DC Done For?
|At 2-7-0, people are writing off DC United's chances for winning a fifth MLS championship. Oh sure, you still see quotes like this from Tom Soehn:|
"I'll say this: As soon as this team gets it, I wouldn't want to play against us, and we're getting really close."
I don't think many of the DC fans expect much from this season, even with a possible coaching change. They're correct to feel that way, because no team has ever won the MLS Cup after going 5 games under .500. In fact, the worst off a future title winner has been is 3 games under .500, which has happened three times (1996 DC, 2004 DC, and 2007 HOU). Although, one team made it to the MLS Cup after going 7 games under: the 2002 New England Revolution.
There is a loophole here if you want to count shootout losses as equal to regular losses, which I don't do. Then, the 1996 United team was equal to the current team with a 2-7 record after 9 games. There is certainly a valid argument you could make about not changing them in this instance due to the fact that that's the way things were done in that season. I don't agree, however, because regardless of how the games counted in terms of points, either way they ended in a draw. If you want to count things that way, then a loss at home tomorrow to Toronto would send them to uncharted waters at -6.
Here is a table of former MLS Cup champions and runners up. You'll see three categories, which are as follows, from left to right: the last day of the season where the team was under .500, the team's record at that time, and the team's maximum # of games under .500 at any point of that season.
Teams with x's indicates that they were never under .500. Five of the twelve champions can make that claim.
(note: 1997 COL & 2002 NE finished the season under .500)