Daily Sweeper, 10.8: Why the Supporters’ Shield Isn’t a Cup and More

May as well lead with something needling…

– Why are we lucky the Supporters’ Shield is a shield as opposed to a cup?  Because we’d realize it was empty if it were a cup.  At least two pundits made the point today (or yesterday) that more eyes are on the chase for the final playoff spot than are following the race for the Supporters’ Shield.  Dan Loney was one of them, even if he made the point by way of making another, but Daryl from The Offside laid it out in the lead:

“…no one in MLS is really sweating about who wins the Supporters Shield. If they were, they’d be sweating on a very tight race where DC United lead Chivas by 3 points and Chivas have a game in hand… Instead, with two or three games to go (depending on your team) everyone’s looking at 8th place. Because squeaky bum time in MLS is all about the race for sixth from bottom.”

Whether or not you take the Supporters’ Shield personally isn’t all that relevant because the teams don’t seem to.  As Kyle McCarthy points out in his Week 27 wrap for Goal.com, it may be true that Chivas USA was missing one of its first-choice forwards due to suspension (Maykel Galindo), but that didn’t stop them from fielding the other.  Why didn’t they?  To rest them up for the playoffs, of course. As much as I’d like the regular season to feel like something other than eternal and unsatisfying foreplay, it’s not gonna  happen.  We’re Americans and we do playoffs; it’s not more complicated than that, really.  My conditioning is so total that I don’t even think about the Supporters’ Shield, really.  And that is what it is…at least till the league comes to its senses…which may never happen.

– Hey, hey, FC Rocky reports that the Colorado Rapids are repeat Cham-peens, runaway even…in the reserve league.  Why that success doesn’t transfer up to the first-team probably bears investigating…

– Finally, Andrea Canales posted a pair of absolutely marvelous posts about some things Abby Wambach chose to imply in a public appearance in (I think) Rochester.  The first declares the delusion about the Greg Ryan/Hope Solo saga total and the second is short, sharp magic.  Good stuff, AC.

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4 Responses

  1. Well, I pay attention to the Supporters’ Shield.

  2. Good man, Matth. The first rule of reading this site (or my corner of it): I know nothing. I just ask a lot of questions.

  3. I’m paying attention to it, mostly because DC is in it. But if I’m remembering correctly the Shield winner is also one of the MLS teams selected to play in Copa there’s-too-many-to-sort-out and probably a lock for the next SuperLiga. Maybe more. So there is something on the line.

  4. I think that’s right, Kelly, about the Supporters’ Shield person going to the CONCACAF Champions Cup; 99% sure, in fact. The Superliga criteria isn’t 100% nailed down, but I bet they’ll make that as well.

    The thing is, the league added both “bonuses” only last year – or, if I’m wrong about that, only shortly before. By that I mean, they had to make it worthwhile and somewhat deliberately; the Supporters’ Shield concept came to fans first and the league second. That’s part of why I view it as a slight slip from the norm of American sporting culture….not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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