The MLS only began operating in 1993 as a part of the United States’ bid to host the 1994 World Cup, with the first season kicking off in 1996. Though it had a slow rise as soccer struggled to match the foothold of traditional North American sports like Baseball, Basketball or American Football. However, the rise of soccer-specific stadiums, the introduction of Major League Soccer on television, and changes to designated player rules that allowed the likes of David Beckham and David Villa to join the league have elevated its status. Unlike other leagues around the world, the MLS is a single entity that owns all the clubs competing, is run by the division’s investors, and doesn’t have a relegation/promotion ladder system. One of the most exciting football divisions in the world, SinkorSwimSports takes a look at the 7 best MLS records of all time.
Most Supporters’ Shields
The Supporters’ Shield is the award dished out to whichever team finishes with the most amount of points at the top of the overall table. The now-defunct Tamba Bay Mutiny won the very first Supporters’ Shield back in 1996, whilst New England Revolution won their first shield in the 2021 season.
D..C. United and LA Galaxy have both won the most amount of Supporters’ Shields in MLS history with 4 apiece. D.C.’s last triumph came in 2007, whilst LA Galaxy last topped the table back in 2011. Behind the two of them is Columbus Crew on 3 shields, with their last win coming in 2020.
Most MLS Cups
LA Galaxy cultivated a reputation for being the Real Madrid Galacticos of the MLS over the course of the mid-2000s, and the club also holds the record for the most MLS Cups with 5 titles between 2002 and 2014. In terms of the most shields and MLS Cups, no side has more honors than Galaxy (9).
New York City FC won their first-ever MLS Cup in 2021, beating 2015 winners Portland Timbers in a dramatic penalty shootout.
Most MLS Goals
In terms of the most MLS goals ever, former USMNT striker Chris Wondolowski is head and shoulders clear at the top of the table. 2012 MLS MVP, Wondolowski played in the division between 2005 and 2021, scoring 184 goals in 462 appearances. A San Jose Earthquakes legend, Wondolowski made 401 appearances for the Western Conference side, scoring 176 times for them.
Landon Donovan is one of the most famous American athletes of all time and had a stellar career outside the MLS as well as playing in it. 145 Goals in 343 appearances makes him the second-highest goalscorer in the division, with a goalscoring ratio of 0.42.
Most MLS Assists
A testament to his quality and impact on the division, Landon Donovan also holds the record for the most MLS assists with 136 for a ratio of 0.4 per game. The Landon Donovan MVP Award is now the award given to each season’s best performing player, as voted by fans, the media, and other league representatives.
Most Points In A MLS Season
In terms of the most MLS points in a single season, New England Revolution broke the record during their maiden Supporters’ Shield run in 2021. Their 22 wins are the joint-fourth most in MLS history, and 73 points put them one clear of the record set by LAFC in 2019.
Between 1996 and 1999, the MLS held unique shoot-outs to determine winners from matches that ended in draws, which contributed to D.C. United and LA Galaxy set the most MLS wins in a season (24) in 1998.
Both Los Angeles sides hold the record for the most MLS goals in a season, with LAFC’s 2019 side and Galaxy’s 1998 team recording 85 goals in their campaigns.
Columbus Crew currently holds the record for the longest unbeaten run in the MLS, going 19 games without a loss between July 3, 2004 and April 2, 2005.
Highest Scoring MLS Game
The highest scoring game in MLS history came on May 6, 1998, when LA Galaxy beat Colorado Rapids 7-4 at home, the only time 11 goals have been recorded in the division.
7 Goals remains is the biggest winning margin in MLS history, with there being five different instances of this scoreline being racked up. The first time this happened was on June 4, 1998 when LA Galaxy beat Dallas Burn 1-8, with the latest instance being Philadelphia Union’s 7-0 win over D.C. United on July 8, 2022.
Highest MLS Attendances
The highest single match attendance in MLS history was set on March 5 2022 in Charlotte FC’s first home match in the division against LA Galaxy.
The highest MLS attendance on average across a season was the 53,002 Atlanta United recorded across the historic 2018 MLS Cup winning campaign.
The lowest average attendance recorded across an MLS season belongs to the now-defunct Chivas USA, who only recorded 7,063 in 2014, their last season in the division.
Red Bulls, James Anderson and Christian Pulisic enthusiast. Still unsure how Wes Brown wrangled himself a Champions League medal – Premier League, Cricket and Major League Soccer contributor at SinkorSwimSports.