List of MLS Cup finals Article

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A group of soccer players for Sporting Kansas City dressed in suits behind President Barack Obama, who stands at a podium. The MLS Cup trophy stands to the President's left on a table.
Sporting Kansas City, winners of MLS Cup 2013, are received by President Barack Obama at the White House

The MLS Cup is the annual championship match of Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-level soccer league for the United States and Canada. The match marks the conclusion of the MLS Cup Playoffs, a four-round knockout competition contested by the top six teams from each of the league's two conferences. [1] The playoffs tournament is organized by the league at the conclusion of the regular season in a format similar to other professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada, but unlike other soccer leagues. [2] The league also awards the Supporters' Shield to regular season winners. Both the MLS Cup champion and Supporters' Shield winner qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League, contested by the champions of CONCACAF leagues in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. [3]

The MLS Cup was established in 1996 and originally hosted by a predetermined neutral site selected by the league before the beginning of the regular season. [4] Since the 2012 edition, the match has been hosted by the remaining team with the highest regular season standing. [4] The final, originally contested in October, was moved to November and later December as the length of the regular season and playoffs were extended by the league. [5] The playoffs originally allowed for lower-ranked seeds, known as wild cards, to be placed into different sides of the bracket regardless of their actual conference. As a result, several MLS Cups have featured two teams from the same conference. [6]

The cup is currently held by Atlanta United FC, who defeated the Portland Timbers in the 2018 final, which was also the most-attended in MLS Cup history with 73,019 spectators. [7] The LA Galaxy hold the record for most MLS Cup titles, having won five times in nine appearances. [8] The championship has been won by the same team in two or more consecutive years on three occasions, and the match has featured consecutive sets of finalists on three occasions. [9] Eight teams have also won " the double", claiming the MLS Cup and either the Supporters' Shield or U.S. Open Cup during the same season; only Toronto FC has won a treble, having achieved it in 2017. [10] [11]

Finals

Key
* Match went to extra time
dagger Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time
Bold Team won the MLS Supporters' Shield
Italics Team won the U.S. Open Cup or the Canadian Championship
MLS Cup finals [12]
Season Date Winner Score [13] Runners–up Venue Attendance [14] U.S. broadcaster [15] [16]
1996 October 20 D.C. United  † 3–2 * [A] Los Angeles Galaxy Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 34,643 ABC
1997 October 26 D.C. United 2–1 Colorado Rapids RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C. 57,431 ABC
1998 October 25 Chicago Fire 2–0 D.C. United Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 51,350 ABC
1999 November 21 D.C. United 2–0 Los Angeles Galaxy Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 44,910 ABC
2000 October 15 Kansas City Wizards 1–0 Chicago Fire RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C. 39,159 ABC
2001 October 21 San Jose Earthquakes  † 2–1 * [A] Los Angeles Galaxy Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 21,626 ABC
2002 October 20 Los Angeles Galaxy  † 1–0 * [A] New England Revolution Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 61,316 ABC
2003 November 23 San Jose Earthquakes 4–2 Chicago Fire Home Depot Center, Carson, California 27,000 ABC
2004 November 14 D.C. United 3–2 Kansas City Wizards Home Depot Center, Carson, California 25,797 ABC
2005 November 13 Los Angeles Galaxy  † 1–0 * New England Revolution Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas 21,193 ABC
2006 November 12 Houston Dynamo  † 1–1 dagger
(4–3 p.)
New England Revolution Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas 22,427 ABC
2007 November 18 Houston Dynamo 2–1 New England Revolution RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C. 39,859 ABC
2008 November 23 Columbus Crew 3–1 New York Red Bulls Home Depot Center, Carson, California 27,000 ABC
2009 November 22 Real Salt Lake  † 1–1 dagger
(5–4 p.)
Los Angeles Galaxy Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington 46,011 ESPN
2010 November 21 Colorado Rapids  † 2–1 * FC Dallas BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario 21,700 ESPN
2011 November 20 Los Angeles Galaxy 1–0 Houston Dynamo Home Depot Center, Carson, California 30,281 ESPN
2012 December 1 Los Angeles Galaxy 3–1 Houston Dynamo Home Depot Center, Carson, California 30,510 ESPN
2013 December 7 Sporting Kansas City  † 1–1 dagger
(7–6 p.)
Real Salt Lake Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas 21,650 ESPN
2014 December 7 Los Angeles Galaxy  † 2–1 * New England Revolution StubHub Center, Carson, California 27,000 ESPN
2015 December 6 Portland Timbers 2–1 Columbus Crew SC MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 21,747 ESPN
2016 December 10 Seattle Sounders FC  † 0–0 dagger
(5–4 p.)
Toronto FC BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario 36,045 Fox
2017 December 9 Toronto FC 2–0 Seattle Sounders FC BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario 30,584 ESPN
2018 December 8 Atlanta United FC 2–0 Portland Timbers Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia 73,019 Fox

Results by team

Sixteen of the league's 23 teams have appeared at an MLS Cup final, with thirteen winning a championship. [17] The LA Galaxy have appeared at and won the MLS Cup the most times, with five championships in nine appearances. The New England Revolution have appeared five times as a finalist, but has yet to win an MLS Cup. [18] The Chicago Fire won the MLS Cup in their inaugural season in 1998, a feat unmatched by any other major U.S. expansion team. [17]

MLS Cup appearances by team [13]
Team Total
appearances
Wins Most recent win Runners-up Most recent loss
LA Galaxy 9 5 2014 4 2009
D.C. United 5 4 2004 1 1998
New England Revolution 5 0 &
5 2014
Houston Dynamo 4 2 2007 2 2012
Sporting Kansas City 3 2 2013 1 2004
Chicago Fire 3 1 1998 2 2003
San Jose Earthquakes 2 2 2003 0 &
Colorado Rapids 2 1 2010 1 1997
Columbus Crew SC 2 1 2008 1 2015
Real Salt Lake 2 1 2009 1 2013
Seattle Sounders FC 2 1 2016 1 2017
Toronto FC 2 1 2017 1 2016
Portland Timbers 2 1 2015 1 2018
Atlanta United FC 1 1 2018 0 &
FC Dallas 1 0 &
1 2010
New York Red Bulls 1 0 &
1 2008

Stadiums

The MLS Cup was originally hosted by a neutral site selected prior to the season, in a manner similar to the NFL's Super Bowl, from 1996 to 2011. Three teams advanced to the final after being named as hosts: D.C. United in 1997, the New England Revolution in 2002, and the LA Galaxy in 2011. [19] [20] Since the 2012 edition, the match has been hosted by the finalist with the highest regular season standing. [4] Several teams with smaller or inadequate stadiums have also considered using larger American football stadiums to host the MLS Cup, but all post-2012 editions have been played at regular MLS venues. [21] The move towards a non-neutral venue was deemed a risk due to the cold November and December weather in some northern cities, as well as the lack of adequate stadiums for some teams. [22]

The MLS Cup has been hosted in eleven stadiums across nine metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada. [23] StubHub Center, previously named the Home Depot Center, in Carson, California, has hosted the MLS Cup the most times of any venue, with six editions between 2003 and 2014. [24] The largest attendance for an MLS Cup final was the 2018 edition at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, with 73,019 spectators; [7] the smallest was in 2005 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, with only 21,193 spectators. [14] Only three editions have been hosted outside the United States, all at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada. [14]

MLS Cup final venues [13] [14]
Stadium [B] Hosts Years
StubHub Center, Carson, California 6 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, D.C. 3 1997, 2000, 2007
BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario 3 2010, 2016, 2017
Foxboro Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 2 1996, 1999
MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 2 2001, 2015
Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas 2 2005, 2006
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California 1 1998
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts 1 2002
Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington 1 2009
Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas 1 2013
Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia 1 2018

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c This final was decided by a golden goal in overtime.
  2. ^ Stadiums are listed by their official name at the time of their most recent final.

References

  1. ^ Goldberg, Jamie (October 24, 2017). "A guide to the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs: Teams, dates, seeding, format". The Oregonian. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  2. ^ Ruthven, Graham (November 5, 2015). "Could MLS-style play-offs work in Europe's top leagues?". The Guardian. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  3. ^ Goff, Steven (December 5, 2015). "MLS playoff format is an outlier in world soccer — and that's a good thing". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c Dreier, Frederick (November 29, 2012). "Wild-card L.A. Galaxy favored in home-field MLS Cup". USA Today. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  5. ^ "MLS reveals 2012 schedule, including MLS Cup in December". MLSsoccer.com. January 5, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  6. ^ Rodriguez, Alicia (October 21, 2015). "Audi MLS Cup Playoffs: Tracing the evolution of the postseason format since 1996". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  7. ^ a b Reineking, Jim (December 8, 2018). "Atlanta United wins MLS Cup in just its second season". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
  8. ^ Powers, John (December 8, 2014). "Galaxy defeat Revolution for record fifth MLS title". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  9. ^ Milles, Todd (November 30, 2017). "Sounders stamp MLS Cup rematch ticket with Toronto". The News Tribune. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  10. ^ Rodriguez, Alicia (December 9, 2017). "Toronto FC win first domestic treble in MLS history". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  11. ^ Parker, Graham (December 9, 2017). "Jozy Altidore has last laugh to seal MLS Cup glory for Toronto FC". The Guardian. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  12. ^ "MLS Cup 2018: Atlanta United FC vs. Portland Timbers championship game time, TV guide". USA Today. December 8, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  13. ^ a b c "Major League Soccer 2018 Fact & Record Book". Major League Soccer. January 2018. pp. 129–133. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c d "MLS Cup 2017 Game Guide: Toronto FC vs. Seattle Sounders FC" (PDF). Major League Soccer. December 2017. p. 132. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  15. ^ Ourand, John (September 21, 2009). "MLS Cup to appear in prime time on ESPN, opposite 'Sunday Night Football'". Sports Business Daily. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  16. ^ "MLS Cup set for Primetime on FOX, UniMás, TSN and RDS, December 10" (Press release). Major League Soccer. September 6, 2016. Archived from the original on December 1, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Reineking, Jim (November 30, 2018). "2018 MLS Cup: Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers by the numbers". USA Today. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  18. ^ Parker, Graham; Whittall, Richard (December 8, 2014). "MLS Cup: how LA Galaxy crushed dreams of the Revolution". The Guardian. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  19. ^ McCarthy, Kyle (December 3, 2015). "MLS 101: Why is MLS Cup in Columbus?". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  20. ^ Goff, Steven (March 8, 2012). "Major League Soccer 2012 preview". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  21. ^ Almond, Elliott (October 4, 2012). "San Jose Earthquakes mull stadium options for MLS Cup". The Mercury News. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  22. ^ Goff, Steven (November 26, 2012). "MLS Cup at home comes with risk". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  23. ^ "MLS Cup 2018 Game Guide". Major League Soccer. p. 4. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  24. ^ Celani, Andrew (December 3, 2014). "9 Things To Know Ahead Of Revolution-Galaxy MLS Cup". CBS Boston. Retrieved November 16, 2018.

External links