|Full name||Tampa Bay Mutiny|
|Stadium||Raymond James Stadium|
|League||Major League Soccer|
The Tampa Bay Mutiny were a professional soccer team based in Tampa, Florida. They were a charter member of Major League Soccer (MLS) and played from 1996 to 2001. They played their home games at Tampa Stadium and then at Raymond James Stadium.
The Mutiny were established in 1994 and were owned and operated by MLS throughout their existence. They were successful in their first years of play, winning the first MLS Supporters' Shield behind MLS MVP Carlos Valderrama and high-scoring forward Roy Lassiter, whose 27 goals in 1996 is still the MLS single-season record. However, the team drew low revenues and attendance and could not find a local ownership group to take over operations from the league. In 2002, MLS folded the Mutiny as well as its other Florida-based team, the Miami Fusion.
The newly established Major League Soccer organization announced it would place a team in the Tampa Bay Area in 1994. The region was seen as a potentially fertile market for soccer due to the success of the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the old North American Soccer League in the 1970s and 1980s. MLS operated the Mutiny along with two other teams, the Dallas Burn and the San Jose Clash, hoping to later sell to a private local owner. The team managed strong signings in 1995, including Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter, and Martín Vásquez. They were successful in their first two years, winning the first Supporters' Shield with the best regular-season finish and going to the playoffs both years. Valderrama was named the 1996 Most Valuable Player.
However, the Mutiny were hampered by low revenues, declining attendance, and an inability to secure a local ownership group. In 1999, the team moved from Tampa Stadium to the new Raymond James Stadium, which required a more expensive lease. By 2001, they drew an average attendance of under 11,000 per game, among the league's lowest. Faced with financial losses up to $2 million a year, MLS courted Malcolm Glazer and his family, owners of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers National Football League team, to purchase the Mutiny. The Glazers considered the deal but ultimately declined, leaving the league with no prospective owners willing to take over the team. MLS folded the Mutiny, as well as its other Florida-based team, the Miami Fusion, in 2002. (Ironically, the Glazers would purchase a soccer team after all - Manchester United - in 2005.)
1996, 1997, 1999, 2000
1996 Carlos Valderrama
2004 Frank Yallop
1996 Thomas Rongen
|Year||Reg. Season||Playoffs||U.S. Open Cup||Avg. Attendance
|1996||1st, East (20-12)*||Won Conference Semi-Finals (Columbus 2-1)
Lost Conference Finals (D.C. United 0-2)
|1997||2nd, East (17-15)||Lost Conference Semi-Finals (Columbus 0-2)||Quarter-Finals||11,333||8,272|
|1998||5th, East (12-20)||did not qualify||Quarter-Finals||10,312||-|
|1999||3rd, East (14-18)||Lost Conference Semi-Finals (Columbus 0-2)||Quarter-Finals||13,106||14,392|
|2000||2nd, Central (16-12-4)||Lost Quarter-Finals (Los Angeles 0-2)||Round of 16||9,452||5,583|
|2001||4th, Central (4-21-2)||did not qualify||Round of 32||10,479||-|
|Total||83 Wins - 98 Losses - 6 Draws||Playoff Record (2 wins - 9 losses)||Overall Record||85-107-6 (.475)|
* Won MLS Supporters' Shield