List of MLS Cup finals

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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 the North American leagues.[3]

The MLS Cup was established in 1996 and originally hosted by a neutral site selected by the league before the beginning of the regular season. Three teams played in a final match hosted at their home stadium: D.C. United in 1997, New England Revolution in 2002, and LA Galaxy in 2011.[4] 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 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. The cup is currently held by the Toronto FC, who defeated Seattle Sounders FC in the 2017 final, a rematch of the 2016 final contested by the two teams.

Finals[edit]

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
Season Date Winner Score Runners–up Venue Attendance U.S. broadcaster
1996 October 20 D.C. United  †3–2 * 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 * Los Angeles Galaxy Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio 21,626 ABC
2002 October 20 Los Angeles Galaxy  †1–0 * 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[A] 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[B] 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[C] 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[D] 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

Results by team[edit]

Fifteen of the league's 23 teams have appeared at an MLS Cup final, with twelve winning a championship.[citation needed] 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.[5]

MLS Cup appearances by team
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 1 1 2015 0 &
FC Dallas 1 0 &
1 2010
New York Red Bulls 1 0 &
1 2008

Stadiums[edit]

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.[6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

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 2002 edition at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, with 61,316 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.

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

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Houston Dynamo won the 2006 final 4–3 in a penalty shootout.
  2. ^ Real Salt Lake won the 2009 final 5–4 in a penalty shootout.
  3. ^ Sporting Kansas City won the 2013 final 7–6 in a penalty shootout.
  4. ^ Seattle Sounders FC won the 2016 final 5–4 in a penalty shootout.
  5. ^ Stadiums are listed by their official name at the time of their latest final.

References[edit]

  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. ^ McCarthy, Kyle (December 3, 2015). "MLS 101: Why is MLS Cup in Columbus?". Fox Sports. Retrieved February 11, 2018. 
  5. ^ Parker, Graham; Whittall, Richard (December 8, 2014). "MLS Cup: how LA Galaxy crushed dreams of the Revolution". The Guardian. Retrieved June 24, 2018. 
  6. ^ Botta, Cristopher (November 26, 2012). "MLS gets home-field advantage". SportsBusiness Journal. Retrieved June 24, 2018. 
  7. ^ Almond, Elliott (October 4, 2012). "San Jose Earthquakes mull stadium options for MLS Cup". The Mercury News. Retrieved June 24, 2018. 
  8. ^ Goff, Steven (November 26, 2012). "MLS Cup at home comes with risk". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 24, 2018. 

External links[edit]