I think the idea in the US that the only thing that matters is a playoff championship is kinda fucked when you think about it.
As if something like what Golden State did in the NBA last year, which was only winning 87% of their games over the course of an 84 game season, is somehow diminished because they lost a winner-take-all game to this generation's best player.
It burns me a bit that consistent excellence over the long haul is reduced to a means of earning a slight advantage in the 'real' competition. One of the things that drew me to soccer in the first place was that in most of the world this is not done at all, that the cup is not the only championship.
I definitely value the Shield over the Cup because it's a bigger accomplishment to be better than everyone else over all of those games. This Metro team didn't lose a game for 3 months straight, and still didn't win the Shield. Suppose they win the game 2-1 on Sunday and go home because of a quirk of the rules? Is Montreal even the better team in that case? It won't be clear to me...
That said, we need to win the Cup already. Good teams need to show they are good when it counts, and unlike Golden State, for instance, that hasn't happened here yet. And God knows we need to get one before Garber's Darlings across the river get a chance to.