I love the current playoff format [R]

Discussion in 'MLS: News & Analysis' started by mbar, Nov 7, 2004.

  1. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    If there has to be a playoff in this league, I pray it never changes from the current one. The league for reasons usually hard to fathom, truely does have a significant home field advantage. Thus, the reward of a good regular season usually is enough to get you through the playoffs.

    No one can argue that DC and KC are the leagues two most talented and exciting teams.

    With more teams in the league next year, you are less likely to have mediocre teams in the conference final. (i.e. New England.)

    Let's just accept the format, as there is no perfect one, and move on with our lives...
     
  2. Wallydrag

    Wallydrag BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 24, 2002
    Oklahoma City
    Club:
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Of course had NE won, we might be singing a different tune.

    I think what's more of an outrage than NE being this close from being in the MLS Cup final game after barely squeaking in is why in the hell did they not play the way they did tonight and the other two playoff games during the regular season?

    It's obvious as hell they're able to play good, attacking soccer and be succesful at it. I think I'm more pissed that NE, who's capable of top quality soccer, chose to wait until the playoffs to show what they're capable of doing rather than during the regular season. It wasn't a case of a team that was just getting lucky and playing outside themselves to make it to tonight's came (though I guess one might consider getting the draw that pits your team against a Greg Andruliss-coached team a spot of luck). This was a team that could have (and should have) played like they did over these play-off games during the regular season but didn't.

    This is a good example of why the regular season can be considered a waste. Not because a lower-seeded team almost upset all the higher seeds to advance but that a team decided not to show up to play until the last 4 games of the season when it actually "mattered".
     
  3. TIKY

    TIKY New Member

    Apr 6, 2001
    San Diego
    I totally agree with Wally that the regular season has little meaning. And I also think the whole "Conference Champion" thing is silly. Do I have a solution? Of course not.
     
  4. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    I don't think they chose to do it, I think it was more of a mental block. They let adding Cancela, a very good player, actually hurt them for no better reason than that they (and by "they" I mostly mean Twellman) had an image of how the team's offense was supposed to run that Cancela didn't fit with. I put a lot of it down to coahcing. For the most part, I think Nicol is a poor coach who has gotten himself bailed out.

    That said, he made a good strategic choice in this game. With DCU's main defensive organizer, Ryan Nelsen, out, the Revs chose to go at Ezra Hendrickson. I'm very dubious that they use that game plan if Nelsen plays.

    And it paid off. Twellman had the possibly strike of his MLS career so far, and judging by the public expressions of frustration coming from his quarter during the season, it's a pretty far reach to imply he was saving it up. That's like saying the US was saving it for Mexico during the Poland game.

    It's not my observation that they used this game plan in previous games, nor do I think they ever played this well (I'm not sure the Revs have ever in their history played this well), so I don't think the statement that they "played like they did over these play-off games" is accurate.

    NE took 10 shots on goal in this game. They had taken only 8 in the two previous matches combined, to Columbus's 9. That's not a dramatic departure from how they played the regular season. So I think it's fair to say that if Columbus can hit a PK, we're also not having this discussion.

    Also, of NE's 10 shots on goal, six were in the OT. Previous to that, I think it's still quite fair to say DCU were the better team. Nick Rimando made his first save in the 74th minute.

    Is any of this affected if you switch the location to a neutral site? Very possible. If ever there was a home crowd advantage to be had, this game would be it.

    Leaving that aside, you take one PK away from the Revs (before I indulge in blatant homerism I'll have to check the tape to see if the call was legit) and people say "Good Game, Revs" but no one mistakes them for the better team.
     
  5. Fanaddict

    Fanaddict Member+

    Mar 9, 2000
    streamwood IL USA
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    KC exciting, yeah if you think watching paint dry exciting. They play a horrible defensive style. The only thing that has to be changed in the mLS playoffs is to do away with the first round home and home series and make it one game knockout giving the higher seed a real home field advantage.Did everyone notice the most exciting game the ne-dc game was a game both had to play to win and not play for a tie and hope to win at home.
     
  6. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't agree.

    At least not in their games against my team. They handedly beat us almost everytime. I have no problem with a counter attacking team when it is done sith pace and precision. They are very solid.

    I
     
  7. mbar

    mbar Member+

    Apr 30, 1999
    Los Angeles, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States

    I feel like with more teams in the league, NE wouldn't get the same opportunity as in lthis season to get close to winning.

    I'm a big believer in the supporters shield. I hold Columbus in high esteem for winning what I consider to be at least an equal title to the one that will be handed out next week. But I think we all know that the playoffs are not going away and I truely believe that this playoff format offers the best in home field advantage to the teams that earn it in the regular season.
     
  8. Cweedchop

    Cweedchop Member+

    Mar 6, 2000
    Ellicott City, Md
    As Steve Nicol said last night at the post game news conference when asked specifically why this team is playing so well now as opposed to during the season, he answered quite simply that it was due to injuries and he is absolutely right..

    NE was probably hard hit with injuries more than any other team during the course of the season and they only got their core team together late in the season.. You have to remember that if Joe-Max and Franchino don't get hurt early in the season, you just may not have seen the emergence of Clint Dempsey.. Those injuries paved the way for Clint to get a lot of playing time he probably wouldn't have gotten..

    The Revs have a rock solid team that is capable of playing very good soccer.. I thought the Revs in all honesty deserved to win that game last night..
     
  9. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  10. monster

    monster Member

    Oct 19, 1999
    Hanover, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  11. numerista

    numerista New Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    For what it's worth, I recently took a look at the impact of injuries/call-ups on each MLS team this season ...
    https://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=148744

    You'd be hard-pressed to find any team in MLS history that was as hard-hit by injuries as New England. As I say in the linked post, one thing I like about the current playoff format is that it rewarded the Revs for overcoming that adversity.
     
  12. Sempuukyaku

    Sempuukyaku Member+

    Apr 30, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The current playoff format is fine, and as our league expands and adds more teams it will be even better.
     
  13. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ?!?!?!

    Their ability to hit Arnaud and Wolff with dynamic through balls is fun to watch.
     
  14. crusio

    crusio New Member

    May 10, 2004
    Princeton
    hummmmmmmmmmm No, thanks.. It is terrible format and it needs to be fixed. A run of very good playoff games shows what this league is capable of when there is meaning behind its games. Play games that mean more and we should get a little more of whats been going on in the playoffs. Exciting, passionate soccer played with a sense of urgency. It's been great so far.
     
  15. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    A group phase? You managed to be more impractical that I was when I was being facetious. How do you think you're going to sell the tickets to all those games? And when are you going to schedule them?

    The closest thing we have to a consensus it that lots of people (me among them, but I'm usually not the one that brings it up) seem to like 6 teams in the playoffs, with the 2 and 3 seeds playing each other while the 1 seed gets a bye and awaits the winner. The major posted drawback is an alleged 'rest vs rust' factor. But I think it would take a long off period to get enough 'rust' to set in to compensate for (if nothing else) healing all the bumps and bruises incurred in the course of an MLS season, and in the meantime, a walkover is even easier than home field advantage, no?
     
  16. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The playoff schedule goes as follows: Gameday One = Saturday (or Sunday) after the end of the regular season. Gameday Two = the following Wednesday. Gameday Three = the following Saturday (or Sunday). It's the same every year.

    Gameday One = #4 at #1 and #3 at #2 (in both groups).
    Gameday Two = #3 at #1 and #4 at #2.
    Gameday Three = #2 at#1 and #4 at #3.

    Each team sells tickets to Playoff Game 1 well in advance, and may even include them in their season ticket packages. When they know when they will host that first (and in one case in each group, only) game, they announce it. If they don't make the playoffs, or make the playoffs but don't have a home game, they give a refund or credit or something.

    Those teams that look like they could get at least two home Playoff games can begin selling tickets to their second playoff game in the last few weeks of the regular season. Those teams that clinch one of the two top seeds can begin selling tickets for Game 3 in the last week or two of the season, sooner if they clinch earlier.

    In every sport where they sell playoff tickets, there are some teams that sell tickets to games that they don't in fact have, and they have to give refunds. It isn't that big a deal.

    Really, how hard is this to understand?
     
  17. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes, you do. I have yet to hear a good (i.e., defensible) reason why it isn't.
     
  18. superdave

    superdave Member+

    Jul 14, 1999
    VB, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, I think the most popular playoff proposal in a long-ago poll was an NFL-style knockout...low seeds don't get home matches. It wasn't a majority, IIRC, just a plurality.
     
  19. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    The two aren't mutually exclusive. In fact, the former probably necessitates the latter.
     
  20. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    You can stop right there.
     
  21. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    So, if you do the playoffs in three straight weekends instead, it's all better, or do you just not like to think too much?
     
  22. budalabutt

    budalabutt Red Card

    Nov 4, 2004
    Chi-town

    Yeah at least none of the other DC United fans on here are losers like you negative repping me because I spoke the truth about you having a vagina!!
     
  23. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    You cannot possibly be serious about combining the words "playoffs" and "wednesday." Why don't you throw in "blizzard" as well, for the fun of it?
     
  24. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, if that's the only thing wrong with my plan, I'll amend it, and have the three games in three weekends. Big deal. Is there a nit-picker's Hall Of Fame?
     
  25. Stan Collins

    Stan Collins Member+

    Feb 26, 1999
    Silver Spring, MD
    That's not like that was the list, it was just the one so enormous I couldn't get past it. When you go that wrong, that fast. . .

    Basically, every *real* logistical problem the league has selling playoff tickets is worse in your system. I suppose it addresses some aesthetic critique (though you haven't explained what it is), but only at the cost of more games, more dates to have to find, and a whole lot more uncertainty over where they'll be played. And you're profoundly cavalier about saying "we'll just refund your money" if the team doesn't host as many as it thinks it might. You're not gonna be refunding the money. . . cause they're not gonna be buying all those tickets on spec in the first place.

    That playoff structure you have is enormous and bloated. And to boot, mediocre teams still make it.
     

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