Changes for the 2012 MLS competition format
The biggest change announced: beginning in 2012, the League’s championship will be hosted by the finalist that finished the regular season with the most points in the standings. So home field for the title can be earned.
As a consequence of having 19 teams, all MLS teams will play an unbalanced schedule. Each of the 19 MLS clubs will play 34 games, 17 at home and 17 away.
Western Conference clubs will play each West opponent 3 times (24 games) and each East opponent once each (10 games).
Eastern Conference clubs will play 25 games against other East clubs, 7 conference opponents three times each (21 games) and 2 conference opponents twice each (4 games). Then they will play each West opponent once each (9 games).
10 clubs will qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, just as it was this year, but now the top five in points from each conference at the end of the regular season. After the knock out Wild Card game and the two leg conference semi-finals, the Conference Championships will next year be decided by a two-game, aggregate-goal format.
As for how that all effects FC Dallas... more games against the stronger West, more games against most of the familiar names (Colorado, RSL, LA Galaxy), but less games against Chicago and Houston, the two most hated rivals. That means the Brimstone Cup and El Capatian will, baring a US Open Cup game and other unforeseen circumstances, be decided by one game.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on Adnan Januzaj's meteoric rise from Dallas Cup participant in April to Manchester United's savior in October before moving on to discuss DC United's victory over Real Salt Lake in the U.S. Open Cup final.
Play Podcast Steve Davis welcomes Marc Stein back to the studio from his European travels just in time to discuss the miserable weekend in the Premiership for both Manchester clubs.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss the big City v United game and Stein's trip to West Brom for the Paolo Di Canio show.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis cover all the ins and outs of the United States' comprehensive victory over Mexico that clinched a seventh straight trip to the World Cup.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis look ahead to Tuesday night's big USA vs. Mexico showdown.
Play Podcast Pedro Pinto analyzes the Champions League draw, and Rodney Marsh discusses Liverpool's flying start.
Play Podcast Marc Stein and Steve Davis discuss Clint Dempsey's home debut and the weekend's marquee match in MLS: Seattle vs. Portland.
Play Podcast Broadcasting live from FC Dallas Stadium, Marc Stein and Steve Davis reflect on the absolute footy feast that was Saturday's TV bonanza featuring seven live games from the Premiership followed by a full MLS slate.