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Top 10 best MLS teams (All time Power Rankings 2022 Updated)

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Major League Soccer is the top tier professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, consisting of some of the best and notable world soccer clubs.

 

The most recent team that joins the list of clubs is Charlotte FC beginning from the 2022 season.

 

The league runs as a franchise where every soccer club is a stakeholder. The league has never been sided, unlike some other European soccer leagues today.

 

The highlight of the best soccer teams in the MLS

 

Since the league’s inception, clubs like LA Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, DC United and Columbus Crew, Chicago Fire has proven to be game-changers, having dominated the in the early years.

 

 

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

 

Other teams that have made progress over the years include Houston Dynamo. Not to forget Real Salt Lake City and Sporting Kansas City for their early hard work and consistency.

 

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

 

Further competition would not leave Toronto FC, CF Inter Miami, Columbus Crew, and the 2021 Champions New York City FC.

 

The competition in the league is comparable to the rest of the top soccer leagues in Europe. With expansion plans expected to continue, the league could become one of the most significant soccer leagues globally and be seen as the most competitive.

 

Best MLS teams, All-time Power Rankings and most successful teams

 

1. LA Galaxy

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

 

As a member of the Western Conference, LA Galaxy has become the MLS’s most consistent team over the years.

 

The Galaxy is currently the most successful team in the MLS since its establishment in 1996.

 

The Galaxy have also won more US Open Cup titles than any other side from the division.

 

In total, the LA Galaxy have won five MLS Cup, two US Open Cup, One CONCACAF Champions League, and a 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

From the 2007 soccer season, the LA Galaxy witnessed a flurry of players from top European soccer leagues. This was one of the significant points which took them to a higher level as well as gaining international recognition.

 

Top players like David Beckham, one of the most famous footballers globally, was signed by Spanish giants Real Madrid.

 

Other top players like Zlatan Ibrahimović, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Javier Hernández were also part of the club’s success.

 

Trophies and Achievements

LA Galaxy started like a house on fire in the MLS franchise.

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 list of LA Galaxy trophies and achievements.


The club’s first triumph dates back to 2002 when 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 and lifted the MLS Cup. The fifth title in 2014 became the highest point in the club’s history.

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

LA Galaxy also enjoyed success in the MLS Supporters Shield with four titles.

 

The first was in 1998 and double achieved in 2002 and the MLS Cup.

 

The Galaxy also made two consecutive wins in 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 a second title in 2005.

 

CONCACAF Champions League – International

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

LA Galaxy Rivalry

California Clásico: LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

The California Clásico is often referred to as the fiercest rivalry in the MLS and the longest-running rivalry 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.

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

 

Also, the club received international recognition following the signing of top European stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic David Beckham.

 

2. DC United

DC United made history as it became the first team to lift the MLS Cup.

 

The Washington DC-based club achieved this grand style and successfully defended 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 from 1996 to 1998.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The successes recorded by DC United took the club to a high level, becoming one of the most respected teams in the history of the MLS.

 

DC United Trophies ad Achievement

 

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 later in 1999 as Chicago Fire proved worthy to outclass the club to its first-ever Trophy in the final.

 

The loss did not disturb the Washington based club who qualified for another MLS Cup playoffs final in 1999. It took the club more than five years to add a 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

DC United has won four MLS Supporters Shield

 

The first MLS Supporters Shield was achieved in 1997, and the lifting MLS Cup the same year.

 

In 1999, the club picked up a second Supporters Shield and seven years later, the Supporters Shield was achieved in 2006, followed by a 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 teams emerge winners despite the early dominance of non-MLS 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 eleven more years to add a second title in 2008 and another five-year wait in 2013 to make it three Cup trophies.

 

CONCACAF Champions League – International

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

 

DC United Rivalry 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 awarded 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

 

Support (fanbase)

The club is heavily supported within the Washington area, with many supporters across the United States.

 

3. San Jose Earthquakes

San Jose Earthquakes is an American professional soccer club based in San Jose and 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, with two MLS Cup and Supporters Shield.

 

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

 

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 won its first-ever MLS Cup in 2001 by defeating LA Galaxy.

 

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

 

MLS Supporters Shield – National

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

 

Rivalry

California Clásico: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

The two sides hold an intense 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 receive a high level of support in San Jose and throughout the United States.

 

4. Houston Dynamo

Houston Dynamo is an American professional soccer club based in Houston that competes in the Major League Soccer franchise as a member of the Western Conference.

 

Dynamo enjoyed success in its first few seasons.

 

The club won the MLS Cup in 2006 and successfully defended it in 2007. This achievement made Houston Dynamo FC the second team after LA Galaxy to successfully defend the title.

 

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 later, the Dynamo finished as runners up in the MLS Cup in two successive finals in 2011 and 2012. Adding to the club’s trophy cabinet, Houston Dynamo won the US Open Cup in 2018.

 

Houston Dynamo Trophies and Achievements

MLS Cup – National

Titles: 2

Years Won: 2006, 2007.

The club won the MLS Cup in its debut season following a spectacular performance in the 2006 soccer season in the United States.

 

2006 MLS Cup final

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, which came off with a significant title.

 

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

 

2007 MLS Cup final

This was the twelfth edition of the MLS 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’s 20th-minute lead to claim 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 Dynamo have crowned Champions after a three-nil thumping victory over Philadelphia Union.

 

Club Rivalry

Texas Derby: Houston Dynamo vs FC Dallas

Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kansas City.

 

Support

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

 

5. Seattle Sounders

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

 

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

 

They’re one of the most successful Major League Soccer teams that have won more  US Open Cup.

 

At the international level, the Sounders have played in the CONCACAF Champions League, where Mexican teams have dominated the most.

 

Beginning from the inaugural season, the Sounders continued to amass followers across the United States and is currently valued as one of the best teams in North America.

 

Seattle Sounders FC Trophies and Achievements

 

MLS Cup – National

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

 

The game ended in a stalemate after average regulation time, which was forced into extra time that resulted in penalties and eventually won by the Sounders.

 

The club claimed the title in front of over thirty-six thousand spectators at the BMO Field in Toronto, Canada.

 

In 2019, the club earned a second title in the Cup playoffs final, beating Toronto FC in a repeat of 2016 last, 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 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.

 

Sounders are history makers as the only MLS based side to win the US Open Cup in three consecutive seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Sounders had its fourth league three years later.

 

Rivalry

Seattle Sounders also boast of having one of the strongest rivalries in the country.

 

Seattle Sounders vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

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 several times in the Cup playoffs.

 

6. Columbus Crew

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

 

The crew is also one of the most successful teams in the MLS, having 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 trophy by beating LA Galaxy in the final.

 

7. Chicago Fire

 

Chicago Fire is a professional soccer club based in Chicago and competes 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.

 

Chicago Fire Soccer Club Trophies and Achievements

The Fire won its first trophy, its first MLS Cup in 1998, and completed a double after the US Open Cup final win.

 

MLS Cup – National

(1998) – This was 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 achieved up to four MLS Cup titles alongside Sporting Kansas City.

 

The first Trophy was achieved in 1998 and the second two years later in 2000.

Chicago Fire won the third title in 2003 and the fourth three years later in 2006.

 

Since then, the Fire has qualified for Championship play-offs and faced turbulent times.

 

Rivalry

Chicago Fire vs FC Dallas

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy

Chicago Fire vs DC United

Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution

 

Support (fanbase)

Chicago Fire is also one of the most followed teams in the United States.

 

8. Sporting Kansas city

Sporting Kansas City is a professional soccer club based in Kansas and 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.

 

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’s success began in the early 2000s.

 

Sporting Kansas City Trophies and Achievements

 

MLS Cup – National

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

 

Supporters Shield – National

Supporters Shield Crown accompanied the 2000 Cup win.

 

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.

 

Club Rivalry

Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake

Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo

Sporting Kansas City vs Minnesota United FC

 

Support

Various supporters groups guard it; the Kansas City boast several 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 and competes in the MLS as a member of the Western Conference.

 

The club has won the MLS Cup once in 2009 and has played in the CONCACAF Champions League.

 

10. Atlanta United

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

 

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

 

Atlanta United’s first major silverware was the Eastern Conference Playoffs in the 2018 MLS Cup win the same year.

 

In 2019, Atlanta United achieved another double by winning the US Open Cup and the Campeones Cup. This performance has lifted Atlanta United to MLS’s 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 and was ranked as the 31st best soccer team globally by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

 

The same year, the club was also ranked as the ninth-best team in CONCACAF, and 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. The club has won two US Open Cup and a Supporters Shield. In 2010, Dallas lost the MLS Cup playoffs final to Colorado Rapids.

 

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

 

12. New York City FC

New York City FC defeated Portland Timbers in the 2021 MLS Cup final to win the MLS Cup. The new York based soccer club is one of the lastest team in town with an MLS Cup.

 

Competition in the MLS 

 

Major League Soccer is one of the most competitive soccer leagues globally, 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.

 

The league has grown over the years, becoming a significant hub for top European stars, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham and Gonzalo Higuain, Carlos Vela etc.

 

The league has never been one-sided compared to other companies in Europe.

 

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

 

Revenue

The MLS is one of the top leagues globally that generate a lot through television broadcast rights and matchday ticket sales.

 

Although the may not be compared with the likes of the English Premier League, Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, etc., the league has recorded the best outcome in terms of revenue generated.

 

MLS Cup and Supporters Shield, who’s the true  Champion?

 

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

 

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


The MLS has become increasingly popular among 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.

Final thoughts

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

 

The Liga MX boasts some of the best teams on the continent regarding trophies won and overall valuation.

 

But this does not take away the fact that the MLS is still one of the best in the world in terms of popularity, rising income, followers and Television audience.

 

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

 

Los Angeles FC, Austin FC, have continued with their upward rise in the league with blistering performance.

 

The best and most successful MLS soccer teams, LA Galaxy, DC United, San Jose Earthquakes, Columbus Crew, Seattle Sounders, are the leading teams.

 

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.

 

For LA Galaxy, it was like repeating and surpassing DC United’s early start to life in the new Franchise soccer league.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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