At last we've reached the final waypoint on our journey through the 2007 regular season. Here we pause as five sides wave goodbye to the departing ship of their MLS Cup dreams. Goodbye Landon, ciao Becks, au revoir Pablo--enjoy the long night of your vacations and try not to be too bitter that you couldn't qualify for a playoff structure that allows more than half of the clubs (62%) to make it through to the post-season.
And the Winner Is . . .
Without further ado, let's get ready to do some backslapping as we hand out the awards for those who achieved and prepare to shake our heads sadly as we mock those who, frankly, did not. Let's start with the winners.
- The Supporters' Shield goes to . . . DC United, for having the highest point total (55) and the correspondingly dominant 1.83 points per game. Congrats to the good guys on their second straight Shield and their qualification for the CONCACAF Champions' Cup and next summer's SuperLiga. Also qualifying for the SuperLiga are: Chivas, the Dyanamo, and the Revs.
- The Medals for Marksmanship go to . . . DC United, who dropped 56 goals, averaging 1.87 per game, on the hapless opposition--a fitting reminder that goals win games. Honorable mention goes to the Revs, who finished the season on 51 goals, with a average of 1.7 bulges in the old onion bag per match.
- The Gilded Chastity Belt goes to . . . the Houston Dynamo, who allowed just 23 goals over the course of 30 matches, for an average of 0.77 allowed per game. Honorable mention goes to Chivas, the only other side to manage less than a goal allowed per game, with their 28 conceded working out to 0.93 net-finding strikes per match.
I'm a Loser, Baby . . .
And now, on to those who failed to impress.
- The Bottom-Feeders Toilet Bowl goes to . . . Toronto FC, whose initial MLS season resulted in a league worst 25 points, an average of just 0.83 points per game. The failure to achieve will be tempered by the fact that they are an expansion side, they did have a decent run before injuries took their toll, and, of course, that fantastic crowd. Better luck next year, eh?
- The Broad Side of the Barn award goes to . . . Toronto FC. You don't win if you don't score goals, and TFC proved just that, scoring only 25 times in 30 games. Less-than-honorable mention goes to the only other side to score less than a goal per game, the Colorado Rapids, who managed 29 tallies this year. Pathetic!
- The Mattress in a Brothel goes to . . . Toronto FC. When it rains, it pours. Not only did TFC fail to put them in the net, they couldn't keep them out either--to the tune of 49 goals allowed, a 1.63 goals per game average. They just managed to edge out the other big contender in the promiscuity challenge, the Galaxy, who saw a total of 48 goals find their way into the net. It bears mentioning that the "Idiot Comment of the Year" award has to go to ESPN's Rob Stone, who surprisingly managed to outdo über-moron Christian Miles. Stoner, in the final Thursday Night Futbol installment of the regular season, was promoting LA's Joe Cannon for Goalkeeper of the Year. I don't care how many saves you make, if you are conceding at that sort of clip, there's no way in Dante's Inferno that you deserve any best of the year awards, unless they're for futility or for managing not to strangle Big Red for putting such an incompetent collection of defenders in front of you.