2012 Major League Soccer season

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Major League Soccer
Season 2012
MLS Cup Los Angeles Galaxy
Supporters' Shield San Jose Earthquakes
Champions League (U.S.) San Jose Earthquakes
Los Angeles Galaxy
Houston Dynamo
Sporting Kansas City (via U.S. Open Cup)
Champions League (Canada) Toronto FC (via Canadian Championship)
Matches played 323
Goals scored 854 (2.64 per match)
Top goalscorer Chris Wondolowski
(27 goals)
Biggest home win SJ 5–0 RSL
(July 14)
DAL 5–0 POR
(July 21)
Biggest away win CHV 0–4 LA
(August 12)
CHV 2–6 SEA
(August 25)
CHV 0-4 RSL
(September 29)
Highest scoring 8 goals:
SJ 5–3 DC
(May 2)
POR 3–5 LA
(July 14)
CHV 2–6 SEA
(August 25)
Longest winning run 7 matches:[1]
Sporting KC
(March 10 – April 18)
Longest unbeaten run 11 matches:[1]
Sporting KC
(August 4 – October 24)
Longest winless run 14 matches:
Toronto FC
(July 28 – October 28)
Longest losing run 9 matches:[1]
Toronto FC
(March 17 – May 19)
Highest attendance 66,452
POR @ SEA
(October 7)
Lowest attendance 6,149
COL @ NE
(May 2)
Average attendance 18,807[1]
2011
2013

The 2012 Major League Soccer season was the 100th season of FIFA-sanctioned soccer in the United States and Canada, the 34th with a national first-division league, and the 17th season of Major League Soccer.

The regular season began on March 10, when the Vancouver Whitecaps FC defeated the expansion team Montreal Impact 2–0 at BC Place, and concluded with the host Los Angeles Galaxy defeating the Seattle Sounders FC 1–0 on October 28 at The Home Depot Center. The season also featured the 2012 MLS All-Star Game on July 28, when MLS All-Stars defeated the Chelsea 3–2 at PPL Park (hosted by the Philadelphia Union). The 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs ran from October 31 until December 1, when the Los Angeles Galaxy claimed their fourth MLS championship by defeating Houston Dynamo 3–1 in MLS Cup 2012 at Home Depot Center in Carson, CA.[2]

Changes from 2011[edit]

The 2012 MLS season features several significant on- and off-field changes from 2011:[2]

  • The Montreal Impact became the 19th MLS franchise, replacing a same-named Montreal club that previously played in the North American Soccer League in 2011 and in the USL First Division before that. The Impact made their on-field debut on March 10 in a 2–0 loss at Vancouver. The Impact's home debut, a 1–1 draw with the Chicago Fire on March 17, attracted 58,912 to Olympic Stadium, setting the all-time record crowd for professional soccer in Montreal.[3] A 1–1 draw with the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 12 attracted 60,860, setting the all-time attendance record for professional soccer in Canada.[4]
  • The Impact joined MLS as the 10th team in the Eastern Conference; the Western Conference remains at 9 teams.
  • Each of the 19 teams plays a 34-game regular season schedule, one that employs a new unbalanced format that gives greater emphasis on in-conference matchups.[5]
    • Western Conference clubs will play each conference rival three times, and play once against each Eastern Conference club.
    • Eastern Conference clubs will play seven of their conference rivals three times, the remaining two conference rivals twice, and each Western Conference club once.
    • The span of the regular season will be the longest in MLS history, beginning with 5 matches on March 10 and ending with 3 matches on October 28.[6]
  • A change to the Designated Player Rule regarding international players took effect with the start of the 2012 season. The salary cap charge for international designated players (i.e., players not from the U.S. or Canada) will depend on the players' ages:
    • age 20 and younger: $150,000[7]
    • ages 21 to 23: $200,000[7]
    • over 23 years of age: $350,000[7]
  • The league gained a new U.S. TV partner in NBC Sports, whose 3-year deal was announced in August 2011 (replacing expired deals with Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes)[8] and began on March 11 with a NBC Sports Network broadcast of the New York Red Bulls/FC Dallas match.[9] As part of the deal, NBC Sports Network will air 38 regular season and 3 playoff matches, while the main NBC network will air 3 regular season and 2 playoff matches (the first time since 2002 that that many MLS games will be broadcast on English-language network television). NBC and NBCSN will also air United States men's national soccer team matches (2 on each network). Previous deals with U.S. partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, and Galavisión continue in 2012, as do deals with Canadian partners TSN, TSN2, and GolTV.
  • The MLS Cup Playoffs setup will undergo several changes, as will the Championship Game, which will be played on its latest date ever, December 1.[6] (see MLS Cup below)

Teams, stadiums, and personnel[edit]

Stadiums and locations[edit]

Chicago Fire Chivas USA/

Los Angeles Galaxy

Colorado Rapids Columbus Crew D.C. United FC Dallas
Toyota Park The Home Depot Center Dick's Sporting Goods Park Crew Stadium RFK Memorial Stadium FC Dallas Stadium
Capacity: 20,000 Capacity: 27,000 Capacity: 19,680 Capacity: 20,145 Capacity: 19,467 Capacity: 21,193
Toyota Park interior (by night).jpg HomeDepotCenter1.jpg Dick's Park.jpg Columbus crew stadium mls allstars 2005.jpg Rfkstadium.png Pizza Hut Park.jpg
Houston Dynamo Montreal Impact New England Revolution New York Red Bulls Philadelphia Union Portland Timbers
BBVA Compass Stadium Saputo Stadium[a] Gillette Stadium Red Bull Arena PPL Park Jeld-Wen Field
Capacity: 22,000 Capacity: 20,801 Capacity: 22,385 Capacity: 25,189 Capacity: 18,500 Capacity: 20,323
BBVA Compass Stadium, Skyline View.JPG Stade Saputo.27.06.12.jpg Gillette Stadium.jpg Red Bull Arena ESC.jpg PPL Park Interior from the River End 2010.10.02 (cropped).jpg Jeldwenfield2011.png
Real Salt Lake San Jose Earthquakes Seattle Sounders FC Sporting Kansas City Toronto FC Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Rio Tinto Stadium Buck Shaw Stadium CenturyLink Field Livestrong Sporting Park BMO Field BC Place
Capacity: 20,213 Capacity: 10,525 Capacity: 38,500 Capacity: 18,467 Capacity: 21,859 Capacity: 21,000
0811 - Rio Tinto Stadium.jpg BuckShaw5308.jpg Qwest seattle sounders pregame.jpg SportingKC Stadium.jpg West-stand-bmo-field.jpg BC Place 2011 Whitecaps.jpg

Personnel and sponsorship[edit]

Five MLS teams saw changes in jersey sponsorship for the 2012 season:

Note: All teams use Adidas as kit manufacturer.

Team Head coach Captain Shirt sponsor
Chicago Fire United States Klopas, FrankFrank Klopas United States Pause, LoganLogan Pause Quaker
Chivas USA United States Fraser, RobinRobin Fraser Venezuela Moreno, AlejandroAlejandro Moreno Corona
Colorado Rapids Colombia Pareja, ÓscarÓscar Pareja United States Mastroeni, PabloPablo Mastroeni n/a
Columbus Crew Poland Warzycha, RobertRobert Warzycha United States Marshall, ChadChad Marshall Barbasol
D.C. United United States Olsen, BenBen Olsen Canada De Rosario, DwayneDwayne De Rosario Volkswagen
FC Dallas United States Hyndman, SchellasSchellas Hyndman United States Ihemelu, UgoUgo Ihemelu AdvoCare
Houston Dynamo United States Kinnear, DominicDominic Kinnear United States Ching, BrianBrian Ching Greenstar
Los Angeles Galaxy United States Arena, BruceBruce Arena United States Donovan, LandonLandon Donovan Herbalife
Montreal Impact United States Marsch, JesseJesse Marsch United States Arnaud, DavyDavy Arnaud Bank of Montreal
New England Revolution United States Heaps, JayJay Heaps United States Reis, MattMatt Reis UnitedHealthcare
New York Red Bulls Sweden Backe, HansHans Backe France Henry, ThierryThierry Henry Red Bull
Philadelphia Union United States Hackworth, JohnJohn Hackworth Colombia Valdés, CarlosCarlos Valdés Bimbo
Portland Timbers New Zealand Wilkinson, GavinGavin Wilkinson United States Jewsbury, JackJack Jewsbury Alaska Airlines
Real Salt Lake United States Kreis, JasonJason Kreis United States Beckerman, KyleKyle Beckerman XanGo
San Jose Earthquakes Canada Yallop, FrankFrank Yallop United States Corrales, RamiroRamiro Corrales n/a
Seattle Sounders FC Germany Schmid, SigiSigi Schmid Argentina Rosales, MauroMauro Rosales Xbox
Sporting Kansas City United States Vermes, PeterPeter Vermes Denmark Nielsen, JimmyJimmy Nielsen n/a
Toronto FC England Mariner, PaulPaul Mariner Germany Frings, TorstenTorsten Frings Bank of Montreal
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Scotland Rennie, MartinMartin Rennie United States DeMerit, JayJay DeMerit Bell Canada

Player transfers[edit]

Major League Soccer employs no fewer than 12 methods to acquire players. These include: signing players on transfers/free transfers as is done in most of the world; via trades; drafting players through mechanisms such as the MLS SuperDraft, MLS Supplemental Draft, or MLS Re-Entry Draft; rarely used methods which cover extreme hardship and injury replacement; signing players as Designated Players or Homegrown Players; placing a discovery claim on players; waivers; and methods peculiar to MLS such as through allocation or a weighted lottery.[16]

Allocation ranking[edit]

The allocation ranking is the mechanism used to determine which MLS club has first priority to acquire a U.S. National Team player who signs with MLS after playing abroad, or a former MLS player who returns to the League after having gone to a club abroad for a transfer fee. The allocation rankings may also be used in the event two or more clubs file a request for the same player on the same day. The allocations will be ranked in reverse order of finish for the 2011 season, taking playoff performance into account.

Once the club uses its allocation ranking to acquire a player, it drops to the bottom of the list. A ranking can be traded, provided that part of the compensation received in return is another club’s ranking. At all times, each club is assigned one ranking. The rankings reset at the end of each MLS League season.[16]

Original Ranking Club Date Allocation Used Player Signed Player Nation Previous Club Club Nation Ref
1 Montreal Impact dagger February 17, 2012 Eddie Johnson  United States Fulham  England [17]
2 Philadelphia Uniondouble-dagger June 26, 2012 Bakary Soumaré  Mali US Boulogne  France [18]
3 New England Revolution August 27, 2012 Juan Toja  Colombia Aris  Greece [19]
4 Seattle Sounders FC September 14, 2012 Marcus Hahnemann  United States Everton  England [20]
5 Chivas USA
6 San Jose Earthquakes
7 D.C. United
8 Portland Timbers
9 Chicago Fire
10 Columbus Crew
11 Colorado Rapids March 28, 2012 Kamani Hill  United States Vitória  Portugal [21]
12 FC Dallas
13 New York Red Bulls August 8, 2012 Luis Robles  United States Karlsruher SC  Germany [22]

dagger Montreal immediately traded Johnson to Seattle in exchange for Mike Fucito and Lamar Neagle.

double-daggerVancouver originally had the No. 2 ranking, but traded it to Philadelphia on June 26.

∞Toronto originally had the No. 4 ranking, but traded it to Seattle on September 14.

The remaining order after FC Dallas is: Vancouver Whitecaps FC (from Philadelphia), Toronto FC (from Seattle), Sporting Kansas City, Real Salt Lake, Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy. In the unlikely event that all clubs use an allocation, the order begins anew with Montreal Impact, Colorado Rapids, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls New England Revolution and Seattle Sounders FC.

Weighted lottery[edit]

Some players are assigned to MLS teams via a weighted lottery process. A team can only acquire one player per year through a weighted lottery. The players made available through lotteries include: (i) Generation adidas players signed after the MLS SuperDraft; and (ii) Draft eligible players to whom an MLS contract was offered but who failed to sign with the League prior to the SuperDraft.

The team with the worst record over its last 30 regular season games (dating back to previous season if necessary and taking playoff performance into account) will have the greatest probability of winning the lottery. Teams are not required to participate in a lottery. Players are assigned via the lottery system in order to prevent a player from potentially influencing his destination club with a strategic holdout.

The results of 2012 weighted lotteries thus far:

Lottery Date Player Player Nation Position Winning Club Other Clubs Participating Ref
December 15, 2011 Lee Nguyen  USA MF Vancouver Whitecaps FC Toronto FC, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Real Salt Lake, Los Angeles Galaxy [23]
September 13, 2012 Marcus Tracy  USA FW San Jose Earthquakes New England Revolution, FC Dallas, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders FC

Ownership changes[edit]

Club New owner Previous owner Date
DC United Erick Thohir and Jason Levien D.C. United Holdings July 10, 2012

Regular season standings[edit]

Conferences[edit]

Eastern Conference

Pos
Team
Pts
GP
W
L
T
GF
GA
GD
Qualification or relegation
1 Sporting Kansas City (E1) 63 34 18 7 9 42 27 +15 2012 MLS Cup Conference Semifinals
2 D.C. United 58 34 17 10 7 53 43 +10
3 New York Red Bulls 57 34 16 9 9 57 46 +11
4 Chicago Fire 57 34 17 11 6 46 41 +5 2012 MLS Cup Knockout Round
5 Houston Dynamo 53 34 14 9 11 48 41 +7
6 Columbus Crew 52 34 15 12 7 44 44 0
7 Montreal Impact 42 34 12 16 6 45 51 −6
8 Philadelphia Union 36 34 10 18 6 37 45 −8
9 New England Revolution 35 34 9 17 8 39 44 −5
10 Toronto FC 23 34 5 21 8 36 62 −26

Updated to matches played on 18:04 EDT October 28, 2012
Source: MLSSoccer.com
(E1) = Eastern Conference champion; (E2) = Eastern Conference runner-up; (E3) = Eastern Conference third seed; (WC) = Qualifies for playoffs via wild-card.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but not yet to the particular round indicated; (E) = Eliminated from playoff contention.
Western Conference

Pos
Team
Pts
GP
W
L
T
GF
GA
GD
Qualification or relegation
1 San Jose Earthquakes (SS) (W1) 66 34 19 6 9 72 43 +29 2012 MLS Cup Conference Semifinals
2 Real Salt Lake 57 34 17 11 6 46 35 +11
3 Seattle Sounders FC 56 34 15 8 11 51 33 +18
4 LA Galaxy 54 34 16 12 6 59 47 +12 2012 MLS Cup Knockout Round
5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 43 34 11 13 10 35 41 −6
6 FC Dallas 39 34 9 13 12 42 47 −5
7 Colorado Rapids 37 34 11 19 4 44 50 −6
8 Portland Timbers 34 34 8 16 10 34 56 −22
9 Chivas USA 30 34 7 18 9 24 58 −34

Updated to matches played on October 28, 2012
Source: MLSSoccer.com
(W1) = Western Conference champion; (W2) = Western Conference runner-up; (W3) = Western Conference third seed; (WC) = Qualifies for playoffs via wild-card.
Only applicable when the season is not finished:
(Q) = Qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but not yet to the particular round indicated; (E) = Eliminated from playoff contention.

Overall table[edit]

Note: the table below has no impact on playoff qualification and is used solely for determining host of the MLS Cup, certain CCL spots, seeding in the 2013 Canadian Championship, and 2013 MLS draft. The conference tables are the sole determinant for teams qualifying for the playoffs.

Pos
Team
Pts
GP
W
L
T
GF
GA
GD
Qualification or relegation
1 San Jose Earthquakes (SS) 66 34 19 6 9 72 43 +29 Supporters' Shield & 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League 1
2 Sporting Kansas City 63 34 18 7 9 42 27 +15
3 D.C. United 58 34 17 10 7 53 43 +10
4 New York Red Bulls 57 34 16 9 9 57 46 +11
5 Real Salt Lake 57 34 17 11 6 46 35 +11
6 Chicago Fire 57 34 17 11 6 46 41 +5
7 Seattle Sounders FC 56 34 15 8 11 51 33 +18
8 LA Galaxy 54 34 16 12 6 59 47 +12
9 Houston Dynamo 53 34 14 9 11 48 41 +7
10 Columbus Crew 52 34 15 12 7 44 44 0
11 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 43 34 11 13 10 35 41 −6
12 Montreal Impact 42 34 12 16 6 45 51 −6
13 FC Dallas 39 34 9 13 12 42 47 −5
14 Colorado Rapids 37 34 11 19 4 44 50 −6
15 Philadelphia Union 36 34 10 18 6 37 45 −8
16 New England Revolution 35 34 9 17 8 39 44 −5
17 Portland Timbers 34 34 8 16 10 34 56 −22
18 Chivas USA 30 34 7 18 9 24 58 −34
19 Toronto FC 23 34 5 21 8 36 62 −26

Updated to games played on October 28, 2012
Source: MLSsoccer.com
(SS) = MLS Supporters' Shield
1The highest ranked U.S.-based MLS club qualifies to the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League (placed in Pot A). The other U.S. representatives in the 2013–14 CONCACAF Champions League are:


Tiebreak rules[edit]

When two or more teams are tied in standings on points the following tiebreak rules[24] apply:

  1. Goals for
  2. Goal differential
  3. Fewest disciplinary points in the official points table (foul - 1 pt, first yellow - 3 pts, second yellow - 5 pts, straight red - 6 pts, disciplinary commission suspension - 6 pts, etc.)
  4. Road goals
  5. Road goal differential
  6. Coin toss (2 teams) or drawing of lots (3 or more teams)

Playoff bracket[edit]

Main article: 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs
East Wild Card
     
E4 Chicago Fire 1
E5 Houston Dynamo 2
West Wild Card
     
W4 LA Galaxy 2
W5 Vancouver Whitecaps FC    1
  Conference Semifinals Conference Finals MLS Cup 2012
                               


E1  Sporting Kansas City 0 1  
E5  Houston Dynamo 2 0  
  E5  Houston Dynamo 3 1  
Eastern Conference
  E2  D.C. United 1 1  
E2  D.C. United 1 1
E3  New York Red Bulls 1 0  
  E5  Houston Dynamo 1
  W4  LA Galaxy 3
W1  San Jose Earthquakes 1 1  
W4  LA Galaxy 0 3  
  W4  LA Galaxy 3 1
Western Conference
  W3  Seattle Sounders FC 0 2  
W2  Real Salt Lake 0 0
W3  Seattle Sounders FC 0 1  

[25]

Statistical leaders[edit]

Full article: MLS Golden Boot

Top goalkeepers[edit]

(Minimum of 1,500 minutes played)

Rank Goalkeeper Nation Club
GAA SV GA Mins GP ShO
1 Michael Gspurning  AUT Seattle Sounders FC 0.70 63 15 1935 22 9
2 Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City 0.79 77 27 3060 34 15
3 Bill Hamid  USA D.C. United 1.03 90 25 2177 25 8
Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake 1.03 88 33 2880 32 13
5 Tally Hall  USA Houston Dynamo 1.19 88 39 2946 33 12
6 Sean Johnson  USA Chicago Fire 1.24 108 38 2766 31 5
7 Andy Gruenebaum  USA Columbus Crew 1.26 124 41 2920 33 8
8 Josh Saunders  PRI Los Angeles Galaxy 1.33 80 36 2430 27 9
9 Joe Cannon  USA Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1.34 73 34 2277 26 8
Zac MacMath  USA Philadelphia Union 1.34 93 43 2880 32 8

Source:[28]

Individual awards[edit]

Monthly awards[edit]

Month MLS Player of the Month
Player Nation Club Link
March Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls 5G 3A
April Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes 4G 2A
May Dwayne De Rosario  CAN D.C. United 4G 3A
June Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes 3G 0A
July Robbie Keane  IRL Los Angeles Galaxy 5G 4A
August Patrice Bernier  CAN Montreal Impact 3G 3A
September Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes 4G 2A
October Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes 5G 0A

Weekly awards[edit]

Week Player of the Week AT&T Goal of the Week MLS Save of the Week
Player Nat Club Player Nat Club Player Nat Club
Week 1 Kalif Alhassan  GHA Portland Timbers Kris Boyd  SCO Portland Timbers Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 2 David Estrada  USA Seattle Sounders FC Ryan Johnson  JAM Toronto FC Joe Cannon  USA Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Week 3 Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Joe Cannon  USA Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Week 4 Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Darlington Nagbe  LBR Portland Timbers Paolo Tornaghi  ITA Chicago Fire
Week 5 Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Álvaro Saborío  CRC Real Salt Lake Donovan Ricketts  JAM Montreal Impact
Week 6 Dan Kennedy  USA Chivas USA David Beckham  ENG Los Angeles Galaxy Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 7 Chris Pontius  USA D.C. United Kyle Beckerman  USA Real Salt Lake Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 8 Steven Lenhart  USA San Jose Earthquakes Marco Pappa  GUA Chicago Fire Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 9 Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes Fredy Montero  COL Seattle Sounders FC Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 10 Lee Nguyen  USA New England Revolution David Beckham  ENG Los Angeles Galaxy Sean Johnson  USA Chicago Fire
Week 11 Dwayne De Rosario  CAN D.C. United Fredy Montero  COL Seattle Sounders FC Andy Gruenebaum  USA Columbus Crew
Week 12 Emilio Rentería  VEN Columbus Crew C. J. Sapong  USA Sporting Kansas City Troy Perkins  USA Portland Timbers
Week 13–15 Patrice Bernier  CAN Montreal Impact Júlio César  BRA Sporting Kansas City Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 16 Landon Donovan  USA Los Angeles Galaxy Patrick Ianni  USA Seattle Sounders FC Jason Hernandez  USA San Jose Earthquakes
Week 17 Danny Koevermans  NED Toronto FC Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes Josh Saunders  PUR Los Angeles Galaxy
Week 18 Álvaro Saborío  CRC Real Salt Lake Jack McInerney  USA Philadelphia Union Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 19 Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes David Beckham  ENG Los Angeles Galaxy Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 20 Calen Carr  USA Houston Dynamo Jose Villarreal  USA Los Angeles Galaxy Matt Reis  USA New England Revolution
Week 21 Jairo Arrieta  CRC Columbus Crew Saër Sène  FRA New England Revolution Sean Johnson  USA Chicago Fire
Week 22 Eddie Johnson  USA Seattle Sounders FC Felipe Martins  BRA Montreal Impact Kevin Hartman  USA FC Dallas
Week 23 Landon Donovan  USA Los Angeles Galaxy Sanna Nyassi  GAM Montreal Impact Troy Perkins  USA Montreal Impact
Week 24 David Ferreira  COL FC Dallas Lamar Neagle  USA Montreal Impact Donovan Ricketts  JAM Portland Timbers
Week 25 Federico Higuaín  ARG Columbus Crew Marco Di Vaio  ITA Montreal Impact Steven Smith  SCO Portland Timbers
Week 26 Federico Higuaín  ARG Columbus Crew David Beckham  ENG Los Angeles Galaxy Matt Pickens  USA Colorado Rapids
Week 27 Eddie Johnson  USA Seattle Sounders FC Eddie Johnson  USA Seattle Sounders FC Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 28 Sean Johnson  USA Chicago Fire Fredy Montero  COL Seattle Sounders FC Marcelo Sarvas  BRA Los Angeles Galaxy
Week 29 Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Javier Morales  ARG Real Salt Lake Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 30 Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes Álvaro Saborío  CRC Real Salt Lake Nick Rimando  USA Real Salt Lake
Week 31 Thierry Henry  FRA New York Red Bulls Robbie Keane  IRE Los Angeles Galaxy Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 32 Chris Wondolowski  USA San Jose Earthquakes Jack Jewsbury  USA Portland Timbers Jimmy Nielsen  DEN Sporting Kansas City
Week 33 Brad Evans  USA Seattle Sounders FC Jacob Peterson  USA Sporting Kansas City
Week 34 Kenny Cooper  USA New York Red Bulls

Scoring[edit]

Discipline[edit]

Related competitions[edit]

International competitions and friendlies[edit]

CONCACAF Champions League[edit]

Prior to the start of the MLS regular season, Toronto FC defeated Los Angeles Galaxy while Mexican side Santos Laguna defeated Seattle Sounders FC in two of the 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series. Toronto FC then lost 3–7 on aggregate in the semifinal with Santos Laguna.[29]

In the 2012–13 CCL, Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake earned group stage spots (the preliminary round has been eliminated). The Canadian representative, determined by the 2012 Canadian Championship, was Toronto FC.

At the end of the groups stages, the Los Angeles Galaxy, Seattle Sounders, and Houston Dynamo qualified for the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2013.

MLS All-Star Game[edit]

The 2012 MLS All-Star Game was played on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, home stadium of the Philadelphia Union. As has been the format every year since 2005, the MLS All-Stars played an international club; the 2012 opponent was England's Chelsea FC, 2012 champions of both the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League and visiting side in the 2006 MLS All-Star Game (when they lost to the All-Stars, 1–0, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois).[30] The MLS All-Stars won the game 3–2.

Domestic competitions[edit]

Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup[edit]

For the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup tournament, U.S. Soccer has increased the size of the main tournament from 40 to 64 clubs, assembling the competition so that all U.S.-based Major League Soccer clubs gain entry.[31] On August 8, 2012, Sporting Kansas City defeated the Seattle Sounders on penalties to win the franchise's second open cup title.[32]

Canadian Championship[edit]

The three Canadian-based MLS clubs, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, along with NASL club FC Edmonton, competed for the Voyageurs Cup, Canada's national championship trophy. The tournament is organized in a knockout format with two-legged ties in both the semifinals and final, with the away goals rule in place. Toronto defeated Vancouver in the finals, their fourth consecutive national championship, and qualified for the 2012–13 CONCACAF Champions League.

League Competitions[edit]

MLS Cup[edit]

Main article: 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs

The MLS Cup playoffs took place after the conclusion of the regular season. For 2012, the playoff structure underwent several changes:

  • The playoffs will no longer feature wild cards and the possibility of "crossovers" (i.e. teams from opposite conferences playing in the early rounds). Instead, the top five clubs in each conference's standings will qualify for the playoffs and will play in the following manner:
    • The 4th place team will host the 5th place team in a single "play-in" match, with the winner advancing to the conference semifinals.
    • The Conference Semifinals will again be a two-game aggregate goal setup as before (with extra time and penalty kicks employed if the aggregate is level after 180 minutes). The 1st place team will play the winner of the 4th/5th game, while the 2nd and 3rd place teams play each other. The lower-seeded team will host the first leg of each semifinal.
    • The semifinal winners will play each other in the Conference Finals, which will be altered to a two-game aggregate series patterned after the semifinal round (before this year, this round was a single-game format).
  • The Conference Final winners will advance to the MLS Cup Championship Game, which for the first time will be played at the home stadium of the finalist with the better regular season point total; before this season, the game was played at a predetermined site.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Impact's first home game at Saputo Stadium was played on June 16, 2012.[10] The team's first five home games were played at Olympic Stadium while Saputo Stadium underwent expansion.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "2012 MLS Standings & Leaders". October 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "MLS announces changes for 2012 season," from The Score, November 20, 2011
  3. ^ "Impact draws 1–1 with Chicago Fire..." from ImpactMontreal.com, March 17, 2012
  4. ^ "Report: Impact ties LA Galaxy 1–1 in front of 60,860 spectators at Olympic Stadium". Montreal Impact. May 12, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2012. 
  5. ^ "MLS will have unbalanced schedule in 2012," from The Score, 11/10/2011
  6. ^ a b "MLS releases 2012 schedule; Cup final Dec. 1," from The Score, 1/5/2012
  7. ^ a b c MLSSoccer.com. "2012 MLS Roster Rules". Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ "MLS, NBC announce three-year broadcast deal," from MLSSoccer.com, 8/10/2011
  9. ^ "NBC networks to air 41 regular-season matches in 2012," from MLSsoccer.com, 1/5/2012
  10. ^ "Impact beats Seattle Sounders 4–1 in Stade Saputo home opener," from ImpactMontreal.com, June 16, 2012
  11. ^ "The Montreal Impact unveils its schedule for the 2012 season," from ImpactMontreal.com, posted 1/5/2012
  12. ^ "BMO to become Impact's lead MLS sponsor". Sportsnet. June 14, 2011. Retrieved January 31, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Feeling their oats: Fire get jersey sponsorship deal with Quaker," from Chicago Tribune, January 17, 2012
  14. ^ McCarthy, Jack (February 15, 2012). "Crew partner with Barbasol as new jersey sponsor". MLS. Retrieved February 15, 2012. 
  15. ^ "FC Dallas signs multi-year, multi-million dollar jersey deal with AdvoCare". June 27, 2012. Retrieved July 9, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "2012 MLS Roster Rules | Major League Soccer". Mlssoccer.com. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Montreal send Johnson to Seattle for Neagle, Fucito". MLSsoccer.com. February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  18. ^ "Union sign central defender Bakary Soumare". philadelphiaunion.com. June 26, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Revolution acquire former All-Star Juan Toja via allocation". MLSsoccer.com. August 27, 2012. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  20. ^ Freedman, Jonah (September 14, 2012). "Hahnemann returns to MLS, lands with hometown Seattle". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved September 15, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Rapids sign forward Kamani Hill". coloradorapids.com. March 28, 2012. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
  22. ^ "Red Bulls Acquire Goalkeeper Luis Robles". newyorkredbulls.com. August 8, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2012. 
  23. ^ "Whitecaps get US international Nguyen in weighted lottery". MLSsoccer.com. December 15, 2011. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Competition Rules and Regulations". MLSsoccer.com. Retrieved October 17, 2012. 
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