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Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by Eleven Bravo, Jun 8, 2018.
Well that’s a simple solution... just add on a chance for them to be in the qualifiers.
So, let’s say expansion stopped today (although I know it won’t nor advocate for such), this would be the US Open Cup revamp I would argue for...
Los Angeles FC
San Jose Earthquakes
Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City
Oklahoma City Energy
San Antonio FC
New Mexico United
El Paso Locomotive
Las Vegas Lights
San Diego Loyal SC
Orlando City SC
New York City FC
New York Red Bulls
New England Revolution
Birmingham Legion FC
Tampa Bay Rowdies
North Carolina FC
Chattanooga Red Wolves
South Georgia Tormenta
Louisville City FC
Each conference has 8 groups of 4 teams.
Birmingham Legion FC
Couple of things.
Where is St. Louis? they were they longest lasting USL-C side last year, if memory serves.
Do you mean one team from each of your four seeds (Pots?) You have Columbus and Birmingham both from Seed 2 East in the same group.
Otherwise, works for me.
yeah, that’s an oversight on my part. But you get the general idea.
Main thing I would like to see is an additional 3 or 6 games a season for players to integrate their young bucks into the senior squad. In a sense, the natural profession goes...
Academy > Reserves > Open Cup > Senior Team.
I don't even know where to begin.
First, the Open Cup is a single elimination knockout tournament. Not a group stage. This would completely alter/transform a tournament with a lot of history.
Second, don't professional clubs have enough matches to play without having to deal with a round-robin that includes trips to minor-league parks?
Third, group stages largely suck. Who's going to get interested in USOC group stage matchday 1 or 2 in the middle of an already crowded MLS schedule?
Fourth, one of the benefits/appeals of Cup play is that the lower-level teams can occasionally make runs. This is made a lot more difficult when those lesser teams have to survive six-match groups as opposed to winning single matches. Upsets are a lot more likely in one-off play.
And fifth, I don't know if this forum is even the right place for this, as MLS doesn't organize the USOC; USSF does.
I don't like group stages in cups. Single round-robin would be better than double round-robin, but either clubs would have unequal amounts of home games or there would have to be neutral site games. One way to have group stages without making MLS clubs go to lower level clubs would be to have two tiers like the 2019 CONCACAF U-17 Championship had. The top 16 did not go through qualifying. They were drawn in 4 groups of 4, and the top 3 in each group advanced to the Round of 16. The other 19 teams played in 4 groups of 4 or 5, with the winners going to the Round of 16 and facing winners from the groups with the top teams. Here is how that could be implemented in 2020, which will have 23 American MLS clubs:
Top tier group stage: 5 groups of 4 and 1 group of 3 play single round-robin groups. Clubs could be ranked by the MLS season to give 10 clubs 2 games at home and 1 game away and 10 clubs 1 game at home and 2 away. I don't want each game to be hosted by the better club from the previous season because I want every club to host. One way to decide hosts would be 1 hosts 2, 1 hosts 4, 2 hosts 3, 2 hosts 4, 3 hosts 1, and 4 hosts 3. Clubs in the group of 3 would have 1 home and 1 away game. The top 2 in each group would make 12 clubs in the Round of 16. Lower level clubs could play knockouts to get down to 16 followed by a group stage with 4 single round-robin groups of 4 that advanced the winners to the Round of 16. I'm not recommending two tiers. I'm just saying how it could be done. It might be impossible because lower level clubs would need at least two rounds before the group stage, so they would need five games before the Round of 16, which might make them start too early to have college players.
Another way to have group stages would be for leagues to take breaks to have groups at neutral sites. For example, MLS clubs could go weekend MLS game-midweek off-weekend Group Stage Game 1-midweek Group Stage Game 2-weekend Group Stage Game 3-midweek off-weekend MLS game. Clubs would bring their best players to three games at the same site, and there wouldn't be games in midweeks between MLS games. The downside is that two weekends would be unavailable for MLS, so MLS would need more weeks, more midweek games, or fewer games to make up for it. Many fans like clubs and complain about FIFA breaks, and people like would probably not like a USOC break.
If not here, U.S. Open Cup proposals should go in Soccer in the USA. They should be allowed somewhere.
On the fifth, I’d say it’s getting nit picky to say it’s not the right forum. This directly impacts MLS and they would be the driving horse on this matter.
That said, I think what needs to be weighed are the pros/cons...
Games? Okay so currently it’s 34 league games. The Open Cup added 5 games to Atlanta United season. So, I think so long as we don’t cross 40 then it’s doable.
Consider, we are at 30 teams. I’d say break the league into 6 sub conferences, 3 each in West/East. Play home/away in each conference (8 games). Play all other teams, alternating home/away each season (25 games). Now, we are at starting point of 33 games. That’s one less league game. Nothing too extreme but it puts one more game on the table.
Now, there’s a lot of ways to structure this tournament. First off, there are roughly 54 independently operated teams through MLS, USLC, USL1. All rest could qualify into a wild card spot through some sort of knockout round. Probably the easiest thing to do is have 10 open slots to make it 64 teams. OR, things could be a little tougher, requiring a knockout round for USL1 teams, and limiting the group stage to 48 teams (16 groups of 3 teams). Let’s say, we go with the 48 team tournament. Teams play 4 games, home/away, (37 games). Winner of group advances to round of 16.
From there, do single round elimination, home field advantage based on highest ranked team? However you want to figure it? That’s 4 games for teams who reach the final. One more than 40 and two more than what Atlanta United played last year.... I’d say that’s still in the realm of doable.
On stadiums, I think that’s a complete non-factor, IMO.
Lastly, let’s look at the most important thing: integrating new players into the senior team. England has both the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup. It’s pretty evident that players emerge from these tournaments. Now, these are also typically single-elimination, but I contest that these leagues are missing out on an opportunity MLS should jump on. Especially, because of how DP’s have a stranglehold on team’s offenses. This allows players to introduce attacking players who are growing up in a team’s academy and prove their worth. It’s hard to prove worth in one game. Four games stretched over time... people begin to take notice.
Ultimately, this seems a way to bridge the gap between MLS and the reserves. And this is why this is so important. We need ways to get young players chances. There are some clubs that are willing to play their kids. Meanwhile, other clubs are outright resistant to it. I want to see every MLS team have a solid pathway to the senior level.
Atlanta United, example
February vs Charlotte
April @ Greenville Triumph
May @ Charleston Battery
June vs North Carolina FC
July vs Birmingham Legion FC
Lamar Hunt League Squad
M6 Larentowicz (CPT)
LW Luiz Fernando
Bench: Moore (GK), Jadama, Bashti, Wyke, Vint, Conway
Give these guys 6 extra games this season (+playoffs), ideally spaced out 1x month, (although some could be scheduled during summer break) to prove they belong with the senior team.
On scheduling, I’d try to schedule all LHL games during international windows.
So, you think 36 year old Larentowicz is sitting around thinking, what I need are another six games in the schedule?
Replace him with Remedi, an Atlanta United 2, or one of the new midfielders Atlanta will need to purchase soon.