Sunday was MLS Deadline Day, for all 23 people who care about the MLS because football was on all of today and no one probably bothered to care about soccer.
Anyways, the 2017 edition of Deadline Day had only one playoff spot on the line to be decided in the Western Conference.
Due to the weirdest tie-break rules I’ve ever heard, the San Jose Earthquakes, despite having a goal differential of -21, advanced to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs (because now playoffs in each sport have to be sponsored) over FC Dallas, who had a goal differential of 0.
Both teams tied with 46 points to end the season, but the Earthquakes had two more wins than FC Dallas, meaning the Earthquakes advance and FC Dallas goes home with a $50 savings bond.
Of the 11 other playoff spots that had been clinched, there were eight different teams fighting for knockout round byes in both conferences.
Two of those teams, Portland and Vancouver, were fighting for the number one spot in the West. The Timbers took the No. 1 spot by defeating the Whitecaps, 2-1.
Basically, the West was a really close, tight race, where the 1st and 8th place teams were separated by only eight points, and the East was decided a few weeks ago, and Toronto FC ran away with the Supporters’ Shield like the Warriors ran away with the NBA single-season wins record.
In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta United re-set their own MLS single game attendance record, drawing over 71,000 fans to Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their match against Toronto FC, which is probably more fans in one game than Chivas USA ever got in one season.
Sunday was also DC United’s last home game at RFK Stadium before moving to their new home, Audi Stadium, next season. In typical DC United fashion, they fell to NY Red Bulls, 2-1, but the atmosphere made it a game to remember for United fans.
However, most of the MLS headlines were turned towards the protests happening in Columbus, Ohio, where wannabe Borussia Dortmund supporters (because Columbus Crew SC have the same colors) protested outside the state capitol building against the team’s possible move to Austin, TX in 2019.
Columbus Crew SC are one of the founding teams in the MLS, and the team has had economic problems after finishing towards the bottom of the league in attendance over the past few years. Club ownership decided on the possible move to Austin because the city wouldn’t approve funding for a new soccer stadium to replace Mapfre Stadium, which opened in 1999.
Who knows if the team will move, but MLS supporter groups across the country are backing the Crew’s fight to keep their team.