Bruce Arena, Dave Sarachan and Pat Noonan - 12/14/16
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Winningest coaches in MLS Cup Playoffs history

The playoffs are where legends are made, and throughout the history of MLS, several head coaches have separated themselves from the pack in terms of their postseason exploits.

Here is a list of the top five winningest MLS Cup Playoffs coaches in league history. 

5. Brian Schmetzer

Brian Schmetzer screams directions from the Sounders' sideline | USA Today Sports Images

The Seattle Sounders boss has 12 postseason victories, tied with former Revolution coach Steve Nicol, but at 12-3-2, Schmetzer's .765 winning percentage is the best among the coaches listed. The Sounders lifer who was previously Sigi Schmid's assistant, took the helm in 2016 and guided the club to a pair of MLS Cup victories in three appearances, as well as three Conference Championships in that time.

4. Bob Bradley 

Bob Bradley is the only coach to guide an expansion team to the MLS Cup title | USA Today Sports Images

Another current coach who can continue to move up the ranks, Bradley has 15 MLS Cup Playoffs wins to his name, including leading the Chicago Fire to MLS Cup in their expansion season, a feat that has yet to be duplicated. A three-time MLS Coach of the Year, Bradley also led the MetroStars and Chivas USA to postseason berths and earned his first LAFC playoff victory in dramatic fashion, with a 5-3 El Trafico win last season.

3. Dominic Kinnear

Kinnear, who also owns 15 playoff victories, was the architect of those great Houston Dynamo teams that won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007 and reached the final on two other occasions. The current LA Galaxy assistant coach reached the postseason in nine of his 13 years as an MLS head coach.

2. Sigi Schmid

Sigi Schmid won the MLS Cup with the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew SC | USA Today Sports Images

The late, great Schmid has 26 MLS Cup Playoffs victories to his name. After a pair of unsuccessful trips to the final, Schmid won his first MLS Cup as manager with the LA Galaxy in 2002 and repeated that feat with Columbus Crew SC in 2008. With the Sounders in 2009, he became the first coach to lead an expansion team to the playoffs since Bradley in 1998. 

No. 1 Bruce Arena

The New England Revolution boss is the gold standard for MLS postseason success, owner of a league record five MLS Cups and topping the list with 32 playoff victories overall. He was in charge of the league's first dynasty as D.C. United won the first two MLS Cups and reached the final in each of its first three seasons. Arena also guided the LA Galaxy to MLS Cup victories in 2011, 2012 and 2014 after an appearance in 2009 as well.

Check out the full list of winningest MLS playoff coaches below, as well as the coaches with the most MLS Cup victories.

Most playoff wins

  • Bruce Arena - 32
  • Sigi Schmid - 26
  • Dominic Kinnear - 15
  • Bob Bradley - 15
  • Brian Schmetzer - 12
  • Steve Nicol - 12
  • Greg Vanney - 10
  • Frank Yallop - 10 
  • Tom Fitzgerald - 9 
  • Bob Gansler - 9 

Most MLS Cup victories

  • Bruce Arena - 5
  • Sigi Schmid - 2
  • Dominic Kinnear - 2
  • Frank Yallop - 2
  • Brian Schmetzer - 2

 


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