MLS Teams with the Most Cups: The Pursuit of Soccer Glory

Andrew Kovacs

The Major League Soccer (MLS) has grown exponentially since its inception in 1996, establishing itself as a prominent force in North American soccer. The MLS Cup, the league’s ultimate prize, symbolizes the pinnacle of success for the best teams. 

Over the years, several franchises have risen to prominence, cementing their places in soccer history by winning multiple MLS Cups. 

In this blog post, we delve into the success stories of the MLS teams with the most Cups, their achievements, and their impact on the league’s legacy. So, stay focused. 

Evolution of MLS Cups

From humble beginnings to the emergence of soccer powerhouses, the evolution of MLS Cups showcases the journey of the league and its teams in their pursuit of soccer glory.

The Birth of MLS and the Inaugural MLS Cup (1996-1999)

In 1996, Major League Soccer kicked off its inaugural season with 10 teams. The league’s first championship, known as the MLS Cup, was contested between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy. D.C. 

United emerged as the victors, setting the stage for future MLS Cup battles. The early years saw D.C. United dominated the league, winning three out of the first four MLS Cups.

Expansion and New Contenders (2000-2005)

The early 2000s witnessed the league expanding with the addition of new teams, leading to increased competition. The San Jose Earthquakes, led by Landon Donovan, made their mark, clinching MLS Cup titles in 2001 and 2003. 

Other teams like the LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire also tasted success during this period.

The David Beckham Effect and LA Galaxy Dominance (2007-2012)

The arrival of international superstar David Beckham to the LA Galaxy in 2007 brought unprecedented attention and global interest to MLS. Beckham’s presence helped elevate the league’s profile, and the Galaxy emerged as a dominant force, winning the MLS Cup in 2011 and 2012. 

Other teams like the Houston Dynamo and the Columbus Crew SC also secured multiple MLS Cup victories during this period.

New Teams Rise to Prominence (2013-2018)

In recent years, the league has continued to expand, adding new teams from different regions of the United States. The emergence of the Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United, and Toronto FC as strong contenders reshaped the MLS landscape. 

Seattle Sounders won their first MLS Cup in 2016, while Toronto FC made history by becoming the first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup in 2017.

A Decade of Dominance: LA Galaxy and DC United (2019-Present)

As the league approaches its 30th season, two of the league’s original teams, LA Galaxy and D.C. United, continue to maintain their legacy. Despite the emergence of new powerhouses, these teams have consistently contributed to the rich history of MLS Cups and continue to compete at the highest level.

The evolution of MLS Cups reflects the growth and transformation of Major League Soccer over the past decades.

Best MLS Teams With the Most Cups

The history of the MLS Cups reflects the captivating journey of Major League Soccer and the emergence of dominant teams that have etched their names in the annals of soccer history. 

These exceptional teams have consistently demonstrated their prowess, unwavering competitive spirit, and ability to triumph in the league’s annual championship, making them the most successful and celebrated franchises in MLS.

LA Galaxy (5 Cups)

LA Galaxy (5 Cups)

Source: soccerfootballwhatever

LA Galaxy, one of the league’s founding members, has undoubtedly been a true powerhouse in Major League Soccer since its inception. With a star-studded roster that boasted legendary players like Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and David Beckham, the Galaxy has achieved success throughout the years. 

Their five triumphant MLS Cup victories stand as a testament to their commitment to excellence and their unwavering culture of winning. The Galaxy’s remarkable dominance on the field has solidified its status as one of the most iconic and accomplished teams in the league’s history.

DC United (4 Cups)

DC United

Source: blackandredunited

In the formative years of Major League Soccer, no team dominated the league quite like DC United. 

Powered by a strong foundation of talented players, including the creative genius of Bolivian maestro Marco Etcheverry and the prolific scoring of Jaime Moreno, DC United secured an impressive four MLS Cup triumphs. 

Their early dominance played a pivotal role in shaping the league’s narrative and attracting fans to the beautiful game in the United States. DC United’s rich history and tradition continue to make them a revered franchise in MLS, leaving an indelible mark on the league’s legacy.

Houston Dynamo (2 Cups)

Houston Dynamo

Source: sounderatheart

The Houston Dynamo swiftly established their presence as a formidable force in MLS after relocating from San Jose. Armed with solid performances, strategic gameplay, and an uncanny ability to thrive under pressure, the Dynamo clinched two MLS Cups in their early years in the league. 

Their back-to-back victories in 2006 and 2007 showcased their unwavering consistency and fierce competitiveness at the highest echelon of soccer in the United States. 

Houston Dynamo’s captivating rise to prominence has been a testament to their dedication and ability to conquer the league’s most significant stages.

Seattle Sounders (2 Cups)

Seattle Sounders

Source: heraldnet

Since joining MLS in 2009, the Seattle Sounders have been nothing short of a success story, both on and off the field. 

Supported by an enthusiastic and dedicated fan base, known as the “Sounders FC Alliance,” who passionately fill CenturyLink Field with unwavering support, the Sounders have consistently maintained their status as one of the league’s perennial powerhouses. 

Led by star players such as Clint Dempsey, Nicolas Lodeiro, and Jordan Morris, the Sounders claimed their first MLS Cup in 2016, and their second in 2019, further cementing their position as one of the most accomplished teams in MLS.

Sporting KC (2 Cups)

Sporting KC

Source: sportingkc

Sporting Kansas City, previously known as the Kansas City Wizards, has been a tenacious and consistent force in Major League Soccer. Renowned for their grit and determination, Sporting KC possesses the ability to adapt to different playing styles and excel in crucial moments. 

Their two MLS Cup victories, earned in 2000 and 2013, serve as a testament to their unwavering competitive edge and their capacity to challenge even the most formidable opponents. Sporting KC’s relentless pursuit of greatness has firmly positioned them among the league’s elite franchises.

Columbus Crew SC (2 Cups)

Columbus Crew SC

Source: cleveland

Columbus Crew SC, the inaugural MLS Cup champions in 1996, boasts a rich history and a storied tradition in the league. A formidable presence since its inception, Columbus Crew SC has consistently provided captivating and competitive soccer to its devoted fans. 

Their two MLS Cup triumphs in 2008 and 2020 exemplify their ability to evolve and remain competitive over the years. The Crew’s unwavering commitment to excellence has earned them a special place in the hearts of MLS supporters.

San Jose Earthquakes (2 Cups)

San Jose Earthquakes

Source: sjearthquakes

As one of the league’s original teams, the San Jose Earthquakes, now known simply as the San Jose Earthquakes, have a storied and significant presence in MLS. During the league’s formative years, the Earthquakes played an integral role in shaping the foundation of Major League Soccer. 

Their two MLS Cup victories in 2001 and 2003 stand as a testament to their success and ability to compete at the highest level of American soccer. The Earthquakes’ journey from the league’s early days to the present has been filled with memorable moments and enduring passion.

The teams with the most Cups have played pivotal roles in shaping the league’s legacy and have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans across the country.

Notable Players of MLS Teams

These notable players exemplify the talent and skill that MLS attracts from around the world, adding to the league’s growing reputation as a competitive and entertaining soccer destination.

Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Carlos Vela (LAFC)

Source: goal

Carlos Vela, the Mexican superstar, has been one of the most prolific goal-scorers in MLS history. As the captain of Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), Vela’s skillful dribbling, deadly finishing, and ability to create scoring opportunities have made him a standout player in the league. 

He won the MLS Golden Boot and was named the MLS MVP in 2019, cementing his status as one of the top players in MLS.

Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)

Josef Martinez (Atlanta United)

Source: atlutd

Josef Martinez has been a goal-scoring sensation since joining Atlanta United in 2017. The Venezuelan striker’s remarkable goal-scoring record, predatory instincts, and clinical finishing have made him a fan favorite in MLS. 

In 2018, he shattered the MLS single-season scoring record, netting an incredible 31 goals and helping Atlanta United win their first MLS Cup.

Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Source: mlsmultiplex

Diego Valeri is an influential figure and a talismanic presence for the Portland Timbers. As an attacking midfielder, the Argentine playmaker possesses incredible vision, passing accuracy, and a knack for scoring crucial goals. 

Valeri played a pivotal role in leading the Timbers to their first-ever MLS Cup victory in 2015 and has been a consistent force in the league since his arrival in 2013.

Nani (Orlando City SC)

Nani (Orlando City SC)

Source: orlandosentinel

Nani, the Portuguese winger, has made a significant impact since joining Orlando City SC in 2019. His technical skills, creativity, and experience have been invaluable to the team. 

Nani’s leadership on and off the field has helped elevate Orlando City’s performances, and he has been instrumental in guiding the team to their first-ever playoff appearances in recent seasons.

Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC)

Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto FC)

Source: sportingnews

Alejandro Pozuelo, the Spanish attacking midfielder, has been a revelation for Toronto FC since arriving in 2019. His flair, vision, and ability to score important goals have made him a standout player in MLS. 

In his debut season, Pozuelo’s stellar performances earned him the MLS Newcomer of the Year award, and he continues to be a driving force for Toronto FC in their pursuit of success.


What is the MLS Cup?

The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, where the top two teams from the Eastern and Western Conferences compete for the title. The team that emerges victorious is crowned the MLS Cup champion.

Which MLS team has won the most Cups?

As of the current date, the LA Galaxy holds the record for the most MLS Cup victories, with five championships to their name. Their successes have earned them a reputation as one of the league’s most successful and storied franchises.

Who are the other top MLS Cup-winning teams?

Aside from the LA Galaxy, D.C. United is another notable team with four MLS Cup triumphs. The Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City, Columbus Crew SC, and the San Jose Earthquakes each have two MLS Cups.

How has the landscape of MLS Cup winners evolved over the years?

The early years of MLS saw dominant performances from D.C. United and the LA Galaxy. However, as the league expanded and new teams joined the fray, the competition intensified. More recently, teams like the Seattle Sounders, Atlanta United, and Toronto FC have emerged as strong contenders for the MLS Cup.

What impact do multiple MLS Cup wins have on a team’s legacy?

Winning multiple MLS Cups solidifies a team’s status as a powerhouse in the league and enhances its legacy. These franchises become synonymous with soccer greatness and are celebrated for their sustained success and contributions to the growth of MLS.

End Call

The MLS Cup is more than just a trophy; it represents the dreams and aspirations of soccer franchises and their dedicated fan bases. 

Teams with the most MLS Cups have etched their names in MLS history and have become inspirations for future generations of players and fans. 

As the league continues to evolve and new contenders rise, the quest for MLS Cup glory remains an exhilarating journey filled with passion, determination, and the pursuit of soccer excellence. Thank you for your support. 

Photo of author

Andrew Kovacs

I am a Head Boys Soccer Coach at Amherst Regional Public Schools in Massachusetts. I have coached for the past five years and I am currently working on my master's degree in Exercise Science. I coach soccer because I love the game and I enjoy being around the kids. It is rewarding to see them develop their skills and grow as individuals. LinkedIn