Tampa Bay Mutiny was 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 remained the MLS single-season record until 2018. However, in subsequent years, drooping attendance and revenues became problems, especially as their on-field success declined and the lease at their second home pitch of Raymond James Stadium removed sources of gameday revenues. Owing to these issues, MLS attempted without success to find a local ownership group to take over operations from the league, and both the Mutiny the league's other Florida-based team, the Miami Fusion, were folded before the 2002 season.


In 1994, newly established Major League Soccer announced it would place one of its charter franchises in the Tampa Bay Area. 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. The Mutiny took the field in 1996 when the MLS began play. While the Mutiny had no direct connection to the Rowdies franchise, the Mutiny occasionally paid tribute to its predecessor by wearing green and gold alternative kits, once wearing both the Mutiny and Rowdies logos on the same shirt. The Mutiny were owned and operated by MLS along with two other teams, the Dallas Burn and the San Jose Clash, with the league hoping eventually sell the franchises to private local owners. The team managed strong signings in 1995, including Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter, and Martín Vásquez. They were successful in their first two years, particularly in 1996, when they won the first Supporters' Shield with the best regular-season finish behind Most Valuable Player Carlos Valderrama and Golden Boot winner Roy Lassiter. The city of Tampa demolished Tampa Stadium in 1998, and the Mutiny moved to new Raymond James Stadium for the 1999 season with a much less favorable lease. The club was hampered by declining attendance and low revenues which were exacerbated by a lease agreement that which transferred most match day revenue to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, resulting in an inability to secure a local ownership group. In 2001, the Mutiny had the worst record in MLS with only four wins in twenty-seven matches on the season and 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. The Glazers would purchase Manchester United in 2005.



*MLS Supporters' Shield: 1996 *Semi-finals Appearances: 1996 *Eastern Conference (Regular Season Winners): 1996 *Copa de Puerto Rico 2000


*MLS Most Valuable Player: 1996 Carlos Valderrama *MLS Rookie of the Year Award: (2) 1996 Steve Ralston
1997 Mike Duhaney *MLS Golden Boot: (2) 1996 Roy Lassiter ''(27g, 4a)''
2000 Mamadou Diallo ''(26g, 4a)'' *MLS Fair Play Award: (2) 1999 Steve Ralston
2000 Steve Ralston *MLS Best XI selections (7) 1996 Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter
1997 Carlos Valderrama
1999 Steve Ralston
2000 Carlos Valderrama, Steve Ralston, Mamadou Diallo *MLS All-Star Game MVP: (3) 1996 Carlos Valderrama
1997 Carlos Valderrama
2000 Mamadou Diallo *MLS All-Star Game starters: (10) 1996 Carlos Valderrama, Roy Lassiter, Martín Vásquez, Cle Kooiman
1997 Carlos Valderrama
1998 Frankie Hejduk, Jan Eriksson
1999 Carlos Valderrama
2000 Carlos Valderrama, Steve Ralston *MLS All-Star Game reserves: (10) 1996 Mark Dougherty, Steve Pittman
1997 Giuseppe Galderisi, Steve Ralston, Frank Yallop
1998 Thomas Ravelli, Mauricio Ramos
2000 Mamadou Diallo, Scott Garlick
2001 Mamadou Diallo *MLS records: 26 assists in one season: Carlos Valderrama ''in 2000''
MLS All-Star Game MVP: Carlos Valderrama ''in 1996 & 1997'' *Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame: 2004 Frank Yallop

Coach and Admin

*MLS Coach of the Year Award: 1996 Thomas Rongen *MLS Executive of the Year Award: 1999 Nick Sakiewicz *MLS Operations Executive of the Year Award: (2) 1996 Eddie Austin
2001 Eddie Austin


* ''See also All-time Tampa Bay Mutiny roster''

Head coaches

* Thomas Rongen (1996) * John Kowalski (1997–98) * Tim Hankinson (1998–00) * Alfonso Mondelo (2001) * Perry Van der Beck (2001)

Team records

*Games: Steve Ralston (177) *Goals: Roy Lassiter (37) *Assists: Carlos Valderrama (81) *Shutouts: Scott Garlick (11)

Home stadiums

* Tampa Stadium (1996–1998) * Raymond James Stadium (1999–2001)


See also

*Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL Championship *Fort Lauderdale–Tampa Bay rivalry


External links

Official website
(archived December 2, 2001)
Tampa Bay Mutiny on St. Petersburg Times

BigSoccer.Com: Central Florida Superthread (Part 2)

{{Major League Soccer Category:Defunct soccer clubs in Florida Category:Association football clubs established in 1994 Mutiny Category:Defunct Major League Soccer teams Category:Sports in Tampa, Florida Category:Association football clubs disestablished in 2002 Category:1994 establishments in Florida Category:2002 disestablishments in Florida