We Have MLS’s 2008 Superliga Participants (Right?)

So…unless I’m misremembering, the Major League Soccer (MLS) teams with the top four regular season records will represent the league in 2008’s  Superliga tournament.  And, a quick look at the current standings, combined with not only the gap in points but the current form of the relevant teams, says the following four teams will represent MLS…in  every sense of that word:

DC United, Houston Dynamo, Chivas USA, New England Revolution

Well, OK, that’s two repeat performers – Houston and DC – both of whom showed really well in both Superliga and the earlier CONCACAF Champions’ Cup.  Both seem strong and stable as this year ends, so that’s to the good.

How ’bout the other two?  Chivas looks great right now and I think they’ll carry over pretty well to next season as well.  But New England?  That’s where I get nervous.  They’ve got some players to whom another year might not be so kind; on the other hand, they’ve got players who could benefit from another year or two as pros (too bad there’s no kind of “carbon-cap swap” equivalent for player experience).  Could be worse, I suppose.  We could have wrong-way FC Dallas limping to a fourth-place finish.
Eh, whatever happens, the Superliga was a hoot.  So long as we get that Primera/MLS final, I don’t care how they stack up right now or which MLS team reaches the final.  Down the road, however….

4 Responses

  1. Not necessarily. This year’s MLS contingent was DC, Dallas, Houston & the Galaxy. DCU, FCD and HOU finished 1st,1st and 2nd in their respective conference tables. The Galaxy didn’t qualify for last year’s playoffs either (intentional foreshadowing).

    I think the organizers picked the teams based on 1b) 2006 league record, and 1a) chances of attracting large crowds given the number of residents with ties to the Mexican league and/or Central America in said teams home area. Show me the soccer (but show me the $$$ first)!

    Using this logic, we could see LA again, or possibly Chicago, but definitely not Denver. No one wants to see them on the pitch regardless of 1a or 1b, because 2) their ‘style’ makes eyes bleed.

  2. Right on all that, but I’m talking about what will happen in 2008. I read somewhere that next year’s tournament will feature the Top 4. (ah, here, but it’s something of a throwaway reference way down at the bottom and it’s unsourced; p.s. this is not a knock on Mr. Urban, whose work I admire and enjoy).

    But I can say with some certainty that next year won’t look like this year. Don Garber says so:

    “”Next year, it will be a qualifying process that will be balanced,” said Garber. “That’s going to be an incentive for them to play harder and make every regular season game count, because they’ve got to win those games to reach what will be a very valuable tournament.”

    Contrary to what I had thought, references (again, look WAY down) to the means of qualification remain fairly vague. So, credit to RP for clarifying that one.

  3. JB:

    Believe the regular-season-points qualification metric was mentioned by the Don either in a press release or during a press conference.

    I’ll try to find the specific reference. Primary sources are wonderful and necessary things…


  4. Urb: That’d be good because the attempt to find the reference on my own only exposed the limits of my web-surfing capabilities.

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