February 23, 2006

Jeepers, Some Wishes Really Do Come True!

Raise your glass for this one, my friends. Regardless of your thoughts on Jamie Trecker, he brings us huge news: Our Supporters' Shield finally means something. Yes, that would be our shield.

From now on, the club with the league's best record will in fact -- and not just in our wishful rhetoric -- be the regular season champions. And that club will automatically get one of the two berths in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. (No word on what happens if the same team has the best record and wins the MLS Cup... Presumably, the MLS Cup runner-up gets the other slot then.)

Suddenly, the regular season means a hell of a lot more than it did yesterday. And suddenly, the Champions Cup itself means a little more. And finally, even the MLS Cup Final means more... Because the loser doesn't get that chance to play the region's and world's best. And this, in my opinion, is the biggest news to come out of MLS in months. Forget the distractions.

So the word on this comes out the same day that the Champions Cup kicks off. New England played to a scoreless draw against LD Alajuelense. Nice to be in Bermuda! But the shitty part for the Revs is that the second leg is in Costa Rica, and they'll need a win there to advance. Making things worse: Pat Noonan apparently went down with a nasty injury of some kind. He has until March 8 to get healthy for the next game.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy hosts defending champs Saprissa, also of Costa Rica, tomorrow night. Come on, root for the U.S. sides. Gotta represent, dawg. The match is at 11 p.m. EST on Fox Soccer Channel. Yes, it's late, but you are all grown up now.

Posted by joe at February 23, 2006 12:50 AM | TrackBack

FYI - This is old news, came out about a week ago. Great news regardless, but it did not come out the same day as the Champions Cup started.

Posted by: Simon at February 23, 2006 12:18 PM

Points for Simon.

I see the league put out a news release on Feb 14, but with no fanfare... It's definitely been under the radar. Not even a cheesy article on MLSNet.

Posted by: Joe at February 23, 2006 12:50 PM

Add this to the fact that FIFA is looking into the Jack Warner affair, and it's safe to say that the world's soccer elite are taking their cues from Joe's blog entries... ;)

Posted by: jamie at February 23, 2006 12:55 PM

Now if MLS would only launch a league-wide free beer program for first-time ticket buyers, I could retire.

Posted by: Joe at February 23, 2006 01:44 PM

Hah! I beat you to this one, as I managed to comment on it a week ago. Of course, you had me beat to the Nowak story. And to actually making it Lucky Bar for the Nats game, so it's not like I can really claim any sort of moral high-ground what-so-ever.

Also, in addition to Free Beer, US Soccer will also have to figure out its ticketing systems for WC matches before you can retire. Don't forget that windmill worthy of a tilt.

Posted by: D at February 23, 2006 03:06 PM

Yes, I agree it's about time MLS awards the team will the best record a spot in the CCC. The regular season now has more meaning Accord to the article on yahoo that if the regular-season points leader wins the MLS Cup, the team with the second-most points also will qualify. It's damn shame they don't another cup event where the MLS runners up can go to?

Posted by: Tim at February 23, 2006 05:01 PM

I'm glad that soccer becomes important even in the USA, where Football is the King.

Waiting for the World Cup, fans can play the Fans World Cup, the game where everybody can score goals to the best team in the world !

The url is http://www.fansworldcup2006.com

Posted by: Nicolas at February 25, 2006 03:26 AM
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