Where the Streets Have No Gold: Cities Without a Championship, Part 3



In this final part of a three-part series, I will look at the MLS teams that have not won the MLS Cup and then look at the cities and states that these franchises have not given a title to.

As with parts 1 and 2, the list here for the MLS will be based on three components: Championship game/series appearances, playoff success, and the year the franchise was established.


FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 29: Ryan Guy #13 of the New England Revolution gets cleated in the face by a high volley from Rauwshan McKenzie #4 of Chivas USA during the game on August 29, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Guy would leave the game with an injury to his head. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)


The youngest major sports league in North America, Major League Soccer, began in 1996 with 10 teams. Now, going into the 2015 season, the MLS is up to 20 teams and that grow number will grow even more in the years to come. But out of the entire MLS, nine teams have yet to win the MLS Cup. For the purposes of this article, 2015 newcomers Orlando City and New York FC have not been included. Also, Chivas USA, who dissolved after last season, will not be included as they will now never win the MLS Cup.

9. New England Revolution: Five MLS Cup appearances in 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2014.

8. FC Dallas: Appeared in the 2010 MLS Cup.

7. New York Red Bulls: Appeared in the MLS Cup in 2008.

6. Montreal Impact: No appearances in the MLS Cup and established in 2012.

5. Vancouver Whitecaps FC: No MLS Cup appearances and established in 2011.

4. Portland Timbers: Established in 2011 and have no appearances in the MLS Cup.

3. Philadelphia Union: No MLS Cup appearances and established in 2010.

2. Seattle Sounders FC: No MLS Cup appearances and established in 2009.

1. Toronto FC: No MLS Cup appearances and established in 2007.

*The Revolution, Red Bulls, and FC Dallas all entered the league in 1996 but the Revolution made 4 MLS Cup appearances while FC Dallas and the Red Bulls made one. They were ranked by year of appearance.

*The Timbers were ranked ahead of the Whitecaps based on recent league standings and the fact that the Whitecaps made the 2014 postseason.

*Toronto FC has never qualified for the postseason.

Cities & States:

Throughout all of these 55 teams, various cities and states are represented. The District of Columbia and Canada are also represented.

Washington, DC has two teams out of five in the major sports leagues. The Nationals and Capitals are the only two teams not to bring a championship trophy home to the United States capital.

The nation of Canada has seven teams that hasn’t brought a championship back to the Great White North. Three of these Canadian teams, the Impact, Whitecaps, and Toronto FC, are from the MLS. The Canucks, Jets, and Senators are the three NHL teams representing Canada. And the other lone Canadian team is the NBA’s Raptors.

Altogether in Canada, that makes two cities, Vancouver and Toronto with two teams that have yet to win a championship. Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Montreal each have one team with that distinction. Unless you want to include the years that the Expos were in Montreal but I am counting them as a Washington, DC team.

In the United States, nine states have one team that hasn’t brought home a championship. The St. Louis Blues represent Missouri and the New England Revolution represent Massachusetts. Both Missouri and Massachusetts have five major sports teams in the state.

Michigan has four major sports teams within the state and the only one to not win a championship is the Detroit Lions. Georgia and Wisconsin are represented by three major sports’ franchises but have one, the Falcons and Brewers, that haven’t won a championship.

Utah, Indiana, Louisiana, and Oregon each have two sports team in their states and one of the two have yet to win the big game in their sport. The Jazz, Pacers, Pelicans, and Timbers are waiting to get it done while Real Salt Lake, the Colts, Saints, and Trailblazers have done their part.

Four states have two teams that haven’t gotten it done. Pennsylvania, a state with eight sports franchises, only has two Philadelphia franchises, the Union and the Eagles, that haven’t won a MLS Cup or Super Bowl.

Colorado has five major teams and only the Rockies and Nuggets, both in Denver, haven’t won a championship. Washington and North Carolina have two out of three teams not to win their respective league’s championship. Seattle’s Sounders and Mariners are still waiting to bring a trophy back to the Pacific Northwest while Charlotte’s Hornets and Panthers are waiting to the same for the Carolina’s.

Arizona, Minnesota, and Tennessee each have three teams on these lists. The Cardinals, Coyotes, and Suns have failed to win the big one for Phoenix and the surrounding areas in Arizona. In Minnesota, the Vikings, Timberwolves, and Wild have had the same failures in city city of Minneapolis. Both Arizona and Minnesota have had one team, the Diamondbacks and Twins, win a World Series.

In Tennessee, all three major sports teams have failed at bringing the Volunteer State a championship. The Titans and Predators have let down fans in Nashville while the Grizzlies did the same in Memphis.

Four states have four failed teams. Ohio has the Bengals and Browns in the NFL, the Cavaliers in the NBA, and the Blue Jackets in the NHL. That makes three cities, Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, that do not have championship hardware.

Florida has a total of nine franchises in the five leagues and the Panthers, Jaguars, Rays, and Magic are the only ones not to win a championship. From those four teams, four cities are also represented: Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, and Sunshine (Miami).

New York has the Red Bulls, Nets, Sabres, and Bills without titles. The Sabres and Bills are keeping Buffalo from celebrating while the Nets are not making fans happy in Brooklyn. As for the Red Bulls, they are currently playing in New Jersey but have brought a championship back for the state of New York.

And in Texas, the Texans, Astros, Rangers, and FC Dallas are the four out of ten teams to not win a championship. Houston’s Texans and Astros have failed to do what the Dynamo and Rockets did. Meanwhile, the Rangers and FC Dallas have done the same to the major area that the Astros and Texans did for Houston.

And with a total of seventeen major franchises between the five leagues, the state of California has only four that have yet to win a championship. The city of San Diego is still waiting on the Chargers and Padres to deliver. The Los Angeles Clippers have yet to outshine the city’s other big teams. And the San Jose Sharks have yet to bring a title to the Pacific.

Thanks for reading once again and I hope you have enjoyed. If there was one question that was left in my head after typing all of this, it was which team do I think will deliver a championship in their sport first. Well, if I had to guess I would say the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL, the San Diego Padres in the MLB, the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA, the Minnesota Wild in the NHL, and the New England Revolution of the MLS. And for those cities, I hope I’m right. As for the other cities, well, I think some of you still have at least a few years to wait. Thanks for reading.

Daryl Karpinski Jr.