Sustained dominance in any sport is difficult. Since the New York Yankees dynasty of the late 1990s, Major League Baseball has not seen a repeat World Series winner since 1999/2000. The New England Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years during the early 2000s, but since 2009, seven different teams have lifted the Lombardi Trophy.
In Major League Soccer, where teams are restricted by a salary cap and general managers are competing against teams worldwide for players, sustained dominance is equally difficult. The LA Galaxy are one of the few teams to buck that trend with seven trophies won since 2005.
This week, Sporting Kansas City has the opportunity to accomplish a feat that few in MLS have matched. With a win over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, Sporting KC will have won its third trophy in four years.
To put those numbers in perspective, we went back to 2005, the year that MLS expansion began to take off. In that year, MLS welcomed Chivas USA and Real Salt Lake into the fold to increase the number of teams in the league to 12. Over the next six years, MLS added six more teams to reach 18 with two more joining since then to get us to our current number of 20 teams.
Since 2005, 30 trophies have been up for grabs. We’re talking about MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield and U.S. Open Cup. 12 different teams have won a trophy in that span with only seven teams having won multiple trophies since 2005.
|Team||Number of Trophies Won Since 2005|
|San Jose Earthquakes||2|
If Sporting KC lifts the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, they will not only become the fifth team to lift three trophies since 2005, but they'll be the fifth team to lift three trophies in a four-year span since 2005.
|Team||Three trophies in four years since 2005|
|LA Galaxy||2010/2011 Supporters' Shield; 2011/2012 MLS Cup|
|Seattle Sounders||2009/2010/2011 Open Cup|
|D.C. United||2006/2007 Supporters' Shield; 2008 Open Cup|
|Columbus Crew||2008 MLS Cup; 2008/2009 Supporters' Shield|
Throw in Eastern Conference regular season first place finishes in 2011 and 2012 and a Supporters' Shield runners-up finish in 2013, and Sporting KC's resume over the past five years is as strong as any in Major League Soccer.
"We want to win every single game," Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer said after the teams' 6-2 Open Cup victory over FC Dallas in July. "Every game’s a final for us."
The first final of the year comes in six days. Are you ready?