4 subs?

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by Stan Collins, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    This is imported from the "Should MLS control its own rules" thread. It's something of a sidelight to that thread, as it turns out that this is a rule MLS actually can control. Other competitions (like the USOC) use four subs

    So I'm gonna throw it out there as it's own idea--what if MLS went to 4 subs?

    I think it would have several positive impacts:
    * It would reward depth.
    * I think it would aid development a little by making it a little easier for coaches to insert still-developing players into the game. They would be proportionally less worried about running out of subs.
    * It would probably add a moderate amount of scoring. Scoring tends to increase in late-game situations where fresh legs/tired legs mismatches can be exploited.

    I can think of a few negatives:
    * It would add a couple of stoppages and maybe make games take about 1 minute longer to play.
    * It would be fodder for all the people who want to make a big deal about how MLS has to be different. A lot of these people can't tell the difference between custom and Law, and would try to claim MLS was not complying with FIFA. They'd be wrong, but nonetheless they'd be listened to.

    In the other thread, it was claimed that too many subs would change the nature of the game, presumably meaning away from being the ultra-endurance sport that it currently is. One could make the case it wasn't always an ultra endurance sport, but I'd accept the argument in the context that people were talking about like 7 subs. But if it was only 4 I'd be very dubious.

    What other effects do you think it would have? I'm interested to hear.


  2. TheBiff

    TheBiff Member+

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    A lot of the time I don't see the third sub used. I'm not sure if they save it for an emergency(In which case a 4th would make it more common) or if they don't feel the need to use it.(4th would not help)
  3. LordRobin

    LordRobin Member+

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    Wait a minute. I thought FIFA told MLS they couldn't have their old "3 subs + 1 goalkeeper sub" rule. Are we saying now that FIFA's problem wasn't with the number of subs, but that one sub was being designated for the goalkeeper? Because I thought FIFA mandated 3 subs for league play.

    Can MLS really just say "next year, 4 subs", and FIFA won't care a bit?

    ------RM
  4. rocketeer22

    rocketeer22 Member

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    I wish FIFA would adopt a more-sub rule. I know proponents of only 3 comment about the strategy of management. But, I look at it this way, it may help some club teams be able to manage their star players commitments to club and national teams better, and to not burn them out.


  5. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

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    I don't know how the 4 subs in the USOC persist. The Laws are pretty clear:

    Maybe just another case of FIFA not paying attention at this level of detail.
  6. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    I don't think more subs (even if we're talking 1) is needed.

    I do think an exception to the sub rule should be added though. Case in point: Zakuani.

    There should be an injury sub exception. Seattle shouldn't have had to use one of their three subs for that. Zakuani's injury had nothing to do with tactics, strategy, coaching, or anything but all of those things were affected because Seattle had to use a sub 3m into the match. Everything changed for them due to that.

    I don't agree that with them having to forfeit a substitution because of something they had absolutely no way to control. Not only did they lose an impact player, but a sub as well ? Two hits in one.
  7. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    So unlimited subs due to injury? Unlimited subs due to a contact injury? Seems ripe for abuse.
  8. HailtotheKing

    HailtotheKing Member+

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    There's pretty much infinate ways to make the rule in order to keep it from being abused.

    There's a reason I gave the example I did.

    Only one per match, only available in the first half, only available when player is unable to continue the match ....... etc etc.
  9. soccerbetic

    soccerbetic Member

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    i was at the Dayton-Rochester USLPro game this past weekend when I was home and both teams used a total of 5 subs each. i was extremely confused as i sat there and watched more and more players leave the bench to enter the match. does USLPro (our supposed 3rd division) not follow fifa rules? and on the matter of MLS and fifa in general, i think a solution could be that if a player has to be carted off the field they can receive a free sub but the player that was carted off can not play in the next match so as to keep teams from faking injuries for free substitutions.
  10. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

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    League matches aren't organized under the auspices of FIFA, CONCACAF or US Soccer, they are organized by MLS. You're right that it seems odd that the US Open Cup, where the games are organized by US Soccer, the Law should seemingly apply. It's possible that what they mean to say (but it's not what they say) is that the 3 subs rule is meant as a neutral standard for any competition where there might be teams that play under different sets of rules, and that they may regard the use of 4 subs as an 'agreement' by all parties to use that number, sort of analogous to the language about friendlies later on.

    It's an oddity, though. It comes up in those USOC play-in games which are organized by MLS and so one would wonder whether they have 3 subs or 4, as well as whether there's 30 minutes of OT before penalties or not. (It was worse when league matches were being doubled up with OC qualifiers).
  11. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    Heck, I can remember in the late 90's when league matches were doubled up with actual USOC games. In one of those "random" draws the Rapids were drawn to play Tampa conveniently on the same night they were scheduled to be in Tampa for a league match, so the game counted for both. They never did clarify what would have happened if the game ended in a draw, since it was still in the league's Shootout era.
  12. LordRobin

    LordRobin Member+

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    Yeah, I remember that. I had never been more convinced that the USOC was a joke than I was then. And the problem wasn't limited just to the game finishing in a tie -- the two competitions could have had different eligibility lists, due to players being "cup tied" and accumulating yellow cards. It was truly a head-shaker of a decision.

    When you realize just how far the USOC has had to climb to get away from that level of irrelevance, you begin to understand why it still has so far to go before it's considered a major tournament.

    I apologize for the sidetrack. Now back to talking about subs. :)

    ------RM
  13. Cyclonis

    Cyclonis MLS Snob

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    Okay, but what made you come up with the magical number four other then 3+1=4?

    I mean, why not five or six? Why not as many subs as you want and why not be able to be put them back in after a short substitution like in basketball or soccer? Why do we only have three subs in the first place? Who thought that number up?

    It does seem prudent to have more substitutions given that teams have something like twenty something players on them but only three get the chance to play. It think more substitution will prolong the careers of players and keep games fresh when exhaustion reigns.
  14. Achowat

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    3 is a compromise, and it used to be 1 (and before that it was 1 only for injury). The game evolved, but there's still some merit to having most of the guys out there playing all of the game.

    3 was probably chosen because we think of players as being in one of 4 phases: GK, DEF, MID, or FW
  15. Cyclonis

    Cyclonis MLS Snob

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    Okay, so an old English guy thought it was a good idea back in the day.. but why stay with it now? Maybe not in MLS, but in some leagues you have players being paid millions of dollars to sit on the bench. It does not make sense.
  16. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    What is a better alternative? (I only ask because you proposed like 6 and I want to know which you prefer)
  17. LordRobin

    LordRobin Member+

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    Don't know why this thread has been revived after 10 months, but what the heck...

    I always thought that the strict 3-sub limit had more to do with the delay of the game imposed during a substitution than anything else. If that's the case, I've never understood why teams can't make subs at halftime (or before overtime) that don't count against the limit.

    I wouldn't want sub after sub during the run of play, but why shouldn't a team be allowed to swap more players out at the half?

    ------RM
  18. Cyclonis

    Cyclonis MLS Snob

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    This is not bad.

    Or you could have people come in and out like in hockey without stopping the game.
  19. Jewelz510

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    That would make it hard to keep up with who's on the field. Obviously a soccer field is a lot bigger and populated by more players than a hockey rink. Coaches and refs could easily overlook an extra player on the field. Plus, given the size of the field, there's a long way to run for someone who's being subbed and they happen to be on the far side of the pitch. If these kinda substitutions are gonna happen on the fly like hockey, then it will ruin the flow of the action as certain players are racing to get on and off the field while others are trying to mount a counter-attack or play defense.
  20. Cyclonis

    Cyclonis MLS Snob

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    Godzilla likes your tune. We shall ponder this further after some deliberation.

    [​IMG]
  21. nlsanand

    nlsanand Member

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    MLS should not change rules outside the scope of FIFA. So the evdebate should be whether FIFA should change the rule. If we start adopting rules outside of FIFA, it really starts a slippery slope to that 1990s mickey mouse shit.

    However, I have heard (can't remember where) that FIFA was looking to allow 4 subs in extra time elimination matches. I think it would be totally legitimiate for the league to offer to "guinea pig" those rules.

    I am generally a proponent of four subs, as it would allow the fourth sub to be retained by a coach for a real emergency (when a player gets injured and subs have already been used up). I find it very cruel when teams have to play with 10 men because they've used up subs.

    I believe the original 3+GK rule was also aimed at this, but was proven to be easily circumvented.
  22. nlsanand

    nlsanand Member

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    The idea is most players should have to "run their 90". The 3 is to allow for both injuries and tactical items. That being said 4 could probably be as legitimate as 3, but any more would start to eliminate the requirement to have endurance at the professional level.
  23. Goforthekill

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    Only if we add a 30 minute over time. 90/3=30.
  24. bunge

    bunge BigSoccer Supporter

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    I'm not sure who's idea that is but it's not an absolute.

    In a country with altitudes like Denver and Salt Lake, as well as extreme temperatures is Texas, another sub makes a lot of sense. The paying customer doesn't necessarily believe most players should have to jog their 90 in extreme conditions.
  25. nlsanand

    nlsanand Member

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    It's much hotter in other countries, and they manage it including heat in Brazil and altitude in Bolivia.

    And FIFA won't make a rule just for America,

    As said above, rules made up specifically for US is the definition of mickey mouse.

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