As we all await the start of the 2012 Major League Soccer season, here's something for you to think about.
Daily News stats maven* Bob Vetrone Jr. is celebrating Presidents' Day with an interesting series of posts on his blog, BoopStats. He is examining the number of times in recent seasons that teams with the best regular season records in various sports went on to win their respective playoff championships.
(The idea for this comes from the fact that the NHL awards the Presidents' Trophy to the team with the best regular-season record.)
Those of you who've followed MLS for a while know that the league has its own history of playoff failures by regular-season powers.
Only six times in the league's 16-year history has the Supporters' Shield winner triumphed in the MLS Cup Final. The most recent team to do so was the Los Angeles Galaxy this past season.
Here is the history. As you read it, make sure at the appropriate moments to remember those teams and team names that have left us over the years. Carlos Valderrama will thank you.
|1996||Tampa Bay Mutiny||20||12||--||58||Lost Conference Final|
|1997||D.C. United||21||11||--||55||Won MLS Cup|
|1998||Los Angeles Galaxy||24||8||--||68||Lost Conference Final|
|1999||D.C. United||23||9||--||57||Won MLS Cup|
|2000||Kansas City Wizards||16||7||9||57||Won MLS Cup|
|2001||Miami Fusion||16||5||5||53||Lost Semifinal|
|2002||Los Angeles Galaxy||16||9||3||51||Won MLS Cup|
|2003||Chicago Fire||15||7||8||53||Lost MLS Cup|
|2004||Columbus Crew||12||5||13||49||Lost Conference Semifinal|
|2005||San Jose Earthquakes||18||4||10||64||Lost Conference Semifinal|
|2006||D.C. United||15||7||10||55||Lost Conference Final|
|2007||D.C. United||16||7||7||55||Lost Conference Semifinal|
|2008||Columbus Crew||17||7||6||57||Won MLS Cup|
|2009||Columbus Crew||13||7||10||49||Lost Conference Semifinal|
|2010||Los Angeles Galaxy||18||7||5||59||Lost Conference Final|
|2011||Los Angeles Galaxy||19||5||10||67||Won MLS Cup|
* - "Maven" is an understatement, but it's all I can come up with at the moment. Among Boop's many responsibilities at the Daily News is assembling all those agate pages with standings, box scores and such. His work often flies under the radar, but it deserves recognition. So here's some.