Responses to's article about MLS playoffs?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by Wallydrag, Nov 11, 2003.

  1. Wallydrag

    Wallydrag BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 24, 2002
    Oklahoma City
    FC Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Did anyone right in a response to Sean Wheelock's article onthe MLS Post-Season?

    If so what were your ideas? Here's mine.

    I think that the regular season should count for more. In fact, I think it should count for a lot more. Each regular season game should mean something. That’s one of the things that make them so fun and so passionate. It helps motivate the players to play their best game in and game out.

    That’s always been one of the problems with sports like baseball (100+ games a season), NBA and NHL. There are so many games that no one game really matters at all. You could loose a game by a blow-out and think nothing of it because there are 97 games left to play.

    Look at the playoffs right now with LA and San Jose. San Jose has been the dominant team all season, taking care of business while LA has had a stinker of a season and barely made the playoffs. But now it’s a totally new season where the regular season doesn’t seem to count. It was really just a bunch of pre-season practice and now we're in the 1 month out of the 8 month “season” that actually matters.

    If MLS is going to stick to an 8 team playoff, that’s super. Fine with me. But the playoffs should reflect the way the season standings ended.

    I like an opening round, 2-game aggregate with the 4 lowest seeds (I would say seeds 8 v 5, 6 v 7 but conferences prohibit that). The winners go on to a one-game knockout stage with the conference runner-up having home advantage. Winner of that game goes to another one-game knockout with the regular season conference champion having home advantage.

    The winner of that game of course goes on to take on the other post-season conference winner in the MLS Cup final.

    This still maintains a playoff but puts the regular season on the pedestal it should be.

    A question that may be asked is why should the first round be a two-game aggregate instead of the whole post season just a one-game knock out and why is it fair that a team that will have already played twice has to play another game away?

    Well, it’s because it’s a way of helping even-up the second round pairing. Sure the lower see has already played 2 games and the higher see hasn’t played at all and is at home, but the lower seed will already have had that 2 game post-season experience, have had more games to work together and get their legs under them. The higher seed will be a bit rusty from the rest and not synch up on everything necessarily. Same thing with the runner-up playing the next away game at the conference champ should they win. They have the one game already under their belt and are more warmed-up.

    In this system, every team that plays does so only once at home so no one team gets more multiple home advantage games or money from post-season home appearances than the other (though that doesn’t matter with single entity). And the TV money is split amongst the teams equally (single entity again of course, but even if it wasn’t it TV revenue would be split up evenly anyway).

    The post season would still only take 4-5 weeks (you could have the two aggregate games in one week, then each knock-out game once a week with the MLS Cup Final on the last week for a total of 4 or every game could be played only once a week for 5).

    I think this is the best playoff system because it rewards the teams who worked the best, played the best and fought the hardest for the best results during the regular season. The regular season must count for more. That's one of the things that makes college football so fun is that the regular season counts. It’s what makes European Leagues so much fun is that it could come down to the final weekend to see who takes the league. This system is still American in that it’s a playoff but the regular season still matters a lot. And that’s when you get the best play out of people: when the games matter.
  2. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Monroe, Louisiana
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My first response to this article was that I was shocked that neither Wheelock nor his editor (if one exists) let this slip by: " As I've wrote [emphasis added] in the The Postseason Poster child makes his case column..."

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