MLS Season Recaps

1996

The inaugural season

Ten teams ushered in a new era for professional soccer in the United States. D.C. United wins MLS Cup and Carlos Valderrama is named MVP. Season recap

1997

Sophomore season, but no slump

MLS’s sophomore season proved to be just as intriguing as the first but with the same outcome as D.C. United again lifted the MLS Cup. Brad Friedel is the top goalkeeper and Preki is named MVP. Season recap

1998

Expansion

The big news from the 1998 MLS season was the addition of the league’s first two expansion teams, the Chicago Fire and the Miami Fusion. Chicago Fire win MLS CUp and Marco Etcheverry is named MVP. Season recap

1999

Third time's a charm

The 1999 MLS season was again dominated by the Los Angeles Galaxy, D.C. United and Columbus Crew, but the story of the season was the Dallas Burn and their superstar striker. D.C. United wins a third MLS Cup and Jason Kreis is named MVP. Season recap

2000

New millennium. New era for MLS.

The dawning of a new millennium also sparked a new era for MLS as the 12 teams were split into three regional conferences for the first time. Kansas City wins MLS Cup and Tony Meola is named MVP. Season recap

2001

Landon Donovan era begins

For the second consecutive season a new name was engraved onto the MLS Cup as the San Jose Earthquakes lifted the trophy. The team is led, in part, by an exciting young player named Landon Donovan. Tim Howard is the best goalkeeper and Alex Pineda Chacón is named MVP. Season recap

2002

10 teams but plenty of action

The number of teams competing in MLS during the 2002 season was reduced to 10 as both Floridian sides, Miami Fusion FC and the Tampa Bay Mutiny, ceased operations. LA Galaxy finally breaking their unlucky streak and win MLS Cup. Carlos Ruiz is named MVP. Season recap

2003

California Dreamin'

The 2003 season saw the San Jose Earthquakes keep MLS Cup in California for a third consecutive year, winning for the second time in those three seasons. Preki is named MVP. Season recap

2004

Four stars! A must see.

D.C. United and New England Revolution battle in the Eastern Conference Final that many still consider to be the greatest game in MLS history. United wins the match and goes on to win a fourth MLS Cup. Clint Dempsey is Rookie of the Year. Amado Guevara is named MVP. Season recap

2005

Expansion - Part 2

Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA join the league. Landon Donovan joins LA Galaxy after a spell with Bayer Leverkusen and the Galaxy win MLS Cup. Taylor Twellman is named MVP. Season recap

2006

New identities

There were no new teams in 2006, only new identities. The Metrostars are rebranded as the New York Red Bulls, while the San Jose Earthquakes relocate and become the Houston Dynamo. The Dynamo win MLS Cup. Bob Bradley is Coach of the Year and Christian Gómez is named MVP. Season recap

2007

O Canada! Expansion - Part 3

After 11 years exclusively on United States soil, MLS officially became a North American soccer league by adding Toronto FC. Houston Dynamo win MLS Cup. David Beckham joins LA Galaxy and Luciano Emilio is named MVP. Season recap

2008

We're Back! Expansion - Part 4

The San Jose Earthquakes join MLS. Columbus Crew win MLS Cup. Guillermo Barros Schelotto is named MVP. Season recap

2009

Expansion Part 5

Seattle Sounders FC join MLS and become just the second expansion team in league history to make the postseason in their maiden campaign. Real Salt Lake wins MLS Cup. Landon Donovan is named MVP. Season recap

2010

Expansion - Part 6

The league welcomed a new expansion side for the second straight year in the Philadelphia Union. Colorado Rapids win MLS Cup. Thierry Henry joins New York Red Bulls and David Ferreira is named MVP. Season recap

2011

The growth spurt continues (Expansion - Part 7)

Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC join MLS and the playoffs expand to 10 teams. LA Galaxy win MLS Cup. Dwayne De Rosario is named MVP. Season recap

2012

French connection (Expansion - Part 8)

Montreal Impact join MLS as the league's 19th team and the third in Canada. LA Galaxy win MLS Cup. Robbie Keane joins LA Galaxy and Chris Wondolowski is named MVP. Season recap

2013

A watershed year

MLS enjoys one of the most competitive seasons ever. Sporting KC win MLS Cup. Clint Dempsey returns to MLS and Mike Magee is named MVP. Season recap

2014

Five stars! Legends retire.

The 2014 season saw two legends bid goodbye to MLS and the legacy of one of the great teams in the league’s young history cemented. LA Galaxy win MLS Cup for a fifth time. Robbie Keane is named MVP. Season recap