MLS Announces Conference Alignment, Houston Moves East

MLS Announces Conference Alignment, Houston Moves East

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On January 28, 2011

We all knew some changes would have to be made for the conference alignments going into this season with two western teams joining the league. At the end of the day the league looked at the map of the US (and Canada) and went with what seems the most logical.

MLS announced today that the Houston Dynamo will move to the Eastern Conference in 2011. Combined with the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC joining MLS as expansion clubs in 2011, the League now has two conferences of nine teams each.

Houston’s average distance from its Eastern Conference foes is 194.6 miles shorter than its average distance to the nine Western Conference clubs.


Chicago Fire                                                     Chivas USA

Columbus Crew                                                 Colorado Rapids

D.C. United                                                       FC Dallas

Houston Dynamo                                              LA Galaxy

Sporting Kansas City                                         Portland Timbers

New England Revolution                                    Real Salt Lake

New York Red Bulls                                           San Jose Earthquakes

Philadelphia Union                                             Seattle Sounders FC

Toronto FC                                                       Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Also today, MLS posted its roster rules for 2011 on CLICK HERE for the 2011 MLS Roster Rules.

What do we make of these changes? Not much really. I would have rather seen no changes considering next year things will be unbalanced when Montreal enters the league. Plus if New York does get a second team in 2013/14 then you’ll have Houston moving back west again. I would have rather gone wildly unbalanced this year than to have moving clubs each year for the next couple seasons.

As far as the Dallas/Houston rivalry goes this move won’t hurt it one bit. With a balanced schedule these sorts of things really don’t matter all that much in the end.