The 2010 MLS mini-season replay with APBA Soccer was so fun and satisfying to me that I’ve decided to jump in and continue on to 2011. I enjoyed the 8-team, 7-game format, so I’ve decided to play that way again.
Right from the start of the 2010 season, I had plans to institute a system of relegation if I were to go ahead with any future seasons. Continuity in a league like this is important to me, it enhances the stakes of each season’s results.
The relegation rules I decided upon were this: The top 4 finishers in the 2010 mini-season would automatically qualify for the 2011 mini-season, as would whoever won the real-life MLS Supporter’s shield and/or MLS Cup. This would mean as many as 6 teams would automatically earn a slot in the 2011 mini-season. The available slots would be filled by the top finishers in a tournament of all remaining teams (originally I called this the 2nd Division Tournament).
It turned out that LA Galaxy won the Supporter’s Shield and the MLS Cup so a total of 5 teams will qualify automatically for my 2011 mini-season. That leaves 3 spots up for grabs.
Instead of playing a smaller tournament with the “2nd division” teams, I’ve decided to go ahead and use the entire 18 2011 MLS clubs and play a tournament I’m calling the “2011 MLS Open Cup Tournament.”
The teams have been seeded #1-18 based on regular season points in real-life MLS play in 2011. LA Galaxy at the top, Vancouver at the bottom. The bottom 4 teams will have a play-in round to get into the full bracket. The first round of play-ins will be:
Chivas USA (15) v Vancouver (18) – winner to play Seattle Sounders (2)
Toronto FC (16) v New England (17) – winner to play LA Galaxy (1)
The whole bracket will be posted tomorrow, along with the results of the play-in round.