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MLS Cup: 2024 dates, schedule, format, history, how to watch

The MLS Cup is Major League Soccer's annual championship game and pits the winners of the Eastern and Western conferences against each other, with the victors ultimately being crowned league champions.

Continue reading for all you need to know about the MLS Cup, including 2024 dates, past winners, format and more. 

MLS Cup date

The 2024 MLS Cup Final will take place on Saturday, December 7, 2024.

MLS Cup time

The 2024 MLS Cup's start time is yet to be determined.

MLS Cup location

The MLS Cup is held at the home ground of the higher seeded team contesting the match. For example, the 2023 final was held at Columbus Crew's Field and home advantage helped the Crew go on to beat Los Angeles FC.

Read more: Major League Soccer 2024 dates, schedule, teams, stadiums, and more

How to watch MLS Cup

All postseason matches will be streamed on Apple TV as part of the MLS Season Pass.

MLS Cup Playoffs format

The MLS Cup crowns Major League Soccer's champion and brings the curtain down on the season, but there is plenty of work for the teams to do before they can even contemplate playing in the championship game.

In 2023, the regular MLS season ran from February-October with the top nine teams from both the Eastern and Western conferences qualifying for the playoffs.

The exact playoff format often changes from year to year in MLS.

The playoffs were extended in 2023 to include a Wild Card round contested between the teams that finished eighth and ninth in each conference.

Those one-off Wild Card matches were played at the home of the higher seeded team, with the two winners advancing through to round one of the playoffs. This year, the first round was played over a best-of-three series, which saw the higher-seeded team play two matches at home and one away.

The eight round one winners then advanced through to the Conference Semi-Finals, which were contested as a one-off match at the home of the higher-seeded team, as are the Conference Finals.

The two conference winners then went on to contest the one-off MLS Cup Final.

How many times has the MLS Cup taken place?

The MLS Cup has taken place 28 times and has been held in every year since D.C. United won the inaugural title, beating Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 in the final in 1996.

Most MLS Cup wins

LA Galaxy are the most successful team in MLS Cup history, lifting the trophy a record five times - the last of which came in 2014 - while they have also reached the showpiece match on more occasions than anyone else, making nine appearances.

D.C. United are the only other side to have won the title more than twice, as they have been crowned champions on four occasions, although the last of those came in 2004.

Houston Dynamo, Seattle Sounders, Sporting Kansas City, Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes are the other teams that have won the title more than once.

MLS Cup previous winners and MVPs

YearWinnerScoreRunner UpMVP
1996D.C. United3-2*Los Angeles GalaxyMarco Etcheverry
1997D.C. United2-1Colorado RapidsJaime Moreno
1998Chicago Fire2-0D.C. UnitedPeter Nowak
1999D.C. United2-0Los Angeles GalaxyBen Olsen
2000Kansas City Wizards1-0Chicago FireTony Meola
2001San Jose Earthquakes2-1*Los Angeles GalaxyDwayne De Rosario
2002Los Angeles Galaxy1-0*New England RevolutionCarlos Ruiz
2003San Jose Earthquakes4-2Chicago FireLandon Donovan
2004D.C. United3-2Kansas City WizardsAlecko Eskandarian
2005Los Angeles Galaxy1-0*New England RevolutionGuillermo Ramirez
2006Houston Dynamo1-1 (4-3)**New England RevolutionBrian Ching
2007Houston Dynamo2-1New England RevolutionDwayne De Rosario
2008Columbus Crew 3-1New York Red BullsGuillermo Barros Schelotto
2009Real Salt Lake1-1 (5-4)**Los Angeles GalaxyNick Rimando
2010Colorado Rapids2-1*FC DallasConor Casey
2011Los Angeles Galaxy1-0 Houston DynamoLandon Donovan
2012Los Angeles Galaxy3-1Houston DynamoOmar Gonzalez
2013Sporting Kansas City1-1 (7-6)**Real Salt LakeAurelien Collin
2014Los Angeles Galaxy2-1*New England RevolutionRobbie Keane
2015Portland Timbers2-1Columbus CrewDiego Valeri
2016Seattle Sounders0-0 (5-4)**Toronto FCStefan Frei
2017Toronto FC2-0Seattle SoundersJozy Altidore
2018Atlanta United2-0Portland TimbersJosef Martinez
2019Seattle Sounders3-1Toronto FCVictor Rodriguez
2020Columbus Crew3-0Seattle SoundersLucas Zelarayan
2021New York City1-1 (4-2)**Portland TimbersSean Johnson
2022Los Angeles FC3-3 (3-0)Philadelphia UnionJohn McCarthy
2023Columbus Crew2-1Los Angeles FCJuan 'Cucho' Hernandez

* Game won after extra time  ** Game won on penalties

2024 MLS Cup odds

Inter Miami is the favorite to win the 2024 MLS Cup.

View the latest MLS Cup odds here

Odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.

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