I was watching a bit of Major League Soccer on the box last weekend and saw New York Red Bull slide underservedly past Real Salt Lake 1-0
to win the Western Conference Final. All fine I thought as NY now go on to play Chicago Fire's conquerors Columbus Crew 2-1 in the final, or MLS Cup as it's called.
Well not really because hang on a minute New York don't even play in the Western Conference, not the last time I looked at the map anyhow, and I've just looked at the final league tables and they contrived to finish 5th out of 7 teams in the Eastern Conference losing 11 games in the progress. Now I'm all for play-off's but the American way of giving everyone a prize is frankly laughable.
I've followed the MLS for five seasons and I have tried desperately to rally behind it but these kind of decisions made by the powers that be make the professional game amateurish in the extreme, they may as well bring back shoot-outs.
With the MLS planning to expand to 18 teams by 2011, I wonder if the time is right for a single league with a proper league champion? Columbus Crew were the best team by the way, so lets hope they beat the frickin' New York Red Bulls on Saturday night to at least give the game some respectability.