Why no "away-goals" rule in MLS playoffs?

Discussion in 'MLS: General' started by tab5g, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    From reading the following:

    "The aggregate goal format which will be employed at the Conference Semifinal stage for the first time in League history follows the lead of various international competitions, including the Copa Libertadores (annual South American club championship) and the CONCACAF Champions Cup (annual club championship involving teams from CONCACAF). In a fashion similar to those competitions, the team that scores the most goals in the home-and-away series will advance to the Conference Final. If the teams have scored the same number of goals after 180 minutes, a 30-minute golden-goal overtime will be played followed by a penalty kick shootout, if necessary."

    at
    http://www.mlsnet.com/special/mlscup/2003/mlscuppo_format.html

    it appears that there is no weighted away-goals clause for the home-and-away first round playoff series.

    has there every been any reasons given for MLS going with the straight aggregate goals format?

    is there a difference in the 2 game system used in Europe versus the system used in the Americas?
     
  2. Etienne_72772

    Etienne_72772 Member+

    Oct 14, 1999
    It appears that MLS wanted to increase a form of home-field advantage by playing the mini-game at the home of the higher-seeded team, rather than use the away goals rule, which seems to be used in Europe when unseeded teams play each other.
     
  3. NACIONAL

    NACIONAL New Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Medellin, Colombia


    I think that the "away-goals" rule that is implemented in european competitions sucks....

    you looked the inter-milan semis this year in champions league???.... really ugly
     
  4. Revolt

    Revolt Member+

    Jun 16, 1999
    Davis, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Slowly, step-by-step MLS is moving away from Americanized rules to internationally accepted notions of how soccer should be played. I'm not buying into all international-type rules, but MLS is coming along on this.

    IMO, I like the MLS rule a little better (total goal diff rather than away goals) - but I don't think it will make that much a difference. The main thing is that the matchup is a straight two-legged affair rather than a race to 5 pts.
     
  5. cosmosRIP

    cosmosRIP Member

    Jul 22, 2000
    Brooklyn NY
    I would rather the away goals rule than PKs.
    You could have the tie-breakers:
    Total goals
    Overtime
    Away goals
    PKs

    Rather than the European system:
    Total goals
    Away goals
    Overtime
    PKs

    Anything is preferable to PKs.
     
  6. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    That is an interesting way to look at it, but i think it may create a problem where a team with the "Away Goals" lead would alter their tactics during OT if they knew they didn't have to score (or give up) a goal to advance after the OT.

    I don't mind the MLS first round 2 game system at all.
     
  7. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I understand the away goal rule, but have yet to understand why they would use it. I like the MLS set up. Just because that's the way they do it in UEFA, doesn't mean we have to do it that way. Why should an away goal be worth more than a goal at home?
     
  8. SYoshonis

    SYoshonis Member+

    Jun 8, 2000
    Manistee, Michigan
    Club:
    Michigan Bucks
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    We need to remember that the home-and-home system was devised precisely to NEGATE any home-field advantage for European cup ties. Having the total-goals AND wanting to make winning regular season games, and it's only reward, playoff seeding, important are at cross-purposes. I like the Mexican idea of having the first tie-breaker going to the team with the higher seed.
     
  9. aloisius

    aloisius Member

    Jul 5, 2003
    Croatia
    The purpose of the away goal rule in Europe is to stimulate the away team to play attacking football. If away teams that come looking for a 0-0 are not a problem in MLS then you don’t need the rule.
     
  10. Fanaddict

    Fanaddict Member+

    Mar 9, 2000
    streamwood IL USA
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First I don't think the fourth place team deserves a home game and second I hate the away goals rule. You lose 3-2 on the road but win 2-1 at home over a first place team who fought to get home field advantage, makes you deserve to advance,-NO fricken way.
    It is bad enough you play 30 games to eliminate only 2 teams at least give real home field advantage in the first round to the higher seed, it should get the only game. It really makes the regular season a joke when you get such a minor home field advatage as getting to play second game at home.
     
  11. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    Does the aggregate goals rule in MLS playoff adequately stimulate both teams to play attractive attacking soccer at both venues over both legs of the series?

    I sure hope so.
     
  12. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    I am by no means advocating the european weighted away-goals system. but it seems like a good playoff format for unseeded teams.

    but since mls playoffs are seeded, i think the current set-up is satisfactory given that each team getting a home game will increase ticket sales.

    do the lower seeds deserve home games in the playoffs? maybe not.

    do the higher seeds deserve to have the mini-game played at their venue if the 2-game aggregate is tied? certainly.
     
  13. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    would you prefer 6 teams in the playoffs with the conference champs getting a bye into the conf. final at their venue after the 2&3 seeds play home-and-away to get to the conference championship game at the 1-seed?
     
  14. Mglnbea

    Mglnbea Member

    Jun 26, 2001
    Northern California
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    With only ten teams in the league, I think I would prefer that only four teams make the playoffs.
     
  15. Fah Que

    Fah Que Member

    Sep 29, 2000
    LA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I am not a big fan of either Americanizing just for the sake of Americanizing or blindly comform to any international rules.

    I am a fan of adopting rules that makes most sense.
     
  16. NACIONAL

    NACIONAL New Member

    Dec 31, 2001
    Medellin, Colombia
    Why??, I don't see a lot of problems, I prefer PK to overtime after the regulation..., just like we have in our international competitions here in south america....
     
  17. Casper

    Casper Member+

    Mar 30, 2001
    New York
    I think this is the worst tie-breaker of all. At least let the players determine the playoff winner on the field, even if it has to be PKs.
     
  18. Fanaddict

    Fanaddict Member+

    Mar 9, 2000
    streamwood IL USA
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes I would prefer that to the current system. If we went to 6 teams giving a bye in the first round would mean a real advantage to finishing first but I would have only a one game playoff between 2 and 3. I think waiting for a two game series to be finished might make the #1 team too rusty.
     
  19. tab5g

    tab5g Member+

    May 17, 2002
    There actually is some merit to the higher seed winning a tied playoff series.

    Technically, the higher seed did determine it on the field by preforming better during the season.
     
  20. Fanaddict

    Fanaddict Member+

    Mar 9, 2000
    streamwood IL USA
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I totally agree. This is why I'm also against the away goals rule.
    What I like about one game playoffs is both teams have to try to win, it isn't dependant on the score of another game. I hate when one team wins the first game and then tries to play for a tie in the second game.
     
  21. McGinty

    McGinty Member

    Aug 29, 2001
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I understand that the away goals rule is supposed to encourage the away side to attack, but at the same time, I think it dissuades the home team from trying to put the hammer down on the away team. If you're up 2-0 as the home team in the first leg, and the away goals rule is being used, the reward of scoring another goal is not as great as giving up an away goal. I'm glad to see that MLS didn't adopt away goals.

    I wouldn't mind the Mexican system. If anything, as tab5g said, the result was determined on the field during the regular season. Anything to add weight to the regular season is cool with me.

    I also like the idea of having 6 teams in the playoffs with a bye for the top seeds from each division. I'm sure many managers would welcome a chance to rest up players/have another week for injuries to heal.
     
  22. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    IOWA
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree that the away goal rule stinks.

    The Mexican system doesn't seem fair to the underdog.

    The current system takes two weeks. Therefore a team with a bye get two weeks off. I'm not sure that is much of an advantage. I do like the two games as opposed to the best of three - which gives an unknown schedule and mid-week games.
     
  23. Guinho

    Guinho Member+

    May 27, 2001
    San Francisco, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's not supposed to be fair for the underdog!

    I still don't see why MLS fans are so thick they can't wrap their heads around best of three wins.

    G.
     
  24. Fanaddict

    Fanaddict Member+

    Mar 9, 2000
    streamwood IL USA
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The reason the people running MLS doesn't like 2 out of three series is that you don't know if there will be a third game until late leaving little time to sell tickets.
     
  25. dred

    dred Member+

    Nov 7, 2000
    Land of Champions
    I think making regular season games matter more should be the highest priority.

    I think this is the best system, but it could also be extended to a four team ladder by having team 4 play at team 3 midweek for the right to play at team 2 on the weekend.

    This one game would likely be somewhat underattended, but the payoff is that the regular season remains interesting for all fans because every team still has a shot.

    Also, I would favor going back to top 8 league-wide, rather than top 4 from each division, because this increases the playoff positioning factor. LA and Columbus would have been fighting tooth and nail for the final spot.

    Some would argue that we need to do 4 and 4 because of unbalanced schedules, but if you think about it, unbalanced shedules are actually another reason against 4 and 4. This is because in the current system, a team in a strong division gets a double penalty: they require a better record to qualify for the playoffs and they play a more difficult schedule to get there. (I like the Canadian division-switching scheme though).

    So I favor:
    wed#1 Game A: t5 hosts t8
    wed#1 Game B: t6 hosts t7
    sat#1 Game C: t3 hosts Winner B
    sat#1 Game D: t4 hosts Winner A
    sat#2 Game E: t1 hosts Winner D
    sat#2 Game F: t2 hosts Winner C
    sat#3 MLS Cup: Winner E v Winner F

    (t2 would be division winner with weaker record)

    This system would give every team a chance but also make every regular season victory big, as it could mean one fewer playoff obstacle on the path to MLS Cup.

    Also, host teams would have plenty of time to market all of their playoff games (except the wednesday games), and ticket sales would be maximized because each team would get only one home playoff game at most.
     

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