Soccer Writer's Style Guide

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North America's first and only soccer-specific style guide

MLS tournaments and awards

In all cases, corporate sponsors may be dropped from copy for clarity or when space is limited.

MLS First Kick

  • This official, trademarked name identifies the entire opening weekend for all teams, not just the season’s first game.
  • Write the year after the name: MLS First Kick 2011

MLS Cup, MLS Cup Champions

  • This is the official, trademarked name of the MLS championship game. Do not insert the before MLS Cup when writing this trademark.
  • Also acceptable are general terms such as the MLS Cup final, the MLS championship game.
  • Write the year after the name: MLS Cup 2010. However, the year precedes the name when describing the champion: 2010 MLS Cup Champions.

Philip F. Anschutz Trophy

  • This is the official, trademarked name of the MLS championship trophy.

In the following tournaments and awards, the year generally precedes the official, trademarked names.

  • Example: 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs, 2010 MLS Most Valuable Player.

MLS Cup Playoffs

  • This is the official, trademarked name of the postseason tournament. Don’t capitalize playoffs unless writing out this specific trademark.
  • Also acceptable are general terms such as the postseason, the playoffs (these identify the entire postseason), playoff (a single postseason game).

MLS Western/Eastern Conference Champions

  • Only capitalize Championswhen writing out the official title of the conference winner.
    • Example: FC Dallas finished the 2010 season as conference champions. Or: FC Dallas are reigning Western Conference Champions.

MLS Western/Eastern Conference Semifinals/Championship

  • These are the official, trademarked names of the postseason rounds. Never capitalize conference, semifinals or championship game unless writing out these specific trademarks.
  • The names of the postseason rounds are pluralized as they contain more than one game.
    • Example: This year’s semifinals begin on Saturday.
  • Individual games within the rounds are written as singular nouns.
    • Example: The two sides played a in a memorable conference semifinal last season.

MLS Western/Eastern Conference trophy

  • Do not capitalize trophy.

Supporters’ Shield

  • The team that finishes the regular MLS season with the most points overall wins this trophy.
  • Note the apostrophe on Supporters’.

All-Star Game, All-Star

  • The full name, for marketing purposes, is 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game.
  • This are the official, trademarked names of the midseason exhibition and the players involved in it. Don’t capitalize game unless writing out the trademark.
  • The All-Star First XI comprises the top 11 vote-getters in the annual fan ballot (10 outfield players and one goalkeeper). It is not necessarily the All-Star starting lineup, which is chosen by the All-Star head coach.

Volkswagen Most Valuable Player

  • Also acceptable are the casual terms league MVP (written without periods) or MLS MVP

Coach of the Year

Comeback Player of the Year

Visa Defender of the Year

MLS W.O.R.K.S. Humanitarian of the Year

Rookie of the Year

AT&T Goal of the Week, AT&T Goal of the Year

Save of the Week, Save of the Year

  • Accepted abbreviations are SotW or GotW

See also: Domestic cups, Domestic leagues, Player biographies

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Filed under: MLS tournaments and awards

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