Something for everyone, once the MLS expands to 16 teams. This is a little long so here's a summary... Summary: Standard single table format for MLS, USL1, USL2. The team that finishes in 1st place in each of these leagues is that league's champion. The Lamar Hunt Open Cup would serve as the playoff for these divisions as well as the 16 regional champs of the PDL and USASA. The winner of the Open Cup joins the top 3 MLS teams in the Champions Cup (or Superliga whichever emerges as the CONCACAF club cup). Here's the details... 1. A 30 game MLS season. Each team plays each other twice, (1 home and 1 away). The leader at the end of this regular season is the MLS champ. There would be no MLS playoff 2. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed MLS team automatically makes the CONCACAF Champions Cup (or Superliga, whichever becomes the true CONCACAF club championship). 3. The US Leagues (Division 1 and 2) also would feature a single table format where each team plays each other twice. Whoever is the leader at the end of the regular season is the Division's Champ. There would be no playoff in any division. 4. The last game of the MLS season would feature rivalry games (much like college football) and would take place at the exact same time. That way no one gains an advantage. Heck, teams can haul away trophies at the end of game if they want. 5. Lamar Hunt Open Cup, like most American tournaments would feature seeds. It would begin after the regular season ends on all levels. The MLS teams would enter Open Cup play during the round of 32. The MLS season would end by Labor Day weekend, so the Round of 32 would start the following weekend. This would be a nation-wide club level playoff... -The top seeds would be based on where you finished in the MLS. -The next seeds would be based on the places of the USL-1 league and would include every team except Puerto Rico which competes in the Caribbean club cup. For example, The USL-1 winner would get the 17th seed. The following seeds would be USL-2 teams (except Bermuda), then the 8 PDL winners would take the next 8 seeds and then the next 8 USASA winners would be seeded randomly behind the PDL leagues. -The round of 32 (and earlier rounds) would be a one off game, with the higher seed visiting the lower seed. Only when the two teams are from the same division during these rounds would the game be played at the higher seeds' stadium. The next round (Round of 16), and subsequent rounds would each feature 2 legged home-away playoffs. The away goals rule would be in play from the Round of 16 onwards. -The winner of the Open Cup gets the 4th Champions Cup (or Superliga) spot for US/Canadian teams. -If the Open Cup winner is also one of the top three teams in the MLS then the 4th placed MLS team gets to go to the Champions Cup (or Superliga). -If 1 MLS club is invited to Copa Libertadores in the future, then the 4th placed MLS team would go to the Copa if it doesn't qualify for the Champions Cup (or Superliga). If it does qualify then the 5th placed MLS team goes to the Copa. 2006 season playoff Round of 32 assuming that teams that are supposed to win in the early rounds actually win (with the addition in the MLS of Toronto, San Jose, and 2 other hypothetical MLS expansion teams in cities with no soccer). (1) DC United @ (32) Western Mass. (16) St. Louis @ (17) Montreal (8) New York @ (25) Portland (9) Los Angeles @ (24) Virginia Beach (4) Chicago @ (29) Pittsburgh (13) Toronto @ (20) Vancouver (5) Houston @ (28) Charlotte (12) Columbus @ (21) Miami (2) Dallas @ (31) New Hampshire (15) Philadelphia @ (18) Rochester (7) Colorado @ (26) Minnesota (10) Real Salt Lake @ (23) Atlanta (3) New England @ (30) Cincinnati (14) San Jose @ (19) Charleston (6) Chivas USA @ (27) Richmond (11) Kansas City @ (22) Seattle The round of 16 would be the winner of the two closely grouped games above (i.e winner of DC-Western Mass vs winner of St. Louis-Montreal). This would be like a playoff involving many US and some Canadian clubs. It would be most similar to NCAA Conference basketball tournaments. Like leagues in Europe, each regular season game really means something. You're rewarded for finishing in the Top 3, 4 or 5 in the MLS regular season. However, unlike Europe there's no relegation. We have a national playoff. Instead if you finish in the bottom three of the MLS, you will likely face the top three USL-1 teams in the round of 32 at their place. The top MLS teams on the other hand has an easier path. This also increases attention given to soccer in the US and Canada. The "minor league" US Soccer teams would host MLS teams in the round of 32 of the tournament. It would be their game of the year. If you look at some of the "minor league" teams markets, these are some pretty large markets. Finally the Open Cup would be a lot more significant than it is now. It always has tradition to it but now it really means something.