A little something to tide you over

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.)

It doesn't happen very often, whether in baseball, football, basketball or hockey.

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.

Year Winner Wins Losses Ties Points Playoff Result
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.