MLS Cup


MLS Cup
This article is about the championship. For details on the tournament, see MLS Cup Playoffs.
MLS Cup
Philip F. Anschutz Trophy.jpg
Philip F. Anschutz Trophy
Founded 1996
Region Major League Soccer (CONCACAF)
Current champions Colorado Rapids (1st title)
Most successful club D.C. United (4 titles)
Television broadcasters ESPN, TeleFutura
MLS Cup 2011

The MLS Cup is the championship match of Major League Soccer, the highest tier of professional soccer in the United States and Canada. As the final match of the MLS Cup playoffs, the winner is crowned the season champion in the same manner as other North American sports leagues. The MLS Cup finalists are awarded CONCACAF Champions' League berths—the winner earning a spot in the group stage while the runner-up starts in the preliminary round.[1]

On October 20, 1996, the league hosted its inaugural championship, MLS Cup '96. Today the MLS Cup is typically held in late November featuring the winners of the Eastern Conference Championship and Western Conference Championship. The cup champions have been awarded the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy since 2008 while the years prior saw two versions of the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy presented to winners.[2]

Contents

History

D.C. United has won the most MLS Cup titles to date, winning four total.[3] The next closest are a tie between Los Angeles Galaxy, Houston Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes who have all won the championship twice.[4][5][6] New England Revolution has been to the final the most times without winning the league title, making it to the MLS Cup four times in club history, three of which were consecutive.[7]

D.C. United's Early Domination

The MLS Cup's roots trace back to the foundation of Major League Soccer, when the structural format was being assembled. The league decided to have a similar setup to its contemporary North American sports leagues, by creating a postseason tournament to culminate the regular season, which would be the determining factor in crowning the league champion. The name of the cup was to allude to the other cup finals that use similar titles for their championship matches. At one point, the MLS Cup Playoffs was the only method of determining a soccer champion of any top-tier professional soccer league in the World through playoffs.

For the first few MLS Cup finals, the championship was dominated by D.C. United, who appeared in the first four MLS Cup finals, winning three of them. The inaugural MLS Cup, MLS Cup '96 was the first MLS Cup championship match, featuring United and Los Angeles Galaxy. The inaugural match had the Galaxy take an early 1–0 lead, and double in early in the second half. However, their lead was relinquished towards the end of the match when Tony Sanneh pulled one back in the 72nd minute. Nine minutes later, Shawn Medved tied the match at two, resulting in extra time between the two sides. Four minutes into extra time, Eddie Pope gave United the golden goal victory.

In 1997, the second league cup final was contested at RFK Stadium, where United won back-to-back titles, a feat that would not be accomplished for another decade (when Houston Dynamo won the 2006 and 2007 finals). The game ended 2–1 in United's favor over Colorado Rapids, who would not win a championship until 2010. Jaime Moreno was declared Man of the Match for his goal in the 37th minute of play. This season was also the first time in league history any MLS team won the regular season (Supporters' Shield) and postseason title in the same season.

D.C. United's run ended the third year, when they made an unprecedented third run to the MLS Cup finals, only to lose to the expansion-side Chicago Fire by a margin of two-nil. However the following year, United repeated their "double" of winning both the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup the same season. This time, it was a 2–0 win over the Galaxy in the 1999 MLS Cup final.

Rise of the California Clasico

For the first time since 1997, the 2000 MLS Cup final saw a new club reach the finals along with the Fire. This time the Kansas City Wizards won their only MLS Cup with a 1-0 victory over the Fire.

Landon Donovan of San Jose defending off Chicago's Carlos Bocanegra in the 2003 MLS Cup. Donovan named the MVP.

From 2001 through 2004, the MLS Cup finals saw a rising of the California Clasico when stateside rivals, L.A. Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes clashed together in the 2001 final. The match also saw the rise of U.S. national Landon Donovan who won a Newcomer of the Year award and tallied the equalizer in the Earthquakes 2-1 championship victory over the Galaxy. Additionally, the win prevented the Galaxy from a MLS title for the third time in their history.

With the largest crowd in MLS Cup history at hand, the New England Revolution took on the Galaxy in the 2002 finals. For the match, over 61,000 fans were in attendance at Gillette Stadium to witness the final. In the second period of sudden-death extra time, the Galaxy nabbed their first MLS Cup title, and sparked the start of a string of MLS Cup losses for the Revolution.

The 2003 final saw the league leaders for that season go head-to-head. Two clubs that had MLS Cup experience, the Fire and Earthquakes, played for the final that year. The two clubs had successful regular season campaigns with the Fire winning their first ever Supporters' Shield, and the Earthquakes being the Western Conference regular season and post-season champions as well as having the second best overall regular season record. In a hotly contested match, the Earthquakes won with their second MLS Cup title with a 4–2 score making it the highest scoring MLS Cup final in league history (six goals).

After a four-year absence, United made their fifth trip to the MLS Cup final, playing against the Wizards for MLS Cup 2004. The match had four goals scored in the first 25 minutes, with United rallying for a 3–1 lead. Midway through the second half, United had relinquished a penalty kick. Josh Wolff scored for Kansas City, bringing the game within a goal. DC United was able to retain the lead, by winning their fourth MLS Cup title, by a score of 3–2.

Format Changes, Scudetto

Until 2005, the MLS Cup championship games had been dominated by clubs that had either won or had come close to winning the Supporters Shield. In the 2005 MLS Cup championship, the match was won by the Los Angeles Galaxy, who won the league title by having a 9th-place overall record.[8] Consequently, the Wizards had a better record, but did not qualify for the playoffs because they finished 5th in the Eastern Conference, in spite of a 8th-place overall record.[8] The result prompted MLS to create new wild-cards that were used starting in 2006, where only a certain number of clubs per conference could qualify, and the next best overall teams regardless of conference would also qualify. In itself, began prompted debates about the league switching to a single table and a balanced schedule. The single table has yet been instituted, but in 2010 the league instituted a balanced schedule.[9]

Current MLS Scudetto (2008-present)

At the start of the 2006 season, MLS created their version of the scudetto (Italian: "small shield"), a symbol worn on the jersey by the team who won the previous season's Serie A (the top Italian league). The idea was originally drawn up in 1996, but to be worn by the Supporters' Shield champions.

The MLS scudetto was originally a curved, triangular badge featuring a backdrop of the American flag behind a replica of the Alan I. Rothenberg MLS Cup trophy. First worn by Los Angeles Galaxy following their 2005 MLS Cup title,[10] the Houston Dynamo wore the same triangular scudettos in 2006 and 2007 during their duel-cup run. It was redesigned for the 2008 season after the change to the MLS Cup trophy. It is now an oval-shaped black badge with the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy in the middle. The MLS scudetto is worn by the winning team the season following the victory. It is only during the subsequent season (two years after winning the championship), that the team adds a star — a common soccer signifier of titles won — above the team logo. The team can display the star on other items beside their jersey in the year after winning the Cup, but only if the scudetto is not shown. The Columbus Crew was the first team to wear the redesigned scudetto.

Whilst the Galaxy earned their second MLS Cup trophy, and the Houston Dynamo earned consecutive cups, the New England Revolution went on an infamous run of making three consecutive MLS Cup finals, losing all of them in the process. Each of their three losses were in extra time, while the other was lost on penalty kickss. The infamy gave the club the title of being the Buffalo Bills (an NFL American football team) of MLS.[11] In the 2005 final, they lost to the Los Angeles Galaxy, a rematch of 2002, in the final. Held at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas, the Galaxy defeated the Revolution by a scoreline of 1–0 thanks to a 105th-minute extra time goal from Galaxy midfielder and Guatemalan international, Guillermo Ramírez. Ramírez's goal sealed the Galaxy's second MLS Cup title, and left the Revs searching once again.

In 2006, the championship was once again played in Frisco at Pizza Hut Park. This time the Revolution took on new expansion-club, Houston Dynamo. Both were coming off a successful season, in which they fell short of winning the Supporters' Shield. A sellout crowd of 22,427 observed the match, which is to date the largest crowd in the stadium's history. Revolution midfielder Taylor Twellman scored a dramatic extra time goal in the 113th minute to give the Revolution the 1–0 lead. However, Dynamo captain and forward Brian Ching immediately tied the score following the Revolution's goal. Because of this, the match went to penalties, in which the Dynamo managed to win 4–3 on penalties. This left the Revolution for a second-consecutive year searching for league glory. It was also the first time in league history that a club made the MLS Cup final and lost consecutively.[12]

With a slew of new, unprecedented firsts appearing the MLS Cup final, another first arrived. In the 2007 final, the Revolution and Dynamo played each other once again for the 2007 cup. Played in Washington, D.C. at RFK Stadium, a crowd just shy of 40,000 was on hand to witness the championship.[12] The announced crowd of 39,859 made it the largest MLS Cup crowd since 2002. The Revolution had a successful season, earning their first U.S. Open Cup title. In spite of winning the cup, the Revolution wanted their first ever MLS Cup crown, and wanted to win their first ever "Double" in club history. Houston, finishing just shy once again to D.C. United of winning the MLS Supporters' Shield were determined to finish their second season with some hardware, and to defend their MLS Cup title.[12] The match went in the Revolution's favor early on, as the Revolution's captain, Twellman, netted in the 20th minute to give New England a 1-0 lead. However, midway through the second half, the Dynamo retaliated. Dynamo striker Joseph Ngwenya leveled things at one apiece in the 61st minute, and MLS Cup Man of the Match, Dwayne De Rosario gave the Dynamo a 2-1 lead in the 74th.[12] The goal also proved to be the winning goal, as the Dynamo earned the first back-to-back MLS Cup titles since D.C. United did so in 1996 and 1997.[12]

Underdogs earning the cup

Held at Seattle's Qwest Field, Real Salt Lake defeated L.A. Galaxy in MLS Cup 2009 to win their first championship.

Early in the 2008 Major League Soccer season, the league announced that the championship would be returning to The Home Depot Center. Throughout the regular season, the league was dominated by Columbus Crew, who finished the season with 57 points, and secured the Supporters' Shield title with three matches remaining before the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs. Traditionally, the Shield winners only rarely made it to the league championship, in spite of usually being the heavy favorites going into the playoffs. However, for the first time in eight years, a regular season champion made it to the MLS Cup final. The Sigi Schmid-led club made their first ever run to the championship, along with their opponents the New York Red Bulls. For the Crew, being the Shield winners, their run to the final was a bit expected. The Red Bulls making the final was seen as a large surprise, possibly even a fluke. The Red Bulls did not qualify for the playoffs until the last day of the season, where they were the weakest team, in terms of regular season record, to qualify for the playoffs. The match ended up being dominated by the Crew as Columbus defeated New York with ease, 3-1. The point gap between the two clubs was the largest in history, and the scoreline between the two clubs made it tied for the largest margin of victory in MLS Cup history. New York's run to the finals was further emphasized as a fluke when the club had the worst record in 2009.

The following championship saw two intra-conference clubs meet in the final for the second consecutive year. The Western Conference regular season and postseason champions, Los Angeles Galaxy took on Real Salt Lake, who finished fifth in the West. Held in Seattle's Qwest Field, the Sounders FC management originally planned on capping the total available seat size to 35,700. In spite of surging demand, an addition 10,000 seats were opened expanding the total capacity to roughy 45,700, though the announced crowd was 46,011. The crowd size was the first championship crowd since 2002 to draw over 45,000 spectators. Televised on ESPN, it was the first time that the MLS championship match was televised on the cable network after the first thirteen were carried on ABC. In the 41st minute, Galaxy striker Mike Magee scored, only for Salt Lake's Robbie Findley to tie it in the 61st. The stalemate was not broken in regulation nor extra time, requiring penalties to decide the match. Thanks to a strike from Salt Lake's Robbie Russell, Salt Lake won their first major trophy. Subsequent to the championship, they made it to the finals of the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League, only to lose to Monterrey of Mexico.

At the 2010 season's end, six teams from the Western Conference qualified for the playoffs, whereas only two clubs from the East qualified, making it the largest disparity between the two conferences in league history. Because of the league's seeding at the time, where the conference winners earn the top seeds, the two weakest Western Conference teams, San Jose Earthquakes and Colorado Rapids were seeded against the Eastern Conference champion, New York Red Bulls and runner-up Columbus Crew, respectively. Some cited this as an unfair advantage for the Rapids and Earthquakes, as both teams made the semifinals. In the end, the Rapids played FC Dallas for MLS Cup 2010 at won 2–1 in extra time.

On May 10, 2011 the league announced that MLS Cup 2011 would be at Los Angeles' The Home Depot Center making it the fourth time in MLS history the venue would host the championship.

Format

Over the history of the MLS Cup Playoffs, numerous formats have been used.

At the 2008 season's end, the top three teams of each conference made the playoffs; in addition the clubs with the next two highest point totals, regardless of conference, were added to the playoffs. In the first round of this knockout tournament, aggregate goals over two matches determined the winners; the Conference Championships were one match each, with the winner of each conference advancing to MLS Cup. In all rounds, the tie-breaking method was two 15-minute periods of extra time, followed by penalty kicks if necessary. The away goals rule was not used.

At the 2009 and 2010 season's end, the top two teams of each conference made the playoffs; in addition the clubs with the next 4 highest point totals, regardless of conference, were added to the playoffs. In the first round of this knockout tournament, aggregate (total) goals over two matches determined the winners; the Conference Championships were one match each, with the winner of each conference advancing to MLS Cup. In all rounds, the tie-breaking method was two 15-minute periods of extra time, followed by penalty kicks if necessary. The away goals rule was not used.[13]

The format for the 2011 playoffs was announced on February 23, 2011.[14] The top three clubs in each of the league's two conferences will earn the six automatic spots in the quarterfinals.[14] The wild-card entrants, seeded seventh through tenth, will enter based upon their overall position in a single table of the league standings.[14] The new format is assembled so that the weakest seed to qualify out of the wild-card rounds will have to play the Supporters' Shield winner.[14] The other entrant will play the conference champion that did not win the Shield.[14]

The play-in propers will be a single game match, with the higher seeded club playing at their home field.[14] The quarterfinals, or the "conference semifinals," will be a two-leg aggregate series.[14]

The semifinal fixtures, or the "conference championships," will be a one-leg match at the field of the higher seed, the cup final will be at a neutral venue.[14]

Venues

Carson's The Home Depot Center has hosted three MLS Cup finals, tied for the most in league history.

In MLS Cup history, four matches have been played in the Greater Los Angeles area. The next closest is the Washington, D.C. metro area, which has hosted three finals, all of which have been played at RFK Stadium.

To date, every MLS Cup has been played at a neutral venue, though recently, there has been some discussion having the higher seeded club host the final.[citation needed] Another possibility discussed is to have the Supporters' Shield winner host the MLS Cup, and the playoffs determine who plays the Shield winner for the championship.[citation needed] However, none of these proposals have been approved to date.

Only twice in league history has a club played in the championship in their home stadium, both of which were a virtue of coincidence. In the 1997 MLS Cup final, D.C. United won the match in their home stadium over Colorado Rapids,[15] RFK Stadium. The same occurrence applied in the 2002 MLS Cup final, where the Los Angeles Galaxy defeated the New England Revolution 1-0, in the Revolution's home stadium Gillette Stadium. As a result, the 1997 and 2002 MLS Cup finals have drawn the largest crowds in MLS Cup history.[16]

Thus far in league history, MLS typically announces the championship location either prior to the start of its respective season, or even a few weeks into the campaign. For the 2011 championship, the league selected The Home Depot Center in Carson, California, making it an unprecedented fourth time, the league's championship has been hosted at the venue.[17]

Frisco's Pizza Hut Park hosted the 2005 and 2006 editions of the MLS championship.

Unlike the NFL, which traditionally disallows stadiums in climates cooler than 50°F (10°C) to host their championship, MLS has no such criteria for a host candidate. Some suggest that this is because the MLS Cup final is normally played in mid-November, whereas the Super Bowl is played in late-January/early-February. In fact, the first two MLS Cup finals were played in temperatures less than 50°F (10°C).

To date, the coldest MLS Cup final was the most recent, the 2010 championship. Played in Toronto at Toronto FC's BMO Field, the temperature was 44°F (7°C).[18] The warmest MLS Cup final was the 2005 MLS Cup final, which was played in Frisco, Texas at FC Dallas's Pizza Hut Park.[19]

The 2010 edition of the MLS Cup was the first final in league history to be played outside of the United States. The match was played in Canada at Toronto's BMO Field, the home ground of MLS club Toronto FC.

Stadiums

Name Location # hosted Years hosted
The Home Depot Center Carson, California 4* 2003, 2004, 2008, 2011
RFK Stadium Washington, D.C. 3 1997, 2000, 2007
Foxboro Stadium Foxborough, Massachusetts 2 1996, 1999
Pizza Hut Park Frisco, Texas 2 2005, 2006
Rose Bowl Pasadena, California 1 1998
Columbus Crew Stadium Columbus, Ohio 1 2001
Gillette Stadium Foxborough, Massachusetts 1 2002
Qwest Field Seattle, Washington 1 2009
BMO Field Toronto, Ontario 1 2010

italics indicate a stadium that is now inactive.

* references a future MLS Cup site

Trophies

The Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy, first version (1996-97) and second version (1998-2007).

Culminating the championship, the winning team is presented with a trophy, known as the Phillip F. Anschutz Trophy, named for his contributions and investment to American soccer and MLS. Typically, the award presentation is held on a podium in the center of the field, where the league commissioner will award the team with the cup.

Before the actual award presentation, the finalists are awarded with silver medals with the league's logo imprinted on the them. The champions are then presented with gold medals, before the trophy is handed to the winning team's captain.

In cup history, the MLS Cup champions have been awarded with three different trophies. For the first two MLS Cup finals, the winning team was awarded with the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy, named for Rothenberg's contributions to American soccer. The Rothenberg Trophy was a dark gold trophy that had two horns around a soccer ball, with the league's logo imprinted on the plaque. In 1998, the The Rothenberg Trophy was redesigned with a soccer ball placed on a beacon.

However, in 2008, the trophy was redesigned and renamed to its present design that features an actual cup look and named the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy . Thus far, Columbus Crew, Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids are the only MLS clubs to win this new trophy.

Champions

Key

* Match went to extra time[A]
Match decided by a penalty shootout after extra time
Bold Team won the Supporters' Shield
Italics Team won the U.S. Open Cup

Results

Season Champions Score Runners–up Venue Attendance Notes
1996 D.C. United  †3–2 * Los Angeles Galaxy Foxboro Stadium 34,643
1997 D.C. United 2–1 Colorado Rapids RFK Memorial Stadium 57,431 [B]
1998 Chicago Fire 2–0 D.C. United Rose Bowl 51,350
1999 D.C. United 2–0 Los Angeles Galaxy Foxboro Stadium 44,910
2000 Kansas City Wizards 1–0 Chicago Fire RFK Memorial Stadium 39,159
2001 San Jose Earthquakes 2–1 * Los Angeles Galaxy Columbus Crew Stadium 21,626 [B]
2002 Los Angeles Galaxy  †1–0 * New England Revolution Gillette Stadium 61,316 [B]
2003 San Jose Earthquakes 4–2 Chicago Fire The Home Depot Center 27,000 [B]
2004 D.C. United 3–2 Kansas City Wizards The Home Depot Center 25,797
2005 Los Angeles Galaxy  †1–0 * New England Revolution Pizza Hut Park 21,193 [B]
2006 Houston Dynamo  †1–1 New England Revolution Pizza Hut Park 22,427 [B]
2007 Houston Dynamo 2–1 New England Revolution RFK Memorial Stadium 39,859
2008 Columbus Crew 3–1 New York Red Bulls The Home Depot Center 27,000 [B] [C]
2009 Real Salt Lake  †1–1 † Los Angeles Galaxy Qwest Field 46,011 [B] [C]
2010 Colorado Rapids  †2–1 * FC Dallas BMO Field 21,700 [B] [C]
2011 Houston Dynamo or Los Angeles Galaxy The Home Depot Center TBD [B]

Records and Statistics

MLS Cup titles

Club Won Runner-up Years won Years runner-up
Washington, D.C. D.C. United 4 1 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004 1998
California Los Angeles Galaxy 2 4 2002, 2005 1996, 1999, 2001, 2009
Texas Houston Dynamo 2 0 2006, 2007
California San Jose Earthquakes 2 0 2001, 2003
Illinois Chicago Fire 1 2 1998 2000, 2003
Colorado Colorado Rapids 1 1 2010 1997
Kansas Sporting Kansas City 1 1 2000|[D] 2004|[D]
Utah Real Salt Lake 1 0 2009
Ohio Columbus Crew 1 0 2008
Massachusetts New England Revolution 0 4 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007
Texas FC Dallas 0 1 2010
New Jersey New York Red Bulls 0 1 2008

MLS Cup finalists records in CONCACAF competition

Key
Champions Runners-up Third place
  • QR1 = Qualification First Round
  • PR = Preliminary round
  • GS = Group Stage
  • R16 = Round of 16
  • QF = Quarterfinals
  • SF = Semifinals or Consolation match
  • F = Final
Year MLS Cup winner Result MLS Cup runner-up Result
1997 D.C. United SF Los Angeles Galaxy F
1998 D.C. United F Colorado Rapids QR1
1999 Chicago Fire SF D.C. United SF
2000 D.C. United SF Los Angeles Galaxy F
2002 Kansas City Wizards SF Chicago Fire QF
2003 Los Angeles Galaxy QF New England Revolution R16
2004 San Jose Earthquakes QF Chicago Fire SF
2005 D.C. United SF Kansas City Wizards QF
2006 Los Angeles Galaxy QF New England Revolution QF
2007 Houston Dynamo SF Did not qualify
2008 Houston Dynamo SF
2008–09 Houston Dynamo QF New England Revolution PR
2009–10 Columbus Crew QF New York Red Bulls PR
2010–11 Real Salt Lake F Los Angeles Galaxy PR
2011–12 Colorado Rapids GS FC Dallas GS

Man of the Match/MVP Award

Dwayne De Rosario, in MLS Cup 2006, is the only person to be named the MLS Cup MVP more than once.

Following each championship, a player on the winning club is awarded with the title of being the Man of the Match, or the Most Valuable Player (MVP). Usually, but not necessarily, the winner of the award is usually the player who scores the game-winning goal, or sets up the game winning goal. This is the case of the 2010, 2008 and 2007 recipients, who all scored game winning goals, or assisted several goals for the winning side.

An exception to this is in the 2009 championship, where the Man of the Match went to Real Salt Lake goalkeeper, Nick Rimando, who made two saves in the penalty kick shootout to give Salt Lake the league title over Los Angeles Galaxy. The only other goalkeeper in MLS Cup history to earn MVP honors was Tony Meola of Kansas City Wizards, who earned a shutout over Chicago Fire in the 2000 championship.

To date, only one player has earned the distinct honor more than once. Canadian-international Dwayne De Rosario earned MVP honors in 2001 with San Jose Earthquakes and 2007 with Houston Dynamo.

List of MVP award recipients

Year Winner Position Club
1996 Bolivia Marco Etcheverry Midfielder D.C. United
1997 Bolivia Jaime Moreno Forward D.C. United
1998 Poland Peter Nowak Midfielder Chicago Fire
1999 United States Ben Olsen Midfielder D.C. United
2000 United States Tony Meola Goalkeeper Kansas City Wizards
2001 Canada Dwayne De Rosario Forward San Jose Earthquakes
2002 Guatemala Carlos Ruiz Forward Los Angeles Galaxy
2003 United States Landon Donovan Forward San Jose Earthquakes
2004 United States Alecko Eskandarian Forward D.C. United
2005 Guatemala Guillermo Ramírez Midfielder Los Angeles Galaxy
2006 United States Brian Ching Forward Houston Dynamo
2007 Canada Dwayne De Rosario Midfielder Houston Dynamo
2008 Argentina Guillermo Barros Schelotto Midfielder Columbus Crew
2009 United States Nick Rimando Goalkeeper Real Salt Lake
2010 United States Conor Casey Forward Colorado Rapids

See also

Footnotes

A. ^ Until 2003, MLS Cup utilized "sudden death" or "golden goal" overtime, i.e. the match ended if a goal were scored at any point in overtime. Beginning in 2004, a 30:00 overtime is played in full; if the match is still tied, it is decided by a Penalty Kick shootout.[20]
B. ^ Sellout crowd
C. ^ Although Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids are Western Conference clubs, they qualified to the MLS Cup final through the Eastern Conference bracket, and vice versa for the New York Red Bulls
D. ^ Sporting Kansas City was branded as the "Kansas City Wizards" from 1997 until 2010.[21]

Notes and references

General
  • Dure, Beau (May 31, 2010) (Hardcover, 322 pages). Long-Range Goals: The Success Story of Major League Soccer. Potomac Books. ISBN 978-1-59797-509-4. 
Notes
  1. ^ "2011-12 Champions League Qualification". CONCACAF. http://www.concacafchampions.com/page/CL/201112/0,,12856,00.html. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Mainka, Jurgen (28 October 2008). "Breakfast at Tiffany's: New MLS Cup Trophy Unveiled". Red Bulls Reader. Red Bull New York. http://redbullsreader.wordpress.com/2008/10/29/breakfast-at-tiffanys-new-mls-cup-trophy-unveiled/. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Trophy Case". D.C. United. http://www.dcunited.com/club/trophy-case. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Club History". Houston Dynamo. http://www.houstondynamo.com/content/history. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  5. ^ "Club History | 2005 Recap". Los Angeles Galaxy Communications. http://www.lagalaxy.com/history-2005. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "2003: Return to Glory". San Jose Earthquakes. SJEarthquakes.com. http://www.sjearthquakes.com/history#2003. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Club History". New England Revolution. Revolutionsoccer.net. http://www.revolutionsoccer.net/history. Retrieved 8 May 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Romero, José Miguel (17 November 2009). "MLS Cup History | Galaxy blanks Revs 1-0 to win 2005 title". The Seattle Times. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sounders/2010259600_webmlscup20.html. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Straus, Brian. "2010 MLS Schedule Released, Balance Reigns Supreme". AOL. http://www.aolnews.com/2010/02/03/2010-mls-schedule-released-balance-reigns-supreme/. Retrieved 4 May 2011. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Londono, Taurus (16 March 2011). "For New England Revs fan flashbacks of Buffalo Bills, chance for redemption". Yahoo! news. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ycn-8060040. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d e Morrissey, mo (18 November 2007). "Houston Dynamo: 2007 MLS Cup Champions". Associatedcontent.com. http://www.associatedcontent.org/article/452633/houston_dynamo_2007_mls_cup_champions.html. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h "MLS reveals expanded playoffs structure for 2011". MLSsoccer.com. 2011-02-23. http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mls-reveals-expanded-playoffs-structure-2011. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  15. ^ "1997 Season Statistics". MLS. MLSSoccer.com. http://www.mlssoccer.com/stats/season?season_year=1997&season_type=PS&team=ALL&group=GOALS&op=Search&form_build_id=form-7f8f3f37f70b74da0d8cde95eccf7363&form_id=mls_stats_individual_form. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  16. ^ "Team Statistics - 2002 season". MLS. MLSSoccer.com. http://www.mlssoccer.com/stats/team?season_year=2002&season_type=PS&op=Search&form_build_id=form-fefea3b579d5c0abd59b232c606c2999&form_id=mls_stats_team_form. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Home Depot Center selected as MLS Cup 2011 host". MLSSoccer.com. 9 May 2011. http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2011/05/10/home-depot-center-selected-mls-cup-2011-host. Retrieved 11 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Litterer, Dave (23 January 2011). "The Year in American Soccer, 2010 – Division 1. MLS". The American Soccer Archives. The American Soccer Archives. http://homepages.sover.net/~spectrum/year/2010.html#MLS. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  19. ^ Litterer, Dave (10 April 2010). "The Year in American Soccer, 2005". The American Soccer Archives. The American Soccer Archives. http://homepages.sover.net/~spectrum/year/2005.html#MLS. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  20. ^ Litterer, Dave (June 19, 2008). "The Year in American Soccer, 2004: Major League Soccer (Division 1)". The American Soccer. Sover.net. http://white.sover.net/~spectrum/year/2004.html#MLS. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  21. ^ "History". Sporting Kansas City. SportingKC.com. http://www.sportingkc.com/history. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 

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