The MLS is perhaps not the first league that springs to mind when you think of amazing fans, but rest assured the top level of American Soccer has some of the best fans on this side of the Atlantic.
We have scoured the country in search of these fans and today we will be taking you through the 10 Best MLS Fanbases, so let’s get straight into it.
10. L.A Galaxy
The oldest and most well-supported team in Los Angeles takes the 10th spot on this list, in the past, they would have been much higher though.
During the club’s best years, when stars such as David Beckham, Steven Gerrard, and Ashley Cole took the field in the famous Galaxy shirt, the club would regularly fill their 27,000-capacity home.
Nowadays, crowds tend to average at around 20,000 per game, which is still a healthy number given the recent emergence of LAFC. The team’s largest and original supporters club is known as the ‘Galaxians’, the group was formed in the 1996-97 season and sat in the same place every matchday.
The club also has one of the most talented and popular cheerleading squads in the MLS, the Galaxy Star Squad. The group can often be seen celebrating Galaxy goals and if you’re lucky handing out club merchandise.
9. Minnesota United
Despite being one of the youngest sides competing in the MLS, Minnesota United has already managed to gather a solid fanbase that takes them to 9th place on our list.
The team currently plays at the University stadium in Minnesota whilst they wait for their own ‘Allianz Field’ arena to be completed.
Once built, this state-of-the-art stadium will have a capacity smaller than the University stadium. In theory, this should make tickets to see the team hard to come by, as they should sell out their allocation every matchday.
One of the largest supporters groups that follow Minnesota is called the ‘Dark Clouds’ and their motto states that wherever Minnesota United travel ‘Dark Clouds follow, a very ominous slogan if I’ve ever heard one.
If everything goes to plan with the team move to Allianz Field, then in time Minnesota could become a true force to reckoned with, both on and off the field.
8. Montreal Impact
Next up we must travel north to Canada and the 8th placed team on our list. Montreal Impact is often considered the forgotten team in the MLS, but this term only goes to strengthen the club’s core support and draw in more from the local area.
The team plays at the Saputo Stadium in Montreal and regularly sells out the 20,000-seater stadium. Despite only playing in the MLS since 2012, Impact has a loyal fanbase which is mainly due to the lack of other sports in the city.
Compared to other clubs in the MLS, Impact only has an NHL Team to compete with for support. Ice Hockey is of course the biggest sport in Canada, however, both teams can coexist and still sell tickets to all of their games.
The team hasn’t tasted much success over the years, but it can only be a matter of time with support this strong.
7. Orlando City
For many years, one of the largest metropolitan areas in Florida had to live without an MLS franchise. Since 2015, when the club first competed in the MLS they have thought and in the club, short life, a loyal and widespread fanbase has been created.
The team currently plays at the Exploria Stadium, which can hold up to 25,500 fans on game day. Each week the stadium is sold out, with fans from across the state flocking to see the men in purple compete for the MLS Cup.
Florida can sometimes be a fickle place to play Soccer though and many franchises have come and gone over the years, I wonder if you remember Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion?
The path to success for Orlando is simply to maintain the core of their fanbase for the seasons to come, which looks to be happening, and then they can push on and win trophies.
6. Vancouver Whitecaps
Heading back over the border to Canada, 6th on our list are the fans of Vancouver Whitecaps. The Canadian team plays their matches at the famous BC Place stadium, and it is almost always full to the rafters with loyal supporters of the Whitecaps.
The largest fan club is called the Southsiders, a group of fans that all sit in the South stand at BC Place and are always on hand to generate a fierce atmosphere.
Alongside this group are the ‘La Doce’ (Spanish for ‘the 12’), as fans are often referred to as the 12th man in a Soccer team it seems fitting to have a fanbase named after it.
In terms of success, the club has not enjoyed much of it outside of their native Canada. This being said, the Whitecaps are the current holders of the Canadian Championship. This is a competition contested between the Canadian-based MLS Teams each year.
5. Real Salt Lake
As we move into the top five of our list, it gets much more difficult to separate the fans. In 5th place are Real Salt Lake though and the red and white army that back their team through thick and thin. Salt Lake plays its home games at the Rio Tinto Stadium which has a capacity of 20,213.
The stadium is also where the US Men’s National Team play many of their home matches, as the Utah faithful can generate a serious amount of noise at their best. The most notable thing a fan can experience at the Rio Tinto Stadium is the ‘Believe’ song that fans sing at matches.
The team is one of the more successful in the country, with them having won the MLS Cup in 2009. Salt Lake subsequently competed in the CONCACAF Champions League and narrowly lost in the Final to Mexican side Monterrey.
4. Portland Timbers
In 4th place on is the Portland Timbers, a fanbase with some rather niche tendencies that make a trip to Providence Park in Oregon a truly memorable experience. The most notable thing that occurs in the stadium is that a fan known as ‘Timber Joey’ saws a piece of timber every time the Timbers score a goal.
The beauty of the Timber’s support comes from the fact that their stadium is much smaller than the teams higher in this list, at just over 20,000 capacity Providence Park acts like a cocoon of noise and is very rarely beaten in terms of the ferocity of atmosphere created.
The Timbers have become of the best teams in America in recent seasons, with them winning the ‘MLS is back Tournament’ following the Covid-19 Pandemic as well as the Western Conference the following year. The team also won the MLS Cup in 2015.
A team and fanbase that are up there with the best.
3. Sporting Kansas City
Moving onto the podium positions, in 3rd place are the creative fans of Sporting Kansas City (KC). Similar to the Timber, Sporting KC plays their games at a relatively small stadium with their Children’s Mercy Park arena also holding less than 20,000 fans.
This small size does mean that the stadium sells out most games and allows the fans on the ground to perform some truly exceptional displays of their support.
In recent years the fans behind the goal have started presenting ‘tifo’s’ before and during matches. The most notable of them welcome their opposition to the ‘Blue Hell’ and is displayed alongside an image of a character from Game of Thrones.
Sporting KC now has two MLS Cups to their name, which given their small size and limited reach is an impressive feat. If the area they were based in had a more active interest in Soccer then this club could really go a long way.
2. Atlanta United
A hard choice, but 2nd place goes to another of the MLS’ newest teams. Atlanta United is now one of the biggest teams in North America and has a stadium to back this claim up.
Their Mercedes-Benz stadium is one of the largest in the country and has a regular crowd of around 45,000 on gameday.
The club also set the record for the largest MLS attendance during their debut season, Atlanta welcomed 70,425 people into their home in a match against Orlando City. The team is nicknamed the ‘five stripes’ and are fast becoming one of the best teams in the league.
In just their 2nd season in existence, Atlanta won their first MLS Cup and then went on to take the Campeones Cup with a win over Mexican champions Club América
1. Seattle Sounders
It may not be much of a surprise, but the Seattle Sounders have built themselves something of a dynasty since forming in 2007.
The Sounder have already won two MLS Cups and one CONCACAF Champions League. The latter of these titles was the first ever that was won by an America-based club.
Seattle is of course known as the Emerald City and this is something that the Sounders have latched onto, their primary colors channel what it means to be from Seattle, and this has helped to bolster their support over the years.
The CenturyLink Field is also one of the best stadiums in the MLS and is regularly at full capacity whenever the Sounders take to the field. Over 40,000 fans can fit inside and you will always know that they are there.
It gets noisy in Seattle, very noisy.
That is that! The 10 best MLS fanbases are made up of teams from across the country and all have something that makes them stand out from the crowd. If we left your team out, then the best advice we can give is to simply sing louder and stay loyal to your team.