In Major League Soccer, many teams compete annually for secondary rivalry cups also known as MLS Rivalry Cups which are usually played by only two teams, with an exception being the Cascadia Cup, which is played between three teams. Each trophy is awarded to the eligible team with the better regular season record.
Most cups are purposely coined as local derbies between the teams of same region. Out of ten original MLS teams only three have not competed in the rivalry cups which are Sporting K.C, New England Revolution and the obsolete Tampa Bay Mutiny. Many new local derbies such as the 401 Derby and Hudson River Derby are not competed for rivalry cups but instead for bragging rights of rival supporters groups. This is the only rivalry between the two original MLS clubs that do not compete for a cup is the San Jose Earthquakes and the LA Galaxy in the yearly edition of the California Clasico. The Texas Derby is the only MLS cup rivalry game where the winner does not walk away with a cup trophy. Instead, the winner takes home “El Capitán” a replica 18th century mountain howitzer cannon.
The current rivalry cups are:
|Atlantic Cup||D.C United vs|
New York Red Bulls
|Brimstone Cup||FC Dallas vs|
|California Clasico||LA Galaxy vs|
San Jose Earthquakes
|Cascadia Cup||Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs|
Seattle Sounders FC vs
|Heritage Cup||Seattle Sounders FC vs|
San Jose Earthquakes
|Hudson River Derby||New York Red Bulls vs|
New York City FC
|Pioneer Cup||Columbus Crew SC vs|
|Rocky Mountain Cup||Real Salt Lake vs|
|Texas Derby||Houston Dynamo vs|
|Trillium Cup||Columbus Crew SC vs|
|401 Derby||Toronto FC vs|
This numbers are till 17 October, 2017.
The former derbies which are not contested are:
|Florida Derby||Miami Fusion vs||2|
|SuperClasico||LA Galaxy vs||6|
Inaugurated in 2002, Atlantic Cup is one of the bitter rivalries in Major League Soccer and in American Soccer. This cup is played between two teams that is D.C. United and New York Red Bulls. It occurs three times in a year, where D.C. United hosting two games and one played in Red Bulls or Vice versa.
The Brimstone Cup is a trophy awarded to the yearly winner between the Chicago Fire and FC Dallas Major League Soccer teams. The cup is awarded by the Brimstone Cup Committee to the team with the most points in the game played against each other and if both have same points then the cup remains with the team holding in the beginning of the year.
The California Clasico is the name given to the rivalry between LA Galaxy San Jose Earthquakes. The rivalry originated from the historical Northern California and Southern California sporting and cultural rivalries. They are sometimes identified with opposing political positions, with Los Angles (Southern California) viewed as representing conservatism and San Jose (Northern California) representing liberalism.
The Cascadia Cup was created by the supporters of the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps, which is awarded each season to the best team of the Pacific Northwest. The Timbers, Sounders and Whitecaps have roots dating to the days of the original North American Soccer League.
The Heritage Cup trophy was coined and designed by San Jose Earthquakes fan Rob Stevenson with Seattle supporters. The competition began in 2009 when Seattle Sounders began to play, becoming the second MLS team named after NASL (North American Soccer League) counterpart. The first team to be named was San Jose Earthquake.
Hudson River Derby
The Hudson River Derby is also known as New York Derby is the name given to the local clubs of MLS teams based in the New York metropolitan area, the teams are New York Red Bulls and New York City FC. It was first played in 2015, the rivalry started almost as soon as the announcement was made of the NYCFC in 2013.
The Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup also known as Pioneer Cup is a MLS series between FC Dallas and Columbus Crew SC. This series is named after Lamar Hunt who was one of the league’s early investors and a huge supporter of American Soccer. The series is contested between two teams which are owned by Hunt Sports Group (Sporting Kansas City was also previously owned by this group, but was sold before the Pioneer Cup began). First two editions were preseason matches, which were played in 2007 and 2010. In 2011, the cup was changed to two games aggregate goal series but when MLS restructured ahead of 2012 season it was decided that Dallas and Columbus will on play once in a regular season. So by that cup was changed to one game, which was winner talks all contest.
Rocky Mountain Cup
The Rocky Mountain Cup is contested between Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids. The cup is awarded by a committee of 10, a group of bi-partisan fans who run the competition and the cup is awarded to the teams with the most points in the game played between each other. If the points tie then the team with the most goals wins.
The Texas Derby is a match which is played between the two Texas teams, Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas, where it’s a competition to see which of the club is the best in Texas. Both clubs play series of game where series winner taking “El Capitán”, a replica 18th century mountain howitzer cannon.
The Trillium Cup is named after the trillium, which is both the official flower of Canadian province of Ontario and the windflower of U.S state of Ohio. The cup is an annual, two team rivalry between Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC and the cup is awarded to the team that wins with the most points from the series at the season’s end. If the points are level, the first tiebreak is determined by away goals rule.
The 401 Derby is also known as Two Solitudes Derby, which is played between two MLS Canadian clubs, Toronto FC and Montreal Impact. This derby got its name from Ontario Highway 401, which connects the two cities and it is known as a tense rivalry, arising from other sporting rivalries between Toronto and Montreal.