"Home/Away" Teams of MLS Cup Finals?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by henryo, Nov 16, 2012.

?

Which of these are good criteria to assign the "Home/Away" teams in MLS Cup Final?

  1. The team hosting the final will be the Home team. (e.g 1997 D.C., 2002 N.E. & 2011 L.A.)

    100.0%
  2. The team sharing the same conference as the final venue will the Home team.(e.g. '96 D.C. @ Foxboro)

    66.7%
  3. If finalists are from same conference, the team closer to the final venue will the Home team.

    33.3%
  4. For finalists sharing same staidum (i.e. L.A./Chivas), more regular season points=home team.

    33.3%
  5. Others?? (please specify)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Before 2012, MLS Cup Finals have been held at predetermined venues every season. Most of the time, these venues were deemed "neutral" unless it's hosted by one of the finalists (e.g. N.E. in 2002 final @ Gillette Stadium).

    Was browsing through the schedule section of MLSsoccer.com (http://www.mlssoccer.com/schedule) and found that it does designate the finalists as Home/Away team.

    However, I noticed that for 2002 final, L.A. was the designated "home" team even though N.E. was practically hosting it at Gillette Stadium!!

    [​IMG]

    Which makes me wonder: how did the league decide which teams were home or away?

    A further look at other seasons in MLSsoccer.com gave no clues at all:
    • 1. It's NOT by "Winning Team" = Home Team.
      (e.g. 1996, L.A. listed as the Home Team despite losing the final.)

    • 2. It's NOT by "Higher Seed" = Home Team either.
      (e.g. 1998, Chicago listed as the Home Team despite being 2nd in West; D.C. was 1st in East.)

    • 3. It's NOT by "More Regular Season Points" = Home Team as well.
      (e.g. 1998 again, Chicago listed as the Home Team despite having fewer regular season points than D.C.)
    As such, I have taken the liberty to propose some ground rules on the assignments of Home/Away teams in past finals as below:
    • 1. The team hosting the final will be the Home team. (e.g 1997 D.C., 2002 N.E. & 2011 L.A.)

    • 2. The team sharing the same conference as the final venue will the Home team. (e.g. 1996 D.C. @ Foxboro)

    • 3. In case both finalists are from the same conference, the team whose home stadium is closer to the final venue will be the home team (e.g. 2000 Chicago @ RFK)

    • 4, In case both finalists share the same stadium (i.e. for L.A./Chivas), the team with more regular season points will be the home team. (though this hasn't happened yet)
    [​IMG]

    The "Home/Away" assignments are thus listed as below:

    Season Home Team
    (Conf#,SS#,Pts)
    Score Away Team
    (Conf#,SS#,Pts)
    Venue "Conference"
    of Venue
    Same as
    MLSSoccer.com?
    1996 D.C. United
    (E2, #3, 46)
    3–2 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #2, 49)
    Foxboro Stadium Home of N.E. (East) No
    1997 D.C. United
    (E1, #1, 55)
    2–1 Colorado Rapids
    (W4, #7, 38)
    RFK Memorial Stadium Home of D.C. (East) Yes
    1998 Chicago Fire
    (W2, #3, 56)
    2–0 D.C. United
    (E1, #2, 58)
    Rose Bowl Home of L.A. (West) Yes
    1999 D.C. United
    (E1, #1, 57)
    2–0 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #2, 54)
    Foxboro Stadium Home of N.E. (East) No
    2000 Chicago Fire
    (C1, #2, 57)
    0–1 Kansas City Wizards
    (W1, #1, 57)
    RFK Memorial Stadium Home of D.C. (East) No
    2001 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #3, 47)
    1–2 San Jose Earthquakes
    (W2, #4, 45)
    Crew Stadium Home of CLB. (Central) Yes
    2002 New England Revolution
    (E1, #5, 38)
    0–1 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #1, 51)
    Gillette Stadium Home of N.E. (East) No!!??
    2003 San Jose Earthquakes
    (W1, #2, 51)
    4–2 Chicago Fire
    (E1, #1, 53)
    The Home Depot Center Home of L.A. (West) No
    2004 Kansas City Wizards
    (W1, #2, 49)
    2–3 !!!!???? D.C. United
    (E2, #4, 42)
    The Home Depot Center Home of L.A. (West) Yes
    2005 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W4, #8, 45)
    1–0 New England Revolution
    (E1, #2, 59)
    Pizza Hut Park Home of DAL. (West) No
    2006 Houston Dynamo
    (W2, #5, 46)
    1–1 (4-3 PK) New England Revolution
    (E2, #3, 48)
    Pizza Hut Park Home of DAL. (West) No
    2007 New England Revolution
    (E2, #4, 50)
    1–2 Houston Dynamo
    (W2, #3, 52)
    RFK Memorial Stadium Home of D.C. (East) Yes
    2008 Columbus Crew
    (E1, #1, 57)
    3–1 New York Red Bulls
    (E5/W4, #8, 39)
    The Home Depot Center Home of L.A. (West) Yes
    2009 Real Salt Lake
    (W5/E4, #8, 40)
    1–1 (5-4 PK) Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #2, 48)
    Qwest Field Home of SEA. (West) No
    2010 FC Dallas
    (W3, #3, 50)
    1–2 Colorado Rapids
    (W5/E3, #7, 46)
    BMO Field Home of TOR. (East) Yes
    2011 Los Angeles Galaxy
    (W1, #1, 67)
    1–0 Houston Dynamo
    (E2, #6, 49)
    The Home Depot Center Home of L.A. (West) Yes


    Quick Notes:
    • 1. Through 16 seasons, the home team assignments between this & MLSsoccer.com were the same in 8 finals and different in the other 8. Doesn't seem to be much advantage here.

    • 2. For 2002 final @ Gillette Stadium, MLSsoccer.com has listed N.E. as the away team!

    • 3. For 2004 final, MLSsoccer.com got actually got the score line reversed!! (i.e. KC would have won MLS Cup 2004, :p)

    • 4. The "home teams" have won 8, drew 2 (but won by PK) and lost 6, out of the 16 finals.

    • 5. The 2001 final was the one and only held by the now-defunct "Central" Division.

    • 6. The finals in 2001, 2008 & 2010 were the only editions where both finalists were not in the same conference as the final venue.
    Thoughts? Comments?

    [​IMG]


  2. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Country:
    United States
    Its done, essentially, by a coin flip draft. The teams that make the final get on a conference call, they determine who gets first "pick" via coin flip (or something), and the teams alternate picks for things like jerseys to wear, locker rooms to use, practice schedules at the stadium, and which hotels to stay in.

    I know for MLS Cup 2010 Dallas got first pick so they were listed as the home team and picked the locker room they wanted, Colorado picked to wear their burgundy uniforms, Dallas picked which practice schedule they wanted, which left Colorado the pick of which of the 2 hotels to stay in.
  3. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Great info! Were these processes documented somewhere? Couldn't find any related article online so far...

    Anyway, have written to the league about the reversed scoreline of the 2004 Final, hope they fix it soon... (D.C. fans won't be too pleased that their title was "stolen" here, :p)

    [​IMG]
  4. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Status of Poll, as at Nov-18 (after 2012 conference final):

    Option Votes Percentage
    The team hosting the final will be the Home team. (e.g 1997 D.C., 2002 N.E. & 2011 L.A.) 3 vote(s) 100.0%
    The team sharing the same conference as the final venue will the Home team.(e.g. '96 D.C. @ Foxboro) 2 vote(s) 66.7%
    If finalists are from same conference, the team closer to the final venue will the Home team. 1 vote(s) 33.3%
    For finalists sharing same staidum (i.e. L.A./Chivas), more regular season points=home team. 1 vote(s) 33.3%
    Others?? (please specify, e.g. conference call, coin toss, etc...) 0 vote(s) 0.0%


  5. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2000
    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Country:
    United States
    Either the Rapids site or MLSsoccer.com had an article as that's how I found out.
    henryo repped this.
  6. 15 to 32

    15 to 32 Member+

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Location:
    Salt Lake
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
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    United States
  7. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
  8. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Yes, there was a page at Rapids site on Dallas being the assigned home team, though it doesn't detail the assignment processes...

    Never mind then, guess it's pretty much done behind the scenes for the past finals, as you've described.

    http://www.coloradorapids.com/match/2010-11-21-fc-dallas-vs-colorado-rapids

    [​IMG]
  9. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    By the way, for MLS Cup 2011, though a neutral-site venue but practically hosted by L.A., was there any cap on tickets allocated to away fans?

    For 2012 final @ HDC,the range is about 1,500~2,000?
  10. bunge

    bunge BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2000
    In 2000 the "home" team was the Fire but because the TV monitors in the TV production truck were B&W the red Fire and Blue KC jerseys looked the same to the director. They made the Fire wear white.

    Whores.
  11. DrLudicrous

    DrLudicrous Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Location:
    Houston
    I wouldn't say there was an actual limit on tickets, but there weren't a lot available. The Galaxy had been selling tickets all year and I think season ticket holders were given tickets if they renewed early so by time the Dynamo qualified there was already a limited number of tickets available. They did have blocks set aside for the fans of the teams that made it so one of those blocks was given to Dynamo fans.
  12. newtex

    newtex Member+

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    Location:
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    There were initially 900 tickets held for Dynamo fans in 2011. As DrL says, most of the stadium had been pre-sold to Galaxy season ticket holders and others. Those 900 sold out in a few minutes. Unfortunately they set up the ticket sales as an open internet page where all you needed was a passcode. Galaxy fans got the code and poached some of the tickets. This year you had to call the Dynamo front office to get those tickets.

    Last year, they later added a few more tickets in temporary bleachers.
  13. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    The Official Site actually indicated K.C. as the home team...

    [​IMG]
  14. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    Upon writing to the league about the error spotted previously in the 2004 final (K.C. 3-2 D.C.),
    the scoreline has now been corrected as K.C. 2-3 D.C., :cool:.

    [​IMG]

  15. henryo

    henryo Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2007
    As for L.A. being listed as the home team in the 2002 final, despite it being hosted at N.E., the league has clarified that:
    However, it was noticed that the rule didn't seem to apply to some of the past finals as below.

    Could there any other unknown criteria used for the assignments of home teams? Have written to the league again for clarifications as well...

    • 2007: Currently shown as N.E. 1-2 Houston;
    Both N.E. & Houston were 2nd seed in East/West respectively,​
    though Houston had more regular season points (52) than N.E.(50),​
    hence Houston should be considered the higher seed and listed as the home team instead?​


    • 1999: Currently shown as L.A. 1-2 D.C.;
    Both L.A. & D.C. were 1st seed in East/West respectively,​
    though D.C. had more regular season points (57) than L.A.(54),​
    hence D.C. should be considered the higher seed and listed as the home team instead?​
    [​IMG]


    • 1998: Currently shown as Chicago 2-0 D.C.;
    Chicago were 2nd in the West & D.C. were 1st in the East,​
    and D.C. had more regular season points (58) than Chicago (56),​
    hence D.C. should be considered the higher seed and listed as the home team instead?​
    [​IMG]

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