"I guess it is. It's important to the club and it's important to the people here -- we're taking it seriously -- but for me, the league has to be [the priority], right? What good is it to play in this tournament if you don't make the playoffs? To me, it doesn't make sense."
So good on Columbus for blanking the Islanders and showing that they at least feel that part of the reason that you win your league is to COMPETE in the Dance.
DC United is visiting Marathon (Honduras) right now, and the attitude show that they don't even consider MLS to be a mid-Major. For their focus is merely on the league, they are treating this like Eastern Washington treats the Big Sky. Win the regular season, win the playoffs, and just show up for the Dance.
Columbus and Houston at least display the attitude of a Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference. They act as if winning the league (Shield) and/or playoffs (Cup) are their right in any given season. From their they compete, and try to win.
That's the metaphor for this, certain organizations in MLS see it as their role to pull the league into mid-major status. To at the least reach the respect of Mexico or Japan, others don't really care to raise the profile of the sport here, and settle on being a mediocre league in two amazing nations.
Seattle's focus on winning the US Open Cup is to ideally be in the CONCACAF Champions League while raising the Cup. DC United just showed through one of their best players that they just want the Cup, not the responsibility that goes with showing that you are the best club in America. That's what September 2nd means in Seattle. The Best in America get to face the best in Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, the Caribbean, etc. Collecting Cups is more than just filler for a trophy case, it is the responsibility to display superiority at least twice a week.
Thanks to both Seattle Sports Insider and MLS-Rumors for linking the video post, the discussion has been great. Steve Davis has a different opinion on Marshall's Yellow. He earned it throughout the day.