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MLS Cup 2012 site still unresolved – but we’re getting closer

Nov 9, 2012, 12:15 PM EDT

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With the league semifinals set, one of the most intriguing questions to languish through Major League Soccer’s 17th season is tantalizingly close to a resolution:

Where will the league’s championship decider be held?

This year, the most significant playoff modification in MLS history replaced the traditional method of selecting a venue well in advance. Once the two finalists were decided on the field, the team with the better regular season record would host.

So going into the playoffs, nine of 10 teams had a theoretical chance of hosting the Nov. 10 date. Going into the conference semifinals, seven of eight teams still had the some hope of the opportunity.

Now it’s down to D.C. United, Los Angeles and Seattle. And the scenarios today are far less tangled.

  • If United prevails in its Eastern Conference semifinal, Major League Soccer’s 17th championship match will happen inside historic RFK Stadium in the nation’s capital. RFK hosted the 2007 contest (won, ironically, by Houston).
  • If Houston eliminates United over their two-leg series, then the winner between Seattle and Los Angeles in the West will determine MLS Cup 2012’s site. Since both Western Conference finalists finished with better records than Houston, only the Dynamo among this foursome has no opportunity to host.

Los Angeles hosted last year’s championship contest; Seattle was the site for MLS Cup 2009. So, both cities have recent experience at managing the event.

  1. berlintexas - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

    I imagine the collective sigh of relief coming off Fifth Ave after San Jose lost could’ve cleared the snow out of Red Bull Arena by itself.

  2. footballer4ever - Nov 9, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    No doubt about that! Although this good showing by SJE comes at a convenient time to sell more season tickets for the new stadium. By the same token, if DCU reaches the final, it might make it easier for them to finalize deals on a stadium of their own.

  3. tylerbetts - Nov 9, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    I find myself compelled to pull for Houston to come out of the East now, to save us from having RFK host the MLS Cup Final. Not that I’d be enamored to have it at the CLink, but at least the fan spectacle could make up for the eyesore of a field.

    • Steve Davis - Nov 9, 2012 at 9:23 PM

      I have to say, rundown as that place is, it’s STILL a good place for soccer. Good field. Good atmosphere (when more than 12K show up). Downtown, which helps. I mean, yeah, you might get hit with falling stadium … but hell, who hasn’t been hit with some falling stadium???

      • tylerbetts - Nov 10, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        I grew up in Cleveland during the “glory days” of Cleveland Municipal Stadium. RFK has the potential to trigger too many memories.

        But, yes, DC can produce great soccer atmosphere. All the more reason they need a proper SSS.

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