Should MLS use single table to determine its champion when it reaches 18 teams?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by pc4th, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. pc4th

    pc4th New Member

    Jun 14, 2003
    North Poll
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Giving the parity of MLS and the play-off via US OPEN CUP, would it be a good idea to go to single table by the year 201X when MLS has 18 teams (34 games-1 away,1 at home) to determine the champion?

    Soccer would still have playoff via US Open Cup. By 201X when MLS has 18 teams, I imagine it would be a lot bigger and better than today.

    MLS champion: via single table
    US Champion: via playoff

    Playoff are fine for right now, but what happen when MLS reach 16 teams or 18 teams? Should MLS make the switch?
    We could set up something unique/different from the way NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL determine its champion. MLS's way would be more fair. With parity, we can expect at least half the teams to play for the championship in the last month of the regular season or so. For the other half in a playoff system, they would still have nothing to play for anyway (18 teams = 8 playoff spots).
  2. Kevin in Louisiana

    Kevin in Louisiana New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Metairie, LA
    Ideally by the time MLS reaches 16 or 18 teams there will be a promotion/relegation system in place. That will make the bottom of the table interesting. And it's possible there will be competition for a spot in the CONCACAF Champions Cup (in whatever form it may take) and in Copa Libertadores among the teams in the 3rd or 4th spot.
  3. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I might not be against moving to a single table format in the future, but MLS would have to be a very good place for that to happen.
  4. dncm

    dncm Member+

    Apr 22, 2003
    Another question may be - will Major League Soccer STOP at 18 teams - or will it grow like baseball, football, hockey, etc.
  5. Sempuukyaku

    Sempuukyaku Member+

    Apr 30, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's hard for me to say on this issue because while I love single tables, I also think that having two conferences really promotes regional rivalries and whatnot.

    It is possible that you could have two tables, one western conference and one eastern conference, and then at the end of the season the 2 teams at the top of their respective conferences play for the championship.

    Also, I'm hoping that our league grows to 20 teams as opposed to 18.
  6. bunge

    bunge BigSoccer Supporter

    Oct 24, 2000
    I voted yes, but I'm not against a playoff system after that either. I don't want a single table without playoffs and without relegation. That would be boring.
  7. BenC1357

    BenC1357 Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    Single table is definitely the way to go ASAP. Hell by 2005 when Chivas and another team enter we could do it. We'd have 11x3 (33 games). Sure the schedules wouldn't be even on home/away, but they arent even now either. The way I look at it, its pretty simple. Once we hit 12 teams find any and every way to use a single table. While even home/away schedules are nice, they aren't completely necessary. Not to mention getting rid of the playoffs would be a) wonderful and b) help promote the prominance of the USOC.
    Pro/rel just ain't gonna work. Lets get that through our heads.
    Single table can exist without playoffs, people just have to learn to admire a "season" as opposed to 3-4 games when deciding a champion.
  8. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I am going to bring up an old and well worn point, but I don't feel like arguing about it, just getting it out there into the conversation. Single tables, appreciation for the nuances of the game, etc. are great for many of us, but the casual fan stands a good chance of not understanding it, as well as the fact that playoffs are part of the American sporting culture.

    I am all for a possible single table structure in the future, but I think playoffs of some sort must remain, if only for the sake of pop culture's appeasment.
  9. crestuden

    crestuden New Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    Lord no MLS should not go to the single table when they reach 18 teams. Playoffs are an American thing and prove once and for all who is the best. Play a 34 match schedule with every team playing each other twice. Then go to a single elimination tournament with the top 8 teams qualifying for the playoffs.
  10. Chicago1871

    Chicago1871 Member

    Apr 21, 2001
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    They are a cultural icon here.

    No, they prove who is playing the best right then.

    Worst idea ever. A fluke goal and a far worse team can sneak past one of the best.
  11. OtakuFC

    OtakuFC New Member

    Apr 13, 2000
    No. Keep the current two conferences setup and have nine teams in each conference. Each team plays the other eight teams in their conference four times, for a total of 32 games. Then, the top four in each conference go to the playoffs (home-and-home each round, except for the MLS Cup final).
  12. SJJ

    SJJ Member

    Sep 20, 1999
    Royal Oak, MI, USA
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Nice to see the "NO's" leading, 15-13.

    At that point, I would go the other way, and have four divisions. Play most of your games in-division, and one game against teams in the other divisions. *THAT* would create the regional rivalries. The USA is a huge country: playing h+h's overall would just increase your travel costs and player fatigue from the travel.
  13. Cruyff14

    Cruyff14 New Member

    Aug 29, 2000
    One table if there is relagation so there will be a battle at the bottom and at the top. Until then leave it at 2 divisions.
  14. MLS3

    MLS3 Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Pac NW
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This topic comes up every 2 weeks or less...

    as usual, here is the best possible solution and answer...

    Once MLS gets to 14 teams you can go single table...

    so 2006 or 2007...

    26 Week Season
    26 Games
    Each Team; 26 Saturday Games
    *Colorado and Los Angeles Host 4th of July Matches
    Opening Day (1st Sat. in April)
    Season Ends Saturday (Last Sat. in September)
    MLS Cup Final is October 20th (3rd Sat. in October)
    USOC Final is October 27th (4th Sat. in October)

    Other Notes...
    Having divsions or conferences DOES NOT REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS!!! Idiots...This is a league where each team will at least play every other team once (thinking future if we kept divisions, eg 20-24 teams) As of this season San Jose not only traveled to ALL 5 eastern conference teams, they went to Washington and New England single table they only go once (unless we start single table now or when we get to 12 teams which means they could go there 1 or 2 times, which isn't any difference from the schedule with conferences now) People, we really play a schedule CLOSE to a single table, but we have 2 divisions for no reason, travel costs is a cop-out excuse and i'm tired of seeing it...

    Next, get rid of the All-Star Game, and put another game on ABC, they give us 3 a season (as of current TV contract) so that means Season Opener, All-Star Game and MLS Cup...why not give us 3 games that mean something, Season Opener, MLS Cup and US Open Cup...

    Keep OT the same and say your never going to change it, or get rid of it next season, I'm tired of different rules of the game from MLS season to season...

    Keep the Playoffs (top 8 single elimination)
    MLS with a single table would be that...actually I wish MLS would just start to market anything...

    Under all this you get...
    League Champion/Supporters Shield
    (Top of the Table/Regular Season Champion)

    MLS Cup
    (Top 8 teams, Best of the Best, Elite end of the season tourneyment)

    US Open Cup
    (Same format as now, A survival tourney crowing a "US" Champion)

    So its all really like it is now, 3 domestic titles, but its just up to the league and its fans to make it official...

    Again, Divisions in a soccer league DO NOT REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS, In the NFL where you don't play every team it might...

    MLS=Play every other team in the league at least once in the regular season

    NFL=Play 13 out of 31 possible teams during the regular season

    the only thing that makes sense about divisions is that once your above 20 (or around there) teams then you need them, cuz thats when you start to not play every team in the league, or you have more places to go and THEN AND ONLY THEN IT REDUCES TRAVEL COSTS, plus you have teams everywhere and need something to keep it all together...
  15. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Single table in MLS assumes parity will continue in what probably will no longer be SES.

    Do you think small markets will be able to compete w/ the big teams? Will anybody be able to compete w/ NY/NJ (big 'if' that assumes competitive team and profitable franchise), Chicago and LA, all three of which would be in the position to buy a big star or 2?

    UEFA, Champions League and national cups (a la US Open, here) are the de facto playoffs for all ye football purists. I don't see ConCaCaf Champions Cup and even the US Open Cup qualifying to these categories.
  16. Kaiser

    Kaiser New Member

    Nov 12, 2000
    dark side of the moo
    How would it decrease travel cost? Every team still has to play every team any way until you have over 18 teams.
  17. jscott23

    jscott23 Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Jan 24, 2003
    Poway, CA
    Los Angeles Galaxy
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think its great that we are even talking 18 teams. MLS will stand at 12 in 2005 and to get to 16 will be quite an accomplishment. That said, a single table doesn't take into consideration what a big country this is, and how hard/costly it is to travel.

    In an effort to create more regional rivalries/hatred (see LA v. SJ) I think there should be a weighted schedule. Three divisions of six teams, play each team in your division four times and each of the other teams just once. The top two in each division advance along with the next two best teams. You could also give these teams byes into the round of 16 of the Open Cup.

    Playoffs seem to work fine in Mexico, relegation won't fly in this country, so why not create something unique. Hell, we could even create a league cup with group play to start and a knockout phase to finish, running concurrently with the league season and the Open Cup.
  18. MLS3

    MLS3 Member

    Feb 7, 2000
    Pac NW
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Besides always having to point out that Divisions doesn't reduce travel costs....i always have to re-post about rivalries, divisions dont just make imaginary rivalries, years of hatred and more importantly the people involved with the teams, from owners, to front office, to players and mainly the FANS create rivalries...

    and when i posted about this for the first time probably 2 years ago, i also had this to say...

    Single Table (Home and Home or Home and Away, whichever you prefer to say) would increase this is opinion i have nothing to prove this but if you actually think about it...

    Heres two responses to this scenario, one from the "Divisions" camp, one from the Single Table camp...

    Scenario: Your a DC United fan and the much hated MetroStars are coming to town...

    Divisions Scenario: Play each team in your division three, four, five times a season so as a DC United fan you know that you can see the MetroStars anytime you want really...

    Divisions Answer: Ya, I hate the MetroStars, lets all bet tickets, "why dude, they will be here [x] amout of times this season", oh ya, my bad, who cares about this game anyways, its just the regular season, every team pretty much makes the playoffs, and thats when we need to win anyways...

    Single Table Scenario: This will be the ONLY time the much hated MetroStars are coming to town, unless you meet them in either of the cups then this is the only time you can yell and throw beer at Mathis all season

    Single Table Answer: Ya, I hate the MetroStars, lets all get tickets, "Damn, already, we need to get those tickets, its the only time we'll be able to see them unless we travel to jersey", Oh don't worry, we'll be traveling to that game also, I hate this team, I'll be at both of these games, red cards guaranteed, passion, intenstiy, classic matches, history, etc...All because Garber and Co. finally decided to go single table, man what a genious, since we only get to see these teams once at home now its a MUST to be there, just look at the #'s, DC's attendence went from around 15,000 to 20,000 just because of single table...

    Maybe thats going a little far, but you get my idea, if DC Fans only have one game at home to get after the MetroStars they WILL BE THERE...
  19. Wizardscharter

    Wizardscharter New Member

    Jul 25, 2001
    Blue Springs, MO

    Under no circumstances should there ever be a single table. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES! Divisional play and a weighted schedule is simply better. Divisions allow an element of scheduling the best against the best more often. In addition "derbys" can be played 3-4/year.

    The only hole in this not related to some archaic view of tradition or some bought and paid for bogus FIFA standard is that every fan would always like to see every other stud in the league play. I agree in theory, but even now with the best possible scheduling, multiple games, injuries, and Nat games; it just doesn't happen. As more teams enter MLS it will happen less.
  20. crestuden

    crestuden New Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    One of the reasons NCAA basketball and NFL football are so popular is because of the one and done format for the playoffs. Besides if one of the best teams can not score against a far worse team then they didn't deserve to be considered one of the best. Thats why we have playoffs.
  21. diablodelsol

    diablodelsol Member+

    Jan 10, 2001
    New Jersey
    The only way relegation would work in this country (assuming the revenues from promotion would exceed the costs of promotion, something that currently is not the case) is to have geographic conferences in both the 1st and 2nd division and promote/relegate within the conferences. The lower level leagues cannot offord national travel, and could quickly become geographically unbalanced w/ nationwide promotion and relegation.
  22. Roehl Sybing

    Roehl Sybing Guest

    No. Never. Absolutely not.
  23. ojsgillt

    ojsgillt Member

    Feb 27, 2001
    Lee's Summit MO
    Rivalries can not be artifically made, but they can be helped along. You are naturally going to dislike a team more if you play them more often. Who would you dislike more? A team that you lost a 4 game series with or a 2 game series with? The anwer is pure and simple.

    The longer you play the same teams more often the more likely a rivalry will develop.
  24. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well that does it.

    Single table (could start once we reach 16 actually), MLS Cup becomes a "league cup" with top X from single table qualifying, USOC stays as now for the most part.

    Relegation can work (second division can be regionalized and teams placed there based on that, so that's not a problem, see English Conference for example), so can not having playoffs. If playoffs are so awesome then why isn't America flocking to MLS?

    For anyone who says relegation and/or no playoffs can't work, how do you know?

    How do divisions allow better (i.e. top team vs. top team) games? Say you have two divisions, teams 1 & 3 in the east and 2 & 4 in the west. Divisions would mean 1 & 2 never play. That's not good.

    Single table is not a cure all by any means, but in soccer (unlike the 32 team NFL) single table can easily work, so why not try it. What do we have to lose? Not our huge TV ratings or huge crowds.
  25. Absolut Fire

    Absolut Fire Member

    Jul 22, 1999
    Chicago Fire
    A single table with 18 team does not make good business sense for the league. After half way through the season only about 5 teams would have a realistic shot of winning the league and the rest of teams would be playing for nothing. I know with the current system 8 out of the 10 teams make the playoffs there is no suspense wondering if you team is going to make the playoffs or not. But with 18-20 teams and only eight teams making the playoffs, making the playoffs will actually mean something. Yes it is good to dream of an ideal soccer league but single table will only exist if playoffs are still included and religation will not exist for a very very very long time if ever. In the beginning MLS screw up big time with stupid gimmicks like the shoot out and they are slowly excepting world soccer standards like a home-away playoff format. I also believe that they will get rid of overtime either next season or in a couple years after that. These are great improvements but I just don't see how having a single table is going to benefit the league.

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