MLS Timeline & Abbreviations

start with the 1996 season teams: 
Colorado RapidsLA Galaxy
Columbus CrewMetroStars
Dallas BurnNew England Revolution
DC UnitedSan Jose Clash
Kansas City WizTampa Bay Mutiny
 
1997Kansas City Wiz became Kansas City Wizards
1998Chicago Fire began play
1998Miami Fusion began play
  
2000San Jose Clash became San Jose Earthquakes
2001Miami Fusion disbanded
2001Tampa Bay Mutiny disbanded
2005Dallas Burn became FC Dallas
2005Chivas USA began play
2005Real Salt Lake began play
2005San Jose Earthquakes disbanded
2006MetroStars became New York Red Bulls
2006Houston Dynamo began play
2007Toronto FC began play
2008San Jose Earthquakes began play again
2009Seattle Sounders began play
  
2010Philadelphia Union began play
2011Kansas City Wizards became Sporting Kansas City
2011Portand Timbers began play
2012Montreal Impact began play
2014Chivas USA disbanded
2015New York City FC began play
2015Orlando City began play
2017Atlanta United began play
2017Minnesota United began play
 
List of abbreviations used in other pages:
Atlanta AtlAtlanta United (2017 - present)
Chicago ChiChicago Fire (1998 - present)
Chivas USA ChvChivas USA (2005 - 2014)
Colorado ColColorado Rapids (1996 - present)
Columbus CbsColumbus Crew (1996 - present)
DC United DC DC United (1996 - present)
Dal Burn DBuDallas Burn (1996 - 2004)
FC Dallas DalFC Dallas (2005 - present)
Houston HouHouston Dynamo (2006 - present)
KC Wiz KWzKansas City Wiz (1996 - 1996)
KC Wizards KCWKansas City Wizards (1997 - 2010)
LA Galaxy LA LA Galaxy (1996 - present)
Miami MiaMiami Fusion (1998 - 2001)
Minnesota MinMinnesota United (2017 - present)
Montreal MtlMontreal Impact (2012 - present)
NY Red BullsNYRNew York Red Bulls (2006 - present)
MetroStars MetNY/NJ MetroStars (1996 - 2005)
New England NE New England Revolution (1996 - present)
New York FC PhiNew York City FC (2015 - present)
Orlando PhiOrlando City (2015 - present)
PhiladelphiaPhiPhiladelphia Union (2010 - present)
Portland PorPortland Timbers (2011 - present)
Real Salt LakeRSLReal Salt Lake (2005 - present)
SJ Clash SJCSan Jose Clash (1996 - 1999)
San Jose SJ San Jose Earthquakes (2000 - present)
Seattle SeaSeattle Sounders (2009 - present)
Sporting KC KC Sporting Kansas City (2011 - present)
Tampa Bay TB Tampa Bay Mutiny (1997 - 2001)
Toronto TorToronto FC (2007 - present)
Vancouver VanVancouver Whitecaps (2011 - present)