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.  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.  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. 
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.  Since the 2012 edition, the match has been hosted by the remaining team with the highest regular season standing.  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.  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. 
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.  The LA Galaxy hold the record for most MLS Cup titles, having won five times in nine appearances.  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.  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.  
|*||Match went to extra time|
|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|
Sixteen of the league's 23 teams have appeared at an MLS Cup final, with thirteen winning a championship.  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.  The Chicago Fire won the MLS Cup in their inaugural season in 1998, a feat unmatched by any other major U.S. expansion team. 
|Wins||Most recent win||Runners-up||Most recent loss|
|New England Revolution||5||0||&
|Sporting Kansas City||3||2||2013||1||2004|
|San Jose Earthquakes||2||2||2003||0||&|
|Columbus Crew SC||2||1||2008||1||2015|
|Real Salt Lake||2||1||2009||1||2013|
|Seattle Sounders FC||2||1||2016||1||2017|
|Atlanta United FC||1||1||2018||0||&|
|New York Red Bulls||1||0||&
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.   Since the 2012 edition, the match has been hosted by the finalist with the highest regular season standing.  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.  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. 
The MLS Cup has been hosted in eleven stadiums across nine metropolitan areas in the United States and Canada.  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.  The largest attendance for an MLS Cup final was the 2018 edition at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, with 73,019 spectators;  the smallest was in 2005 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, with only 21,193 spectators.  Only three editions have been hosted outside the United States, all at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada. 
|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|
- This final was decided by a golden goal in overtime.
- Stadiums are listed by their official name at the time of their most recent final.
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