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Who are the top five MLS teams in penalty-kick shootouts?

Between the Concacaf Champions League fights of spring to the summer arrival of U.S. Open Cup tests to the return of Audi MLS Cup Playoff action every autumn, the spectre of the dreaded penalty shootout will never be too far away once soccer resumes normal business. 

It's basically lurking around every corner, which begs the question: Which clubs handle this unique brand of knockout advancement pressure the best? As you'd expect, we're here to offer up a ranking for your perusal.

Honorable mention: While Orlando City SC have only taken part in three U.S. Open Cup PK shootouts to date, they're the only club in the league that stands perfect in games decided by PK’s. It would be rude not to give the Lions a small salute.

No. 5: New England Revolution

Paced by Matt Reis' record three shootout wins, the Revs are one of the two teams that have managed as many as five shootout victories. The netminder even buried four of his five attempts from the spot, but he's not the only Gillette shootout legend. 

Shalrie Joseph and Taylor Twellman converted all four of their tries. The club's biggest triumph came in the 2008 SuperLiga final, and they remain the only MLS team to have ever bested a Mexican foe in a shootout, knocking off Puebla in the 2010 SuperLiga semifinals.

On the down side, one of their three defeats came in an MLS Cup and another happened in a conference final. 

No. 4: Seattle Sounders

Okay, here's the thing. February's loss to Olimpia dropped the Sounders to 4-5. So how can they be listed here with a losing spot kicks record? It's because they made those four wins count in a big way.

Just for starters, the chutzpah of taking MLS Cup in Toronto in 2016 after not putting a shot on goal over 120 minutes of open play scores major bonus points.

And while they did lose one Open Cup final on penalties, Seattle also scored shootout wins on the way to a pair of tourney championships. 

No. 3: Real Salt Lake

RSL are 3-2 in shootouts, and like Seattle, profited big from the wins. Of course, they went back-to-back in 2009, besting Chicago in semifinals before hoisting MLS Cup by out-dueling the LA Galaxy.

Clint Mathis, Robbie Findley and title-match dagger-man Ned Grabavoy each converted in both games. RSL also dropped a final four years later, but that doesn't pull a special trophy from their case.

No. 2: Colorado Rapids

Last season, the Rapids finally fell short on penalties for the first time in club history. Until that Open Cup ouster against New Mexico United, Colorado had come out on top four straight times, with all the wins coming in MLS Cup Playoff quarterfinals.

Three of those happened away from home, and one of those road victories came along the trail to the franchise's only league title. 

No. 1: Sporting KC

When it comes to the best shootout clubs in MLS, there's really no contest. Sporting KC are the kings of the hill, and everyone else is battling for second. Not only are they 5-1 all-time in penalty showdowns, but their victories have been huge.

Peter Vermes' boys have won an MLS Cup, two Open Cup finals and the semifinal on the way to another USOC crown on spot kicks. 

Heck, the only one they lost was the famous "double post" game at Portland. Basically, unless your team has a great voodoo doctor on call, it's best to try disposing of Sporting Kansas City before a knockout match goes to penalties.

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