"Simulated Pro/Rel"

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by thefishy, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. thefishy

    thefishy New Member

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    I remember reading once that the Commish. would consider "simulated pro/rel." I´m still not entirely sure what that means, but, as I mentioned once before I decided during the last season to do my own simulated pro-rel. I had taken the teams based on 2010 results and split them with the top 10 in Division 1 and the rest (including expansion squads) in Division 2. I then only counted the games in MLS regular season against other teams in the same division.


    W-D-L Pts Team
    11-4-3 37 LA Galaxy -Champs
    10-4-4 34 Seattle Sounders
    9-3-6 30 Real Salt Lake
    5-8-5 23 New York Red Bull
    5-8-5 23 Chicago Fire
    6-3-9 21 FC Dallas
    5-5-8 20 Sporting Kansas City
    4-7-7 19 San José Earthquakes
    5-4-9 19 Columbus Crew -won playoffs (reg season match up vs Houston)
    4-6-8 18 Colorado Rapids - relegated

    Division 2

    6-6-2 24 Philadelphia Union- Promoted
    7-3-4 24 Houston Dynamo- Playoff vs D 1 9th place, lost series
    5-5-4 20 Chivas USA
    5-4-5 19 Portland Timbers
    4-5-5 17 DC United
    3-6-5 15 New England Revolution
    3-6-5 15 Toronto FC
    4-3-7 15 Vancouver Whitecaps


    So, now I´ve switched the Rapids and the Union for the 2012 season, added Montreal Impact. But I´m not sure how I should calculate it this year? Should I include all games because of unbalanced schedules? Should I include all games AND playoffs / cups? Should I only include games vs same division and then pro / rel based on points per game? What would you all recommend to me?

    I wish we had balanced schedules still


  2. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    That's not "simulated pro/rel", that's just "pro/rel"
  3. chungachanga

    chungachanga Member

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    looks simulated to me. the guy is basically building a parallel universe MLS table.
    "how would MLS look in 2012 if it was turned into two divisions back in 2010?"

    but it's a strange hobby.... :)

    TBH, I don't think Don himself knows what he meant by "simulated pro/rel".
  4. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    I did it, too, starting in 2010. It was nice to finally watch RBNY get promoted out of D2 and the Revs barely stay up by the skin of their teeth both years.


  5. 4door

    4door Member+

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    They have already been 'simulating pro/rel' his comments is just about further 'simulation'. The question is not and will never be about sending an MLS team into another league or division. NEVER. These guys are stockholders of the same company, and there is revenue sharing.

    What he meant was that promotion is a huge incentive that gets players and organizations to work harder because if they are promoted they can make more money (TV deals, player raises). The simulation comes through allocation and possibly other tools the league has like drafts. 'Simulation' comes from awarding winners so that teams want to win more. Players already get a small bonus for MLS Cup, maybe that bonus goes way up in the future? Teams already get allocation money for winning MLS Cup, maybe in the future it will be millions of dollars in allocation. Maybe the best teams will get the best draft pick spots, maybe their DPs will count less against the cap, maybe they can sign more internationals.... Whatever it is, the point is that the 'simulation' will come from rewarding winning more because in the end that is what pro/rel does. It is never going to be about another division.
  6. soccerbetic

    soccerbetic Member

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    Ive thought about an idea that while not really "pro/rel" it would give teams at the bottom of the table incentive to keep fighting through the end of the season. The idea is for the teams that do not make the playoffs, the higher that they finish, the better draft pick they receive. The top placed team that does not make the playoffs would earn the #1 overall pick and the order would continue with the next highest placed team not to make the playoffs and so on. Once the non-playoff teams have all picked than the next team to get their draft pick is the first team that was knocked out of the playoffs. This would reward teams for continuing to fight through the end of the season and so MLS doesnt end up with a "Suck for Luck" type race that we saw in the NFL this past season. Their would need to be some sort of tie breakers which I havent really taken the time to even think about but I think this setup would just continue to offer better soccer from top to bottom even as teams start to lose hope in the playoff race. Just an idea...
  7. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    I could easily see a team decide that "just missing" the playoffs wouldn't be such a bad idea, even if they would never admit it publicly. Imagine if the NFL had that policy--if we win this week, we get to go to New England in the snow; if we lose this week, we get a new franchise quarterback.

    I've said it before, the best way that I can think of to "simulate" relegation would be to have a much shorter "regular season" and have the vast majority of teams make the playoffs. For example, have the top 16 of 20 or 20 of 24 make the playoffs.

    "Regular Season" meaning perhaps a single round robin amongst all teams or just a double round robin within divisions without playing anyone else. "Playoffs" in this case including home and home group rounds before the knock out stages begin. The teams that are "relegated"--miss the playoffs--lose out on a third or more of the season and the real playoffs.
  8. thefishy

    thefishy New Member

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    Its simulated, because the league isn´t changing. They still play the same games, there´s just an added cup. If the MLS actually only had the teams play others in the divisions I´ve created, then it would be actual pro/rel
  9. tigersoccer2005

    tigersoccer2005 Member

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    Only now, some time after these comments were made, do we understand what Garber was trying to say with the simulated pro/rel comment. It would've been easier for everyone involved if he had just said we are planning on adding a wildcard game to the playoff structure.
  10. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    How does having a ten team playoff instead of 8 simulate pro/rel? Does that mean baseball simulates pro/rel with its wild card games? Does football simulate pro/rel by allowing two division winners to earn a bye?

    No matter what terminology a person uses, all that changed is that two extra teams compete for the MLS Cup after the regular season ends. Since the league has never had all rounds of the playoffs feature the same number of games, the fact that they play one game makes their "status" as playoff team irrelevant.
  11. X@V!3R

    X@V!3R Member

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    My guess is that if "simulated" pro/rel ever comes to pass in MLS it would look something like this.

    It would be a variation on what Scotland/Korea/Belgium already do, where they split the single table (or in our case conferences) into a Championship (top) and Relegation (bottom) group, except with the playoffs appended to the end of the regular season.

    However, instead of being "relegated" out of the playoffs, as noted above, I think its more likely that the best 1 or 2 teams from the bottom group would be "promoted" into the wildcard round of the playoffs where they would face the lowest placed team(s) from the Championship group.

    But that might simply be too complicated for the average fan to follow.

    Meh.
  12. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    I have a serious problem with that format and that is allowing teams from the lower group to make the playoffs. That possibility cheapens the end of the first half of the season because there isn't all that much danger for a team straddling the line. If every team in the upper group makes the playoffs, teams finishing at the top half of the playoff clinch playoff berths at the halfway mark and play out the stretch only playing for seeding. If not every team in the top half makes the playoffs but teams from the bottom half do, then there is a possibility of a team looking at the two sides of the bracket and deciding that a couple of losses right at the end of the first half might be a good thing.

    I have no problem with splitting the league midway through the season. I would have the teams in the lower group compete for the first allocation pick or the first pick in the draft or something meaningful; just not a playoff spot. I would also have at least a few teams in the upper group(s) not make the playoffs.

    I could live with a split at halfway, though I feel that is too much. I would work it something like this:
    • 19/20 teams: The top 16 teams are placed in four groups with a double round robin, group winners play in the MLS Cup semifinals. Bottom three or four teams play a double round robin of their own for the Meaningful Enough Prize (TBA)
    • 25 Teams: League plays a single round robin, the winner of which gets the Supporters' Shield. Top 20 teams placed in four five team groups with a double round robin OR five four team groups. If four groups, group winners play semifinals or top 2 in each group play in quarterfinals. If five groups, five group winners and best runner up go directly to quarterfinals. Other four runners-up playoff for last two QF berths. Bottom five teams play a double round robin amongst themselves for the Meaningful Enough Prize (TBA)
    Don't ask me what the Meaningful Enough Prize may be. I'd say the first draft pick or the first allocation pick, but I honestly am not sure if that would be enough. If this was the You be the David (Stern) or the You be Bunch of Stuff Artist (Roger Godell) Forum, I would definitely say the number one pick.

    I also realize that the first round of the season plus the second round of the season might be not add to 34 games. I can't say how to do that easily. The 19/20 team format only be 24 or 25 games if a single round robin were used. Though if you play a partial double round robin with schedules determined by seed or a multi-year rotation you could get to 34 or 35 regular season (first and second rounds combined) games by playing 10 teams twice and the others once. The 25 team format would have teams play 30 or 32 games before the playoffs.
  13. 4door

    4door Member+

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    My favorite fantasy set up is one you can explain to any fan in a few moments. Which I think is something lost on some fans who propose these incredibly difficult (insert BASEketball clip) set ups.

    MLS plays in 2 competitions, one is a league and one is a cup. First half each MLS team plays each other once home or away (rotating each year) and the team with the most points is the league champion. MLS then stars a cup championship in which includes MLS and NASL/USL clubs. Teams are placed into groups and play group/knock out tournament like the World Cup. This competition combines our US Open Cup and our MLS Playoffs into one large tournament played between all the pro teams in the US. So while we don't pro/rel we elevate the US Open Cup to become the only playoffs in the US and give non MLS teams a chance of winning the Cup.

    For an added bonus I would try to have the league season end just before Aug. 31st which is when the european transfer window closes. This can solve the issue of players leaving mid season. Teams can negotiate transfers out of MLS and keep their players between March-Aug to play the season and then send them to Europe after our season and before the Cup competition begins.

    I also like that everyone gets into MLS 'open' cup. It gives every fan in the US a reason to care again come Sept. when the European season is kicking off and soccer seems to be everywhere. In MLS at this time a lot of teams are already out of the playoffs, but in this scenario everyone gets a clean slate and a chance at the cup.
  14. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    I know my formats aren't simple. But "16 teams make a playoff with a group stage after the regular season ends" is a much better simplification of the system, at least to me, than "Everyone makes the playoffs along with a bunch of teams from the minor leagues." Which system would make more sense to the average fan?
  15. 4door

    4door Member+

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    The simplification to any soccer fan is that...we have a league and we have a cup. In the league you play every team once and the best team is the champion. The national cup has all the pro teams that play in WC style group/knock outs.

    Its not confusing that FA cup or USOC has teams from multiple leagues. Its not confusing that March Madness has teams from multiple leagues. People get playoffs as long as it is simple. It basically just combines our open cups (which can return to an amateur competition) and current league cups into one competition that any pro team can win but still allowing MLS teams to keep their single entity league.
  16. kenntomasch

    kenntomasch Member+

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    Because non-MLS teams don't have a chance to win the US Open Cup now?
  17. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    I think what is happening here, is that you just want to ditch the playoffs but put the Open Cup at the end of the season as a sop for playoff supporters--which seem to be a majority of the league's fans.

    Having different leagues play off to find a single champion is not the problem. Baseball has been doing it for over a century. Lot's of people enjoy the European playoffs between 50 different leagues..I mean the Champions League, because they are really in no way like the playoffs right? You are right that March Madness combines 30+ leagues, including some teams that don't have a chance.

    But the key here is that all of those competitions require teams to qualify. Yes a last place team can WIN its way into March Madness--I'm the first guy to step up and say that the conference tournaments are stupid because of that--but the final 68 includes one team from minor conferences, not ALL of them. And none of the automatic bids come from farm teams for the BCS Conferences.

    Yes people can understand what your system is about. But a real playoff it is not. And a lot of people will see it as a playoff, a playoff that means that the regular season is utterly and totally irrelevant. The end of the regular season will see only a few teams care, the ones with a real shot at the Shield. And that is only if the Shield continues to mean at least what it does now. If it doesn't, will people still care about it. Just because you care about the championship doesn't mean that you will consider the team they tell you to call the champion as the champion when they lose in the semifinals two weeks later.
  18. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    Yeah. My local team (NPSL/USASA) only needs to win 11 games to lift the Cup. It's not easy, but it's possible
    RevsFanDan repped this.
  19. 4door

    4door Member+

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    I get it and I respect your position. Let me clarify mine.
    I think one of the largest hurdles soccer faces in this country is trying to get casual fans to be interested in overlapping competitions of varying importance. This is a real problem even trying to get friends to go to games and explaining to them what a open cup is compared to a mls cup and explaining how one game they go to doesn't count for the league. In every other team sport in America we have 1 competition...it ends...and then we begin another. To keep it in march madness terms, if the NCAA tournament was spread out over the entire college season and teams were playing league games one week and tournament games the next week it would loose the momentum of that competition. What I am suggesting is to combine our current 2 cup playoffs into one competition and name a true cup champion and a true league champion but separate those competitions.

    Non MLS teams will never enter the league competition, but can play in the cup. Now you could say that the cup is devalued because there is no qualification. Well you qualify for the knock out playoffs from the group stage. The knock out playoffs we see on TV now would still be going on, but the teams would qualify within the cup group stages not from the league. I think where people have issue is that our entire league becomes nothing but a huge group stage in which more the 1/2 the league advances. My suggestion would be to make things simple. Have a league competition in which everyone plays each other and the best team is the league champion. Have a cup competition in which the best teams from the group go onto a knock out playoffs and the winner is cup champion. And break those competitions up just as the transfer windows ends at the end of August allowing teams to no longer loose our best players in the middle of our league season.

    You could go into an argument that says MLS would never want to combine USOC/MLS Cup and you are right, I don't think this will ever happen. What I suggested is a alternative to pro/rel. MLS is a franchise based league, a non-franchise will never enter the league competition. But as of now we have a open cup (2 of them actually with Canada) that are just overlooked and I think a large reason for that is because they go on mid-season. They aren't a priority for teams or for TV. If you combine those competitions and separate them, they can become priority and could allow non-MLS teams to compete and possibly win the most important cup in US/Canada.
  20. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    But is having multiple competitions part of soccer or part of the European sporting world that has just become exported with soccer here and there? In other words, why do we need to have multiple competitions like England instead of a regular season and playoffs like America?

    For example: in Europe teams compete domestically and continentally in Rugby (the Premiership in England the Heineken Cup for example), Basketball (domestic leagues galore and Euroleague), heck I think there is even a Champions League type set-up for semi-pro BASEBALL teams.

    On the other hand, Mexico doesn't have a cup. How many other countries in Latin America don't have cups? Australia wants a cup, but at the same time all the sports that the A-League competes against (Rugby Union, Rugby League, Australian Football) have just plain old regular seasons followed by playoffs.

    Now don't get me wrong, I wish that the USOC could be more interesting. I don't care about the CCL but I could if it became more relevant to me. I actually think that other sports might benefit from a cup compettion--I think SI once ran an article about a Baseball Cup that would end on Labor Day with a final at Yankee Stadium.But I don't want that at the expense of the playoffs.

    But MLS is a soccer league in America. Not an English sporting league that happens to play in America.
  21. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    Yes they do
  22. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    Since when? I had no idea.

    Ah I see. Five seconds of googling shows me it was created in 2012. And then five more seconds showed me that they seem to have had a cup until 1997 too.

    Oh well, my bad.

    Mexico still has playoffs. Two per year. If they can have two, why can't we have one?
  23. Achowat

    Achowat Member+

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    Be-because...um...ENGLAND!
    Jasonma repped this.
  24. The Green Mushroom

    The Green Mushroom Member

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    Yeah that's pretty much my impression too.
  25. 4door

    4door Member+

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    Multiple competitions is a part of this game. Almost all top division clubs around the world play in league, cup, and international competitions and they all overlap. I think this is difficult for casual american soccer fans to grasp, similar to how I suggested that if NCAA march madness was stretched out over the course of the basketball regular season there would be less interest from casual fans and media. In America we have one competition, it stops and then we start another. My suggestion was not about England it was more like having an American version of Apertura/Clausura in the fact that they are equal and divided competitions. Play a league and name a league champion. Then start a cup and name a cup champion. Apertura/Clausura is 2 leagues but this would be like an Americanized version in which one competition is a league and the other is a cup.

    MLS is a franchise league so pro/rel is impossible with non franchise teams, so my suggestion is have a closed league and have an open cup but don't have multiple cups and don't have our open cup take place during our regular season so it is considered a secondary competition. And having a competitive break as the transfer market closes solves a big issue that MLS has that no other American league deals with and that is the best players in the league leaving mid-season.

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