The governing body for the MLS has announced that the Supporters Shield, which is awarded to the team with the best regular season record, will not be awarded this season.
The shield has been a factor of the MLS since its inception in the 1999 season. But tradition will be broken this season as the award will be withheld due to the original season being delayed back in March of this year.
The likely candidates to win the shield were Toronto, who currently sit top of the Eastern Conference having only lost 2 of their 18 games played.
Instead, this season will see the top team in the MLS receive a bonus and a CONCACAF Champions League berth. But many Toronto FC fans have seen the decision to remove the Supporters Shield as a slap in the face towards their team.
Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney has been quoted as saying, “my players are pissed. It is a huge sign of disrespect to the players. It has arguably been the most difficult season in the history of our league where people have put their health at risk to play and put games on television for fans. This season required a huge commitment from all the teams — people were genuinely afraid for their health.
“It’s a disgraceful decision that delegitimizes the whole idea of the Shield in our opinion. Those made the decision are like kids in a park who take the ball away when the game isn’t going their way. It’s childish and a symbol that they don’t know how sports operate.”
What are your thoughts towards the decision to suspend the season award? Let us know in the comments below.