05 October 2006

We're not the only ones who think this is important

My Very Brain found this interview with Brian Carroll who confesses that the CONCACAF berth "is huge", especially in light of how they do things around the world. That's the 2nd DC United player today to question the value of the playoffs. Yeah, I'm pretty sure you can read that into both BC's and Jaime's comments.

What's more important to you as a fan? I think winning the regular season is always a plus, and now that it means a Champions Cup appearance, it is a legitimate stepping stone to greater glory. As long as we have the MLS Cup though, I think that's the trophy that matters the most. Because you get one more star for your badge, and all next season everyone has to refer to you as "defending champion ... ".

Anyone else think the "hydro-therapy session at a local health club" was Jaime's idea? They're going to be doing this every tuesday throughout the playoffs. If only there were more rival blogs to make fun of our team for doing so.


At 06 October, 2006 08:55, Anonymous Joanna said...

I'm in favor of whatever works! And Jaime's spa day seems to have done the trick for him.

As to the MLS Cup vs. Supporter's Shield, I think that the situation we have right now strikes a pretty good balance in acknowledging and drawing from soccer traditions around the world, and also remaining consistent with US sports traditions and expectations of the general public. After all, the fans we want to draw in are from the US and if playoffs is what they understand and like, well, give 'em playoffs. Why not? (You can question the assumption that US sports in general HAVE to have playoffs and I would agree with you, but it is a common assumption that this is the only way to be.)

The balance could be a little bit better. It would be nice to see the two awards viewed as more equal. But that's a media thing; I don't see it happening short of going out and beating a bunch of sportswriters upside the head with the shield itself.

At 06 October, 2006 09:26, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the thing that will make the Shield really valuable is if a team gets into international competition due to winning the shield and then does very well, attracting wide attention. Then it will sink in that the regular season really matters. This will particularly be the case if the team that wins the MLS cup in the same year pulls an LA and wins it after a lackluster season then gets clobbered in international play. The contrast would be enlightening. The more the shield matters, the more incentive teams will have to build true powerhouse dynasties rather than teams built around a single star who can make a well-timed playoff run.
It is telling that the shield was created by fans, its fans who go to the regular season games and want to see all out effort at them.
Now the shield has true meaning and as that reality percolates through the league, strategies will shift.

At 06 October, 2006 09:43, Blogger DCNats said...

Personally, I'm really excited about the Supporter's Shield and I agree that if DCU doesn't win the MLS Cup, at least the season won't be a total loss...

However, winning the Supporter's Shield only provides DCU with an opportunity to earn some respect... but it's no guarantee.

Sure, if they go and take the Champions Cup it would be huge, but if they go get their asses kicked then winning that Supporter's Shield won't look like such a big deal.

So while I'm glad to have won the Supporter's Shield, but the MLS Cup is significantly more important to me.


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