2019 Major League Soccer season
The 2019 Major League Soccer season will be the 24th season of Major League Soccer. The regular season begins on March 2, 2019 and ends on October 6. The MLS Cup Playoffs will begin on October 19, 2019, and conclude with the MLS Cup 2019 on November 10, under a new format that differs from previous seasons. The playoffs will use single-match rounds and include 14 teams.
FC Cincinnati will join the league as an expansion franchise, bringing the total number of MLS clubs to 24. Minnesota United FC plans to open their first soccer-specific stadium, Allianz Field, in April.
- 1 Teams
- 2 Regular season
- 3 Playoffs
- 4 Player transfers
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Stadiums and locations
- Non-soccer specific stadium and artificially reduced capacity.
The Portland Timbers announced in late 2018 that, due to expansion construction at Providence Park, they would play the first 12 games of the 2019 season on the road. The construction, which adds about 4000 seats (bringing the total capacity to just over 25,000), also includes a completely remodeled east side of the stadium, a new scoreboard, ribbon boards and video board, new turf, and an updated concourse and concession stands on the west side of the stadium. The stadium is expected to be ready to host MLS games in May or June 2019.
Personnel and sponsorship
|Team||Head coach||Captain||Shirt sponsor|
|Atlanta United FC||Frank de Boer||Michael Parkhurst||American Family Insurance|
|Chicago Fire||Veljko Paunović||Dax McCarty||Motorola|
|FC Cincinnati||Alan Koch||Kendall Waston||Mercy Health|
|Colorado Rapids||Anthony Hudson||Tim Howard||Transamerica|
|Columbus Crew SC||Caleb Porter||Wil Trapp||Acura|
|D.C. United||Ben Olsen||Wayne Rooney||Leidos|
|FC Dallas||Luchi Gonzalez||Matt Hedges||AdvoCare|
|Houston Dynamo||Wilmer Cabrera||DaMarcus Beasley||MD Anderson|
|LA Galaxy||Guillermo Barros Schelotto||Zlatan Ibrahimović||Herbalife|
|Los Angeles FC||Bob Bradley||Carlos Vela||YouTube TV|
|Minnesota United FC||Adrian Heath||Francisco Calvo||Target|
|Montreal Impact||Rémi Garde||Ignacio Piatti||Bank of Montreal|
|New England Revolution||Brad Friedel||Michael Mancienne||UnitedHealthcare|
|New York City FC||Domènec Torrent||Alexander Ring||Etihad Airways|
|New York Red Bulls||Chris Armas||Luis Robles||Red Bull|
|Orlando City SC||James O'Connor||TBA||Orlando Health|
|Philadelphia Union||Jim Curtin||Alejandro Bedoya||Bimbo Bakeries USA|
|Portland Timbers||Giovanni Savarese||Diego Valeri||Alaska Airlines|
|Real Salt Lake||Mike Petke||Kyle Beckerman||LifeVantage|
|San Jose Earthquakes||Matías Almeyda||Chris Wondolowski||—|
|Seattle Sounders FC||Brian Schmetzer||TBA||Zulily|
|Sporting Kansas City||Peter Vermes||Matt Besler||Ivy Funds|
|Toronto FC||Greg Vanney||Michael Bradley||Bank of Montreal|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Marc Dos Santos||TBA||Bell Canada|
|Team||Outgoing coach||Manner of
|Position in table||Incoming coach||Date of |
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Craig Dalrymple (interim)||End of interim period||November 7, 2018||Pre-season||Marc Dos Santos||November 7, 2018|
|FC Dallas||Óscar Pareja||Resigned||November 16, 2018||Luchi Gonzalez||December 15, 2018|
|Columbus Crew SC||Gregg Berhalter||Signed by United States||November 29, 2018||Caleb Porter||January 4, 2019|
|Atlanta United FC||Gerardo Martino||End of contract||December 18, 2018||Frank de Boer||December 23, 2018|
|LA Galaxy||Dominic Kinnear (interim)||End of interim period||January 2, 2019||Guillermo Barros Schelotto||January 2, 2019|
Each club will play 34 games, including 17 home games and 17 away games. Teams will face each of their conference opponents twice during the season and non-conference opponents once.
|1||Atlanta United FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Conference Semifinals & 2020 CONCACAF Champions League|
|2||Chicago Fire||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Conference Quarterfinals|
|4||Columbus Crew SC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|7||New England Revolution||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|8||New York City FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|9||New York Red Bulls||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||Orlando City SC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goal differential; 7) away goals scored ; 8) home goals scored; 9) home goal differential; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots.
- Canadian clubs cannot qualify for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League through league play.
|1||Colorado Rapids||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Conference Semifinals & 2020 CONCACAF Champions League|
|2||FC Dallas||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Conference Quarterfinals|
|5||Los Angeles FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||Minnesota United FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|8||Real Salt Lake||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|9||San Jose Earthquakes||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|10||Seattle Sounders FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|11||Sporting Kansas City||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|12||Vancouver Whitecaps FC[a]||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goal differential; 7) away goals scored; 8) home goals scored; 9) home goal differential; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC cannot qualify for the 2020 CONCACAF Champions League through league play.
|10||Los Angeles FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|13||New England Revolution||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|14||New York City FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|15||New York Red Bulls||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|19||Real Salt Lake||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|20||San Jose Earthquakes||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|21||Seattle Sounders FC||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|22||Sporting Kansas City||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goals scored; 7) away goal differential; 8) coin toss or drawing of lots
The MLS Cup Playoffs were expanded from 12 teams to 14 for the 2019 season, eliminating the former two-legged series and re-seeding in favor of a shorter playoff format. The MLS Cup final is scheduled to take place on November 10, 2019.
The MLS SuperDraft is an annual event, taking place in January of each year, in which the teams of Major League Soccer select players who have graduated from college or otherwise been signed by the league. The first two rounds of 2019 MLS SuperDraft were held on January 11 in Chicago. Rounds three and four of the 2019 SuperDraft were held via a conference call on January 14. FC Cincinnati selected Frankie Amaya with the first overall pick.
The allocation ranking is the mechanism used to determine which MLS club has first priority to acquire a player who is in the MLS allocation list. The MLS allocation list contains select U.S. National Team players and players transferred outside of MLS garnering a transfer fee of at least $500,000. The allocations are ranked in reverse order of finish for the 2018 season, taking playoff performance into account. As an expansion team, FC Cincinnati took the top spot.
Once the club uses its allocation ranking to acquire a player, it drops to the bottom of the list. A ranking can be traded provided that part of the compensation received in return is another club's ranking. At all times each club is assigned one ranking. The rankings reset at the end of each MLS season.
|Club||Date allocation used
(Rank on that date)
|Player signed||Previous club||Ref|
|2||5||San Jose Earthquakes[A]|||
|9||8||New England Revolution|
|16||15||Los Angeles FC|
|17||16||Real Salt Lake|
|19||18||New York City FC|
|21||20||Sporting Kansas City|
|22||21||New York Red Bulls|
|1||24||Toronto FC[A][B]||December 27, 2018||Laurent Ciman||Dijon|||
- On December 10, 2018, Toronto FC acquired the number 2 allocation ranking from San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for the number 6 allocation ranking, $75,000 in general allocation money, and $75,000 in targeted allocation money.
- On December 27, 2018, Toronto FC acquired the number 1 allocation ranking from FC Cincinnati in exchange for the number 2 allocation ranking and the number 30 overall selection in 2019 MLS SuperDraft.
- Bogert, Tom (December 17, 2018). "MLS announces new playoff format for 2019 season". Major League Soccer. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
- Straus, Brian (May 24, 2018). "FC Cincinnati to Be Awarded MLS Expansion Team, Club to Join League in 2019". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Zgoda, Jerry (October 9, 2018). "U.S. men's soccer national pride takes stage at new Allianz Field on June 18". Star Tribune. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Das, Andrew (October 28, 2018). "Red Bulls Clinch M.L.S. Regular-Season Title". The New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- Roberson, Doug (December 8, 2018). "MLS Cup champs: Atlanta United defeats Portland". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- Goldberg, Jamie (November 26, 2018). "Portland Timbers expect to play first 12 games on the road in 2019 due to construction at Providence Park". The Oregonian. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Brennan, Patrick (July 4, 2018). "Here's how FC Cincinnati plans to build its roster for the 2019 MLS season". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- "FC Cincinnati break ground on Mercy Health Training Center". Major League Soccer. September 19, 2018. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
- "MLS releases 2019 regular-season schedule". Major League Soccer. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "MLS Allocation Ranking". Major League Soccer. December 27, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "FCC Acquires SuperDraft Selection In Trade With Toronto FC". FC Cincinnati. December 27, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "NEWS: Earthquakes Acquire Allocation Money in Trade with Toronto FC". San Jose Earthquakes. December 10, 2018. Retrieved January 7, 2019.