I'm still trying to figure out the new MLS playoff structure.
I distinctly remember earlier in the year the MLS announcing that they would be switching the playoffs to a straight table structure, with no conferences. Then a couple of months later they changed it so that the top 8 teams, regardless of conference, would still make the playoffs, but the playoff matchups would still be determined by conference.
I guess it's cool to try to be original…
But if DC United has won the Supporters Shield, then they are considered the best team, and they should get to play the worst team. That's how the playoffs work in every other civilized league in the world. But here we have the #1 team playing against the #7 team. And the #2 team playing against the #8 team.
This happened because 5 teams qualified from the playoffs in the East, and only 3 teams qualified from the West, so MLS's theory is that they should send the 5th place team from the East over into the West. But here's how the theory SHOULD work. Since 5 teams qualified from the East, the East is clearly the stronger conference. DC United should be rewarded for winning the stronger conference, and play against the 5th place team, not the 4th place team. It's the 4th place team (Chicago) that should be sent out West, not the 5th place team (Kansas City).
I guess it's silly for us to be complaining about it. DC United is the best team in the league, so they should be able to beat the #7 team OR the #8 team. Right? It shouldn't matter. But you never know.
There must be some way that MLS thought that this playoff system would have somehow benefited LA and NY, otherwise they wouldn't have done it.