As we leave the teens to enter the twenties, MountRoyalSoccer.com took a look over the past decade to uncover the best, worst, most and least when it comes to Regular Season soccer (see our table below).
It’s no great secret that LA Galaxy in the past decade have won most MLS Cups with 3, followed by Seattle Sounders on 2. Five other clubs have triumphed, Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, Portland Timbers from the Western Conference, and more recently Toronto FC and Atlanta United from the East.
But which clubs have been most consistent in the MLS Regular Season? Well the Supporters’ Shield has been won on two occasions by MLS Cup specialists, LA Galaxy, but not since 2011. It’s actually New York Red Bulls, yet to win an MLS Cup, who take pride of place when it comes to regular season play with 3 Shields, yet their points per game average has been bettered by three clubs.
Points Per Game...
Two of these, relative newcomers LAFC (1.90) and Atlanta United (1.78) have played only five seasons of MLS soccer between them, but it’s they who lead the way. LAFC also has the best win percentage at 54.41% recorded over their first two seasons. Only time will tell if these clubs can maintain this trend.
Our table over the last decade in MLS (rankings based on points per game average) -
The third team to have a better points per game ratio than the Red Bulls comes from the list of longer established clubs, 15 of which have played in each of the last ten seasons. Seattle Sounders (1.64) with one Supporters Shield just pips the Red Bulls (1.63) on points per game. Sounders also has the best win percentage of all the longer-established clubs at 47.32% .
Of the three Canadian clubs, Vancouver Whitecaps (1.29) have performed best over their 9 seasons, followed by the Impact (1.24/eight seasons) slightly ahead of Toronto FC (1.23), whose average is heavily weighed down by some poor seasons at the beginning of the decade.
Goals Per Game...
When it comes to goalscoring only LA Galaxy (552) and New York Red Bulls (549) could break through the 500 barrier, although it’s the newer MLS clubs, that lead the goals per game averages; LAFC (2.25), Atlanta (1.94) and NYCFC (1.7). Galaxy and Red Bulls come next on 1.64 and 1.63 respectively.
Chivas and FC Cincinnati occupy the bottom two spots, the latter averaging less than one goal per game. Of the ever-present clubs this decade, Colorado Rapids fare worst on 1.23, with DC United just above them on 1.27. Toronto FC (1.42) do best amongst the Canadians followed by Montreal Impact (1.38). Vancouver Whitecaps, with the best points per game ratio of the Canadian clubs (see above) are least potent of the three, when it comes to goals per game. Only 1.29.
Sporting Kansas City (incorporating one season of Kansas City Wizards) claims the title of ‘Stingiest Defence of the Decade’ (conceding 1.18 goals per game), just better than Seattle Sounders (1.19).
Montreal Impact (1.57) had the leakiest defence of the Canadian clubs and in fact the worst ‘goals conceded per game’ average of any of the 18 clubs that played eight league seasons or more. Defensively Vancouver is best north of the border (1.45), while Toronto FC sit in the middle of the three (1.53).
Goals, Goals, Goals...
If it’s games with goals you want, then all the newer clubs top the list. The top six with the best average of total goals per game (that’s goals scored and conceded) all have only 5 seasons or less MLS experience: LAFC (3.56 goals per match), Minnesota United (3.25), Atlanta (3.19), NYCFC (3.14), FC Cincinnati (3.12) and Orlando City (3.1). Toronto FC and Montreal Impact are inseparable in this category, locked on 2.95, with the Whitecaps on 2.75.
Colorado Rapids and Sporting Kansas tend to be the clubs involved in games where least goals are scored (2.57).
Win, Lose and Draw Specialists... or not...
Seattle Sounders (159) won most regular seasons matches in the decade and DC United and Colorado Rapids (140 each) suffered the most defeats. No club quite managed a century of tied games, although Chicago Fire went close falling only one short. Fire managed a draw every 3.39 matches, only just more frequently than FC Dallas (3.5).
Minnesota United on the other hand would appear to be the most decisive club in MLS. They’ve recorded drawn games at a rate of only one in every six outings.