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The Major League Soccer Supporters' Shield is an annual award given to the Major League Soccer team with the best regular season record, as determined by the MLS points system, much like the Presidents' Trophy in the NHL.

History

While MLS is similar to other North American sport leagues in that the winner of the end-of-season playoff final — the MLS Cup — is crowned league champion, a group of fans wanted a way to recognize the team that would have become champion in a single table: the team that scored the most points in league play over the regular season. To this end, the Supporters' Shield was created and first awarded following the 1998 season. It was retroactively awarded to Tampa Bay and D.C. United for the 1996 and 1997 season.

Since the 2000 season, the system of awarding points in the MLS is the same as the international standard, three points for a win, one for a draw, and no points for a loss. In the event of an end-of-season tie in total accumulated points, the win-loss record of head-to-head matchups between the tied teams is used as the first tiebreaker, goal difference as the second, and the total number of goals scored as the third.

Should these measures fail to resolve the tie, the fourth breaker takes the previous methods and applies them only to away games, the fifth does the same for games played at home, the sixth awards the title to the team with the fewest disciplinary points, and, failing that, the seventh and final tiebreaker is a coin toss. These are standard MLS regulations for breaking ties in point totals.

In February 2006, USSF decided that the Supporters' Shield winner and the MLS Cup winner will represent the United States in the CONCACAF Champions League and its predecessor, the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. If the Supporters Shield winner also wins the MLS Cup, the team with the second-most points qualifies as well.

Winners

Year

Winners

Records
W-L-T (SoW)
From season 1996 to 1999, games tied in 90 minutes were followed by shootouts.
From season 2000 onwards, games tied are allowed to stand.

Points
From season 1996 to 1999, 3 points were awarded for a win in 90 minutes, 1 point for a shootout win, and 0 point for a loss in 90 minutes or shootout.
From season 2000 onwards, 3 points were awarded for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 point for a loss.
Runners-up

Records
W-L-T (SoW)


Points
1996 Tampa Bay Mutiny 20-12 (1) 58 Los Angeles Galaxy 19-13 (4) 49
1997 D.C. United 21-11 (4) 55 Kansas City Wizards 21-11 (7) 49
1998 Los Angeles Galaxy 24-8 (2) 68 D.C. United 24-8 (7) 58
1999 D.C. United 23-9 (6) 57 Los Angeles Galaxy 20-12 (3) 54
2000 Kansas City Wizards 16-7-9 57 Chicago Fire 17-9-6 57
2001 Miami Fusion 16-5-5 53 Chicago Fire 16-6-5 53
2002 Los Angeles Galaxy 16-9-3 51 San Jose Earthquakes 14-11-3 45
2003 Chicago Fire 15-7-8 53 San Jose Earthquakes 14-7-9 51
2004 Columbus Crew 12-5-13 49 Kansas City Wizards 14-9-7 49
2005 San Jose Earthquakes 18-4-10 64 New England Revolution 17-7-8 59
2006 D.C. United 15-7-10 55 FC Dallas 16-12-4 52
2007 D.C. United 16-7-7 55 C.D. Chivas USA 15-7-8 53
2008 Columbus Crew 17-7-6 57 Houston Dynamo 13-5-12 51
2009 Columbus Crew 13-7-10 49 Los Angeles Galaxy 12-6-12 48


Supporters' Shield's Jinx

On several occasions, the Supporters' Shield winners have in fact faltered badly in the next season(s), notable examples were:

  • 1996 winners Tampa Bay Mutiny could not achieve much successes in the next few seasons, either by missing the playoffs (1998, 2001) or getting knocked out in the Conference Semifinals (1997, 1999, 2000). They eventually folded after the 2001 season.
  • 1999 winners D.C. United missed the playoffs in the next season, finishing last in the Eastern Conference (11th out of 12 overall). In fact they also failed to make the playoffs in 2001 (last in the Eastern Conference, 10th out of 12) and 2002 (last in the Eastern Conference, 10th out of 10), while barely made the playoffs in 2003, finishing 2nd last (just a point ahead of last-placed Columbus Crew) in the Eastern Conference (7th out of 10), and they were knocked out by Chicago Fire in the Conference Semifinals with 2 straight losses.
  • 2000 winners Kansas City Wizards barely made the playoffs in the next season, finishing 2nd last in the Western Conference (7th out of 12), and they were knocked out by Miami Fusion in the Conference Semifinals. In 2002 they barely made the playoffs as well, despite finishing last in the Western Conference (8th out of 10), and they were knocked out by Los Angeles Galaxy in the Conference Semifinals.
  • 2001 winners Miami Fusion folded in the next season.
  • 2002 winners Los Angeles Galaxy barely made the playoffs in the next season, finishing 2nd last in the Western Conference (9th out of 10), and they were knocked out by San Jose Earthquakes in the Conference Semifinals, having actually taken a 4-goals aggregate lead in the tie.
  • 2003 winners Chicago Fire missed the playoffs in the next season, finishing last in the Eastern Conference (10th out of 10).
  • 2004 winners Columbus Crew missed the playoffs in the next season, finishing last in the Eastern Conference (10th out of 12). They again failed to make the playoffs in 2006, with an even worse record (last in the Eastern Conference, 12th out of 12). The Crew were significantly improved in 2007, but still missed out on the playoffs.
  • 2005 winners San Jose Earthquakes were relocated the following season to Houstonmarker (as a brand new franchise: Houston Dynamo) without inheriting the franchise's successful history (especially being two-time winners of the MLS Cup in 2001 and 2003). The jinx was still in effect when the franchise returned as an expansion team in 2008, as they finished last in the West/Overall to capture the dubious honor of Wooden Spoon.
  • 2006 winners D.C. United has arguably defied the "jinx" for a season as they became the first team to retain the Shield in the next season. However, they did subsequently fall to Chicago Fire in the first round of the playoffs. In 2008, the jinx has made a return as they missed out on the playoffs by finishing 6th in the Eastern Conference (10th out of 14).


Several Shield Runners-up also collapsed dramatically in the next season(s), such as:

  • 1997 runners-up Kansas City Wizards missed the playoffs in the next season, finishing last in the Western Conference (11th out of 12). They again failed to make the playoffs in 1999, with an equally dismal record (last in the Western Conference, 11th out of 12).
  • 2003 runners-up San Jose Earthquakes barely made the playoffs in the next season, finishing 2nd last in the Western Conference (7th out of 10, only 2 points ahead of last-placed Dallas Burn), and they were knocked out by Kansas City Wizards in the Conference Semifinals, having actually taken a 2-goals aggregate lead in the tie.
  • 2004 runners-up Kansas City Wizards missed the playoffs in the next season, finishing 2nd last in the Eastern Conference (7th out of 12). They again failed to make the playoffs in 2006, with an even worse record (2nd last in the Eastern Conference, 11th out of 12).


Records

Number of wins per team
Total wins Team
4 D.C. United
3 Columbus Crew
2 Los Angeles Galaxy
1
Tampa Bay Mutiny (defunct)
Kansas City Wizards
Miami Fusion F.C. (defunct)
Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes


See also



References

External links




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