Our Major League Soccer 25th anniversary team has a combined 31 MLS Cups
By Official Florida FC
Major League Soccer was supposed to celebrate its 25th season this year.
The league has not called time on its 2020 season; but, it’s safe to say suspending league play after two rounds of matches because of a global pandemic was not was the league envisioned for its 25th season.
We at Official Florida FC have watched more than a dozen MLS Cups and are old enough to remember when El Pibe and the Tampa Bay Mutiny scored for fun in its inaugural season.
We are partial to winning trophies, producing legendary performances and focusing on one’s accomplishments while playing in Major League Soccer.
Kaka won everything an individual can win during his European career and scored memorable goals for Orlando City SC; but, the brilliant Brazilian did not make our list. Nor is two-time MLS Champion David Beckham, whose arrival heralded the beginning of MLS 2.0 and raised the quality and stature of the league.
Apologies to Jeff Agoos, Taylor Twellman, Steve Ralston, Preki and others. This list is a tough one to crack.
Chris Wondolowski: The league’s leader in goals scored with 159 and counting is a two-time Golden Boot winner and was named 2012 MVP while helping the San Jose Earthquakes win the Supporters’ Shield.
Landon Donovan: There is no Major League Soccer without Donovan’s, relative, star power in the early part of the 21st century. He is second in league history with 145 goals, first in assist with 136 and is the only six-time champion in league history. There is a reason the MVP award was renamed in his honor before his 40th birthday.
Sebastian Giovinco: The Atomic Ant scored 68 goals and tallied 52 assists in 114 MLS matches. He won the Golden Boot and MVP in 2015. Two years later he helped Toronto FC win MLS Cup and win the Supporters’ Shield. Toronto FC’s 2017 squad was arguably the best in league history. Giovinco was a massive reason why.
Chris Armas: The current New York Red Bulls manager won six trophies and was a five-time MLS Best XI selection during his playing career. Every team needs a holding midfielder, Armas embodied the position.
Marco Etcheverry: The Bolivian scored 34 goals and assisted 101 others in 191 matches for D.C. United. The three-time league champion was the 1998 MLS MVP, was a two-time Supporters’ Shield winner and a three-time MLS Best XI selection. It’s possible the only thing better than his mane was his ability to control a midfield.
Dwayne De Rosario: The five-time MLS Best XI selection scored, arguably, the best goal in MLS Cup history with his curling effort to win the title in 2001. The four-time league champion was the 2011 MLS MVP who won the U.S. Open Cup and the Canadian Championship twice. By the way, he scored 104 goals in 343 MLS matches.
Todd Dunivant: The five-time MLS Cup champion helped the Los Angeles Galaxy win a pair of Supporters’ Shields during his 13-year MLS career and was a MLS Best XI selection in 2011.
Chad Marshall: The four-time MLS Best XI selection won a MLS Cup with Columbus (2008) and Seattle (2016) and was in the heart of defense for four Supporters’ Shield winners. He is the only person to win MLS Defender of the Year thrice.
Eddie Pope: The three-time MLS Cup champion led D.C. United to the league’s best regular season record in 1997 and 1999. He was a four-time MLS Best XI selection who also won MLS Defender of the Year in 1997.
Frankie Hejduk: The four-time Supporters’ Shield winner and two-time league champion was part of a Columbus Crew team that had the longest unbeaten run in MLS regular season history at 19 matches.
Nick Rimando: Somehow the person who holds the record for most shutouts in league history, won the Supporters’ Shield with two different clubs (Miami Fusion 2001, D.C. United 2004) and MLS Cup with two different teams (D.C. United 2004, Real Salt Lake 2009) was never named the league’s Goalkeeper of the Year.