Like every other sport, Major League Soccer (MLS) has a regular season and an off season, so before we discuss what the MLS Championship consists of, we’re going to do a quick overview of both:
MLS Championship Regular Season
- The MLS season consists of 374 games
- There are 22 MLS teams, and each will play a 34 game season
- 17 of the game are at home and 17 are away
- Each club will play a team in the opposing conference, 5 home, and 5 away
- 6 additional intra-conference games will be played with 3 home and 3 away
- The point system for the MLS regular season is as follows:
- Win – 3 Points
- Tie – 1 Point
- Loss – 0 Points
The teams that meet the requirements and the qualifications will move on to the post-season, which means the playoffs, and eventually the championship.
MLS Cup Playoffs
Following the regular season, the MLS will proceed into the Playoffs schedule which involves a total of seventeen games. This competition consists of twelve teams, each at the top 6 from each of the conferences.
What is the MLS Cup?
The MLS Cup is actually the name of a trophy awarded at the end of the final. The winner is named the champion, just as with other North American Sports Leagues. There is a bit of a difference however between this and virtually any other sports league around the world, as they only award the club with the most points at the end of the season the sole champion for the MLS, the Supporter’s Shield is awarded, and an American team that wins the MLS cup is also given a berth in the next years’ CONCACAF Champion’s league. Something to note, is that throughout its long history, the MLS cup has been represented by a total of three different trophies which include:
- Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy – 1996 -1998
- Redesigned Alan I. Rothenberg Trophy – 1999-2007
- Philip F. Anschutz Trophy 2008 –
The trophy has undergone several changes over the years, and it is undoubtedly due for quite a few more in the future. The most important question, is where will you be for the MLS playoffs? The regular season is already in full swing, and it’s only a matter of time before the qualified teams are headed for the playoffs for a bid to win their place in the championship. There is no telling who might come out victorious, but you can be rest assured that it’s going to be interesting. Check your local listings, buy a ticket, and support your favorite team, because this year, like every other year, it’s going to be quite a show.