For MLS what are the dynasties?

A twitter discussion between the SBN MLS authors broke out last week over how many MLS dynasties have existed. Black & Red United claims that DC United are the only dynasty. While their initial stretch in MLS 1.0 was awesome (6 MLS Cups, Supporters Shields or US Open Cups from 96-99) , and clearly a dynasty, is it really the only one?

This discussion really was the inspiration for the Three Year Window post, because in this league maintaining greatness for a prolonged period is so difficult. Roster churn in MLS is just so high. It shouldn't really be surprise that Bruce Arena is on the charts as a dynasty maker. It also won't surprise you that Sigi Schmid is as well. With the Los Angeles Galaxy he took a good team and made it great, and that stretch of success lasted beyond his stay. From 2001-2005 the Galaxy took 5 MLS Cups, Supporters Shields or US Open Cups home.

More significantly is that the only other team to have a 3 year stretch with trophies on both ends of that stretch is again United from 2006-2008 with 3, but no MLS Cup. The Columbus Crew recently had a two year success with 3 trophies, but I would hesitate to call it a dynasty, though Sigi is again at the core of that success.

If the discussion is expanded a bit to teams that just missed the trophy in bookend years but including just under one a year only two teams are added. The Chicago Fire of 1998 to 2003 of Peter Wilt fame, the one upon which all other expansion teams will be measured despite the differing rules, took in 5 trophies with doubles to start and finish their run. The only other team that could apply would be a team that existed in two cities during its stretch. The San Jose Earthquakes moved and became the Houston Dynamo, but over their stretch from 2001-2007 they took in 5 major trophies.

One could include the lesser dynasty of "Those that Just Missed" but that would only add in the New England Revolution, with their SuperLiga title and 4 MLS Cup Final appearances without a win.

Below the break a table with the winners of each of the three major trophies that any US MLS team can win in a given season.

Year

MLS Cup

Shield

USOC

1996

DCU

TB

DCU

1997

DCU

DCU

FCD

1998

Chi

LAG

Chi

1999

DCU

DCU

 

2000

KCW

KCW

Chi

2001

SJQ

Mia

LAG

2002

LAG

LAG

Crew

2003

SJQ

Chi

Chi

2004

DCU

Crew

KCW

2005

LAG

SJQ

LAG

2006

HD

DCU

Chi

2007

HD

DCU

NER

2008

Crew

Crew

DCU

2009

RSL

Crew

SSFC

2010

CR

LAG

SSFC

Seattle by the way with a single major trophy in 2011 joins Bruce Arena's DC United, Peter Wilt's Chicago Fire, Sigi's Galaxy and the Nowak/Soehn United. The Columbus Crew could do the same. Real Salt Lake would have to get a double this year.

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