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The 2018 Major League Soccer season was the 23rd season of Major League Soccer, top division of soccer in the United States and Canada. The regular season began on March 3, 2018 and concluded on October 28, 2018. The MLS Cup Playoffs began on October 31, 2018 and concluded with MLS Cup 2018 on December 8, 2018. The league took a nine-day hiatus in early June for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, reduced from previous breaks.[1]

Major League Soccer
Season2018
MLS CupAtlanta United FC (1st title)
Supporters' ShieldNew York Red Bulls (3rd shield)
Champions League
(United States)
Atlanta United FC
Houston Dynamo
New York Red Bulls
Champions League
(Canada)
Toronto FC
Matches played391
Goals scored1,249 (3.19 per match)
Top goalscorerJosef Martínez
(31 goals)
Best goalkeeperLuis Robles
(14 shutouts)
Biggest home win6 goals:
SKC 6–0 VAN
(April 20)
Biggest away win6 goals:
COL 0–6 RSL
(August 25)
Highest scoring8 goals:
MTL 3–5 LAFC
(April 21)
TOR 4–4 DC
(June 13)
RSL 6–2 LAG
(September 1)
TOR 5–3 LAG
(September 15)
Longest winning run9 games
Seattle Sounders FC
(July 21 – September 19)
Longest unbeaten run15 games
Portland Timbers
(April 14 – August 11)
Longest winless run13 games
Orlando City
(July 21 – October 21)
Longest losing run9 games
Orlando City
(May 13 – July 7)
Highest attendance72,243
ATL 1–1 SEA
(July 15)
Lowest attendance5,158
DC 2–2 HOU
(March 17)
Total attendance8,553,245
Average attendance21,875
2017
2019

Los Angeles FC joined the league as an expansion franchise, while D.C. United debuted their new soccer-specific stadium, Audi Field.

Toronto FC were the defending Supporters' Shield champions and defending MLS Cup champions.

TeamsEdit

Stadiums and locationsEdit

  1. ^ Non-soccer specific stadium and artificially reduced capacity.

Personnel and sponsorshipEdit

Note: All teams use Adidas as kit manufacturer.

Team Head coach Captain Shirt sponsor
Atlanta United FC   Tata Martino   Michael Parkhurst American Family Insurance
Chicago Fire   Veljko Paunović   Dax McCarty Valspar
Colorado Rapids   Anthony Hudson   Tim Howard Transamerica
Columbus Crew SC   Gregg Berhalter   Wil Trapp Acura
D.C. United   Ben Olsen   Wayne Rooney Leidos
FC Dallas   Óscar Pareja   Matt Hedges AdvoCare
Houston Dynamo   Wilmer Cabrera   DaMarcus Beasley
LA Galaxy   Dominic Kinnear[a]   Ashley Cole Herbalife
Los Angeles FC   Bob Bradley   Carlos Vela YouTube TV
Minnesota United FC   Adrian Heath   Francisco Calvo Target
Montreal Impact   Rémi Garde   Ignacio Piatti Bank of Montreal
New England Revolution   Brad Friedel   Claude Dielna UnitedHealthcare
New York City FC   Domènec Torrent[b]   David Villa Etihad Airways
New York Red Bulls   Chris Armas[c]   Luis Robles Red Bull
Orlando City SC   James O'Connor[d]   Jonathan Spector Orlando Health
Philadelphia Union   Jim Curtin   Alejandro Bedoya Bimbo Bakeries USA
Portland Timbers   Giovanni Savarese   Diego Valeri Alaska Airlines
Real Salt Lake   Mike Petke   Kyle Beckerman LifeVantage
San Jose Earthquakes   Matias Almeyda[e]   Chris Wondolowski Sutter Health
Seattle Sounders FC   Brian Schmetzer   Osvaldo Alonso Xbox
Sporting Kansas City   Peter Vermes   Matt Besler Ivy Funds
Toronto FC   Greg Vanney   Michael Bradley Bank of Montreal
Vancouver Whitecaps FC   Craig Dalrymple[f]   Kendall Waston Bell Canada
  1. ^ Kinnear was named interim head coach of the Galaxy on September 10 following Sigi Schmid's departure on that day.
  2. ^ Torrent was named head coach of New York City FC on June 11 following Patrick Vieira's departure on that day to manage OGC Nice.
  3. ^ Armas was named head coach of the Red Bulls on July 6 following Jesse Marsch's departure on that day to join the coaching staff of RB Leipzig.
  4. ^ O'Connor was named head coach on June 29, but did not join Orlando City until July 1. Bobby Murphy, who had been named interim head coach on June 15 after Orlando City and Jason Kreis agreed to part ways, coached the team's June 30 match.
  5. ^ Almeyda was named head coach on October 8, replacing interim head coach Steve Ralston, who took over after the Earthquakes fired Mikael Stahre on September 17.
  6. ^ Dalrymple was named interim head coach after the Whitecaps parted ways with Carl Robinson on September 25.

Coaching changesEdit

Team Outgoing coach Manner of
departure
Date of
vacancy
Position in table Incoming coach Date of
appointment
Montreal Impact   Mauro Biello Fired October 23, 2017 Pre-season   Rémi Garde November 8, 2017
New England Revolution   Tom Soehn (interim) End of interim period November 9, 2017   Brad Friedel November 9, 2017
Portland Timbers   Caleb Porter Resigned November 17, 2017   Giovanni Savarese December 18, 2017
San Jose Earthquakes   Chris Leitch Returned to technical director role November 24, 2017   Mikael Stahre November 24, 2017
Colorado Rapids   Steve Cooke (interim) End of interim period November 29, 2017   Anthony Hudson November 29, 2017
New York City FC   Patrick Vieira Signed by   Nice June 11, 2018 2nd in East, 4th overall   Domènec Torrent June 11, 2018
Orlando City SC   Jason Kreis Mutual decision June 15, 2018 6th in East, 14th overall   Bobby Murphy (interim) June 15, 2018
Orlando City SC   Bobby Murphy (interim) End of interim period June 29, 2018 8th in East, 17th overall   James O'Connor June 29, 2018
New York Red Bulls   Jesse Marsch Signed by   RB Leipzig July 6, 2018 2nd in East, 3rd overall   Chris Armas July 6, 2018
LA Galaxy   Sigi Schmid Resigned September 10, 2018 8th in West, 13th overall   Dominic Kinnear (interim) September 10, 2018
San Jose Earthquakes   Mikael Stahre Fired September 17, 2018 12th in West, 23rd overall   Steve Ralston (interim) September 17, 2018
Vancouver Whitecaps FC   Carl Robinson Fired September 25, 2018 8th in West, 14th overall   Craig Dalrymple (interim) September 25, 2018
San Jose Earthquakes   Steve Ralston (interim) End of interim period October 8, 2018 12th in West, 23rd overall   Matías Almeyda October 8, 2018

Regular seasonEdit

FormatEdit

During the 2018 MLS regular season, each team played 34 games, including 17 home games and 17 away games. Teams faced each of their conference opponents (10 in the East, 11 in the West) twice during the season with one game at home and one game away. Western Conference teams played one additional intra-conference game and Eastern Conference teams played two. All teams faced each non-conference opponent once.

Conference standingsEdit

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 New York Red Bulls 34 22 7 5 62 33 +29 71 Conference Semi-finals[a]
2 Atlanta United FC 34 21 7 6 70 44 +26 69
3 New York City FC 34 16 10 8 59 45 +14 56 Knockout round
4 D.C. United 34 14 11 9 60 50 +10 51
5 Columbus Crew 34 14 11 9 43 45 −2 51
6 Philadelphia Union 34 15 14 5 49 50 −1 50
7 Montreal Impact 34 14 16 4 47 53 −6 46
8 New England Revolution 34 10 13 11 49 55 −6 41
9 Toronto FC 34 10 18 6 59 64 −5 36
10 Chicago Fire 34 8 18 8 48 61 −13 32
11 Orlando City SC 34 8 22 4 43 74 −31 28
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goal differential; 7) away goals scored; 8) home goal differential; 9) home goals scored; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots.
Notes:
  1. ^ Due to a change in format for the CONCACAF Champions League, the regular season conference champions did not automatically earn a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.[2]

Western ConferenceEdit

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Sporting Kansas City 34 18 8 8 65 40 +25 62 Conference Semi-finals[a]
2 Seattle Sounders FC 34 18 11 5 52 37 +15 59
3 Los Angeles FC 34 16 9 9 68 52 +16 57 Knockout round
4 FC Dallas 34 16 9 9 52 44 +8 57
5 Portland Timbers 34 15 10 9 54 48 +6 54
6 Real Salt Lake 34 14 13 7 55 58 −3 49
7 LA Galaxy 34 13 12 9 66 64 +2 48
8 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 34 13 13 8 54 67 −13 47
9 Houston Dynamo 34 10 16 8 58 58 0 38
10 Minnesota United FC 34 11 20 3 49 71 −22 36
11 Colorado Rapids 34 8 19 7 36 63 −27 31
12 San Jose Earthquakes 34 4 21 9 49 71 −22 21
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goal differential; 7) away goals scored; 8) home goal differential; 9) home goals scored; 10) coin toss or drawing of lots
Notes:
  1. ^ Due to a change in format for the CONCACAF Champions League, the regular season conference champions did not automatically earn a berth in the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League.[3]

Overall tableEdit

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification[a]
1 New York Red Bulls (X) 34 22 7 5 62 33 +29 71 2019 CONCACAF Champions League
2 Atlanta United FC (C) 34 21 7 6 70 44 +26 69
3 Sporting Kansas City 34 18 8 8 65 40 +25 62
4 Seattle Sounders FC 34 18 11 5 52 37 +15 59
5 Los Angeles FC 34 16 9 9 68 52 +16 57
6 FC Dallas 34 16 9 9 52 44 +8 57
7 New York City FC 34 16 10 8 59 45 +14 56
8 Portland Timbers 34 15 10 9 54 48 +6 54
9 D.C. United 34 14 11 9 60 50 +10 51
10 Columbus Crew 34 14 11 9 43 45 −2 51
11 Philadelphia Union 34 15 14 5 49 50 −1 50
12 Real Salt Lake 34 14 13 7 55 58 −3 49 2019 Leagues Cup
13 LA Galaxy 34 13 12 9 66 64 +2 48
14 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 34 13 13 8 54 67 −13 47
15 Montreal Impact 34 14 16 4 47 53 −6 46
16 New England Revolution 34 10 13 11 49 55 −6 41
17 Houston Dynamo 34 10 16 8 58 58 0 38 2019 CONCACAF Champions League
18 Minnesota United FC 34 11 20 3 49 71 −22 36
19 Toronto FC 34 10 18 6 59 64 −5 36 2019 CONCACAF Champions League
20 Chicago Fire 34 8 18 8 48 61 −13 32 2019 Leagues Cup
21 Colorado Rapids 34 8 19 7 36 63 −27 31
22 Orlando City SC 34 8 22 4 43 74 −31 28
23 San Jose Earthquakes 34 4 21 9 49 71 −22 21
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goals scored; 7) away goal differential; 8) coin toss or drawing of lots
(C) Champion; (X) Supporters' Shield winner.
Notes:
  1. ^

Aggregate 2017 and 2018 tableEdit

As Toronto FC won MLS Cup 2017, at least one of the U.S. berths for the 2019 CONCACAF Champions League will be reallocated, to the U.S. non-champions with the best aggregate record over the 2017 and 2018 MLS regular seasons. An additional berth will be allocated, based on this method, if a U.S. team qualifies for multiple CONCACAF Champions League berths (by winning a combination of MLS Cup 2018, 2017 U.S. Open Cup, and/or 2018 U.S. Open Cup).[5][6]

Note: Only U.S. teams are listed in this table.

Pos Team Pld W L T GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1 Atlanta United FC 68 36 16 16 140 84 +56 124 2019 CONCACAF Champions League[a]
2 New York Red Bulls 68 36 19 13 115 80 +35 121 2019 CONCACAF Champions League[b]
3 New York City FC 68 32 19 17 115 88 +27 113
4 Seattle Sounders FC 68 32 20 16 104 76 +28 112
5 Sporting Kansas City 68 30 17 21 105 69 +36 111 2019 CONCACAF Champions League[c]
6 Portland Timbers 68 30 21 17 114 98 +16 107
7 Columbus Crew 68 30 23 15 96 94 +2 105
8 FC Dallas 68 27 19 22 100 92 +8 103
9 Real Salt Lake 68 27 28 13 104 113 −9 94
10 Philadelphia Union 68 26 28 14 99 97 +2 92
11 Houston Dynamo 68 23 26 19 115 103 +12 88 2019 CONCACAF Champions League[d]
12 Chicago Fire 68 24 29 15 106 105 +1 87
13 New England Revolution 68 23 28 17 102 116 −14 86
14 D.C. United 68 23 31 14 91 110 −19 83
15 LA Galaxy 68 21 30 17 111 131 −20 80
16 Minnesota United 68 21 38 9 97 141 −44 72
17 Orlando City 68 18 37 13 82 132 −50 67
18 San Jose Earthquakes 68 17 35 16 84 126 −42 67
19 Colorado Rapids 68 17 38 13 67 114 −47 64
20 Los Angeles FC 34 16 9 9 68 52 +16 57
Source: MLS
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) total wins; 3) total goal differential; 4) total goals scored; 5) disciplinary points; 6) away goals scored; 7) away goal differential; 8) coin toss or drawing of lots
Notes:
  1. ^ As MLS Cup 2018 champions (USA1)
  2. ^ As best aggregate 2017 and 2018 record (USA4)
  3. ^ As 2017 U.S. Open Cup champions (USA2)
  4. ^ As 2018 U.S. Open Cup champions (USA3)

PlayoffsEdit

BracketEdit

                                           
Knockout Round  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup
10/31 – Bronx, New York              
E3  New York City FC  3
E3  New York City FC  0  1  1
E6  Philadelphia Union  1      
E2  Atlanta United FC  1  3  4  
Eastern Conference
11/1 – Washington, D.C. E2  Atlanta United FC  3  0  3
 
  E1  New York Red Bulls  0  1  1  
E4  D.C. United  2 (2)
E5  Columbus Crew  1  0  1
E5  Columbus Crew (p)  2 (3)   December 8 – Atlanta, Georgia
E1  New York Red Bulls  0  3  3  
 
10/31 – Frisco, Texas E2  Atlanta United FC  2
 
  W5  Portland Timbers  0
W4  FC Dallas  1
W5  Portland Timbers (p)  2  2  4 (4)
W5  Portland Timbers  2      
W2  Seattle Sounders FC  1  3  4 (2)  
Western Conference
11/1 – Los Angeles, California W5  Portland Timbers  0  3  3
 
  W1  Sporting Kansas City  0  2  2  
W3  Los Angeles FC  2
W6  Real Salt Lake  1  2  3
W6  Real Salt Lake  3  
W1  Sporting Kansas City  1  4  5  


Knockout roundEdit

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Eastern Conference
New York City FC (E3) 3–1 Philadelphia Union (E6)
D.C. United (E4) 2–2
(2–3 p)
Columbus Crew SC (E5)
Western Conference
Los Angeles FC (W3) 2–3 Real Salt Lake (W6)
FC Dallas (W4) 1–2 Portland Timbers (W5)

Conference semifinalsEdit

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Eastern Conference
Columbus Crew SC (E5) 1–3 New York Red Bulls (E1) 1–0 0–3
New York City FC (E3) 1–4 Atlanta United FC (E2) 0–1 1–3
Western Conference
Real Salt Lake (W6) 3–5 Sporting Kansas City (W1) 1–1 2–4
Portland Timbers (W5) 4–4
(4–2 p)
Seattle Sounders FC (W2) 2–1 2–3 (a.e.t.)

Conference finalsEdit

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Eastern Conference
Atlanta United FC (E2) 3–1 New York Red Bulls (E1) 3–0 0–1
Western Conference
Portland Timbers (W5) 3–2 Sporting Kansas City (W1) 0–0 3–2

MLS CupEdit

Atlanta United FC2–0Portland Timbers
Report
Attendance: 73,019
Referee: Alan Kelly

AttendanceEdit

Average home attendancesEdit

As of October 29, 2018

Ranked from highest to lowest average attendance.

Pos. Team GP Cumulative High Low Mean
1 Atlanta United FC 17 901,033 72,243 44,696 53,002
2 Seattle Sounders FC 17 690,893 47,521 39,465 40,641
3 Toronto FC 17 452,675 30,799 23,011 26,628
4 LA Galaxy 17 415,543 27,068 16,231 24,444
5 Minnesota United FC 17 406,342 52,242 18,057 23,902
6 Orlando City 17 405,730 25,527 22,337 23,866
7 New York City FC 17 394,583 30,139 18,584 23,211
8 Los Angeles FC 17 374,716 22,716 22,000 22,042
9 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 17 373,089 27,863 17,357 21,946
10 Portland Timbers 17 359,448 21,144 21,144 21,144
11 Sporting Kansas City 17 339,148 21,064 18,508 19,950
12 San Jose Earthquakes 17 323,547 50,743 15,648 19,032
13 New York Red Bulls 17 316,956 25,219 14,768 18,644
14 Real Salt Lake 17 316,286 21,363 16,015 18,605
15 Montreal Impact 17 315,665 26,005 15,485 18,569
16 New England Revolution 17 311,897 36,573 10,547 18,347
17 D.C. United 17 299,803 20,573 5,128 17,635
18 Houston Dynamo 17 287,408 22,320 13,094 16,906
19 Philadelphia Union 17 280,805 19,013 14,795 16,518
20 FC Dallas 17 263,707 19,096 13,147 15,512
21 Colorado Rapids 17 260,660 17,837 10,790 15,333
22 Chicago Fire 17 251,708 21,915 8,551 14,806
23 Columbus Crew 17 211,603 19,121 7,683 12,447
 – Total 391 8,553,245 72,243 5,128 21,875

Highest attendancesEdit

As of October 22, 2018

Regular season

Rank Home team Score Away team Attendance Date Week Stadium
1 Atlanta United FC 1–1 Seattle Sounders FC 72,243 July 15, 2018 20 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
2 Atlanta United FC 3–1 D.C. United 72,035 March 11, 2018 2 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
3 Atlanta United FC 2–0 Real Salt Lake 72,017 September 22, 2018 30 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
4 Atlanta United FC 4–0 Orlando City SC 71,932 June 30, 2018 18 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
5 Atlanta United FC 2–1 Chicago Fire 71,812 October 22, 2018 34 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
6 Minnesota United FC 1–3 LA Galaxy 52,242 October 21, 2018 33 TCF Bank Stadium
7 San Jose Earthquakes 3–3 LA Galaxy 50,743 June 30, 2018 18 Stanford Stadium
8 Seattle Sounders FC 2–3 Portland Timbers 47,521 June 30, 2018 18 CenturyLink Field
9 Atlanta United FC 3–1 Columbus Crew 45,303 August 19, 2018 25 Mercedes-Benz Stadium
10 Atlanta United FC 5–0 Los Angeles FC 45,207 April 7, 2018 6 Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Player statisticsEdit

ShutoutsEdit

Rank Player Club Shutouts[9]
1   Luis Robles New York Red Bulls 14
2   Tim Melia Sporting Kansas City 13
3   Andre Blake Philadelphia Union 10
  Evan Bush Montreal Impact
  Sean Johnson New York City FC
  Tyler Miller Los Angeles FC
  Zack Steffen Columbus Crew
8   David Bingham LA Galaxy 8
  Brad Guzan Atlanta United FC
10   Jeff Attinella Portland Timbers 7
  Stefan Frei Seattle Sounders FC
  Nick Rimando Real Salt Lake

Hat-tricksEdit

    Player For Against Result Date
      Josef Martínez Atlanta United FC Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4–1 March 17
      Dominique Badji Colorado Rapids Philadelphia Union 3–0 March 31
      Johnny Russell Sporting Kansas City Vancouver Whitecaps FC 6–0 April 20
      Ignacio Piatti Montreal Impact Los Angeles FC 3–5 April 21
      Cristian Techera Vancouver Whitecaps FC New England Revolution 3–3 May 26
      Josef Martínez Atlanta United FC Philadelphia Union 3–1 June 2
      Adama Diomande Los Angeles FC Philadelphia Union 4–1 June 30
      Darwin Quintero Minnesota United FC Toronto FC 4–3 July 14
      Josef Martínez Atlanta United FC D.C. United 3–1 July 21
      Michael Barrios FC Dallas Sporting Kansas City 3–2 July 28
      Zlatan Ibrahimović LA Galaxy Orlando City SC 4–3 July 29
      Luciano Acosta D.C. United Orlando City SC 3–2 August 12
      Damir Kreilach Real Salt Lake LA Galaxy 6–2 September 1
      Bradley Wright-Phillips New York Red Bulls D.C. United 3–3 September 16
      Gyasi Zardes Columbus Crew SC Minnesota United FC 3–2 October 28

    AwardsEdit

    Player of the MonthEdit

    Month Player Club Stats Ref
    March   Felipe Gutiérrez Sporting Kansas City 5 GP, 5 G [10]
    April   Miguel Almirón Atlanta United FC 4 GP, 5 G, 2 A [11]
    May   Zack Steffen Columbus Crew 5 GP, 0 GA [12]
    June   Adama Diomande Los Angeles FC 5 GP, 7 G [13]
    July   Josef Martínez Atlanta United FC 5 GP, 9 G, 1 A [14]
    August   Josef Martínez Atlanta United FC 4 GP, 4 G, 1 A [15]
    September   Luciano Acosta D.C. United 5 GP, 4 G, 6 A [16]
    October   Wayne Rooney D.C. United 5 GP, 5 G [17]

    Player / Team of the WeekEdit

    • Bold denotes league player of the week.
    • Italics denotes Audi player performance of the week.

    Goal of the weekEdit