FC Dallas is two-thirds the way toward the first treble in MLS history. It clinched its first Supporters' Shield a month after winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
After retaking the
lead from the Colorado Rapids in the penultimate weekend, FC Dallas only needed a tie at the LA Galaxy on Decision Day to clinch first place and earned a scoreless draw against the Galaxy, which
rested several starters.
FC Dallas lost Fabian Castillo when
he was transferred to Turkish club Trabzonspor in late August, and its other big star, Mauro Diaz, who is sidelined for the playoffs after tearing his Achilles' tendon in the 2-1 win over
Seattle that put FC Dallas back in first place.
But FC Dallas -- which played its first team throughout most of its Open Cup and CCL campaigns as well as in MLS play -- showed off its
“We have proposed a different model, in Dallas, and in the league," said Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja. "So it’s very important to show and prove that we can
win silverware, and at the same time, with guys that maybe are not as high profile.”
How rare is that FC Dallas has accomplished? Only two other teams -- Chicago Fire in 2003 and
Seattle Sounders in 2014 -- have won the Open Cup-Supporters' Shield double. No team has won those two trophies along with MLS Cup.
FC Dallas is also still alive in the 2016-17 Concacaf
Champions League and qualified for the 2017-18 edition with the Open Cup win.
Sounders complete miracle comeback.
Seattle was 10 points out of the playoff zone in ninth place in the Western Conference at the MLS All-Star break when the Sounders fired the only coach they'd ever had, Sigi Schmid, and
promoted Brian Schmetzer to interim coach.
All they did was go 8-2-4 over their last 14 games and claim fourth place -- and home-field advantage for the Knockout Round against
Sporting Kansas City on Thursday.
The only team in the Eastern Conference that was below the red line at the MLS All-Star break and made the playoffs was D.C. United, which went 6-2-6
over its last 14 games. A 4-2 loss at Orlando City didn't change D.C. United's final placement. It took fourth place and will host a game in the Knockout Round against Montreal on Wednesday.
Timbers fall from grace.
Portland became just the third defending MLS champion that didn't make the playoffs in its next
season when the Timbers, needing a win to be assured of making the playoffs, lost at Vancouver, 4-1, in a match they trailed, 4-0, after 55 minutes.
Portland, had the third best record at
home but finished without a win on the road, joined D.C. United (1999 champion) and the Galaxy (2005) as the only defending teams not to reach the playoffs the year after they won MLS Cup.
"There has to be some long, hard discussions and reflection on what went wrong," Timbers coach Caleb Porter said afterward. "It's a combination of things, but for me there were holes in the
team all year long."
For the first time, both MLS Cup finalists failed to make the playoffs the following season. Columbus, the MLS Cup 2015 runner-up, finished in ninth place in the
Eastern Conference, six points below the red line.
BWP does it again.
Bradley Wright-Phillips claimed the
2016 MLS Golden Boot with a league-best 24 regular-season goals, becoming the third player in league history to win two Golden Boots along with Chris Wondolowski (2010, 2012) and Jeff
Cunningham (2006, 2009).
Wright-Phillips, who scored the first goal in a 2-0 win at Philadelphia that clinched first place in the Eastern Conference for the Red Bulls for the third
time in the last four seasons, won his first Golden Boot in 2014 when he tied the MLS single-season scoring record with 27 goals.
He has scored 68 goals in the last three years, an MLS
record for goals in a three-season span, and he's the only player in MLS history to record 20 or more goals in two different seasons.
"Certainly, Bradley has been huge for us this year
and comes up with big goals at all moments," said Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch. "He is in a really good way right now and I think our whole group is in a really good way right now."
The Red Bulls finished on a 16-game unbeaten run, the fourth-longest undefeated streak in MLS history.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of BWP's 2016 season was that none of his 24
goals came from the penalty spot. The only other player who finished in the top 10 in scoring without the benefit of a penalty kick was Sporting Kansas City's Dom Dwyer.
note: For the first time in MLS history, no American ranked in the top 10 in scoring. Rookie Jordan Morris, Chris Pontius and Wondo were among five players tied for 11th place with 12
Rosenberry goes the distance.
Philadelphia rookie Keegan Rosenberry was the first field player since 2013 to play every minute of every game in the regular season.
Most Minutes Player: 3060 Keegan Rosenberry, PHI 3036 Michael Parkhurst, CLB 2970 Richie Marquez, PHL 2924 Sam Cronin, COL 2900 Lee Nguyen, NE