Home Advantage in MLS playoffs

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Bonus_Game, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    With the majority of the higher seeded teams going out, I really don't think there is enough of a home field advantage to reward good performances in the regular season. IMO hosting the first leg is actually a bigger advantage than the slight possibility of having extra time at home because it minimizes your chances of being down going into the second leg, which is a huge psychological advantage.

    I also understand that the fans of all playoff teams should be rewarded with a home playoff game, so I think we really need to rework our playoff structure to accommodate these somewhat opposite forces. I propose that instead of a 2-leg total goal series, why not just make it a 3-leg total goal series, with the first and last games played at the higher seeded team's venue. (If there's no away goals rule then it is really not necessary to have 2-leg aggregate series). If we scrap the play-in game, this only adds 1 more game to the playoff schedule, so I don't think there would be any problem with scheduling.

    I would love to hear others thoughts on whether or not higher seeds have enough of a home advantage as well as other resolutions to this issue.
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  2. Jewelz510

    Jewelz510 Member+

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    The third match should be "if necessary." The series should be decided on points. If teams are tied on points after three matches, then use aggregate score as the first tiebreaker. If they are tied on aggregate, give the advantage to the higher seed. No min-games or penalty shoot-outs would be needed.

    This would make things very interesting going into Game 3, if the series goes that far. There will always be multiple factors in play for both teams.
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  3. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    I'm not sure I quite understand. So if the lower seeded team finished with x fewer points than the higher seeded team, then they have to get x more points than the higher seeded team in this 3-game mini league?

    So if the higher seed has 10 more points then there is no series at all? That seems pretty silly to me.
  4. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

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    Points in the series. In your proposal, a team could win 2 out of 3 and still lose on aggregate if their one loss were very lopsided. So a refinement of your proposal would be to say that 2 wins trump the aggregate goal totals, though that would make Game 3 an "if necessary" game, which I think MLS still wants to avoid.


  5. Jewelz510

    Jewelz510 Member+

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    Most points in that series is what I meant. Game 3 would be necessary if teams split the first two games or if one of the games ends as a draw.

    Game 3 would be more interesting than the 2nd legs of the current MLS Conference Finals appear to be. In any situation, that I can think of, Game 3 will be a must-win game for someone. The series can not go to extra-time or penalties.
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  6. yellowbismark

    yellowbismark Member+

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    I agree with Jewelz.

    The aggregate format stinks.

    After the two blowouts yesterday, there's a good chance the games next Sunday will be anti-climactic to watch.
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  7. Darkwing McQuack

    Darkwing McQuack BigSoccer Supporter

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    Why not just make it single elimination that way the playoffs aren't crowded? You'll be able to play each round on the weekend. We won't have to worry about teams being fatigued from short rest since each round would be a week apart from each other. Plus it'll make winning the cup a bit harder.
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  8. RedBullFootball

    RedBullFootball Member

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    Of course there is not, BUT did you really need to see home teams to falter to figure this out?

    It's a 2 game series. Aside from a few freakish stat geeks on BigSoccer, how could you possibly have ever thought there was a real ADVANTAGE here.

    Its just what MLS spoon feeds the mindless to make it seem like seeding is important.
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  9. RedBullFootball

    RedBullFootball Member

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    Nearly 100% chance

    MLS hasn't realized that knock-out games are most exciting most often. Instead they prefer to dilute their product foolishly thinking that more is better.
  10. yellowbismark

    yellowbismark Member+

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    I posted this info a few days back in the PBP thread, more appropriate here.

    The frequency that the MLS 2-game series in the quarterfinals has gone to extratime where the higher seed got to play more minutes at home than the lower seed is 15%. A total of 6 times in 40 total quarterfinal matchups.

    Here are the frequency of playoff matchups where the higher seed has enjoyed more minutes of the series at home than the lower seed in the other US leagues (in other words, instances where the series ends in a game 5 or game 7, or in the case of MLB in the wildcard, a 3 game sweep):

    NHL - 55% (last 3 postseasons, 25 out of 45 series), 15 ended in game 7
    MLB - 55% (last 6 postseasons excluding 2012, 23 out of 42 series), 8 ended in deciding game of series
    NBA - 42% (last 3 postseasons, 19 out of 45 series), 7 ended in game 7
    ---------
    MLS - 15% (since MLS adopted the format for the QFs in 2003, 40 series)

    If MLS went from aggregate to "first to 4 points" (win and a draw) from matches with a third game as a tiebreaker, the frequency of home field advantage goes from 15% to 38% using the same historic results from those 40 playoff series. Much more in line with the HFA experienced in the other US leagues.
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  11. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    Oh I see, I like this better than what I originally proposed
  12. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    I don't really like single elimination because it's too small of a sample size to see who the better team is head to head (not that 2 or 3 is sufficient, but it is undoubtedly better than 1)
  13. Darkwing McQuack

    Darkwing McQuack BigSoccer Supporter

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    I get what you're saying and it is a small sample size but I think we'd see better quality games if we go to single elimination as opposed to crowding the playoffs with 2-3 game series.
  14. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    I agree, so I think we need to either make the regular season shorter or move back the start (or both)
  15. canammj

    canammj Member

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    i always believed top 8, 3 single knock out rounds, single game, highest seed home.
    NBA & NHL always restack the deck after each round. Heck, look what the LA KINGS did this year in knocking all higher seeds out
    QF #8 @ #1, #7 @ #2 ,#6 @ #3, #5 @ # 4
    SF #4 @ #1, #3 @ #2
    F #2 @ #1
    -to me, this should be the ultimate reward for winning the Supporters Shield, all 3 playoff games at home on the domestic side, while CCL on the international side. Once again, the regular season needs to mean something, makes the season ticket more valuable etc.
    -shorter playoffs- with 1 game a week, rather than 2 games a week make for more rested teams.
    after a long season, some teams playing 2 games is just wrong when you are trying to showcase your best.
    -traveling fans get a full week notice of where the game is
    -cutting 1-2 weeks out of playoffs allows shorter season, a later start, earlier end, more gaps in regular season for FIFA, CCL & USOC dates etc.
    -AND, although the thought makes me ill, if the league went to 24 teams, you could then invite the top 16 teams like the NBA & NHL do- add "Round 1" in front of the quarter finals.
  16. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

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    Too few games with single elimination. I wouldn't like that a team makes the MLS cup playoff only playing 3 games in a playoff run.

    Since they added the play-in game and the two game conference final, I think the number of games is very appropriate. I think a 3rd game in a series is a mistake, and I am in favor of keeping the OT and PKs after game two if the two games end tied on points (not aggregate goals).

    Getting rid of aggregate goals gives the higher seed an advantage by minimizing the effect of a blowout in the first game, and providing an additional 30 minutes and pks at the home field of the higher seed.

    In reality, the two game series is actually pretty good. I don't know if many around here are old enough to remember the 3 game series (first to 5 points), but they almost ALWAYS went to game 3 (because you could only advance on two straight wins, and not a win and a tie, which is how it should be). 3 game series were awful. There were too many games against the same teams.

    In effect, getting rid of aggregate goals is akin to a "first to 4" points, with the OT and pks being a tiebreaker in the event of a tie on points.
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  17. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    I am all for the Mexican Tie format ... but, let's face it, folks ... far bigger problem is the payroll disparity. You can't keep relying on the NYRB type of idiotic management who'd spend two DP slots on non-performing players liker Marquez and Cahill.

    And a decent team with 3 DP's will always be a favorite against teams spending less than a fifth of them.
  18. Bonus_Game

    Bonus_Game Member

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    Which explains why San Jose finished first in the west, and KC finished first in the east?
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  19. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    And what did that get them?
  20. Kappa74

    Kappa74 Member+

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    They did manage to get shiny trophies and a trip to the CCL. I'd say, on the balance, pretty good year for those 2 clubs.
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  21. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    It was but ... when LA is healthy, it's pretty tough to top Keane-Donovan-Beckham-Magee attack.

    The DP trio is still international quality and Mike has been around long enough to understand what they are doing to fit in. A $15M payroll doesn't guarantee success - as I said on other threads, look at the Yankees, the Cowboys or the Lakers - but it surely helps. Given the MLS play-off format, all one has to do is to get in and, after that, it's a roulette, with the high spending clubs having a discernible advantage.
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  22. Kappa74

    Kappa74 Member+

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    It also helps when other clubs, like Chivas perhaps, is willing to take on a DP that just hasn't lived up to the billing. Spending for 3 DPs doesn't necessarily equate to 3 top notch players. LA has 3 such players. Others have tried, with various results. Heck, my team has dumped 2 DPs on to Chicago, and I'm still doubtful that our 3 DPs are, in fact, our 3 best players.
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  23. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    True, which is why it's always better to, quoting the Packers GM Ted Thompson, "draft and develop".

    The reality of MLS, however, is that it's important to also buy well and to buy wisely.

    Arena lucked into Beckham and Donovan but Keane was brought in during his reign. Sigi has had a lot less success with Ljundberg, Nkufo and even Fernandez but he did hit it with Montero and Rosalez. I think it's also fair to say that Sigi didn't quite match the audacity of the LAG or the NYRB, where a miss is a huge miss (Cahil, Marquez) but a hit brings you a potential Cup winner.
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  24. Earthshaker

    Earthshaker BigSoccer Supporter

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    SJ may have finished top in the west, but, LA had the better record from about June on. They dug themselves a pretty big hole the first half of the season, but, once they figured things out they were pretty much unstoppable. SJ, even though they finished the regular season on a 9 game unbeaten run, more or less went limping into the playoffs. I believe 5 of the 9 were ties, including the last three home games.
  25. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

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    KC's CCL trip has nothing to do with their 1st place finish in the East.

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