Top 10 best MLS teams 2021 (+ Ranking all-time history)

Top 10 best MLS teams 2021 (+ Ranking all-time history)

June 25, 2021 0 By Ibiye Ambille

Best MLS Soccer teams 2021 ranked by trophies in all-time history.

 

The MLS or the Major League Soccer is the top-flight Professional Soccer league in the United States and Canada consisting of some of the best as well as notable clubs of world soccer.

 

The MLS since its inception in 1996 has continued to grow with more teams expected to join as the years go by.

 

The league runs as a franchise where every soccer club is a stakeholder run.

 

The league has never been sided unlike some other European soccer leagues today.

 

Highlighting the best soccer teams in the MLS

 

Since the inception of the league, clubs like LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, DC United and Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire has proven to be game-changers with a dominating performance over the years.

 

 

The league started with DC United, who were the Earl winners of division, dominating the first few seasons before being joined by the likes of LA Galaxy, who became the second team from the US to win the CONCACAF Champions League.

 

Other sides that made notable headlines including Houston Dynamo, a side who had some of the best players, dominating proceedings in the MLS as well as a fair share of the US Open Cup.

 

 

Not to forget about Real Salt Lake City and Sporting Kansas City for their early hard work and consistency.

 

 

Seattle Sounders as well as the new teams on the block including Los Angeles FC and Austin FC who took the league by surprise with an outstanding performance to emerge tops in the season finals.

 

 

Further Competition would not leave out Toronto FC, CF Inter Miami, Columbus Crew, etc.

 

The competition in the league is comparable to the rest of the top soccer leagues around Europe.

 

With expansion plans expected to continue, the league could grow to become one of the largest soccer leagues in the world as well as turning the tide to obtain the status of the most competitive.

 

 

Ranking Best MLS Soccer teams, most successful in all-time history

 

1. LA Galaxy

LA Galaxy is an American professional soccer club based in Los Angeles, competes in the MLS as a franchise team.

 

Competing as a member of the Western Conference, LA Galaxy has turned out to become MLS most priced team over the years.

 

It is the most successful team in MLS french since its establishment in 1996.

 

 

The Galaxy won more US Open Cup titles than any other side.

 

In total, the LA Galaxy boost four MLS Cup, two US Open Cup, One CONCACAF Champions League, and Western Conference regular-season title eight times.

 

This is by far the most successful outing by any other side competing in the MLS since its inception.

 

Gained prominence thanks to International stars

 

Beginning from the 2007 Soccer season, the LA Galaxy saw a flurry of players from the top European soccer league join the team.

 

This was one of the major points that took the club’s name high above the rest of the teams as well as gaining Internacional recognition.

 

 

Top players including David Beckham, one of the world high profile players at that time from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

 

 

Other top players including Zlatan Ibrahimović, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Javier Hernández, are all part of the club’s success.

 

 

Not forgetting Landon Don, who’s the current all-time leading goals scorer.

 

Highlighting LA Galaxy trophies and achievements

LA Galaxy started like a house on fire in the MLS franchise, winning notable trophies.

 

MLS Cup – National

Titles: 5

Years Won: 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014.

In the history of the MLS Cup playoffs, LA Galaxy is the most successful team with five titles which includes back to back wins in the process.

 

See detailed LA Galaxy trophies and achievements.

 

The club’s first triumph dates back to 2002 where a lone goal was enough to seal the win at the expense of the New England Revolution in the final.

 

 

The second title was two years later in 2005. In 2011, the Galaxy returned to the scene by lifting the Cup trophy for another time.

 

Like it was not enough, the club went further to win it back to back the folder year in 2012.

 

 

This was the highest point in the history of the club. Another win was recorded in 2014.

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

LA Galaxy boost of another remarkable performance in the MLS Supporters Shield with four titles.

 

The first was in 1998 and double achieved in 2002 after the MLS Cup was also won in the same year.

 

The Galaxy also made it back to back wins between 2010 and 2011.

 

US Open Cup – National

The Galaxy is a two-time winner of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. The club’s first title was in 2001, followed by another successful campaign in 2005.

 

 

CONCACAF Champions League – International

The Galaxy is the second MLS side to win the CONCACAF Champions League after DC United’s first success came in 1998.

LA Galaxy rivalries

California Clásico: LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

This is the club’s fiercest rivalry in the MLS and the longest-running rivalries in American soccer.

 

El Tráfico: LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC

This is one of the newest rivalries in the Major League Soccer after the introduction of Los Angeles FC in the MLS franchise in 2018 as it forms a cross-town rivalry.

 

Support

LA Galaxy is one of the most supported soccer teams in The United States and beyond.

 

The club was recognized as an international soccer franchise starting with the CONCACAF Champions League win.

 

The other recognition came to play when top European stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham were brought to the MLS franchise to increase Competition and participation on the part of fans.

 

 

2. DC United

DC United made history by becoming the first team to lift the MLS Cup.

 

The Washington DC-based club did this in grand style successfully defending the MLS Cup the following year.

 

DC United achieved an incredible record as one of the early winners of the MLS, winning eight titles in three years between 1996 and 1998.

 

 

DC United also holds the record as the club It is also the first club to win both the MLS Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup consecutively.

 

 

Founded in 1994, the club plays its home games at the Audi Field, situated in the country’s capital, Washington DC.

 

 

In the history of the CONCACAF Champions League for United States teams, DC United became the first team to lift the trophy amid Méxican teams dominance in 1998.

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The successes recorded by the club DC United has made it one of the most respected sides in the all-time history of Major League Soccer.

 

 

Although recent performance had been poor, causing the club to be ranked lower in the MLS power rankings, the status of the big club continues to ring on DC United in the MLS franchise.

 

 

Highlighting DC United trophies ad one of the most successful teams

United have won notable trophies most especially in the early years of the MLS.

 

MLS Cup – National

DC United became the first club in the MLS franchise to lift the MLS Cup Trophy in 1996 and successfully defended it the following year in 1997.

 

 

A third title was achieved two years after in 1999 as Chicago Fire proved worthy to outclass DC United to its first-ever Trophy in the final.

 

 

The loss did not serve as a deterrent as DC United qualified yet again for another MLS Cup playoffs final in 1999 which was the club’s fourth consecutive finals.

 

It took the club more than five years to add its fourth MLS Cup Trophy in 2004.

 

 

As history makers, DC United won the double, winning the MLS Cup and US Open Cup the same year. The club also won the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup in 1997 and 1999.

 

 

In the space of ten years, DC United won four MLS Cup, two Supporters Shield and one Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.

 

Supporters Shield – National

Four MLS Supporters Shield in the bag for the Black and Red United club.

 

The first MLS Supporters Shield was achieved in 1997 as the club also went further to lift the MLS Cup the same year.

 

 

In 1999, the club picked up its second Supporters Shield. Seven years after, another Supporters Shield was achieved in 2006 followed by the fourth the following year in 2007.

 

 

DC United have won a total of four MLS Supporters Shield.

US Open Cup – National

Titles: 3

Years Won:

The Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, the United States national soccer Cup has also witnessed MLS sides emerge Champions despite early dominance from other soccer teams.

 

 

DC United won its first title in 1996 to become the first MLS franchise to lift the national Cup trophy.

 

It took the club another eleven years to add a second title in 2008 which was followed by another five-year wait in 2013 to make it three Cup trophies.

 

CONCACAF Champions League – International

DC United are also history makers, becoming the first MLS side to win the CONCACAF Champions League achieved in 1998, defeating Liga MX side Deportivo Toluca in the final.

 

 

DC United rivalries in the Major League Soccer

The early success achieved by the club has made it a worthy rival in the league.

 

DC United vs New York Red Bulls

It is regarded as the primary rivalry DC United holds in the Major League Soccer franchise.

 

There’s an annual Atlantic Cup contested by the two sides and is awarded to the team with the most points throughout the season.

 

DC United vs New York Red Bulls

DC United has another rapidly increasing rivalry with Philadelphia Union based in Philadelphia City.

 

Support

The club is heavily supported within the Washington area as well as large support across the United States.

 

 

3. San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes is an American professional soccer club based in San Jose. The club competes in the MLS as a franchise team.

 

 

Founded in 1994, the club competes as a member of the MLS Western Conference.

 

 

The club is one of the most successful teams in MLS history and the United States with two MLS Cup and Supporters Shield each.

 

 

Starting from 2001, San Jose Earthquakes managed four titles in eleven years including MLS Cup and Supporters Shield.

 

Highlighting San Jose Earthquakes trophies and achievements

MLS Cup – National

Years Won: 2001, 2003.

Titles: 2

Debuted the MLS in 1996 as one of the charter clubs alongside DC United, the quakes achieved its first-ever success in the MLS Cup playoffs in 2001.

 

The final was won after beating LA Galaxy.

 

Two years later in 2003, the club made it two Cup trophies by defeating Chicago Fire in a thumping victory.

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

San Jose Earthquakes boost of two MLS Supporters Shield won in 2005 and 2012.

 

Rivalries

California Clásico: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Two sides hold a strong rivalry in Major League Soccer starting from the inaugural season in 1996.

 

 

The two sides have also met on several occasions including the MLS Cup playoffs final.

 

San Jose Earthquakes vs Seattle Sounders

 

Support

San Jose Earthquakes have some high level of support across the city and throughout the United States.

 

 

4. Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer club based in Houston.

 

The Competes in the Major League Soccer franchise as a member of the Western Conference.

 

Dynamo enjoyed success during its first few seasons in the franchise league.

 

The club won the MLS Cup in 2006 and successfully defended it the following year in 2007.

 

 

This achievement made Houston Dynamo FC the second team after LA Galaxy to successfully defended the title in won.

 

Debuted the MLS in 2006, winning the title in its first two seasons marked the club’s entrance to the MLS.

 

 

Eleven to twelve years after the Dynamo ended as runners up in the MLS Cup in two successive finals between 2011 and 2012.

 

 

Adding to its Trophy Hall, Houston Dynamo emerged as Champions of the US Open Cup in 2018.

 

Highlighting Houston Dynamo’s successful outings

MLS Cup – National

Titles: 2

Years Won: 2006, 2007.

The club won the MLS Cup in its debut season with a spectacular performance through the course of the 2006 soccer season in the United States.

 

2006 MLS Cup final

This was the 11th edition of the MLS Cup. It was contested between Houston Dynamo and New England Revolution played at the Pizza Hut Park in Texas City.

 

 

The match was forced into penalties after the game ended in a one-all draw with Dynamo emerging victorious in the penalty shootout.

 

 

For Houston, it was a remarkable achievement for a club having its debut season coming off with a major title.

 

Goalkeeper Pat Onstad saved the final spot-kick to hand his side a dream title-winning debut.

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2007 MLS Cup final

This was the twelfth edition of the Cup final play-offs contested by the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo.

 

It was a rematch of the final where Houston Dynamo emerged Champions through the penalty spot.

 

This time, the Houston Dynamo came from behind to cancel New England Revolution early 20th-minute goal to clinch their second successive title in the Championship play-offs.

 

 

The club is yet to win a Supporters Shield as they only finished runners up 2008.

 

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup

The US Open Cup was the club’s first triumph at the national knockout cup competition.

 

The Dynamo have crowned Champions after a three-nil thumping victory over Philadelphia Union.

 

Club Rivalries

Texas Derby: Houston Dynamo vs FC Dallas

Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kansas City.

 

Support

The club has a huge fan base in Texas and across the United States.

 

5. Seattle Sounders

Seattle Sounders is an American professional soccer club based in Seattle. The club competes in the MLS as a member of the Western Conference.

 

 

Seattle Sounders is one of the most successful teams in the United States have won the MLS Cup twice, one Supporters Shield and four Lamar Hunt US Open Cup titles.

 

 

They’re are one of the most successful Major League Soccer teams in the history of the US Open Cup amid dominating performance of non-MLS teams.

 

 

At the International level, the Sounders have participated in the CONCACAF Champions League, a Competition which had only been won by DC United and LA Galaxy as the only two MLS teams.

 

 

Starting from its inaugural season, the Sounders continued to amass followers across the United States and is currently valued as one of the top sides in North America.

 

Highlighting Seattle Sounders FC trophies and achievements

 

MLS Cup – National

Seattle Sounders FC first title in the MLS came nine years after its debut. The 2016 MLS Cup final was contested by the Sounders and Toronto FC.

 

The game ended in a stalemate after normal regulation time and was forced into extra time which resulted in penalties eventually clinched by the Sounders.

 

The club marked a remarkable achievement in front of over thirty-six thousand spectators at the BMO Field in Toronto, Canada.

 

 

In 2019, the club earned another title in the Cup playoffs final, beating Toronto FC for a repeat of 2016 final which went the way of the Seattle based side.

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

The club’s first-ever silverware as a member of the MLS franchise was the Supporters Shield which was won in 2014.

 

US Open Cup – National

Alongside Sporting Kansas City, the Sounders are the only two MLS based clubs with four US Open Cup titles.

 

 

For Sounders, they’re are history makers as the only MLS based side to win the US Open Cup in three consecutive seasons from 2009, 2010 and 2011.

 

 

Another title was again achieved three years after, making it a fourth title.

 

Rivalries

Seattle Sounders also boost some top Rivalries in the country.

 

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

Other top Rivalries

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

This is by far the biggest Rivalry amongst all. The two teams have met severally in the Cup playoffs which had always ended strong.

 

 

6. Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew is a professional soccer club based in Columbus. The club competes in the MLS.

 

The crew is also one of the most successful teams in the MLS haven won two MLS Cup, three Supporters Shield, and one US Open Cup title.

 

MLS Cup – National

The crew achieved success in the MLS Cup for the first time in 2008 and twelve years after in 2020.

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

2004: The Crew finished high during the regular season and were crowned the Supporters Shield.

 

2008: This was another impressive season in the club’s history, finishing high at the end of the regular season campaign.

 

2009: This was the second successive Supporters Shield Crown.

US Open Cup – National

In 2002, Columbus Crew claimed its first national Cup trophy beating LA Galaxy in the final.

 

7. Chicago Fire

Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club based in Chicago. Competing in the Major League Soccer as a member of the Eastern Conference.

 

The club entered the MLS franchise in grand style with a double including the US Open Cup and the MLS Cup.

 

This win announced the emergence of a new soccer franchise.

 

Highlighting Chicago Fire Soccer Club trophies and achievements

The Fire won its first trophy in 1998 which was the MLS Cup and completed the double after lifting the US Open Cup.

 

MLS Cup – National

(1998) – This became the club’s first-ever silverware. The match played against DC United was easily won with two goals scored in the first half.

 

 

Supporters Shield – National

The club won its first Supporters Shield in 2003.

US Open Cup – National

Chicago Fire Soccer Club is one of the two MLS teams that have won up to four MLS Cup titles alongside Sporting Kansas City.

 

The first Trophy was achieved in 1998 and two years after in 2000. A third title was achieved in 2003 and a fourth three years after in 2006.

 

 

Since then, the Fire has gone on to qualify for Championship play-offs and have also faced downtime performance.

 

Rivalries

Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy

Chicago Fire vs DC United

Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution

 

Support

Chicago Fire is also one of the top sides followed by Soccer fans in the United States.

 

8. Sporting Kansas city

Sporting Kansas City is a professional soccer club based in Kansas. The club competes in the MLS as a member of the Western Conference.

 

The club is one of the charter clubs of the MLS and began playing starting in 1996.

 

 

The Sporting Kansas City is one of the most successful soccer clubs in the United States.

 

 

The club has won 2 MLS Cup, 1 Supporter Shield and four Lamar Hunt US Open Cups.

 

The club began winning its trophies from the early 2000s.

 

Highlighting Sporting Kansas City trophies and achievements

 

MLS Cup – National

The first Cup title was won in 2000 with a thirteen-year wait for the second title in 2013.

 

Supporters Shield – National

The 2000 Cup win was accompanied by Supporters Shield Crown.

 

Lamar Hunt US Open Cup – National

The club is one of two MLS based sides with up to four Cup Trophies, winning the title in 2004, 2012, 2015, and 2017.

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Club Rivalries

Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake

Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo

Sporting Kansas City vs Minnesota United FC

 

Support

Guarded by various supporters groups, the Kansas City boost so many supporters in Kansas City and across the United States.

 

 

9. Real Salt Lake City

Real Salt Lake City is a professional soccer club based in Utah. The club competes in the MLS as a member of the Western Conference.

 

They’re also winners of the MLS Cup once in 2009.

 

The club also participated in the CONCACAF Champions League.

 

10. Atlanta United

 

Atlanta United is an American professional soccer club based in the US city of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

The club competes in Major League Soccer as a member of the Eastern Conference.

 

 

Although Atlanta United only debuted the Major League Soccer about five seasons ago, there was a quick rise that saw the lifting of the MLS Cup, US Open Cup and Campeones Cup.

 

Atlanta United first major silverware was the Eastern Conference Playoffs in 2018 followed by a major trophy which was the MLS Cup title that same year.

 

 

In 2019, Atlanta United achieved another double by winning the US Open Cup and the Campeones Cup.

 

 

This performance has however lifted Atlanta United to the status of MLS all-time best sides with one MLS Cup, 1 Eastern Conference Playoffs, 1 US Open Cup and International Campeones Cup.

 

 

11. FC Dallas

FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in Dallas as a member of the MLS Western Conference.

 

Founded in 1995 as Dallas Burn, the club reached an all-time high in 2016 ranked as the 31st best soccer team in the world by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

 

 

That same year, the club was also ranked as the ninth-best team in CONCACAF. This was achieved in 2016 after the team won the MLS Supporters Shield and the US Open Cup.

 

 

FC Dallas first shot at a title was an impressive outing in 1997, winning the US Open Cup.

 

 

In total, the club has won two US Open Cup and a Supporters Shield. In 2010, Dallas lost in the MLS Cup playoffs final to Colorado Rapids.

 

 

FC Dallas is also one of the most followed soccer clubs in the United States.

 

The popularity of the MLS

The MLS is currently one of the most popular soccer leagues around the world ranked amongst the top 15.

 

In the United States, it can be found within the top five most followed competition.

 

Competitiveness of the league

Major League Soccer is one of the most competitive soccer leagues in the world ranked second behind the Liga MX in North America.

 

 

The League is divided into two conferences, the Eastern Conference and Western Conference with 13 and 14 teams respectively.

 

The league has grown over the years becoming a major hub for top European stars including Zlatan Ibrahimovic David Beckham in the past as well Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Vela etc.

 

 

The league has never been a one-sided affair compared with other leagues around Europe.

 

Except for the early years where DC United and LA Galaxy almost had the hands-on all major trophies, the preceding years has been rather interesting than before.

 

Beginning from the 2010s, have begun to dominate the league.

 

Revenue

The MLS is one of the top leagues in the world with a high revenue share although might not be high compared with the likes of the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, etc.

 

 

The MLS has continued to see an increase in revenue over the years.

 

MLS Cup and Supporters Shield, who are Champions?

 

The MLS Cup is the season-ending Championship round played by the top teams from the two respective conferences of the league.

 

The winner has been crowned Champions of the league.

 

For Supporters Shield is awarded to the club that finishes top above others with the most points at the end of the league regular season.

 

 

LA Galaxy, DC United boost of more Supporters Shield titles over the years.

 

In the MLS, the true Champions of the league is the winner of the MLS Cup playoffs final.

 


The MLS has become increasingly popular amongst Sports lovers across the United States beginning from its inaugural season in 1996.

 

The league currently boasts an average matchday attendance of around 20,000 fans.

 

 

The league which predicted surpassing the Baseball League and NHL is gradually gaining attention across the country.

 

About the MLS

Major League Soccer is a men’s professional soccer club in the United States and Canada.

 

The league is divided into Eastern Conference and Western Conference.

 

Final thoughts

The MLS is one of the best leagues of North American club Soccer alongside the Méxican Liga MX.

 

 

The MLS boost of having some of the best teams on the continent in terms of trophies won and overall financial valuation.

 

 

Although the United States and Canadian teams have not performed at the highest level in Internacional Competitions like the CONCACAF Champions League.

 

This still does not take away the fact that the league is one of the best in the world in terms of popularity, rising financial revenue, followers and Television audience.

 

 

Talking about the MLS Power Rankings, new teams recently joining the franchise league appears to be taking the league, leaving the old heads behind.

 

 

The likes of Los Angeles FC, Austin FC have continued with their upward rise in the league with blistering performance throughout the season.

 

 

Looking straight at the all-time best and most successful MLS soccer teams, LA Galaxy, DC United, San Jose Earthquakes, Columbus Crew, Seattle Sounders all lead the park.

 

 

LA Galaxy is the most successful club in the United States followed by DC United who had early success including winning the first two editions of the MLS Cup playoffs finals.

 

 

For LA Galaxy, it was like repeating and surpassing DC United’s blistering start to life in the new Franchise soccer league in the United States which came into existence in 1996.

 

Conclusion

This article highlights the best soccer clubs in Major League Soccer. Taking a swipe at the MLS Power Rankings all-time in history for the soccer season in the United States and Canada.

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