Let's Figure Out This 30 Team Schedule...

Discussion in 'MLS: Commissioner - You be The Don' started by DannyTRadio, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. SteveUSSF_ref8

    United States
    Oct 25, 2010
    Sun City, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #26 SteveUSSF_ref8, Nov 29, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
    A 38 game schedule is very possible, even necessary, it allows for everyone to play everyone with 30 clubs (even with 32 clubs).

    I am proposing a 13 clubs single elimination tournament. Where the three conference champions receives first round byes. Top three each conference plus next four regardless conference qualify. The Supporter Shield winners is given the easiest path to MLS Cup. See the example below;

    MLS playoff brackets.jpg
     
  2. Mach1

    Mach1 Member

    Jun 27, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Club:
    Atlanta United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With 32 clubs you could take a page out of the NFL playbook for scheduling and staying at 34 games. I'd do two conferences split into 2 divisions, say north and south. 8 clubs in each division.

    14 games - Home and away in your division.

    8 games - One game against the clubs in the other division in your conference, alternating home and away every season.

    8 games - Each division would be assigned to play a division in the opposite conference to play (say, southwest vs. northeast), alternating each year. This would mean clubs in your division would have mostly the same schedule.

    4 games - The last 4 games would be dependent on your standing the previous season. If you placed first in your division, you would play the other first place clubs an additional 4 times. An extra game against the divisions you're already playing (making them a home and home), and a home and home series against the club in the division you're not scheduled against that year. This would hopefully increase the number of games between the better teams every year, which is always a plus.
     
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  3. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With 30 teams, split the league into MLS West and MLS East. 15 teams in each.

    From there, three sub conferences in both league .

    WEST
    Southwest: LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, Austin FC, Houston Dynamo, FC Dallas

    Northwest: Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes, Sacramento Republic

    Central: Real Salt Lake, Colorado Rapids, Sporting Kansas City, Saint Louis, Minnesota United

    EAST
    Midwest: Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, FC Cincinnati, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact

    Northeast: New York Red Bulls, New York City FC, DC United, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution

    Southeast: Atlanta United, Charlotte, Orlando City, Inter Miami, Nashville SC

    Play inside sub conference twice, home/away, 8 games

    Play every team, once, alternating home/away each season, 25 games.

    Total = 33 games.
     
  4. wantmlsphilly

    wantmlsphilly Member+

    Aug 2, 2006
    Philadelphia, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Like everything about this except you'll need one more random game. Just so you can have the same number of home and away games. Call it parity game weekend and just match teams by who finished within your point total but out of your division.
     
  5. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You could make three pairs of divisions so clubs that finished in Xth place play each other twice next season to make 34 games. How would you structure the playoffs? MLS wants more than half of the clubs in the playoffs. You could take 16 like the NBA and NHL. MLS might want more than 16/30ths, but I wouldn't want 18 clubs that had a round only the bottom 4 played in to eliminate 2 make 16, and having 2/3rds of the clubs making the playoffs would be too many.
     
  6. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    This is fine but why bother with the 2 conferences, why not just go with 6 divisions?
     
  7. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #32 Eleven Bravo, Jan 2, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
    So, basically it’s two different leagues that mirror the other... 15 teams. 5 in each sub conference.

    Play each other home/away inside of conference 28 games. Add an extra round of 4 sub conference games to make it 32 games.

    Now, that’s two less games than 34... But what I recommend in its place is to expand the US Open Cup to:

    64 teams of 16 groups of four teams (Note there are 54 teams from MLS to USL-1 if we take away reserve teams). Teams play each other home/away throughout the season to add 6 games on the calendar. So this bumps up the total to 38 games guaranteed.

    The point of expanding the US Open Cup would be to not only help stabilize the lower divisions who would benefit from the marketing but mainly, offer a bridge from the reserve team to the senior team. For example, let’s take Atlanta United as a model. Guys like Brandon Vasquez just weren’t good enough for the senior team but were typically considered for the second team. This keeps the bench options sharp (I.e. play second string keeper) and gives young guys a chance to prove their worth. And, if I were basing a US Open Cup roster on MLS season 2019 for Atlanta United... it might have looked like:
    GK Kann, RB Ambrose (Metcalf) CB Parkhurst (Campbell) CB Pogba LB Bello M6 Adams M8 Hyndman 10 Carleton RW Villalba FW Vasquez LW Pereira (Meram)

    I’d say if we could start the Open Cup in February and then have games in March, April, May, June, July... It’s knockout rounds can finish in August-September. Especially, if those games were limited to group winners and one game, home location based on seeding.
     
  8. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    But as a Colorado fan I want to see some of those Eastern teams once in awhile. I also want to see players I have seen on TV live, such as Martinez from Atlanta. I don't need to see Seattle or Dallas live every year.

    Also I am sure Chicago would like to play St. Louis and Minnesota; and Toronto and Montreal would like to play Vancouver every year. This why I don't like "two league" solutions. 6 divisions is OK though.
     
  9. Eleven Bravo

    Eleven Bravo Member+

    Atlanta United
    United States
    Jul 3, 2004
    SC
    Club:
    Atlanta Silverbacks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It could be play everyone once, alternating home/away every season (29 games), and play inside sub conference again, (4 games) for a total of 33 games.
     
  10. JasonMa

    JasonMa Member+

    Mar 20, 2000
    Arvada, CO
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nobody is going to agree to a schedule where teams have an uneven number of home and away games.
     
  11. KCbus

    KCbus Moderator
    Staff Member

    United States
    Nov 26, 2000
    Reynoldsburg, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I see one of two scenarios happening.

    1.) A three-conference setup (bring back the Central) with ten teams each. 9 opponents within x 2 = 18 matches. 20 opponents outside your conference x 1 = 20 matches. Total of 38. If they wanted to keep it at the current 34, they would pick two teams from each "outside" conference that you wouldn't play in one season, which would of course alternate.

    2.) Two conferences of 15. 14 x 2 = 28, and then very limited play outside your own conference. Pick the number of games in the total schedule, and make the math work from there.

    I'd prefer setup #1, as you get a greater variety of teams you see throughout the year.
     
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  12. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    MLB and the NFL have historical excuses for each team not playing each other, but there's still no reason every MLS team has to play every other MLS team.

    It's not like David Beckham or Thierry Henry or Jack Jewsbury have to go to every MLS town to drum up interest anymore. Tom Brady doesn't go to every NFL town, and they seem to be doing fine.
     
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  13. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    I disagree. The opponent is significant for many fans when picking which games and how many to go to each season.
     
  14. SteveUSSF_ref8

    United States
    Oct 25, 2010
    Sun City, CA
    Club:
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I believe align the league into three conferences of 10 clubs each. Play all teams within the conference twice (home & home) for 18 matches. Play eight clubs in each of the other conferences once for 16 matches for a total of 34 games. This would mean 2 clubs from the other conference would not be played each year. The only other solution would to increase the season to 38 games in order for every club to play each other.
     
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  15. ElNaranja

    ElNaranja Member

    Houston Dynamo
    United States
    Jul 16, 2017
    Meh you rotate so everyone plays everyone in that scenario over a few years. Problem solved.
     
  16. CrankyAvenger

    CrankyAvenger Member

    Minnesota United FC
    United States
    Oct 24, 2019
    #41 CrankyAvenger, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    What about 5 groups of 6 teams each? Play your divisional rivals twice, for 10 matches, and everyone else one, for 24 matches. Total of 34.

    Seed playoffs as follows:
    #1 - supporters' shield
    #2-5 - four other division winners
    #6-11 - six second place teams.

    Top three in each group gets into playoffs; seed group winners as 1-5, second place as 6-10, third as 11-15. #1 sits out the first round, so you have 2 v 15, 3 v 14, 4 v 13, etc. Winners advance, lower seed plays at higher seed through the final.

    My best stab at a geographical grouping would be:
    Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, RSL

    LAFC, LA Galaxy, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Colorado

    Sporting KC, Saint Louis, Minnesota, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati

    Nashville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando, Miami, DC

    Toronto, Montreal, New England, NYCFC, NY Red Bulls, Philadelphia

    Although, maybe you could futz around with it to make the travel miles more equal - have them just be named groups, rather than geographical areas.
     
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  17. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    #42 AlbertCamus, Jan 7, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
    Would work for me. The 6th second place team (only 5 divisions) could be a best of the rest Wild Card.

    Edit: Just one tweek, make one division the 4 California teams plus RSL and Colorado (rivals); make the other western division 3 Cascadia plus 3 Texas.
     
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  18. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I agree that each home game should include an opponent.
    And I get that everyone wanted a part of Zlatan, but post Z Nation is there an MLS player who brings casuals out to a game? People who buy partial season tickets are going to find someone interesting in the schedule, I'd hope, but we're reaching the point in MLS where the overwhelming main draw is the home team, aren't we?
    At 30, playing 29 other teams negates the importance of a division, but the league still pulls playoff sides by division. No matter how you structure a league at and after that point, you're going to end up with calls of inequity in determining playoffs participants if everyone has to play everyone. The way around it is either a lot more matches, say an additional 9 (everyone once, division foes 2x) or smaller and smaller divisions as MLS grow to 32, then 34 then 36. (6 of five, then 8 of four, uneven, and finally 12 of 3 and increase the season to 38 matches).
    What seems to make the most sense is embracing the relative isolation of 15, then 16 to 18 teams conferences, with the playoffs hyped as the only way to know the answer of who is better (aside from a diminishing number of interconference games).
     
  19. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    A player who brings casuals out to the game? Maybe not currently but they will exist in again in the future. And I don't agree that the home team is always the main draw, depends on the team, season, and market. And many "casuals" are soccer fans, but of European clubs, and never go to live games. A player gets them out.
    I agree that it may no longer be practical or possible to play everyone, but I'd rather play more than less teams, and over period of multiple seasons I'd like to see every team.
    I disagree. I want a chance to see a great team or player, even if I have to wait a few years.
     
  20. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I get the sense that as a Rapids fan you don't have a lot of faith that great player/team will be showing up every home match at the Dick?
    I actually agree as a fan. I do like seeing different clubs. But what's truly fair in playoff qualifications (and for a supporters shield, though in my system there should be two) is that competing clubs really should be playing the same sides, and in the same manner. It doens't quite work if SKC beats the Rapids to a playoff spot by a point or two if the reality is that SKC's three missed opponents were Atlanta, NYCFC and Toronto, while the Rapids missed out on Nashville, Cinci and Montreal (based on 2019 form, no insult intended). There the potential for a built in 18 point swing in an uneven schedule such as what they're trotting out this year. There's also in issue at 30 teams of only playing in conference sides once, so if in that same year SKC gets LAFC and Seattle at home, while Colorado gets them on the road, or twice, etc.
    At 30 clubs, you'd play 28 games against conference foes, so six interconference (which would have to be scored differently for playoff purposes, maybe as tie breakers). At 32, your be down to 4 such matches. At 36, zero.
     
  21. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There wouldn't have to be a best of the rest. He said 6-11 instead of 6-10, but he had a 15 club playoff with all clubs third or better in and all clubs second or better out. If you have 5 divisions that each qualify 3 clubs, it is unlikely that those 15 clubs will have the highest point totals, and fans of fourth place clubs will say they're better than some playoff clubs. Furthermore, a club could enter Decision Day in fourth and eliminated, but if the playoff clubs were chosen differently, the club could be in playoff position or have a chance to move up. I would take the top 2 from each division and make the other 5 be the best of 5 of the 10 third and fourth place clubs ranked single table.

    I don't know of a league that ever had five divisions, but it lets every club play every other club and has a balanced schedule within each division. To determine which club hosts games against other divisions, each division could have three "A" clubs and three "B" clubs. The A or B designation wouldn't need to be shown in the standings, but it would who each club hosts and goes to. For example, 1A could host 2A, 3A, 4B, and 5B; and go to 2B, 3B, 4A, and 5A. 1B and 1A would host opposite clubs. That could help every club go to most areas every year. For example, by making one of NYRB and NYCFC be A and the other be B, every club in the other divisions would host one of them and go to one of them. It wouldn't work perfectly because of clubs who aren't near other clubs.
     
  22. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    As for playoff ramifications, we should note that being away in MLS is a bigger disadvantage than it is in other, tiny nation, leagues. More travel, more vairance in climate, lack of charters, and probably some other stuff makes the US-Canada league tough on the roadsters. The league average in 2019 for difference in home versus away point per match was .81, with only Cinci breaking even on the two fronts, and that was in part because they sucked both home and away.
    So to avoid the inevitable whinging by the clubs your system would have to have division 1 play divisions 2 and 3 only at home, while divisions 4 and 5 only on the road. etc
    Of course, the whole thing falls apart when MLS adds another two clubs.
     
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  23. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member+

    Manchester United
    United States
    Mar 30, 2004
    Nassau County, NY
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think it would be strange if all games between teams on coasts were in the east one year and in the west another year. If you're coming from California, is there a big difference in time or difficulty flying to Boston/Providence (whichever to go to New England), New York, Philadelphia, and D.C. As a Red Bulls fan, if there was a northwest division with Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, San Jose, and Real Salt Lake, if the Red Bulls hosted three and went to three, why should I care who the Red Bulls host and why should I care if NYCFC hosts the opposite three? If Seattle (or any of the group) had a star who was great for attendance, it would be good to host that club, but only thinking about travel and the points per game difference between being home and away, why does it matter? What I didn't propose and what would be unfair would be unequal travel within divisions. For example, it would be unfair if the Red Bulls had to go to all six of those clubs while NYCFC went to Minnesota, Kansas City, Denver, Austin, Dallas, and Houston that are not as far away.
     
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  24. mschofield

    mschofield Member+

    May 16, 2000
    Berlin
    Club:
    Union Berlin
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Red Bulls fans would care if they travelled to play LAFC. Seattle and Portland, but hosted San Jose, Vanc and Sacramento, while with NYCFC it was flipped, because if those matches all counted the same for playoff purposes, it would (based on 2019 form) have been an advantage for NYCFC
     
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  25. AlbertCamus

    AlbertCamus Member+

    Colorado Rapids
    Sep 2, 2005
    Colorado, USA
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    I think people worry too much about scheduling total fairness. It never gets achieved anyway - one team plays an opponent when certain guys are injured, another does not. Even this year, when every team does not play 3 teams in the league, does that make the SS shield or even the play-offs races unfair? I guess so, but, so can opponent injuries, travel differences, weather and coach firings. It is what it is, and it's only sports.

    LA Galaxy should host half the teams in one a certain Eastern division and LA Galaxy should host the other half. Same for NYCFC and RedBulls, that just makes sense for attendance purposes.
     
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