U.S. Open Cup, MLS Cup new format

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by detroitexpress, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. detroitexpress

    detroitexpress New Member

    Oct 24, 2000
    Detroit
    Here's a way to add prestige to the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup, and meaning to the MLS regular season. First, MLS switches to a single table. Top team at the end of the regular season wins the MLS Cup, hands down (no supporter's shield necessary). Top 8 MLS teams advance to the U.S. Open Cup tournament. MLS Seeds 5-8 each play a one-off game against a non-MLS opponent. Winners of those games join MLS seeds 1-4 as the final 8 teams vying for the U.S. Open Cup. A couple of playoff rounds later and you've got your U.S. Open Cup champion.
     
  2. Treetaliano

    Treetaliano Member

    Jun 29, 2002
    San Diego
  3. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    You will probably be flamed to death for this post, but I think it's a good idea, personally. Because of the seeding you still keep interest in the end of season rankings even after someone has clinched the top spot in the table. I believe that with the playoffs the Open Cup will always be at best a secondary tournament and never be as prized as something like the FA Cup or Copa Del Rey. Perhaps when MLS is a 16 or 18 team league there can be two tables and the top team from each table plays a one off "Superbowl" type match, and the top 4 from each table advance to the Open Cup as you suggest.
     
  4. Mad Hattah

    Mad Hattah Member

    Jun 7, 2000
    North Florida
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    you know it's not allowed to think outside of the box...

    i agree with the post right before me, that would make things very interesting towards the end of the season... and make the US Open Cup recieve more attention.
     
  5. Blong

    Blong Member+

    Oct 29, 2002
    Midwest, the real one.
    You see, MLS has nothing to do with the US Open Cup, except that its teams are allowed to play in the competition.
     
  6. MasterShake29

    MasterShake29 Member+

    Oct 28, 2001
    Jersey City, NJ
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    In a few years when MLS is more mature (i.e. not now),

    U.S. Open Cup stays as it is, a cup open to any team in the country. Hopefully with a higher profile.

    MLS goes to pure single table format, top finisher is league champion

    MLS League Cup - top say 12 teams qualify, single elimination post-season tournament. A seperate trophy from the league championship.
     
  7. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    The US Open Cup is run by the US Soccer Federation. They set the rules and run the tournament.

    The MLS regular season champion is awarded the Supporters Shield.

    I don't know why everyone wants us to do things uniquely. A post season tournament to declare a champion works great in Mexico, why must we be different?
     
  8. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    Andy,
    I don't think I fully understand your position. Are you in favor of some kind of change from the status quo or not? Either way MLS is doing things "uniquely."

    Yes, we all recongnize that the US Open is run by USSF, but lets be realistic here. When is the last time a non-MLS team reached the quarters? When is the next time any of you seeing this happen? If the EPL decided that a change was needed for the FA Cup, do you think the FA wouldn't consider it? Bottom line, MLS playoffs make the Open Cup seem like a joke. Why have a playoff based on last season's results when a playoff based on this season's results is going to happen anyway?? In the end, isn't it just a replaying of last years MLS playoffs, only with this year's players? Sounds kind of silly when you put it like that, doesn't it.
     
  9. Kevin in Louisiana

    Kevin in Louisiana New Member

    Feb 7, 2003
    Metairie, LA
    What was the last time an A-league team made it to the quarters? Are you kiddin' me? Rochester won the whole thing in 1999. And this year the quarterfinals featured Wilmington and Seattle.

    With only ten teams in MLS there's plenty of chances to see an A-league team make a good run.

    Personally, I'm in favor of expanding the Open Cup so that more teams play (as opposed to having league matches count as Cup qualifiers) as long as it's financially feasible, and cutting the MLS playoffs to at most four teams.
     
  10. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    His position is deliberately hard to understand, because it's a joke.
     
  11. Green and BLue

    Green and BLue Member+

    Seattle Sounders FC
    Nov 3, 2003
    Republic of Cascadia
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The problem is (well, actually there are myriad problems with your proposal, but I have neither the time nor the interest to disect and examine each one in detail) your plan would postpone the later rounds of the US Open Cup until mid to late fall. This would be problematic for the USL teams participating as their seasons would have concluded at least a month in advance and require USL playres to take extra time off from their other/off-season jobs.

    Furthermore, your plan would put the later rounds of the US Open Cup up against MLB playoffs, NFL and college football, as well as the pre-seasons of the NHL and NBA. Given that MLS playoffs already have a hard enough time competing for public attention in this crowded sporting season, putting the critical rounds of a soccer tournament that draws even less public attention than the MLS playoffs would be ill-advised.

    Speaking of ill-advised, I knew your proposal was greviously flawed the moment you suggest MLS go to a single table.
     
  12. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    I acutally have an idea I've not seen discussed yet. That doesn't mean someone hasn't proposed it, but it's still worth a listen IMHO.

    There is one date on the soccer calendar that is absolutely meaningless, but still gets a lot of hoopla (such that it is for soccer). The MLS All-Star game.

    Is there a way to compress the USOC schedule so that the finals can be held as a doubleheader with the All-Star game?

    You'd get a bigger crowd at a preannounced venue because MLS puts some promotional muscle behind it. The only thing that couldn't happen is having players play in both matches.

    Ideally, the USOC match would be the nightcap, but the All-Star game would draw the crowds.

    Flame Away!

    Sachin
     
  13. Blong

    Blong Member+

    Oct 29, 2002
    Midwest, the real one.
    Well....that's an idea. It would certainly take some synergy b/n MLS and USSF, and by all indications, both would rather see the dentist. The TV stuff would definitely be awkward, but it's an idea good enough to keep around on simmer for a while.
     
  14. Sachin

    Sachin New Member

    Jan 14, 2000
    La Norte
    Club:
    DC United
    Blong, that is the most beautiful sigfile I've ever seen. Brings a tear to my eye.

    Sachin
     
  15. Blong

    Blong Member+

    Oct 29, 2002
    Midwest, the real one.
    More to come. Stay tuned.
     
  16. uclacarlos

    uclacarlos Member+

    Aug 10, 2003
    east coast
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    Nat'l Team:
    Spain
    Also, a single table format is more interesting when there's ascension/descension and tournament qualification at play (UEFA, Champions, Libertadores, etc). These are de facto "playoffs". W/o these "playoff" components, only the teams w/ a possibility to win the championship would take the last 2 months seriously.
     
  17. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    Carlos,
    With the plan that was propossed all teams within a shot of the top 8 will continue playing so they get that bye into the final round of the Cup, so your point doesn't exactly hold water. Yes, a single table whose only point is to determine a regular season championship would result in a meaningless last few weeks. But, a single table where the top X number of teams qualifies for a playoff, or a Cup bye could be quite exciting. Sure, there is no drama at the bottom end of the table, but that can be true with today's system. The Burn were basically out of the playoffs for the last month of the season. They were mathmetically eliminated with 3 games to go, but were reasonably out of it for much longer.
     
  18. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Open Cup and MLS are two different animals. If nothing else, the OC should be more "open" with all (US-based) teams in the top 4 levels having the opportunity to compete. In the lower divisions, league games often double up as OC qualifyers, and a team that gets off to a bad start often gets eliminated early.

    Even if it's done on a regional basis to keep travel costs low, let all Pro Select, D3, and A-League teams play in, to however many rounds it takes to have 22 teams left. If that means giving the A-League a bye for the early rounds, so be it.

    So the 22 survivors are paired up with the 10 MLS clubs, and if an east-west bracket system works for travel costs, fine, but make it a random draw within the brackets, not a clear-cut path where teams will know exactly who (depending on results) their opponent will be the next round.

    I forget who suggested this orignially, but why not play the final at the US Soccer Hall of Fame in Oneonta, NY on Labor Day weekend (or time it with the induction ceremony)? I believe there is a D-3 sized stadium there, which is fine, as long as they can put in temporary stands for the "big event of the year."

    If it means the Cup Semifinals have to be played a month or so ahead of the final (so that the 2 finalists can reschedule their games for Cup Final weekend), so be it.

    Having the Final on a set date and location every year eliminates the embarassing crap that happened this year, when 30 of the Metros closest friends came out on a Wednesday night in Giants Stadium to see a crap game on the carpet.

    Tom
     
  19. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    I guess no one cares to tackle my point that with the current situation the OC is simply the MLS playoffs delayed a season, unless an A League team gets lucky. As long as there are MLS playoffs the OC will always be a side show and be a horrible draw. Doesn't matter if you schedule the thing a month or a year in advance.
     
  20. ToMhIlL

    ToMhIlL Member+

    Feb 18, 1999
    Boxborough, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Um, no. Any domestic Cup tournament, regardless of the format, is always going to be dominated by the better teams in the top division, meaning the top half of MLS in this country. Sure, a crap team like the 2001 Revs or an A-League side will make a run, but most years the final 4 will likely be among the top half of the top division. I don't have the specific data for the English FA Cup, but if someone cares to look it up, you would probably find in the last 5 years the final 8 teams to be, say, 6 of them from the top half of the Premiership on average.

    If your question is "how do we give the Open Cup a higher profile and make it a more appealing tournament," that's one thing, but if your whole premise revolves around the mantra of a single table, you're out of luck, because it isn't ever going to happen in this country.

    For your next trick, why don't you see if you can sell us on the merits of promotion and relegation?

    Tom
     
  21. texgator

    texgator New Member

    Oct 28, 2003
    Plano
    Look up info for the FA cup all you want, but it doesn't matter because....THERE ARE NO PLAYOFFS IN THE TOP FLIGHT!!!!! Can any of you understand what I'm saying here......am I arguing with a brick wall??? I don't care if its single table, dual table, 2 conferences with 4 divisions....none of that matters. As long as there are playoffs in MLS, the OC is repeat of the playoffs from the year before, only with this year's squad. It's pointless, repetitive, and not interesting to anyone other then the two teams involved. Sure, there is the off chance of an A league team or D3 team making a run, and I suppose that would inject some interest. But even if one of the two MLS squads that missed the playoffs last year makes a run into the finals, don't they get the same chance in THIS year's playoffs???


    The national cups in other countries offer up an alternative competition to the league championships, a knock out play off where teams can get lucky and make a run. That contrasts with the league championships that reward teams for consistency over the entire season. Lets say you are a fan of mid table or bottom table premeirship club. You know that you aren't catching Man U or Arsenal in the league table, BUT you always have a shot at getting deep into the FA Cup tourney. None of this is true with MLS, or A League for that matter, they have playoffs too. A team can have a mediocre season and still make a run for the championship, the OC offers an alternative to nothing.
     

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