Originally Posted by creambot
But the team that finished top of the table the last two years is not the same team that won the championship the last two years! Seriously, D.C. United should have been relegated each of the years from 2000-2002. Not exactly dominance, as compared to the best teams in European leagues. Thanks to the 'salary cap,' I find it hard to believe that any truly great team will develop in this league to challenge clubs outside the MLS.
As for rivalries, similar complaint. Without relegation, the league is expanding based on expansion fees. I just can't imagine natural rivalries developing without two teams in the same cities. Chivas-LA, I like.
Bring back the New Jersey Cosmos, and I'm there, dude.
NEColourULike already responded to your post, as did Bearded Kyle just previously to this, but I wanted to touch on your rivalries statement a little more...
You definitely don't understand American sports if you think there are no rivalries in MLS right now...or that they are "contrived" rivalries (ie not "natural"). Many rivalries in the US (in Major league sports) are based just as much or more on political and regional issues as for sporting reasons.
Possibly the biggest rivalry in MLS right now is San Jose and LA Galaxy...both for sporting reasons and not sporting reasons. There is a long standing animosity between Northern Californians and Southern Californians over water rights and many other issues. Anything from So Cal will face instant hatred and rivalry when going up against anything from Nor Cal. We'll see how that manifests itself between San Jose and Chivas USA, but it's already there between San Jose and the Galaxy (remember that they are simply resuming their franchise...the fans and history are still there from their previous years in the league).
LA vs NY is also a huge rivalry in American sports....based on the both of them styling themselves as the top city in the US.
Dallas and Houston is a huge rivalry too....again, both of them with pride at stake about who's the best city in Texas. I don't know enough about their regional issues that cause animosity between them, but I can assure you that there are plenty of those as well.
Another potential rivalry in the future for MLS...for both sporting and political/regional issues is that between Seattle and Portland (if/when they get a franchise).
There may not be a lot of sporting reasons behind some of many of the rivalries in the US sports, let alone MLS, but I assure you that those rivalries are just as heated (if not more so) because of the non-sporting reasons.
One thing I forgot to touch on.....the size of the US....you're not going to get very many cities with more than one team (look at all the other sports as well). It'll help you if you look at states or regions as you would cities in a smaller country....such as Dallas/Houston in Texas, San Jose/LA in California, Portland(OR)/Seattle(WA) in the Northwest region, etc.
Oh, and why do you keep calling them the "New Jersey" Cosmos?...they may have played there, but they were the New York Cosmos.