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Supporters' Shield

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The Supporters' Shield is an annual award gien tae the Major League Soccer team wi the best regular season record, as determined by the MLS points system. The Supporters' Shield haes been annually awairdit at the MLS Supporters' Summit syne 1999 (wi the winners atween 1996 and 1998 awairdit retroactively), and haes been recognized as a major trophy by the league. It echoes the practice o the tap European leagues in which the team wi the best record is the champion. Syne 2006, the Supporters' Shield winner haes earned a berth in the CONCACAF Champions Cup if they are an American-based team.

D.C. United and LA Galaxy, wi fower Supporters' Shields each, hae won the maist shields o ony MLS team. FC Cincinnati are the 2023 holders o the Supporters' Shield, winning it for the first time.

History[eedit | eedit soorce]

Conception and fundraising[eedit | eedit soorce]

Whan Major League Soccer had its inaugural saison in 1996, the league resemblit its contemporary North American leagues. Efter the regular saison, the campaign culminatit wi the MLS Cup Playoffs, en route tae the postseason championship match, the MLS Cup. The club wi the best regular saison record received naething mair than the tap seed in the playoffs.

In 1997, fitba fan Nick Lawrus on a listserv proponed the notion o a "Supporters' Scudetto", as a result o the Tampa Bay Mutiny earnin the best regular saison record but failin tae win the 1996 MLS Cup Final. A committee composed o members o aw MLS teams' supporters changit the name tae "Supporters' Shield" but, due tae disagreements atween members o the committee, the proposal failed tae come tae fruition.[1][2]

The follaein year, anither group led by fitba enthusiast Sam Pierron tried tae revive the idea by giein an award tae the regular saison champions.[1] Since MLS refused tae fund the idea, Pierron began fundraising tae purchase a trophy wi the help o supporters fae various MLS clubs. Fundraising was boosted wi donations fae ESPN commentator Phil Schoen and MLS commissioner Doug Logan. In the end, nearly $3,000 wis donated tae commission the trophy, which wis a chevron made by airtist Paula Richardson oot o sterling siller sheet metal, for $2,200.[3][4]

The process tae create and purchase the Supporters' Shield wis no completed until the tail end o the 1999 saison. Altho D.C. United wur the first MLS club tae win the award, the first-place finishes atween 1996 and 1998 hae aw been awairdit the honor retroactively, wi their names includit on the shield at the time o its creation.[5]

Throu the early tae mid-2000s, the Shield received little praise or recognition frae MLS or the general public,[citation needit] as the league awairdit the MLS Cup winner an runner-up wi spots in continental tournaments.

First Shield incentives arrive[eedit | eedit soorce]

In Februar 2006, USSF decidit that the Supporters' Shield winner an the MLS Cup winner would represent the Unitit States in the CONCACAF Champions League, formerly the CONCACAF Champions' Cup.[6] If the Supporters Shield winner also wins the MLS Cup, the team wi the seicont heichest regular saison point total qualifies as weel.[7] Whan the Champions Cup became the CONCACAF Champions League, the Unitit States Soccer Federation gied the Supporters' Shield winner an the MLS Cup winner baith direct Group stage spots intae the tournament.

On aucht occasions (1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008, 2011, 2017, an 2022) the winner o the Supporters' Shield won the MLS Cup that same year. In 2011, the league announced that the Shield winner's opponent in the MLS Cup quarterfinals wad be the laichest-seedit team remainin.

Redesign[eedit | eedit soorce]

As the Shield began tae become mair prized an grow in significance alang wi "supporter culture" growin throu the league, the idea o creating a new Supporters' Shield began at the MLS Supporters Summit durin the 2010 MLS Cup in Toronto. The idea continued tae gain traction at the then recently formed Independent Supporters Council (ISC) the follaein twa years in Los Angeles an Portland, Oregon. The Supporter's Shield Foundation wis created oot o the ISC meeting in Portland in 2012 wi a mission tae fund the creation o a new shield an tae promote an manage the trophy gaun forward. The cost o the new Shield wis quotit at $18,000 wi a majority o the funds raised throu the "I Support the Shield" scarf drive that culminatit in the sale o 2000 supporter scarves.

Wi the fundraising complete, in early 2013 the new Supporter's Shield wis created. The new shield weighs 35 pound (16 kg) an is made o sterling siller an stainless steel. The ootside o the shield contains a Telstar foot ba' design while the middle o the shield pays homage.

Winners[eedit | eedit soorce]

FC Cincinnati players celebrate efter clinchin the Supporters' Shield in 2023.

Sixteen different teams hae won at least ae Supporters' Shield, wi the LA Galaxy and D.C. United level wi the maist wins at fower each. Seiven teams hae gone on tae win the MLS Cup efter winnin the Supporters' Shield, wi baith the Galaxy and D.C. achievin this double twice. While three teams hae secured a Supporters' Shield and U.S. Open Cup double, nae American team haes won aw three major domestic trophies (the Supporters' Shield, MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup). Hooever, in the 2017 saison, Toronto FC managed the Canadian version o this achievement, liftin the Supporters' Shield, MLS Cup and Canadian Championship.

Season Teams Winner Record Points[B]
Playoffs result Coach
Games Won Lost Tied[A]
1996 10 Tampa Bay Mutiny 32 20 12 58 (1.81) Lost Conf Finals (DC) Thomas Rongen
1997 10 D.C. United 32 21 11 55 (1.72) Won MLS Cup Bruce Arena
1998 12 Los Angeles Galaxy 32 24 8 68 (2.12) Lost Conf Finals (CHI) Octavio Zambrano
1999 12 D.C. United (2) 32 23 9 57 (1.78) Won MLS Cup Thomas Rongen
2000 12 Kansas City Wizards 32 16 7 9 57 (1.78) Won MLS Cup Bob Gansler
2001 12 Miami Fusion 26 16 5 5 53 (2.04) Lost Semifinals (SJO) Ray Hudson
2002 10 Los Angeles Galaxy (2) 28 16 9 3 51 (1.82) Won MLS Cup Sigi Schmid
2003 10 Chicago Fire 30 15 7 8 53 (1.77) Lost MLS Cup (SJO) Dave Sarachan
2004 10 Columbus Crew 30 12 5 13 49 (1.63) Lost Conf Semifinals (NE) Greg Andrulis
2005 12 San Jose Earthquakes 32 18 4 10 64 (2.00) Lost Conf Semifinals (LA) Dominic Kinnear
2006 12 D.C. United (3) 32 15 7 10 55 (1.72) Lost Conf Finals (NE) Piotr Nowak
2007 13 D.C. United (4) 30 16 7 7 55 (1.83) Lost Conf Semifinals (CHI) Tom Soehn
2008 14 Columbus Crew (2) 30 17 7 6 57 (1.90) Won MLS Cup Sigi Schmid
2009 15 Columbus Crew (3) 30 13 7 10 49 (1.63) Lost Conf Semifinals (RSL) Robert Warzycha
2010 16 Los Angeles Galaxy (3) 30 18 7 5 59 (1.97) Lost Conf Finals (DAL) Bruce Arena
2011 18 Los Angeles Galaxy (4) 34 19 5 10 67 (1.97) Won MLS Cup Bruce Arena
2012 19 San Jose Earthquakes (2) 34 19 6 9 66 (1.94) Lost Conf Semifinals (LA) Frank Yallop
2013 19 New York Red Bulls 34 17 9 8 59 (1.74) Lost Conf Semifinals (HOU) Mike Petke
2014 19 Seattle Sounders FC 34 20 10 4 64 (1.88) Lost Conf Finals (LA) Sigi Schmid
2015 20 New York Red Bulls (2) 34 18 10 6 60 (1.76) Lost Conf Finals (CLB) Jesse Marsch
2016 20 FC Dallas 34 17 8 9 60 (1.76) Lost Conf Semifinals (SEA) Óscar Pareja
2017 22 Toronto FC 34 20 5 9 69 (2.02) Won MLS Cup Greg Vanney
2018 23 New York Red Bulls (3) 34 22 7 5 71 (2.09) Lost Conf Finals (ATL) Chris Armas
2019 24 Los Angeles FC 34 21 4 9 72 (2.12) Lost Conf Finals (SEA) Bob Bradley
2020 26 Philadelphia Union 23 14 4 5 47 (2.04) Lost first round (NE) Jim Curtin
2021 27 New England Revolution 34 22 5 7 73 (2.15) Lost Conf Semifinals (NYC) Bruce Arena
2022 28 Los Angeles FC (2) 34 21 9 4 67 (1.97) Won MLS Cup Steve Cherundolo
2023 29 FC Cincinnati 34 20 5 9 69 (2.03) TBD Pat Noonan
   Team won the MLS Cup.

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. a b "MLS 101: Supporters' Shield". NYCFC.com (in Inglis). Retrieved 14 Julie 2015.
  2. "Shield bearers". Columbus Alive (in Inglis). 15 October 2008. Retrieved 4 Mey 2020.
  3. Gates, Ryan (15 Februar 2011). "A History of the Supporter's Shield" (in Inglis). Stumptown Footy. Retrieved 8 October 2011.
  4. Crandall, October 11, 2016. "From internet message board to valued prize: How the Supporters' Shield got its start". MLSsoccer.com (in Inglis). Retrieved 4 Mey 2020.
  5. West, Phil (2016). The United States of Soccer (in Inglis). The Overlook Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-4683-1241-6.
  6. Meagher, Tom (23 Februar 2006). "Jeepers, Some Wishes Really Do Come True!" (in Inglis). We Call it Soccer. Archived frae the original on 30 December 2006. Retrieved 11 September 2011.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  7. MLS announces competition changes for 2006

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]