Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Balance of power shifts to Eastern Conference
by Paul Kennedy, September 27th, 2012 10:19PM

TAGS:  mls


[BY THE NUMBERS: MLS] One of the common perceptions about MLS is that the Western Conference is the league's dominant conference. It was true the previous three seasons, but it hasn't always been the case and is not this season. With only two interconference games remaining on the 2012 schedule, Eastern Conference teams hold a four-game edge on their Western Conference counterparts after suffering deficits of 10, 25 and eight games the last three seasons.

The most one-sided season took place in 2010 when Western Conference teams finished with a 25-game edge. Only two Eastern Conference teams had winning records and two Western Conferences had losing records.

The Eastern Conference's best season was 2005 when every team but the Columbus Crew had a winning record. It was the first of four straight seasons the Eastern Conference won the season series.

In 2002, the first season after MLS contracted to 10 teams and they were split into two conferences, no Eastern Conference team had a winning record and every Western Conference team but the Kansas City Wizards finished above .500.

Battle of the Conferences
2012: Eastern +4
2011: Western +10
2010: Western +25
2009: Western +8
2008: Eastern +6
2007: Eastern +2
2006: Eastern +1
2005: Eastern +18
2004: Western +3
2003: Eastern +9
2002: Western +14
Note: Regular-season records only.

The 2012 season marks the first that teams have not played each other at least twice, so we'll never know what would have happened if every team played a balanced schedule.

The biggest contributor to the Eastern Conference's 2012 turnaround is the New England Revolution, which has enjoyed a seven-game swing. The Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City, who meet in Friday's top-of-the-table clash, have enjoyed four- and three-game positive swings, respectively.

Eastern Conference vs. Western Conference (W-L-T Record)

Team (2012 vs. 2011) 2012 vs. Western 2011 vs. Western
Sporting KC (+3) 6-1-2 7-5-6
Houston (-1) 5-2-1 9-5-4
Columbus (+2) 4-2-3 7-7-4
New England (+9) 4-3-2 2-10-6
New York (+1) 3-2-4 5-5-8
D.C. United (-2) 3-3-2 6-4-8
Chicago (+4) 3-4-2 3-8-7
Montreal 3-5-1 --
Philadelphia (0) 2-4-3 4-6-8
Toronto FC (0) 2-5-2 4-7-7
TOTAL (+14) 35-31-22 47-57-58

The Los Angeles Galaxy, the 2011 MLS champion, has suffered the biggest drop by an Western Conference team, suffering a negative swing of eight games.

Western Conference vs. Eastern Conference (W-L-T Record)

Team (2012 vs. 2011) 2012 vs. Eastern 2011 vs. Eastern
Real Salt Lake  (+3) 5-3-2 6-7-5
Seattle (-4) 4-2-4 10-4-4
San Jose (0) 4-3-3 6-5-7
Colorado (-2) 4-4-1 5-3-10
Portland (+3) 3-3-3 5-8-5
Vancouver (+2) 3-4-3 5-8-5
FC Dallas (-4) 3-5-2 7-5-6
Los Angeles (-8) 3-5-2 8-2-8
Chivas USA (-4) 2-6-2 5-5-8
TOTAL (+14) 31-35-22 57-47-58

It should be noted Western Conference teams have won eight of the last 10 MLS Cup titles.

  1. John Soares
    commented on: September 28, 2012 at 12:22 p.m.
    Not that it really matters!? But it is difficult, if not impossible to get a true measure without a balanced schedule. If west is not playing east... How do you know?
  1. Ramon Creager
    commented on: September 28, 2012 at 3:42 p.m.
    I think he is considering only east v. west matchups to make his case. If one conference were weaker than another, this would show this.
  1. Peter Skouras
    commented on: September 28, 2012 at 5:19 p.m.
    Hey John: DO you follow the EPL and other international leagues? Do you enjoy them? What is so unique other than the mass amount of $$$ involved? Let me know I'll let you in on a little secret!

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Livorno president Aldo Spinelli    
"I'm relaxed. At this time, the coach is not at risk." -- Livorno president Aldo Spinelli ...
U.S. Abroad: Fabian Johnson is on fire    
American midfielder Fabian Johnson is suddenly one of the hottest scorers in Germany. He scored two ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives