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Who are the first MLS teams?

MLS was founded in 1995, and one year later, the first season of MLS appeared with only 10 teams.

Most Major League Soccer fans know that MLS currently has 29 teams, divided into the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. Clubs represent cities across the United States, from New York City to Los Angeles, as well as three Canadian cities, including Toronto, Montréal, and Vancouver. However, almost two-thirds of the current groups did not exist 29 years ago.

In fact, the first few clubs that entered MLS had different logos and names that changed over time. Of the 10 teams, only one is not left in the league.

Take a look at the clubs that helped build Major League Soccer over the past three decades.

The New England Revolution have been in the MLS for 29 years.

The New England Revolution have been in the MLS for 29 years. / Eric Canha-USA Today Sports

Here are the top ten MLS teams:

Despite the league's growth, modernization, and overall growth, iconic teams like DC United, New England Revolution, and LA Galaxy have stood the test of time. Even the reigning MLS Cup champions, Columbus Crew, can trace their history from the start of the inaugural MLS season.

The Tampa Bay Mutiny are the only club of the original 10 not represented in today's MLS. There were rumors that Tampa Bay could win an expansion bid to bring a new era of soccer to the city, but league officials have not yet approved Tampa Bay's return to MLS.

Fast forward 29 years, the newest team in MLS is the St. Louis City SC As of 2024, the Western Conference club became the 29th team in Major League Soccer, following other expansion teams such as Inter Miami, Nashville SC, and Austin FC.

San Diego FC will be the next club to officially join MLS in 2025, bringing the number of MLS teams to 30.

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