Tuesday, 23 Apr 2024

The Top 5 MLS Teams of All Time: A Closer Look

Are you a fan of Major League Soccer (MLS)? Do you enjoy debating which teams should be considered the greatest of all time? Well, you’re in luck! In this article, we will explore the top five MLS teams that have left a lasting mark on the league’s history. From dominant performances to memorable moments, these teams have earned their place in the pantheon of MLS greatness.

5. 2005 San Jose Earthquakes

2005 San Jose Earthquakes

The 2005 San Jose Earthquakes were a force to be reckoned with. Although they are better known for their back-to-back MLS Cup victories as the Houston Dynamo in 2006 and 2007, their performance in 2005 was exceptional. Led by a talented lineup, including Brian Ching, Alejandro Moreno, and Ronald Cerritos in the striker corps, along with defensive stalwarts like Danny Califf and Eddie Robinson, the Earthquakes showcased their strength and depth.

What set the 2005 Earthquakes apart was their superb midfield duo of Ricardo Clark and Dwayne De Rosario. Clark had a breakout season as a No. 6, while De Rosario dazzled as a No. 10, scoring goals and creating memorable moments. Their ability to control the game and contribute to the team’s success was unparalleled.

With an impressive record of just one loss in their last 22 games, the Earthquakes clinched the Supporters’ Shield with a commanding 2-0 victory over the New England Revolution. They finished the regular season with 64 points, the best defense, and the third-best attack in the league. The 2005 Earthquakes will be remembered as a team that played beautiful and effective soccer.

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4. 2001 Miami Fusion

2001 Miami Fusion

The 2001 Miami Fusion brought a unique style of play to MLS. Known for their commitment to possession-based soccer, the Fusion’s Latin American flair captivated fans. Led by talented players like Nick Rimando, Carlos Llamosa, and Diego Serna, the team displayed a fluidity and creativity that was a joy to watch.

Under the guidance of coach Ray Hudson, the Fusion topped the league in scoring with 57 goals in a shortened 26-game season due to the tragic events of 9/11. Their commitment to ball possession and attacking play resulted in a league-leading goal differential and the acquisition of the Supporters’ Shield.

Unfortunately, the Fusion’s journey was cut short as they were defeated by the San Jose Earthquakes in the playoffs. However, their impact on MLS is undeniable. Their entertaining style of play paved the way for future possession-based teams and left a lasting impression on fans.

3. 1998 D.C. United

1998 D.C. United

While they may not have won MLS Cup in 1998, D.C. United proved themselves as one of the best teams in MLS history. With remarkable talents like Marco Etcheverry, Jaime Moreno, and Eddie Pope, D.C. United possessed a potent lineup. Their diamond 4-4-2 formation, coupled with their ability to pass the ball effectively, made them a formidable force.

Although they fell short in the playoffs, losing to the Chicago Fire, D.C. United’s achievements outside of MLS cannot be ignored. They triumphed in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, defeating some of the top teams in the region. In addition, they outplayed Vasco da Gama, the Brazilian and Copa Libertadores champions, in the Copa Interamericana. These impressive victories solidified their status as one of the most successful MLS teams in terms of international success.

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2. 2017 Toronto FC

2017 Toronto FC

The 2017 Toronto FC team captured the hearts of fans and critics alike with their impressive performance. Led by star players such as Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley, the team showcased exceptional skill, teamwork, and determination.

Toronto FC’s style of play, characterized by attractive passing and attacking football, propelled them to victory. They clinched the Supporters’ Shield and set a new record for the most points earned in a single MLS season. Although they fell short in the playoffs, losing in the MLS Cup final, their dominance throughout the regular season cannot be ignored.

While they had some weaknesses, such as an occasional lack of clinical finishing, Toronto FC’s overall performance made them one of the greatest MLS teams of all time.

1. 2014 LA Galaxy

2014 LA Galaxy

At the top of the list sits the 2014 LA Galaxy. Led by legendary players Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, this team demonstrated a meticulous and methodical style of play. They relied on the movement of the entire squad, rather than a traditional central No. 10, to dominate games. Their ability to create intricate passing moves and walk the ball into the net was a sight to behold.

Although they did not win the Supporters’ Shield, the Galaxy’s victory in MLS Cup showcased their resilience and ability to grind out results when it mattered most. With an impressive +38 goal differential, they brought a level of precision and quality rarely seen in MLS.

In addition to their success in MLS, the Galaxy achieved notable victories against top international opponents, further solidifying their claim as the greatest MLS team of all time.

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Q: Are there any other impressive MLS teams that didn’t make the list?
A: Absolutely! MLS history is filled with remarkable teams that have left a lasting impact. While these teams may not have made the top five, they deserve recognition for their contributions to the league’s rich history.


MLS has witnessed some truly phenomenal teams throughout its history. From the dominant performances of the 2005 San Jose Earthquakes to the mesmerizing possession-based play of the 2001 Miami Fusion, these teams have left an indelible mark on MLS.

The 1998 D.C. United team showcased their brilliance not only in MLS but also in international competitions. Meanwhile, the 2017 Toronto FC team displayed their strength and determination, setting records and thrilling fans along the way.

At the top of the list, the 2014 LA Galaxy team stands as the epitome of excellence. With their meticulous style of play and impressive victories, they have rightfully earned the title of the greatest MLS team of all time.

So, whether you agree or disagree with this ranking, one thing is for certain: MLS has been graced with some incredible teams that have brought joy and excitement to football fans across North America.