Major League Soccer format
The United States Major League Soccer (MLS) operates with a system that is devoid of promotion and relegation. Instead, the league is divided into 2 groups, the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference and they consist of 14 teams each.
The side that wins each conference by garnering the most points is awarded the Supporters Shield and secures automatic qualification for the quarter-finals of the MLS Cup playoffs.
Meanwhile, the sides that finish from second to seventh on the final league standings secure qualification for the MLS Cup playoff’s round of 16.
The question on how many MLS teams are there in 2023? 28 teams will participate alongside Charlotte FC who are the newly introduced side and one of the new MLS teams.
List of MLS teams in 2023
List of MLS teams in the Eastern Conference
DC United are located in Washington D.C and are nicknamed Black and Red.
They are of one the first clubs that win the MLS and this ensured that they carved a niche for themselves as one of the strongest soccer clubs in the United States.
They hold a joint record for MLS Supporters Shield with 4 to their name and are the only US team that have on the CONCACAF Champions League. This feat was accomplished in 1998 despite the dominance of the Mexican sides.
The club was launched in 1994 and have won 4 MLS Cups, 3 US Open Cup, 4 Supporters Shield and 1 CONCACAF Champions League.
They were arguably the household name in the early years of the league. They are one of the most respected clubs in Major League Soccer.
New England Revolution
New England Revolution are a professional soccer club in the MLS located in Greater Boston. They are nicknamed The Revs.
They participate in the United States elite club soccer competition as a member of the Eastern Conference.
The club have been participating in the competition since the league was formed.
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For the record, the New England Revolution have won 1 US Open Cup and have also played the role of a North American representative in the FIFA Club World Cup.
New York Red Bulls
The New York Red Bulls are one of the oldest clubs in the division and are nicknamed The Red Bulls Metro, based in New York, and were established in 1994.
They have three Supporters Shields to their name. It should also be known that are part of the Red Bull Football family.
Toronto FC are based in Canada and compete in the MLS as a member of the Eastern Conference. They are nicknamed The Reds and are based in Toronto.
They joined the league in 2007 as part of an expansion franchise and established themselves as the first Canadian franchise in Major League Soccer.
They are one of the Canadian clubs in the MLS and are easily one of the best soccer clubs in the MLS.
It can be recalled that they won the 2017 MLS Cup and MLS Supporters Shield and this was a league double.
Columbus Crew have two major nicknames, namely; The Crew and The Massive. They are based in Ohio and are regarded as one of the top ten clubs in the league.
They were founded in 1994 and have won several laurels since their inception. They have won 2 MLS Cups in 2008 and 2020 respectively, 1 US Open Cup and 3 Supporters Shields.
They’ve been one of the most consistent MLS clubs and have also been intelligent in the transfer market with some decent buys to their name.
Chicago Fire are based in Chicago and are nicknamed The Fire Men in Red. They are a professional soccer team in Major League Soccer and arguably one of the most successful soccer clubs in the MLS.
Their laurel triumphs include the MLS in 1998, Supporters Sheid in 2003, and 4 US Open Cups precisely in 1998, 2000, 2003, and 2006 respectively.
Orlando City are nicknamed The Lions and are a professional soccer club in the MLS. They are located in Orlando, Florida.
Club de Foot Montreal
They are based in Montreal and are nicknamed The Impact. CF Montréal compete in the MLS and are one of the founding members of the MLS Eastern Conference.
Their most notable feat was in the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League when they ended up as runners-up.
Located in Philadelphia and bear the nicknames Zolos and The Union. They were established in 2008 and started participating in the league in 2010. They won the Supporters Shield in 2020.
New York City
New York City as the name implies are based in New York City. They are a professional soccer club that was founded in 2013 and owned by City Football Group and Yankee Global Enterprises.
It should be known that they are nicknamed The Pigeons. They were the 12th team in the expansion and are regarded as one the most valuable MLS clubs although they are yet to land a major laurel.
Meanwhile, they are yet to receive huge financial backing from their owners in comparison to other clubs owned by them.
This is one of the reasons why they are yet to land the biggest price despite how valuable they are on paper.
Inter Miami CF
Club Internacional de Fútbol Miami played their first season of the MLS in 2020. They are nicknamed The Herons and are located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
They were launched in 2018 and have Manchester United legend David Beckham as one of their owners. They were poor in their first season in the MLS and more is expected from them in 2022.
Atlanta United are based in the City of Atlanta and are nicknamed The Five Stripes. They were launched in 2014 and made their debut in the MLS as an expansion team in 2017. They are one of the soccer clubs with the largest fanbase in Major League Soccer.
It can also be recalled that they won the MLS Cup in 2018, the US Open Cup in 2019, and were the winners of the Eastern Conference in 2018.
Wait for this! They also have 1 Campeones Cup in the bag and this is a competition played by Liga MX and MLS Cup winners.
Charlotte FC will be competing in the MLS from 2022 as an expansion team. They are an American professional soccer club and one of the new MLS teams. They were launched in 2019 are based in Charlotte, North Carolina.
FC Cincinnati is a professional soccer team based in Ohio and competes in the MLS. They are nicknamed Orange and Blue and became an expansion team in the 2018 season.
List of MLS teams in the Western Conference
Nashville SC are nicknamed The Six-Strings are based in Nashville, Tennessee. They began their MLS adventures in 2020 after playing in the USL Championship.
Houston Dynamo FC
Houston Dynamo FC are based in Texas and won the MLS in 2006 and 2007, as well as the US Open Cup in 2018.
Los Angeles Galaxy
LA Galaxy are one of the biggest clubs in the MLS as well as one of the most popular professional soccer clubs in the United States.
They are reputable for their dealings in the transfer market that have seen them sign some of the biggest names in Europe such as David Beckham and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Talking about the most consistent and best MLS teams presently, LA Galaxy are one.
They have 5 MLS Cups to their name which they won in 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, and 2014, as well as 4 Supporters Shields.
They are nicknamed Galaxy and are based in Los Angeles as their name implies. It should be known that their biggest rivals in the league are city rivals Los Angeles Football Club.
FC Dallas are based in Frisco, Texas, and compete in Major League Soccer as a member of the Western Conference.
They are nicknamed The Toros and The Hoops and have won 2 US Open Cups and Supporters Shield in 2016.
Colorado Rapids are nicknamed Pids and Rapids, based in Denver, Colorado, and were established in 1995. They achieved success in the MLS Cup in 2010.
They are based in Seattle and are nicknamed The Sounders. They are a professional soccer club in the MLS with 2 MLS Cups, 1 Supporters’ Shield, and 4 US Open Cups. They were launched in 2007 and began participation in the MLS in 2009 as part of the league’s expansion.
Portland Timbers are nicknamed The Timbers and are based in Portland, Oregon. It can be recalled that they won the MLS Cup in 2015 and also won the MLS Is Back Tournament in 2020.
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City or Sporting KC are nicknamed Wizards and are located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It can be recalled that they were formerly members of the Eastern Conference before joining the Western Conference.
Vancouver Whitecaps have two nicknames; The Village and Blue-and-White. They were the 17th team in the MLS franchise and are based in Vancouver.
San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose Earthquakes are nicknamed The Goonies and are based in San Jose, California. They have won the MLS Cup twice in 2001 and 2003.
They also won the Supporters Shield two times, precisely in 2005 and 2012, and are one of the top MLS teams in the history of the round leather game in the United States.
Based in the city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, they are nicknamed The Loons. It can be recalled that they were the runners-up in the final of the 2019 US Open Cup.
Los Angeles FC
Based in Los Angeles and can also be referred to as LAFC. They won the Western Conference regular-season title and one Supporters Shield in 2019. LAFC impressed in the 2019 season and more is expected from them in the upcoming seasons.
They are based in Texas, nicknamed ATXFC Verde (Green), and were established in 2018. Their first season in the MLS was in the 2021 MLS season as a member of the MLS Western Conference via the expansion franchise.
Real Salt Lake
They are nicknamed the Red and Blue Army and are located in Salt Lake City. They made their Major League Soccer debut in 2005 and won it once in 2009. Meanwhile, they finished as runners-up in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2011.
The aforementioned clubs in this article are all the clubs that play in Major League Soccer and they have been categorized according to their conferences. Fans, as well as aspiring fans of the MLS, will get the necessary information about the clubs that participate in what conferences in the MLS in this article.
Kenneth is a an avid soccer follower, fan and writer. He is a consistent follower of the sport and is a fan of Chelsea FC.