Friday, November 21, 2008

Wizards Into 2009 SuperLiga (And Other State of the League News)

The Kansas City Wizards will play in the 2009 SuperLiga.

That's the word from Commissioner Don Garber in his State of the League. The Wizards qualify for SuperLiga as one of the top 4 teams in the regular season NOT to make the CONCACAF Champion's League. This is a rule change from last year where it was the top 4 teams regardless of whether or not they qualified for the Champion's League. The change is something many people were wanting, and saying should happen, basically turn the SuperLiga into a CONCACAF version of the UEFA Cup. So with the Crew qualifying as the Supporter's Shield winners, New York qualifying for making MLS Cup, DC for winning the Open Cup, and Houston for having the next highest point total in league, those 4 qualify for the CCL. The Wizards will be joined in the SuperLiga by New England, Chicago, and Chivas USA. If the competition format is the same as last year, this means that the Wizards will be hosting at least 2 more games next year, as they will host 2 games against Mexican League competition.

This will be the Wizards first trip into international competition since 2005, when the Wizards played in the CONCACAF Champion's Cup.

Other items of note from the State of the League.
* The roster change rumor that I'd been talking about will happen, team's will only have a 24 man roster next season.
* 2009 season will start March 21. The season will be 30 games long, with home and home against each team (28 games) and then 2 intra-conference rivalry games. So the Wizards are likely to get Chicago and another Eastern Conference team.
* Team's will have the option for two weekends off or a softer schedule during the summer's heavy season (Gold Cup and Confederations Cup).
* The playoff format will go back to the format of 2007, when only the top 2 in each conference automatically make the playoffs, while the next 4 teams by points will make the playoffs.
* Montreal has dropped out of the expansion race, leaving only 6 bids.
* There is talk of MLS Cup being hosted by one of the finalist, but next year will be another neutral site.

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