Ramblings of a Soccer Junky
Friday, August 26, 2005
  What's the Spanish word for "Calvary?"
So, we've established that Chivas underestimated MLS when they created the squad for LA Latinos. So now, the long promised reinforcements have arrived. I'm actually glad about this. Of course, the fact that the other LA team has already won 5 of 5 from them helps matters there.

What bothers me is, what if Chivas de LA win the MLS Cup this season? It can happen. They've brought in enough 'star' talent that if they got hot right now (more than 2/3rds into the season) they could sneak into the playoffs and...well, anything is possible there.

I know I've complained for a long time that most of the regular season is meaningless. In order to win the EPL, the champion has usually only lost a handful of games all season...in the case of Arsenal a couple of years ago, it was exactly zero--though they did slip up in the Cups.

Right now, San Jose has 4 losses. With 7 matches left, that's respectable and though they don't have the most points (NE have one more but with one more loss) they would make worthy--can't believe I just used that word--champions. But with the regular season almost over, all 12 teams can still mathematically win the MLS Cup.

Perhaps one of the reasons the Open Cup hasn't caught on in this country is because it too closely resembles the playoffs. After all, attendance drops off for the playoffs as well. The league is so focused on selling tickets to youth groups during the regular season, they seem to forget the other competitions.

(It's it funny how this started off as a blog about Chivas' new players and has ended up being a rant about the league structure? I guess that's why my blog has it's title.)

Well, as I'm on the topic, Mr. Garber, here's my wise list. As you are determined to create a league with 30+ teams...here's a structure that should meet your requirements and make since (yeah, that would be a first)

So, let's have two conferences. Teams in each conference will focus on games against their own conference. However, I'm sure you'll want a "Freddie Tour" so I guess each team will have to play against a home and home against every other team...wait, that won't work either or it'll be a 60 game meaningless season. So, each team in each conference plays each team twice. Then, the champ from each conference plays each other in a home and home series for the MLS Cup. Or are you already thinking about that? You did mention a few weeks ago to expect a change in the playoff format. But I'm sure you're still hell bent on the single game final.

Of course, the Open Cup stays as it is cuz it already works.

But in the mean time, let's see how close Chivas gets to the playoffs.
How many times has the team with the best record won the MLS Cup?

I see the correlation in baseball as well. in the last few years, the wild card teams a disproportionate world series wins because you only need two hot pitchers to win it rather the 4-5 good pitchers. A strong four man rotation will win the league but two aces will win the series.

In the MLS, a hot striker and solid defence can nick it. In the season a win and a loss is more valuable than two draws but in the playoffs, two draws will get you to extra time or a shootout which may not favour the "better" team.
I like the MLS playoffs and Cup game as an exciting event. Fewer teams in there would be nice. Or we could just put more emphasis on the Supporters' Shield, which is a far more impressive feat than winning the MLS Cup.

We don't have to get rid of the Cup playoffs, but offer incentives for teams to win as much silverware as possible, starting with that Shield, then the MLS Cup, followed by perhaps the Open Cup in importance.
I live for the day that the USSF actually puts some muscle behind marketing the USOC. The cup concept is challenging to describe to American soccer fans, and by spending just a little bit, the USSF could raise the profile of the Cup a ton.
That's where the problem is. MLS/USSF has attempted to 'dumb down' the sport and not just let it stand on it's own merits.
this format works for March Madness in college basketball which proves it can work in this country. everyone loves to see the Gonzagas, Vermonts, Cal State Fullertons put one over on the big guys.
C'mon Daz...no one cares about Cal State Fullerton. ;)
Right, but in the NCAA tournament, they don't let 75% of the Division I schools into the tournament.
but they do let 75% of the ACC, Big 10, Big East and SEC teams in.

pz, i thought you like the CSUF mention.
It's the wrong CSUF. ;)
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An American who fell in love with soccer while living in Europe.

Location: Hoosierville, IN, United States
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