No playoffs in 2011

So I'm wandering aimlessly up and down the Valley, as is my wont, and suddenly I see this:

Aha! THAT'S why Hans Backe is focusing on the Supporters Shield this year. Here I thought he had to be told that in MLS, the equivalent of the League Cup is the important trophy. Turns out he's just planning for the Apocalypse.

At least we know the Red Bulls are preparing. But what about the rest of the league?

I couldn't find a page detailing what MLS plans to do in case of the Second Coming. It must have not made the transition from MLSnet to MLSsoccer.com. So, we'll have to speculate.

Since May 21 is a Saturday, and the league has a full slate of games scheduled that weekend, it's going to seriously affect the league - most notably, that weekend's Superclasico. Those games might have to be postponed. Otherwise, we might have players disappearing in the middle of the game, and I don't believe the Laws of the Game cover substitions to replace the Raptured. Better play it safe and postpone the games until Sunday.

But could the Rapture actually end up costing us the whole season? Let's see what the Bible has to say:

So, a pretty typical MLS season.

However, these predictions don't help us understand who will actually win the league this season. Will the seventh plague be the Earthquakes bringing down the rest of the league...or will the seventh plague be against the Earthquakes? And will Juan Pablo Angel warn of coming woes for the Galaxy, or their opponents?

It's like I've always said. You have to study Bible prophecy very carefully in order to understand Major League Soccer.

The October 21 date shows why Backe was smart to prioritize the Shield this season, quite apart from Armageddon. With God destroying the world on October 21, that will leave one game unplayed for everyone except...Philadelphia and New York, who finish their regular seasons on the 20th. The Red Bulls and the Union will effectively have an extra game.

So we won't have a perfectly balanced schedule, unless the league reschedules those games for earlier in the season. And assuming the Red Bulls get those extra three points, that may be a crucial factor in the Supporters Shield race.

Coincidence? Well, maybe. I would be very disappointed to learn that Backe or the league had rigged the schedule to take advantage of the Last Judgment, but everyone knows how MLS favors the marquee teams.

I'm sure you have many questions. How will this affect your MLS fantasy team? Which players are likely to be Raptured? Will the league lose so many players that teams will have to contract?

First of all, there will probably be very few players called up to Heaven on May 21:

That might be bad news for their immortal souls, but that's good news for your fantasy teams. I think we can also safely assume the league's Jewish and Muslim players will be staying put. It looks like not even the end of the world could have gotten Sunil Chhetri into a game!

But seriously. MLSsoccer.com's player pages only show age, nationality, position, uniform number and previous club - nothing about politics or religion.

So I have sent an e-mail to every coach and general manager in the league, saying "GOD IS COMING BACK TO JUDGE YOU!!!!!", and asking for the detailed spiritual beliefs of every one of their players. No team has written back, but I will keep you posted when they do.

However, the same people who have told us the date of the return of Jesus also have fantastic insight on who to put on your fantasy team.

So that's definite buys for Tim Ream, Drew Moor, Kyle Beckerman, David Ferreira, and Landon Donovan.

And who should you NOT buy?

Hey - you don't have to tell me twice!

But seriously.