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MLS announces 2005 realignment

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer today announced that the League's two expansion teams, Real Salt Lake and Club Deportivo Chivas USA, will join the Western Conference in their inaugural season in MLS in 2005. The Kansas City Wizards will move to the Eastern Conference to establish two divisions comprised of six teams each.

The Western Conference will be made up of the Colorado Rapids, CD Chivas USA, FC Dallas, Los Angeles Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, and the San Jose Earthquakes. Mexican-owned Deportivo will play in Carson, Calif., sharing the stadium with the Galaxy.

The Eastern Conference will feature the Kansas City Wizards joining the Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, the MetroStars, and the New England Revolution.

The 2005 MLS regular season kicks off on Saturday, April 2, 2005, when all 12 teams will take the field for the League's 10th season. A total of 192 regular season games will be played in 2005, with each team playing 32 games apiece (16 home, 16 away).

Each team will play four games against each opponent within its conference (two home, two away) as well two games (one home, one away) against each of the six teams in the other conference.

The playoff format remains the same as in 2004, with eight teams (four from each conference) qualifying for the postseason. After a home-and-away Conference Semifinals series, the winners advance to the single game Conference Championship.

The Conference Champions will then do battle for the Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy at MLS Cup 2005 on Sunday, November 13, 2005 at the new Frisco Soccer & Entertainment Center, the highly anticipated new home for FC Dallas which is scheduled to open in Spring 2005.

Along with the regular schedule of League games, MLS teams will also once again participate in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as the CONCACAF Champions Cup. The participation of MLS teams and the rounds and dates for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup will be announced by the U.S. Soccer Federation at a later date.

The 2004 MLS Cup finalists D.C. United and Kansas City Wizards will represent the United States in the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup, the longest running international club competition in the region which has crowned the champion club of the Confederation since its inception in 1962.

MLS Cup Champion D.C. United and the Wizards, 2005 runner-ups, will begin play with the first leg of the Champions Cup quarterfinals on March 9, 2005. The eight-team pairing will be determined by a draw to be held at the offices of CONCACAF in early 2005. The winner of the 2005 CONCACAF Champions' Cup will qualify to the next FIFA Club World Championship to be held in Japan in December of 2005.

Major League Soccer's 12 clubs continue their preparations in advance of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft being held in Baltimore, Maryland on Friday, January 14 in conjunction with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention at the Baltimore Convention Center.
Well being a Wizards fan, this affects me greatly. I'll miss our increasingly intense rivalries with San Jose and the Rapids. Whatever, now I get a chance to have a direct competition with Ed for top spot in the East!

I don't like the East Coast of America though, so to be associated with it is :yuck:
 

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Do I since a little Jelousy building here, The best players come from the east. The best teams are in the east the best youth teams are in the east.... need I say More. :tongue:
 

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I think MLS needs to get rid of the Leagues and just have one table. With more expansion on the way, we need to have one table.
 

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I saw something interesting today while watching 'Ganbare' (J[apanse]-League Highlights Show) on Fox Sports World. I believe the J-League format would suit our American ideals just fine.

What they do is have a league table where all of the teams are in one big table just like you suggested. They then divide the season into two halves. The top finisher from each half of the season advances to the final, where the two teams play in a two legged final. If the same team finishes first in both halves of the season, they are declared the winner. But if not, they have the Championship.

I believe something like this is needed in MLS. Trust me, if I were to have my way we would have the European format, all of the teams in one league with relegation and the lot, but it's not practical yet, if ever, in our league. In the mean time, we need to do something to gain more respect with the world, and to make us feel more in touch with Europe and less like an Americanized form of the game.

This way we'd still have our "Championship Game" as comes with the American mentality, but we'd also have the equality of the best teams competing for it.

It's this American mentality that has for so long hurt our game. An absurd, sad fact about the opening of MLS is that they actually considered expanding the goals. No, I'm not joking, they actually toyed with the idea of making the goals bigger for more goals and thus more fans. (American philosophy again) Fortunately, this idea was eventually scraped, along with many others.

The shoot-out, no stoppage time, overtime. All ideals that have hindered the progress of our league. Ten seasons in, and we're in a better situation than ever before. Yet one has to think how far could our league be had we started with the right way of thought from the beginning? Every time we remove one of these outrageous ideals our league is improved and given more room to do such, so we have to think about what our league could have done had it had so much more room to improve from the very beginning?
 

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Its also About money. The Idea of Playoffs add x # of games to a teams schedule, which is why most American sports have this system. The other idea will be worth toying with. Is a 1 league system, one crowned league champion and a top 8 play for the MLS cup. Now this will only work if the reward was to play in a South American tournament for the winners.
 

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PAULMAY said:
Its also About money. The Idea of Playoffs add x # of games to a teams schedule, which is why most American sports have this system. The other idea will be worth toying with. Is a 1 league system, one crowned league champion and a top 8 play for the MLS cup. Now this will only work if the reward was to play in a South American tournament for the winners.
Wow, Paul, you've been reading my mind for years! That is exactly what I think MLS should do!
 
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