MLS – Big 5
MLS – Big 5 avatar

It has been a busy, and in some ways historic week in MLS, so let’s get to this week’s Big – 5.

1) Goodbye Chivas USA

League Commissioner Don Garber broke the news in a letter to the beleaguered supporters of the Chivas USA club, which the league has been operating since before the 2014 season began.

Chivas (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Chivas’ players are still unsure of where they will be playing next season. (ISI Photos/Michael Janosz)

Here is some of what the Commissioner said to Chivas fans in his letter, “As part of our new Los Angeles strategy, we will launch a new MLS Los Angeles club for the 2017 season and will announce the new team’s ownership group later this week. I believe strongly that a new MLS Los Angeles team with passionate local ownership and an inclusive approach targeting all soccer/sports fans will be very successful.”

This may be the first time in professional sports history that a team has been voluntarily shut down for a prescribed amount of time, with a planned re-emergence.

Many questions remain to be answered, not least of which is whether L.A. needs or wants a second soccer club. And how will the league disperse the players on the Chivas USA roster, in particular breakout star Erick “Cubo” Torres? And what happens to the Goats highly rated academy? Garber should address those and other questions at a Thursday press conference.

2) Westward Ho! For Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo

With Chivas out, and eastern based clubs Orlando and New York City in, SKC and the Dynamo will join the Western Conference in time for next season with the two expansion clubs slotting into the Eastern Conference.

Adam Moffat (center) celebrates his goal against Kansas. (Getty Images)

Houston are set to join the Western Conference.. (Getty Images)

The moves figure to tilt the balance of league power further west, unless the two newcomers can get off to a good start.

3) Welcome Orlando and New York City

New York have made the biggest signings thus far and looks set to have an exciting lineup.. (Courtesy of NYCFC)

New York have made the biggest signings thus far and looks set to have an exciting lineup.. (Courtesy of NYCFC)

With the 2014 regular season behind us, it is time to welcome Orlando SC and New York City FC to MLS. By the time next season kicks off, the two newcomers will have passed from the realm of the possible, to actual flesh and blood teams.

4) The Playoffs

All the off the field news threatens to overshadow the league’s most exciting time of the year. There was just one playoff spot up for grabs last weekend and congratulations to Vancouver for nailing it down.

Both Donovan and Dempsey were shown a yellow card in this heated match. (ISI Photos/Joshua Weisberg)

Both Donovan and Dempsey were shown a yellow card in this heated match. (ISI Photos/Joshua Weisberg)

The Whitecaps went into their last match of the season against Colorado needing a win to advance, and the Caps took care of business 1-0, eliminating 2013 Western Conference Champs Portland in the process.

Meanwhile Seattle topped L.A. 2-0 in an ill tempered affair to claim the Supporters Shield, securing the regular season title and home field throughout the playoffs.

5) Playoff Matchups

The Western Conference Play in opens the postseason with fourth place Dallas hosting fifth place Vancouver Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

Zizzo in action for Sporting KC.(ISI Photos/Andrew Katsampes)

In the Eastern knockout 2013 MLS Champions Sporting KC face last year’s Supporters Shield winners.

The KO winners go on to host the Conference Champions, DC United (east) and Seattle (west) in the first leg of home and away two leggers on November 2. DC will be home for the return fixture on November 8, and Seattle will host the reverse fixture on November 10.

About Peter Nolan

Peter Nolan is a staff writer for the GotSoccer Magazine, covering MLS and other US leagues, He's GotSoccer's chief National Team Correspondent.
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