PAST & PRESENT* It's good to have newcomers in the MLS Cup championship game and the certainty of a new champion.
* Sunday forecast in Toronto is high 40s, similar to what was in Seattle last season.
* Fifteenth season marked by World Cup excitement; good expansion to Philadelphia; new stadiums in New York and Philly; expanded designated player rule which brought in new stars; 20 "home-grown" players from youth academies; "great strides" in sponsorships and consumer products up 15 percent;
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LOOKING AHEAD* Handful of new jersey-front sponsors to be announced soon and predicts all teams will have jersey sponsor by start of next season; expect to remove limit of four home-grown players; a "major" commitment to improve league officiating is coming; first-team rosters expand from 26 to 30 for next season with new spots for young players in newly created reserve division with 10-game season followed by playoffs; 2011 season will include league 34 games starting in mid-March, First Kick will be announced "soon;" conference allignment and balanced/unbalanced still undecided; looking hard at playoff format including possible expansion beyond eight teams; also considering moving MLS Cup to site of higher seeded team; continuing commitment to Champions League and considering increasing salary budget for teams that reach the semifinal; don't expect Champs League qualifications to change (meaning Sounders expected in due to Open Cup); Kansas City, Portland and Vancouver will bring new or renovated stadiums into the league next season.
Garber also announced this season's Best XI. No Sounders were named, however former Sounder Sebastien Le Toux made it.
More at MLSsoccer.com.