Earliest start ever in MLS !

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by tigersoccer2005, Feb 2, 2020.

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When should MLS start?

Poll closed Mar 3, 2020.
  1. Go back to Early April

    5 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. Late March

    3 vote(s)
    7.5%
  3. Mid March

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Early March

    14 vote(s)
    35.0%
  5. Late February--this is where we will start this season

    7 vote(s)
    17.5%
  6. Mid February- may be needed if MLS pushes past 30 teams

    7 vote(s)
    17.5%
  7. Early Feb--pushing it here

    4 vote(s)
    10.0%
  8. Late Jan-- what the heck?? =o

    1 vote(s)
    2.5%
  9. Just be like Brazil and play year round

    2 vote(s)
    5.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. tigersoccer2005

    tigersoccer2005 Member+

    Dec 1, 2003
    North Bergen, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #1 tigersoccer2005, Feb 2, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2020
    As the calendar has turned to February and the Super Bowl, my mind has naturally started to gravitate to all sports post NFL. NHL Hockey, NRL Rugby, a resuscitated XFL (how long will that last?), and of course MLS Soccer! :) Even though I looked at the MLS schedule when it first came out, I still cant get over the fact that this year the season will be starting in the last week of Feb!! :eek: I still remember when this league first started in 1996. In the early years we would start in April! As time passed and the league became more established that April starting date eventually became a March starting date--first late March, then mid March, then early March, and now the last week of Feb!
    As the league continues to expand (I can easily see the league growing to anywhere between 32-36 teams before it stops) and the league schedule needs to accommodate more total games, we may reach a point where realistically we may have to begin the season somewhere in mid Feb-- which to me is absolutely mind blowing. :alien: At that point we may very well and truly be playing winter ball. Heck, even when starting in March we have had a few early season cold days and snow days over the years! I hope MLS has those flourescent orange and flourescent yellow balls ready!! :coffee:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo

    If this wasn't a leap year the season would be starting on March 1. The league may push up in to February in the future (I definitely think so) but this is not really good evidence of it.


    I don't follow this. By "more total games" do you mean for each team? I think that remains to be seen depending on how the league is organized.

    Obviously the total number played in the entire league will increase but that doesn't mean that the schedule needs to be longer. Or start earlier necessarily.
     
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  3. tigersoccer2005

    tigersoccer2005 Member+

    Dec 1, 2003
    North Bergen, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I didn't mean that the season (34 game season) would be longer, only that as the league expands even further, there are more teams in the league therefore the league calendar (total games) needs more dates in order to accommodate all the games that need to be played in the 34 games per team season. It may mean an increase in mid week games. Also you need to keep in mind that as they make the schedule they also have to keep in mind to open up space for things like US Open Cup, CCL, FIFA dates, the All Star Game, Campeones Cup, Leagues Cup, and of course the start and end of the MLS Playoffs.
     
  4. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It’s not early enough. February is boring for my sports interests after the Australian Open is over and when my Los Angeles Kings are garbage.
     
  5. Egbert Sousé

    Egbert Sousé Member

    NYCFC
    May 25, 2013
    Manhattan
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Late February works for me. IMO there would be no problem for warm weather teams to open up at home for the 1st couple of weeks; that's just common sense. Anything earlier might prove to be a mistake.
     
  6. ThreeApples

    ThreeApples Member+

    Jul 28, 1999
    Smurf Village
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, it's effectively the same as last year--put MLS Cup on the weekend before the November inernational break and count backwards the same number of weeks. Scheduling is a bit easier this year because they won't have the mini-break in June that they had during last year's Gold Cup.
     
    JasonMa repped this.
  7. newtex

    newtex Member+

    May 25, 2005
    Houston
    Club:
    Houston Dynamo
    I still don't get this. Right now there are 13 league games on a weekend. As the league gets bigger that can go up to 16 or 18 games each weekend. More games but the same number of weekends. I don't necessarily see a need for more dates.

    The other competitions might drive a longer season but an increased number of teams in the league won't necessarily do it.
     
    oknazevad, Sal Paradise and jaykoz3 repped this.
  8. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This makes zero sense. If the season stays at 34 games, that's not going to increase the number of dates needed to play those league games. Currently there are 13 games each week. Once the league has 28 and 30 teams that will be 14 and 15 games per week. There won't be a need for more midweek games.

    Now, if the TV partners want more dates and times to broadcast games the league might spread those matches out each week between Friday-Sunday, but the number of matches each week will stay the same.

    As for starting earlier....that's a tough one. Currently Winter has been very gentle in the North East of the US so far. That's not the norm. Quite frankly, being STH for Philly I'd be none too pleased to have home games in February. It's not fun sitting/standing in the stands when the temps are below 45, wind howling, raining/snowing....I'd imagine playing in those conditions is no picnic either....

    Not to mention that the off season is a part of the CBA agreement as well. The CBA determines much more than just min/max salaries, charter flights etc. It spells out the amount of practice time each team can have each week, how much time off players get for the off season, etc.
     
    JasonMa repped this.
  9. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Half of the teams are in cities with warmer winters than Philly.
    DC, 2 in Florida. 3 in Texas, Nashville, Atlanta, 6 on West Coast.
     
  10. jaykoz3

    jaykoz3 Member+

    Dec 25, 2010
    Conshohocken, PA
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You do realize that Philly and DC winters are very similar, and that it actually does snow in Nashville right? Also winters in Seattle and Portland aren't exactly warm....40 and raining isn't ideal weather for spectator sports...

    And by the way...HALF of the league is located in cold areas in Winter.....Philly, DC, NYC, NYR. NER, TFC, MON, RSL, CHI, COL, CBS, FCC, SKC, MNU.....

    Does anyone actually believe that teams would be ok with having extended road trips to start the season due to mother nature? Does anyone actually believe that the "warmer weather" teams would be ok with having extended road trips to END the season to accomodate mother nature???
     
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  11. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Even Dallas winters can be pretty brutal because of the continental climate. Although it's not as consistently cold there, it's often worse than Philly. Don't assume it's warm just because it's farther south.

    Say what you want about games in 100 degree weather in the Dallas summer, I'd rather play in Dallas in August than in February.
     
    oknazevad, sitruc and JasonMa repped this.
  12. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    Sorry, living in San Diego I, probably, shouldn't get involved in winter climate discussions.
     
  13. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This. Anyone who flippantly says its "easy" or "common sense" just to have cold weather teams play in warm weather cities for the first couple of weeks hasn't spent more than 5 seconds thinking about it. While its certainly doable, its not easy, nor is it likely desirable for the league as a whole. In fact I'd venture to say its more likely if we back further into February that the league risks poor attendance and possible games rescheduled by scheduling northern teams at home over having them all on the road for multiple weeks in a row to start the season.
     
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  14. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As I was implying when I mentioned Dallas: the other big problem, even if the league tries to schedule in warmer cities, is that there aren't enough warm-weather cities in the league to do that. Roughly two-thirds of the teams are in cities with colder winter weather than Oslo. Even after adding Austin, Sacramento, and Charlotte, there will still not be enough cities that can consistently host games in February.
     
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  15. Centennial

    Centennial Member+

    Apr 4, 2003
    Centennial
    All I can say is a team like the Rapids that plays in a very dry climate at Altitude in the middle of a continent with no mountains to the north to block weather. A team with their own stadium where they control the scheduling should never ever play a game at night during February or March.
     
  16. Onionrings

    Onionrings Member

    Sep 30, 2016
    Long Island
    Club:
    New York City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With all due respects, why is that so? There's no problem whatsoever with a quote/unquote "warm weather" team playing the 1st 2 matches at home.

    The 1st 3 or 4? Sure. 1st 2? No way bro. A 2 game home stand to open the season doesn't hurt the balance at all.
     
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  17. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    A 2 game home stand for one team for one season isn't a problem. A 2 game home stand for every warm weather team every year is likely going to be a problem for a number of teams (both warm and cold weather ones). Anything more than 2 games is flat out impossible.
     
  18. dspence2311

    dspence2311 Member+

    Oct 14, 2007
    As heat becomes more dangerous in southern cities more often, MLS either has to resist TV money and let southern teams play summer games at night always, or can adjust the schedule to take advantage of weather differences. I can see the attraction of the latter. Climate models predict that in most places you’ll get more of the extremes you already suffer from, so warm places will get warmer and cold places colder. The Texas MLS cities, for example, will more than 100 days a year with highs greater than 100° in the not too distant future.
     
  19. butters59

    butters59 Member+

    Feb 22, 2013
    And as I'm not expert in North East weather I guess you haven't been in Norway in the winter. Slightly colder than Toronto. But they don't play early December-March anyway.
     
  20. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Nov 26, 2000
    Reynoldsburg, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm mostly on your side on this issue. Always have been. But I don't think a 2-gamer is that big of a deal. You would literally have 32 games left in the season to adjust for the start of the season.

    I'm against prolonged road trips OR homestands as a general rule anyway -- regardless of the reason, unless it's absolutely necessary. But scheduling as many games as possible in warmer cities in week 1 and week 2 seems like common sense. After that, you have to roll the dice.
     
  21. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Problem is its not just any 2 game stretch. Its telling the same teams they'll never play at home until week 3 of the season. They'll never host First Kick. They'll never have a home game to benefit from the opening weekend buzz (such as it is). They'll face two road games (which is a disadvantage in MLS) to start the season every year, increasing the odds that they'll start with a hill to climb.

    Now 2 games is borderline, if somehow they could rotate so only 8 of 12 teams do that every year or something, so every third year you get to start at home or something it might work. But a permanent first 2 games on the road for one set of teams? No, that's just a non-starter IMO.
     
  22. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Put it this way. Would those people that support putting the cold-weather teams on the road for the first two games of every season be ok with giving them their last two games at home every season to make up for it? Putting the warm-weather teams on the road for their final two games every year?
     
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  23. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Nov 26, 2000
    Reynoldsburg, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, I wouldn't end the season that way, but for a different reason -- the final weeks of the season tend to be matches against in-Conference opponents to further the playoff drama. Weather isn't the driving factor at that point.
     
  24. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Nov 26, 2000
    Reynoldsburg, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, you rotate it. It's not all the time, and it's not everybody.

    Hell, you could always schedule Colorado or Columbus or New England etc. to host in Week 1, and then have them away in Week 2 and Week 3. There's a three-or-four-week window where you really have to worry about terrible weather at the start. You just have to SHADE toward common sense and caution during that window. You don't have to completely overload.
     
    JasonMa repped this.
  25. Elninho

    Elninho Member+

    Sacramento Republic FC
    United States
    Oct 30, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm talking about coldest days of the year, rather than average monthly temperatures. Dallas typically has lower monthly minimum temperatures than Oslo in the winter.

    By the way, for January and February, Toronto is colder than Oslo by every measure except record high.
     

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