I believe that sports should be a meritocracy, that is the only way they can have any meaning, otherwise they are subject to the same random lottery that the rest of life is.
The only way you can separate the good from the average from the bad is through repetition, through a lengthy process that separates the wheat from the chaff.
In MLS play this year, every team played 34 matches over an 8-month span; it was an exhaustive competition in which every team played every other team both home and away. No other North American major professional sport plays such a thorough schedule. And beyond that, no other North American major professional sport has additional competitions that are gained through MERIT. The Sounders played a maximum number of matches because they EARNED them, by winning. Okay, take away the two qualifiers for CCL - which L.A. and Colorado didn't have to play because of merit - and we still won - WON - more games than any other team in MLS in 2011 during the season.
That is a fact. One shitty match does not change the quality that this team has clearly demonstrated for 8 months. We have suffered major injuries, that would prove to be debilitating for most MLS teams, and we were still as good a team as any that played professional soccer in the USA and Canada. This is just the plain truth.
…and this is what i am going to tell myself so that I can sleep tonight...