MLS Cup winners, list of MLS Champions in history

MLS Cup winners, list of MLS Champions in history

June 12, 2021 0 By Ibiye Ambille

MLS Cup winners list, highlighting the all-time Champions of the Major League Soccer Cup in history.


Who has won the MLS the most? Los Angeles Galaxy has won the most MLS titles with five MLS Cup titles including four Supporters Shield.


Who won the MLS League 2020?

Columbus Crew has crowned Champions of the MLS 2020.




The United States Soccer scene have also enjoyed numerous winners of the league crown thanks to the more competitive nature of the league.


MLS Cup vs Supporters Shield well explained

MLS Cup:

The MLS Cup winners are regarded as the United States Major League Soccer Champions of the season after undergoing the season playoffs.



The MLS Supporters Shield is the trophy given to the team that finished the regular season with the most points better than the rest of the teams in each conference.


The Major League Soccer is a professional men’s soccer competition held in the United Sta from contested by teams from the U.S and Canada.


Since its inception, the league has had all-time winners on its all-time calendar with DC United as the first team.


The winners have been predominantly teams from the United States, compared to their counterparts from Canada.


Since the Canadians also regard the league as a top tier in their country of the outfit has become the number of competition for clubs in the country.



In the archive of the Leagues all-time winners list, Los Angeles Galaxy is the most successful with over five titles in their trophy cabinet.



The league also awards another silverware called the MLS Supporters Shield, which is given to the team with the most points accrued during the regular season matches.


However, the MLS Cup playoffs winners are awarded as Champions of the league for the season.


DC United won the first MLS Cup title in 1996, after beating the Los Angeles Galaxy in the final of the playoffs at the Foxboro Stadium, clinching the title the following year.


Treble winners

Today, Houston Dynamo stands in history as the only Soccer team in the United States Major League Soccer franchise to have won three consecutive titles.


Dynamo did so after the club enjoyed a memorable outing starting from 2007 to 2009. During these years, Dynamo was completely on top of their game as they were winning games convincingly.


Also, the club came close to adding two more titles but was stopped twice by Los Angeles Galaxy between 2013 and 2014 as the Galaxy won back to back titles at the expense of Houston Dynamo.


The Eastern Conference and the Western Conference produces teams competing for the MLS Cup title.


The MLS is the top flight Soccer Competitions in the United States and Canada which is subdivided into Eastern and Western Conference respectively.


They are one of the league’s early winners alongside DC United who has won four titles starting with the inaugural season win in 1997.


Total, the competition has produced over sixteen different winners with Los Angeles Galaxy and DC United as the most successful with five and four titles.



MLS Cup Winners List

The list of all-time winners, Champions of the division since its inception here they are


1. Los Angeles Galaxy – 5 Titles


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Los Angeles Galaxy or LA Galaxy is a professional soccer team and the most successful in the MLS with over five Cup titles and four Supporters Shield.


Galaxy also has two US titles.


Began its first season in 1996, Galaxy won its first title in 2002 during the quick rise of the club.


It did not stop there, three years later was not a big deal but was more than enough to secure their second title in 2005.


But this time, they had to wait for another six years before regulating their third title.


However, the rest came easy as LA Galaxy made it back to back wins before getting the position as the most successful during the thhas14 edition.


Galaxy has had several notable players in the past like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham.


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is currently regarded as one of the best players in world football and was a major drive for AC Milan after his return from LA Galaxy to help in the rebuilding of the club.


Years Won

2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014


2. DC United – 4 Titles

DC United opened the tournament, beating Los Angeles Galaxy to lift the first edition of the MLS Cup final.


The club from Washington DC also won the competition the preceding year before losing out to Chicago Fire but returned to clinch the title once again a year later.


But DC United returned stronger in 1999 to complete their third title. The fourth title came after a long wait for four years.


Since then, DC United have not been able to perform at the highest level, to the extent of challenging for the Cup.


The Capital City club has also won four MLS Supporters Shield with the recent coming in 2007.


They are regarded as one of the most successful teams in the early years of the league, winning almost all its Cup titles almost in the beginning.


Years Won

1996, 1997, 1999, 2004


3. San Jose Earthquakes – 2 Titles

Years Won

2001, 2003

4. Houston Dynamo – 2 Titles

Houston itsmo surprised may with its quick dominance of the league. Winning the double between 2006 and 2007.


Dynamo was in their best form at that time, leading to a quick double of the MLS Cup.


The franchise is a member of the Western Conference.


Years Won

2006, 2007


5. Columbus Crew – 2 Titles

Columbus is another top side with a notable performance during the 2008 season. They are current Champions of the MLS Cup after their Triumph in the 2020 finals.


Years Won

2008, 2020


6. Seattle Sounders FC – 2 Titles

Established in 2007, Sounders began to play in the league from 2009.


Sounders won its first Cup title in 2016, before adding a second in 2019.


Years Won 2016, 2019.


7. Chicago Fire – 1 Title


8. Kansas City Wizards – 1 Title


9. Real Salt Lake – 1 Title


10. Colorado Rapids – 1 Title


11. Sporting Kansas City – 1 Title


12. Portland Timbers  – 1 Title


13.Toronto FC – 1 Title


15. Atlanta United FC – 1 Title



It has been steady progress in terms of development of the Major League Soccer into a world standard competition.


The American top division has grown in recent years, attracting some of the best players in the world.

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In terms of monetary value, some of the team are valued just as some of the biggest clubs in Europe are.


Even though the Mexican Liga MX appears to be the best in North America, major league soccer has not stopped in its bid to become number one on the continent.


MLS Cup winners in full


2021 Columbus Crew

2020 Seattle Sounders FC

2019 Atlanta United FC

2018 Toronto FC

2016–17 Portland Timbers

2015–16 Los Angeles Galaxy

2014–15 Sporting Kansas City

2013–14 Los Angeles Galaxy

2012–13 Los Angeles Galaxy

2011–12 Colorado Rapids

2010–11 Real Salt Lake City

2009–10 Columbus Crew

2008–09 Houston Dynamo

2008 Houston Dynamo

2007 Houston Dynamo

2006 Los Angeles Galaxy

2003 DC United

2002 Sporting Kansas City and San Jose Earthquake

2000 DC United

1999 Chicago Fire

1998 DC United

1997 DC United


Supporters Shield winners list, Champions in History

The MLS Supporters Shield is a league award given to teams that finish at the top of the regular season campaign which is determined based on the number of points accrued in the course of the season.


LA Galaxy and DC United are the most successful Supporters Shield winners with four titles each.


The two clubs are also the early winners of the competition most especially DC United who lifted the inaugural season in 1997.


In 1996, Tampa Bay Mutiny became the first team to be awarded the MLS Supporters Shield after finishing as regular season with the most points.


The Supporters Shield awarding criteria? How team are awarded the MLS Supporters Shield?


Most wins in the season

Goal difference (GD)

Goals for (GF)

Fewest disciplinary points

Away goals

Away goal difference

Home goals

Home goal difference

Coin toss (two teams) or drawing of lots (three or more teams).


Since the Supporters Shield awad began, over Fourteen different teams have emerged as the Supporters Shield winners with DC United and LA Galaxy with most trophies haven won four of them respectively.


Most successful Supporters Shield winners

LA Galaxy – 4 titles

Los Angeles Galaxy is one of the biggest soccer clubs in the United States and has won the MLS Cup and the Supporters Shield record times.


In total, LA Galaxy has won four MLS Supporters Shield beginning from the 1998 season. The Galaxy made it two in 2002.


However, it took another eight years to claim another title in 2010 and 2011 adding up the numbers to four.


Galaxy could extend its titles to eight, but could only settle as runners up on four different occasions.


DC United – 4 Titles

DC United are one of the early winners of the Supporters Shield. After the inaugural Shield was awarded to Tampa Bay, it was the turn of the Washington based team.


DC won it in 1997 but finished as runners up in the 1998 season. However, the club returned to win it again in 1999.


It took another seven years to win it back to back in 2006 and 2007.


DC has ended up as runners up once.


Columbus Crew – 3 Titles

Columbus Crew is third on the all-time Supporters Shield winners list with three titles won in 2004 including another back to back wins in 2008 and 2009.

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New York Red Bulls – 3 Titles

The Bulls are also a top contender when it comes to the MLS. New York Red Bulls have also won three Supporters Shield.


San Jose Earthquakes  – 2 Titles

San Jose Earthquakes have been awarded twice between 2005 and 2012. The Earthquakes have also ended up as runners up on two occasions.


Other Supporters Shield winners in the list with at least one trophy including Sporting Kansas City, Chicago Fire, FC Dallas, Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, Tampa Bay Mutiny, Miami Fusion, Los Angeles FC and Philadelphia Union


MLS Supporters Shield winners list in history

2020 Philadelphia Union

2019 Los Angeles FC

2018 New York Red Bulls

2017 Toronto FC

2016 FC Dallas

2015 New York Red Bulls

2014 Seattle Sounders FC

2013 New York Red Bulls

2012 San Jose Earthquakes

2011 Los Angeles Galaxy

2010 Los Angeles Galaxy

2009 Columbus Crew

2008 Columbus Crew

2007 D.C. United

2006 D.C. United

2005 San Jose Earthquakes

2004 Columbus Crew

2003 Chicago Fire

2002 Los Angeles Galaxy

2001 Miami Fusion

2000 Kansas City Wizards

1999 D.C. United

1998 Los Angeles Galaxy

1997 D.C. United

1996 Tampa Bay Mutiny


MLS Supporters Shield winners by teams

Los Angeles Galaxy 4

DC United 4

Columbus Crew 3

New York Red Bulls 3

San Jose Earthquake 2


Teams in the Major League Soccer

Eastern Conference

Atlanta United FC
Chicago Fire FC
FC Cincinnati
Columbus Crew SC
D.C. United
Inter Miami CF
CF Montréal
Nashville SC
New England Revolution
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
Orlando City SC
Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC

Western Conference

Austin FC
Colorado Rapids
FC Dallas
Houston Dynamo FC
Sporting Kansas City
LA Galaxy
Los Angeles FC
Minnesota United FC
Portland Timbers
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
Seattle Sounders FC
Vancouver Whitecaps FC


Competitiveness of the league

The Major League Soccer is the second most competitive league in the CONCACAF North American region slightly behind Méxican Liga MX which is regarded as one of the toughest in the world.


The MLS subdivided into two distinct groups, each team from each division at the end of the regular season with the most points earns the right to play in the playoffs for the MLS Cup.


There’s already a debate as to who should be crowned Champions whether the Supporters Shield or the MLS Cup winners.


However, the MLS Cup winners are always considered as the league winners for that season earned through winning the playoffs.



The Major League Soccer is one of the most popular soccer leagues in the world watched globally through international broadcast partners.


Some top team in the division boost of fans spread across the world including Los Angeles Galaxy, New York City FC, Inter Miami, Austin FC, Atlanta United, DC United etc.


Unlike European countries, the league in the United States is franchise system and ignores the usual relegation and promotion system.


Rather, new clubs are inducted into the competition through the league’s expansion programs.



The league have witnessed different winners since its inception in the late 90s.


The article highlights the Major League Soccer Cup winners list.


MLS Cup winners list in history and MLS Supporters Shield winners list, the all-time Champions and most successful in the history of the competition.

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