consistent since becoming part of MLS.
Vancouver Whitecaps qualified for the MLS playoffs in 2015.
Toronto FC had an outstanding season in 2017, where they won the MLS Cup and the Supporters Shield.
The club reached the CONCACAF Champions League final the following year but lost to the Méxican side Guadalajara over two legs.
About the MLS and the Conference with Canadian teams
The Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference is one of the MLS’s two conferences, along with the Western Conference. Founded in 1996, the Conference consists of 14 teams expected to expand in the future.
CF Montréal (Canada)
Toronto FC (Canada)
Others in the conference
Atlanta United, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew SC, FC Cincinnati, D.C United, Inter Miami CF, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Orlando City SC, Philadelphia Union.
The Western Conference
Western Conference is one of MLS’s two conferences and the Eastern Conference.
Vancouver Whitecaps (Canada)
Others in conference
Austin FC, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo FC, LA FC, LA Galaxy FC, Minnesota United, Portland Timbers FC, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, Sporting Kansas City.