This is the list of the 11 best MLS teams of all time. And I will be ranking these teams based on their domestic, continental, and intercontinental performances, plus, you will learn the number of titles each team won.
I have watched a couple of these clubs play, gone through their history, and if you ask me, they have been the most successful teams in the MLS. In short, they have won the most trophies.
So without much delay let’s dive into them.
Top 11 Best Major League Soccer Teams Of All-Time
- D.C. United
- Los Angeles Galaxy
- Toronto FC
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Columbus Crew
- Sporting Kansas City
- CF Montréal
- Chicago Fire FC
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Los Angeles FC
- Atlanta United FC
Let’s get started.
1. D.C. United
D.C. United was founded in 1995 as one of the inaugural franchises in Major League Soccer (MLS). Since its debut season in 1996, the club has maintained a consistent presence on the MLS stage, being one of the premier franchises in both the league and American soccer as a whole.
D.C. United’s most impressive moment was in the late 1990s. During this era, players like Raúl Díaz Arce, Marco Etcheverry, Roy Lassiter, Jaime Moreno, Ben Olsen, and Eddie Pope, under the head coach Bruce Arena, drove the team to eight of their twelve major titles between 1996 and 2000.
And in the mid-to-late-2000s, Piotr Nowak and Tom Soehn also guided D.C. United triumphs. The team secured an MLS Cup, a U.S. Open Cup, and two Supporters Shield titles during this period. In 2013, under Ben Olsen, the club clinched its most recent major trophy, the U.S. Open Cup.
D.C. United’s domestic performance is absolute, with an impressive collection of silverware that includes four MLS Cups, four Supporters Shields, three U.S. Open Cups, and six Eastern Conference championships. However, their accomplishments extend beyond U.S. borders.
The club boasts a CONCACAF Champions League title and a Copa Interamericana victory, making them the only American team to achieve this feat.
2. Los Angeles Galaxy
As one of the league’s 10 charter members, the LA Galaxy burst onto the Major League Soccer (MLS) scene in 1996, and you won’t believe how great they have turned out.
The team is owned by the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which also has stakes in the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Lakers. They have won five MLS Cups and four additional appearances in the final.
Also, the team has secured the Western Conference regular-season title eight times, in addition to four Supporters’ Shields, two U.S. Open Cups, and a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup title.
The year 2007 was quite fun for the club, as they made international headlines by signing English football icon David Beckham from Real Madrid.
This move not only symbolized the growth of MLS but also charged the Galaxy into the international soccer spotlight.
The teams have been blessed with amazing international players, including Zlatan Ibrahimović, Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane, Luis Hernández, Giovani dos Santos, and more. Even Landon Donovan is the all-time leading scorer for the club.
In 2017, the Galaxy experienced the lows alongside their highs, as they claimed the MLS Wooden Spoon for finishing at the bottom of the league table.
According to Forbes’ estimations in 2019, the LA Galaxy ranks as the second most valuable club in the MLS, bragging an approximate worth of $480 million.
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3. Toronto FC
Toronto FC achieved the phenomenal feat of winning the domestic treble in 2017. This triumph included clinching the MLS Cup, lifting the Supporters’ Shield, and securing the Canadian Championship.
This historic achievement made the team the first and only MLS club to accomplish the domestic treble to date. The club has an impressive tally of eight Canadian Championship titles.
As of 2023, their estimated worth of US$690 million positions them as the sixth most valuable club in MLS, trailing only behind Los Angeles FC, LA Galaxy, Atlanta United FC, New York City FC, and D.C. United. They even boast the highest player payroll in the league.
4. Seattle Sounders FC
Seattle Sounders FC became a Phoenix club on November 13, 2007, and they have reshaped Major League Soccer (MLS). The club’s journey began in 2009 as an MLS expansion team.
Rising from the second-division franchise that had graced American soccer from 1994 to 2008, the Sounders took on the name of the original Sounders franchise, which had once competed in the North American Soccer League (NASL) from 1974 to 1983.
So, they Inaugurated their MLS campaign with a 3–0 victory over the New York Red Bulls on March 19, 2009. And their triumphs have included four U.S. Open Cup victories, the Supporters’ Shield in 2014, and the MLS Cup triumphs in 2016 and 2019.
The team holds the record for the longest successive qualification for the MLS Cup Playoffs until 2022, and the club has also displayed its qualities on the international level.
Their seven appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League topped in a historic victory in 2022, making them the first MLS team to win the modern version of the competition. They are also the first MLS team to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Sounders’ also recorded an MLS record-setting average attendance for their first five seasons, reaffirming the passionate support they enjoy in the Northwest. They are one of the most valuable franchises in North America.
5. Columbus Crew
The Columbus Crew is a force to be reckoned with in Major League Soccer (MLS). In 2014, the Crew set club attendance records, both in terms of cumulative attendance and sellouts, underlining the zeal that fans bring to the stands.
The team’s collection of major trophies includes six major titles, they secured the MLS Cup twice, first in 2008 and more recently in 2020. Also, they claimed the Supporters’ Shield three times in 2004, 2008, and 2009.
The 2002 U.S. Open Cup further adds to their collection of achievements. They have been impressive on the international stage too, with four appearances in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions League. In 2021, they won their first-ever continental trophy, Campeones Cup.
6. Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City deserves to be listed for the impressive performance they have recorded. They secured two MLS Cup titles in 2000 and 2013, plus the Supporters’ Shield in 2000.
The U.S. Open Cup has proven to be the best cup for Sporting Kansas City as they have won most of it with four victories in 2004, 2012, 2015, and 2017.
7. Chicago Fire FC
Chicago was a founding pillar of Major League Soccer’s (MLS) early expansion in 1998. They achieved a rare feat in their inaugural season.
Not only did they secure the MLS Cup in 1988, but they also clinched the U.S. Open Cup. Plus additional U.S. Open Cup victories in 2000, 2003, and 2006. The Fire also claimed the 2003 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
8. CF Montréal
Founded in 1992 as the Montréal Impact, CF Montréal ventured on a transformation that led up to their entry into Major League Soccer (MLS) as an expansion team in 2012. They represent the league’s nineteenth franchise and the third Canadian club.
In 2015, they recorded a huge accomplishment as they became the first-ever Canadian club and the second MLS club to reach the final of the CONCACAF Champions League.
While they narrowly missed clinching the victory, their time to the final showed their ability to compete at the highest levels of the North American soccer stadium.
Domestically, CF Montréal has clinched the Voyageurs Cup, the domestic trophy for professional club soccer in Canada 11 times.
One of these five titles was secured within the format of the Canadian Championship, a national championship for professional clubs in Canada established in 2008.
CF Montréal’s involvement in regional competitions is also notable. The team competes in the Leagues Cup, a North American zonal competition under CONCACAF.
9. San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose Earthquakes was originally known as the San Jose Clash, the franchise became one of the charter members of Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1996.
The Earthquakes were instrumental during the early days of the MLS, they took part in the league’s inaugural game and secured a memorable victory over D.C. United.
With two MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003, along with two Supporters’ Shields in 2005 and 2012, the Earthquakes are one of the best MLS teams of all time.
10. Los Angeles FC
Los Angels were established on October 30, 2014, and their presence has been known ever since, since stepping onto the pitch for the first time in the 2018 season as an expansion team.
During their second season in 2019, LAFC secured the Supporters’ Shield, an achievement that underscored their dominance in the league.
Club captain Carlos Vela’s impact was key, as he won the MVP Award in that season. And In 2020, they won the runners-up title in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Impressively, they clinched their first-ever MLS Cup in 2022, completing a remarkable league double by adding their second Supporters’ Shield to the trophy cabinet.
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11. Atlanta United FC
In 2017, Atlanta United FC came into the Major League Soccer (MLS), and they have established the team as one of the most successful clubs in the MLS in a short while. Being the twenty-second team to join the MLS, Atlanta United FC made a great influence.
The franchise marked a milestone as the first MLS team to call Atlanta home, playing their home matches at the iconic Mercedes-Benz Stadium, shared with the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.
Both teams are under the ownership of Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot. The club’s influence was later further with the ownership of Atlanta United 2, a reserve team competing in MLS Next Pro. In their second season, they won their first trophy, winning the MLS Cup 2018.
And In terms of value, Atlanta United FC estimated their worth at approximately $845 million, making them one of the league’s most valuable franchises as of 2021. Their honors include Campeones Cup, MLS Cup, U.S. Open Cup, and MLS Eastern Conference Championship.
My Top 11 Best Major League Soccer Teams Of All-Time list is ranked based on the domestic, continental, and intercontinental performances of these MLS teams.
This list has the most successful clubs in the history of the league, highlighting their achievements and the number of titles they have won.
- D C. United: Secured thirteen major titles, including four MLS Cups, four Supporters Shields, three U.S. Open Cups, and six Eastern Conference championships.
- Los Angeles Galaxy: The LA Galaxy boasts twelve major titles which include five MLS Cups, four Supporters Shields, two U.S. Open Cups, and a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup title.
- Toronto FC: Toronto has also won a total of ten titles, including a historic domestic treble in 2017. Toronto FC is the only MLS club to secure the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, and Canadian Championship simultaneously plus eight Canadian Championship titles.
- Seattle Sounders FC: The Sounders have clinched four U.S. Open Cups, a Supporters’ Shield, and MLS Cups in 2016 and 2019. Their consistent success led them to the CONCACAF Champions League victory in 2022.
- Columbus Crew: The Crew’s seven major titles include two MLS Cups (2008, 2020), three Supporters Shields, and a U.S. Open Cup (2002). They also triumphed internationally in the Campeones Cup in 2021.
- Sporting Kansas City: With two MLS Cups (2000, 2013), a Supporters’ Shield (2000), and four U.S. Open Cups (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017).
- CF Montréal: The CF Montréal in 2015, recorded a huge accomplishment as they became the first-ever Canadian club and the second MLS club to reach the final of the CONCACAF Champions League.
- Chicago Fire FC: The Fire clinched the “double” (MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup) in their debut season (1998) and secured additional U.S. Open Cups in 2000, 2003, and 2006, along with the 2003 MLS Supporters’ Shield.
- San Jose Earthquakes: The Earthquakes have claimed two MLS Cups (2001, 2003), and two Supporters Shields (2005, 2012).
- Los Angeles FC: LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield in 2019, the CONCACAF Champions League runners-up spot in 2020, and their first-ever MLS Cup in 2022.
- Atlanta United FC: Atlanta United FC secured the MLS Cup in 2018, the Campeones Cup, U.S. Open Cup, and MLS Eastern Conference Championship titles.
Pataka is a consistent and avid follower of the round leather game. He communicates his passion by editing soccer posts for various soccer platforms.