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MLS: Guide to the clubs

29 May | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
MLS: Guide to the clubs

A short guide to all 20 MLS clubs for the 2015 season

The 2015 Major League Soccer season is the biggest yet with 20 teams competing across two conferences. Orlando City and New York City FC joined the league this year and here’s a brief summary of who they are, as well as the other 18 clubs.

Eastern Conference

Chicago Fire

Coached by English-born Canadian, Frank Yallop, the Chicago Fire have been in MLS for 17 seasons, winning one MLS Cup back in 1998. They have struggled for success in recent years, making the playoffs just once in the last five seasons.

Star Player: Harry Shipp

Former Premier League Players: Shaun Maloney and Guly Do Prado

 

Columbus Crew

The Columbus Crew are one of Major League Soccer’s founding members, having joined in 1996, and have won one MLS Cup to date back in 2008. They play some of the most attractive football in MLS and are a real threat at their home MAPFRE Stadium.

Star Player: Federico Higuain

Former Premier League Players: Emanuel Pogatez and Kei Kamara

 

DC United

DC United are one of Major League Soccer’s most successful sides, having won four MLS Cups and four Supporters’ Shields since joining the league as a founding member in 1996. They haven’t won an MLS Cup for ten years though and will be hoping for success this year and beyond.

Star Player: Fabian Espindola

Former Premier League Players: Eddie Johnson

 

Montreal Impact

The Canadian outfit are one of the newer teams in MLS, having joined in 2012. They have only made the playoffs once in three attempts but excel in cup competitions, winning the Canadian Championship the past two seasons, and did incredibly well to reach the 2014/15 CONCACAF Champions League final in April, only to lose to Club America.

Star Player: Ignacio Piatti

Former Premier League Players: Nigel Reo-Coker

 

New England Revolution

The Revs share Gillette Stadium with the NFL’s New England Patriots and are one of the founding members of MLS. They have reached five MLS Cup finals, but have lost in all of those games, including last season’s against LA Galaxy.

Star Player: Jermaine Jones

Former Premier League Players: Jermaine Jones and Juan Agudelo

 

New York City FC

NYCFC are Manchester City’s sister club and entered MLS this season. They share Yankee Stadium with the New York Yankee’s and will see English midfielder Frank Lampard join up with them in July.

Star Player: David Villa

Former Premier League Players: Frank Lampard and Shay Facey

 

New York Red Bulls

The other MLS side from the Big Apple is the New York Red Bulls. They play at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey and have seen the likes of Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry play for them in recent seasons. The Red Bulls have never won an MLS Cup but lifted the Supporters’ Shield in 2013.

Star Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips

Former Premier League Players: Lloyd Sam, Ronald Zubar and Bradley Wright-Phillips

 

Orlando City SC

Orlando City are the other expansion franchise to enter the league this season. They are coached by former Everton and Stoke midfielder Adrian Heath and have Brazilian star Kaká in their squad.

Star Player: Kaká

Former Premier League Players: Seb Hines, Martin Paterson and Brek Shea

 

Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union entered the league in 2010 and have struggled to succeed so far, making the playoffs in just one of their five seasons up to 2015.

Star Player: Maurice Edu

Former Premier League Players: Maurice Edu

 

Toronto FC

The Canadian side have invested lots of money into the squad in recent years, signing the likes of Jermain Defoe, Michael Bradley, Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore. They entered MLS in 2007 but have never made the playoffs.

Star Player: Sebastian Giovinco

Former Premier League Players: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Steven Caldwell and Luke Moore

Western Conference

Colorado Rapids

The Rapids joined MLS at the very start in 1996 and lifted their only MLS Cup to date in 2010. They have struggled in recent years but recently signed Irish striker Kevin Doyle and will hope to improve quickly now.

Star Player: Gabriel Torres

Former Premier League Players: Kevin Doyle

 

FC Dallas

FC Dallas are one of the league’s founding members but have the longest trophy drought by a long way, as it is now 18 years since they lifted any silverware – twice the wait of any other side. They look strong now though and should put an end to the wait soon.

Star Player: Fabian Castillo

Former Premier League Players: N/A

 

Houston Dynamo

Coached by former Premier League manager Owen Coyle, the Dynamo joined MLS in 2006 and won the MLS Cup in their first two seasons. They have appeared in two finals since, but lost both to LA Galaxy. Last year was just the second time they failed to reach the playoffs and they will be hoping for success under Coyle now.

Star Player: Giles Barnes

Former Premier League Players: DaMarcus Beasley and Giles Barnes

 

LA Galaxy

Probably the most popular side in MLS, LA Galaxy lifted a record fifth MLS Cup in December and are the most successful side in US soccer. They joined the league in 1996 and have lifted the MLS Cup in three of the last four seasons. Steven Gerrard will be the latest star to join the team in July, playing for the same side David Beckham did when he moved to MLS in 2007.

Star Player: Robbie Keane

Former Premier League Players: Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard, Sebastian Lletget

 

Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers joined MLS in 2011 and have only made the playoffs once in four seasons so far. They have some of the most passionate fans in MLS though and will be desperate for success now.

Star Player: Diego Valeri

Former Premier League Players: Liam Ridgewell

 

Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake joined MLS in 2005 and have lifted one MLS Cup back in 2009. They have made the playoffs for the past seven seasons and are a real force.

Star Player: Javier Morales

Former Premier League Players: N/A

 

San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes won the first ever MLS game back in 1996 under the name of the San Jose Clash. They have won two MLS Cups, back in 2001 and 2003, but have not made the playoffs for the past two seasons.

Star Player: Chris Wondolowski

Former Premier League Players: Jordan Stewart

 

Seattle Sounders

The Sounders draw the largest crowds in MLS, averaging around 40,000 fans at CenturyLink Field, the home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks. They only joined the league in 2009 but are one of the strongest sides and lifted the Supporters’ Shield last season.

Star Player: Clint Dempsey

Former Premier League Players: Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins and Tyrone Mears

 

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC are one of the founding members, joining MLS in 1996, and have won two MLS Cups, most recently in 2013. They have made the playoffs for the past four years and are a consistently strong side.

Star Player: Matt Besler

Former Premier League Players: Benny Feilhaber and Roger Espinoza

 

Vancouver Whitecaps

One of three Canadian sides in MLS, the Vancouver Whitecaps joined the league in 2011 and have yet to achieve any success, though they play attacking football under Welsh coach Carl Robinson and are good to watch.

Star Player: Pedro Morales

Former Premier League Players: Robert Earnshaw

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