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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top 4 MLS Cup Scenarios for 2012

MLS is headed towards the stretch run of its season with only six weeks left till the start of the playoffs.  And, though there is much left to be determined for who will make the playoffs and which teams will face off against each other, it is obvious what a compelling, exciting 2012 MLS Cup Final should look like.

The teams that will make the most intriguing matchups for MLS Cup are easily noticeable because there are a limited amount of teams with a national presence that can create a stir among sports fans.

Unlike the Super Bowl or NBA Finals, the teams playing in MLS Cup do matter in order to galvanize the public's attention.  Soccer is still not at the mainstream level yet so that MLS Cup can get a lot of attention no matter which teams are playing.

With apologies to the San Jose Earthquakes, they are not one of the teams included in best scenarios for MLS Cup 2012.

The Quakes are close to breaking through the clutter of U.S. sports and crossing over towards more recognition with sports fans.  They have the best record, recognizable players in Wondolowski and Lenhart and Wondo is the leading scorer of the League, but they are still not over the hump with headlining stories.  Possibly, next year's new stadium and the faith of their fans will give the team the lift they need to get higher up on the rung of attention grabbing teams.

The four teams that can make MLS Cup 2012 one to remember are: Los Angeles Galaxy, Sporting KC, New York Red Bulls and Seattle Sounders.  Each of these teams have a top 5 scoring duo and additional players who are known in and out of Soccer circles, plus all five top hairstyles are part of these teams.

The fourth best scenario would be a repeat of the US Open Cup from this year.  It's on the list because it's a chance for a repeat performance of Sporting KC and Seattle and it's last on the list for the same reason.  Rematches can be awesome, like the Giants vs. the Patriots Super Bowl, or they can be duds with similar-less thrilling results.

The third best scenario would be Seattle vs. New York Red Bulls.  This game would have plenty of starpower and give the League a boost.  Thierry Henry's latest banana kick wonder goal (on a corner kick) in a game that he had two goals and one assist has boosted his profile and his team's.

The second best scenario would be Los Angeles vs. New York.  Many pundits would think this should be number one because it's LA vs. NY with Beckham vs. Henry, the two most well-known designated players from foreign countries and many of these pundits would be correct.  This is a dream matchup for the League.

The best matchup for MLS Cup 2012 is LA vs. Sporting KC.  For the first time, the Final is played at the team's home stadium with the best regular season record, which would likely mean LA traveling to a raucous KC LiveStrong stadium.  These two teams have the hottest trending players and style of play for what the League needs now and it would make for a glorious Final, especially if it goes to overtime.  

MLS would love to have Seattle play LA and New York play Sporting KC in their respective Conference championships, too.  It would bring plenty of hype to the playoffs.

The worst scenario is that none of these best four teams play each other along the way.  

Vote in the poll to the right for what you think would be the best scenario.

2 comments:

  1. I dont see how San Jose would not be the best scenario for MLS. The quakes have a HUGE fan base in Northern California, the California clasico between the Galaxy at a sold out Stanford stadium (50,000+) was one of the best games for MLS in the last year hands down. You can almost make a movie about the quakes over the past three years.

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    1. Quakes play the spoiler role this season, in my opinion. If they run the board and win it all, then, they become more interesting.

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