thoughts on possible playoff format change for 2003

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by lufty, Aug 9, 2002.

  1. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
  2. the cup

    the cup Member

    Jul 10, 2002
    Real Salt Lake
    I think this is a great idea. The only thing I wonder about is with some teams sharring stadiums with NFL teams if they could pull it off with NFL dominating the use of the stadiums. I guess we will see.
  3. The Legend

    The Legend New Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Colorado, Where Lege
    As I hear it's being called, the "Valdez Plan"....I like it, another way to tie MLS back to the World Cup, and have more running room at possible playoff dates.
  4. Footer Phooter

    Jul 23, 2000
    Falls Church, VA
    I dunno, doesn't it make the regular season even more useless?
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  6. LMoroney

    LMoroney Member

    Jan 28, 1999
    I love it, and suggested it here a couple of years back too...

    What would be nice is that the top seed in each conf. gets to host all the games, really giving importance to the regular season.

    Or, the top seed hosts 3 games, the 2 seed hosts 2, the 3 seed hosts 1 and the 4 seed gets none.

    Assume the east ended like this:

    1. CLB
    2. DCU
    3. MET
    4. CHI
    5. NER

    Then the 'Pool' would be

    DCU @ CLB
    CHI @ MET

    CHI @ CLB
    MET @ DCU

    MET @ CLB
    CHI @ DCU

    The higher you finish, the more home games you get...

  7. crestuden

    crestuden New Member

    Apr 5, 2001
    The pool format is better than the current first to five format. I still think the one and done format will be the best and eventually adopted by MLS.
  8. BenC1357

    BenC1357 Member

    Feb 23, 2001
    I kinda like the idea, and would totally agree that the higher up sides should get more home games. But still, 8 teams? where the credibility to the regular season?
  9. Sandon Mibut

    Sandon Mibut Member+

    Feb 13, 2001
    I don't like the idea as it negates the regular season completely.

    I think MLS should be doing everything it can to make the regular season as signifigant as possible.

    To that end, I suggest taking only seven teams into the playoffs and giving the Supporters' Shield winner a bye into the second round.

    Doing this would put a great deal of importance on finishing with the first seed in the regular season and as a lateral benefit, make the Shield more presigious. And, it would leave more teams scrambling for the final playoff spot and make that race more compelling.

    I mean, as things currently stand, the Quakes are pretty safe - but not guaranteed - to finish with the 1 seed. But, after that, you've got a mad scramble and 2 bad games could see a team go from 2nd to 8th very quickly. That's basically 6 teams playing like hell to avoid being the one who is the odd man out. (In this scenario, I'm already writing off DC and New England.)
  10. GersMan

    GersMan Member

    May 11, 2000
    So you want to use 28 matches to go from 10 teams to 8 teams, and then put them in a double round-robin format of 6 matches for each side (or will it be single round-robin?)???

    My ideal format with the current number of teams:

    2, 5-team divisions. 26 match season. Have the two division winners play one championship match. Hasn't playoff attendance historically been low?

    perhaps better than a final match is home and away a la the Champions League, so each club's fans have a chance to see their team in the final round. Don't use away goals however as our public doesn't understand it. Go straight to kicks if the aggegate after the second match is even.
  11. lufty

    lufty Member

    Aug 21, 2000
    I like the idea of the having the regular season champions hosting all three games.... The runner up in the division hosting two games, the third place team hosting one and the last (4th) place team hosting 0 games. It makes sense. The top two in each bracket make it to the semi finals... One home game, and one road game, IE a knockout round.

    If this season ended today it would look like this:

    1. NY/NJ
    2. Chicago
    3. Columbus
    4. NE
    5. DC

    1. San Jose
    2. Dallas
    3. LA
    4. KC
    5. Colorado

    Bracket one
    NY/ NJ (3 home games vs. Chicago Columbus and NE)
    Chicago (2 home games vs. Columbus and NE)
    Columbus (1 home game vs. NE)
    NE (0 home games)

    Bracket two
    San Jose (3 home games v. Dallas, LA, and KC)
    Dallas (2 home games v. LA and KC)
    LA (1 home game vs. KC)
    KC (0 Home games)

    Lets say NY/NJ and Chicago advance and San Jose and LA Advance

    Semi Finals:

    NY/NJ @ Chicago
    San Jose @ LA

    Chicago @ NY/NJ
    LA @ San Jose

    This means that the playoffs will consist of only 5 games per team to get to MLS CUP 2003:

    The Two winners on Aggraget will face ff at MLS CuP 2003 in LA

    LA v. Chicago

    one game take it all

    In years past each team could actually play 7 games to win the cup... now it is a defined 6 games, more defined scheduling, and the playoffs would last Wednesday Saturday and Saturday for round one. Round 2 would be commence the following Wednesday saturday and saturday. MLS Cup could occur the following Saturday evening in LAA total of 3 weeks would lapse. In other leaues the playoffs last one to three months... ugh... with the possibility of the team playing an extra 28 games to win the championship. yikes.. longer then the MLS season is.
  12. BenC1357

    BenC1357 Member

    Feb 23, 2001

    One thing (maybe the only thing)a lot of people, including myself, like about the current system is that it doesnt cut off the last team in each conference. it cuts the worst two teams. This is going to allow the last team in the west, Col. right now, to advance and the two worst, DC and NE, to not make it. (if the season ended right now) IF they are going to have 8 teams, they must keep this policy.

    Also, they need to find a good idea and stick with it. Successful leagues dont change their formats every year. They need to get something credible and smart set up, that is adjustable with expansion, and set it for a long time.
  13. Crazy_Quakes_Fan

    Crazy_Quakes_Fan New Member

    Jul 23, 2002
    San Mateo, CA
    It's an interesting idea, and I think it would work. However, I too feel that it would (at this point) make the regular season rather meaningless. But, I really like Lufty's suggestion concerning home field advantage for points leader, it would really give motivation for teams like the Quakes who play very well at home to get the points to earn home field advantage. I wouldn't like having this idea employed though until the league expands to at least twelve teams, but it would work best with sixteen. Until then though, I think Sandon Mibut's suggestion, with seven teams making the playoffs (with the one bye), as being the most viable solution to the ridiculous five point system in place now.
  14. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    I think this is a great idea, especially when coupled with the home-field advantage system suggested on this thread. In addition to the already mentioned advantage of fixing ALL playoff dates ahead of time (thereby allowing for better TV and attendance marketing), it would have the following advantages:

    --Increases the total amount of playoff games to 15, yet still makes each game even more meaningful than in the current system.
    --Decrases the total amount of time for the playoffs to five matchdays, which means there would be no need for weekday playoff matches!
    --If coupled with the home field advantage system laid out on this thread, it actually makes the regular season slightly more important than it currently is (although its still not very important).

    Most importantly, its a cool and creative playoff system. Not only would it be a significant revenue increase for MLS, but it would help MLS to establish a unique identity in the sports landscape.
  15. SoccerTown USA

    Mar 20, 1999
    One negative I see is that you could have one of the last games of the round robin mean absoutely nothing if the 2 teams have already been eliminated.

    Try selling the public on a playoff game that means nothing.
  16. photar74

    photar74 New Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    West Philly
    True, but as long as it doesn't happen in both groups, it should still be OK for TV.

    And hey, some people still go to NIT games.
  17. GreatZar

    GreatZar Member

    Colorado Rapids
    United States
    Mar 29, 1999
    Denver, CO, USA
    Colorado Rapids
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just for my own sake, using the top team in each conference seeded as #1 in each group and then using the best remaining 6, we'd have:

    Group 1:
    #1 seed: Earthquakes
    #2 seed: Wizards
    #3 seed: Galaxy
    #4 seed: Crew

    Group 2:
    #1 seed: MetroStars
    #2 seed: Burn
    #3 seed: Rapids
    #4 seed: Fire

    Quakes and Metro would host 3 games, Wizards and Burn would host 2, and Galaxy and Rapids would host 1 match.

    WONDERFUL idea. Especially compared to the current system (why can't we do it this season?)!

    Supplement this with a publicised Supporters Shield at the first home match for the League Champion ***BY MLS*** and you have a MARVELOUS domestic system.
  18. due time

    due time Member+

    Mar 1, 1999
    Santa Clara
    My take:

    Issue #1) As others have suggested, they cannot make the regular season more irrelevant than it already is. I like the 3,2,1 home game idea. But consider this. If you go to a knockout round and use the league standings to determine home fields: a team MAY win the MLS Cup without ever having a home playoff game! I guess that can happen in NFL also, so maybe not a huge deal.

    Issue #2) round-robin play: I agree there is a mathematical possibility that the third date would be meaningless. But practically, and statistically, that should be a very rare occurance. Of all the point outcomes using the 3 pts for win, 1 for tie system, only one can produce a meaningless third date, that being Teams 1&2 6 pts, Teams 3&4 0 pts. So I don't consider this a huge obsticle. I mean, how significant was the 3rd date for all 8 WC groups - very.

    Issue #3) round-robin play: However, sometimes one of the home teams on the third date will be eliminated and would be only taking the spoiler role. That definately would affect fan interest and is a much more likely scenario. This is a definate negative.

    Issue #4) I don't think they can use exactly, the FIFA rules for determining top 2 places in group play. The very last tie breaker after goal difference and total goals is a coin toss. Imagine what the US press would say about that! Fortunately, MLS could simply stipulate that the last tie-breaker is league placement instead of a coin toss or head-to-head results during league play or such. So this is not a big negative as long as it is considered.

    Issue #5) Making East/West divisions irrelevant. I don't know how you do the round robin and then single elimination without basically completely ignoring the divisional alignments. Firstly, it is likely one division will have more entrants than the other (like this year, probably). Secondly, even if you say pulled the lowest ranking west team into the east group, what do you do for the elimination tournament? 1st and 2nd west play each other and 1st and 2nd east play? It seems to me you would want to swap brackets, 1st West vs 2nd East, and vice versa, so you get new opponents (not one you already faced in group play). Then you can very easily end up with two West or two East finalists. Really, I guess this isn't any different than this years format, is it?

    Issue #6) Locations of elimination games. Basically, I think they would have to give home field to the higher league point getter. As I mentioned earlier, the only negative would be that there is a possibility that a team could win the MLS cup without a home playoff match.

    I have to say that all in all, I like this format much better. For the fans that only really pay attention to WC, then it is very understandable. For people who don't pay attention to WC, well, what can I say; I don't think they will be watching MLS playoffs.

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