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The League in 2010


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#1 jl_murtaugh

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:13 PM

I suppose this was inevitable, but good news nonetheless. Part of me thinks the fact the US (and MLS, to some degree) are bidding for the World Cup had a considerable effect on the decision for a complete break. And announcing the next season's opener before the end of this season might indicate more sensitivity to scheduling.

As for the Fire, the prospect of not potentially losing any national team players for a month is certainly an improvement on past WC years.

MLS to Break During Group Play of 2010 FIFA World Cup™
MLS clubs to play each opponent twice in balanced 2010 regular season

NEW YORK (September 16, 2009) – Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced today that for the first time in its history, MLS will not play League games during the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The group phase includes the first 48 games of the 64-game tournament that begins on June 11, 2010 in South Africa. The last MLS game prior to the World Cup will be played on June 10 and MLS will not schedule any additional League games until after the group phase concludes on June 25. MLS does not plan to schedule games on the days of either World Cup Semifinal nor the World Cup Final.

“The decision to stop League play during the group phase of the 2010 FIFA World Cup is part of MLS’ commitment to deepen its connection with the millions of soccer fans in the United States and Canada,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “The World Cup will be a focal point for all MLS fans and several MLS players will compete with their national teams at the tournament.”

The 2010 MLS Regular Season will again see each team play a 30-game regular season, followed by playoffs among eight qualifying teams. The 2010 season will begin with a single game March 25 and will conclude Oct. 24. The MLS Cup Playoffs will culminate in the championship match, MLS Cup 2010, on Nov. 21.

MLS plans to announce each club’s 2010 home opener in the near future. The complete 2010 MLS schedule will be announced early next year.

Philadelphia Union will play their inaugural season in 2010 as the 16th team in Major League Soccer, joining the Eastern Conference. The two eight-team conferences allow, for the first time in MLS history, clubs to play a balanced schedule – facing each of the other 15 teams twice, once at home, once away. As in previous years, the club with the best record at the end of the regular season will win the Supporters’ Shield, and the MLS Cup playoffs will determine the League’s champion.



#2 irishoutsider

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:32 PM

Big fan of the balanced schedule.

#3 joey

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 03:36 PM

Big fan of the balanced schedule.


I'll admit to not knowing as much about sports as a lot of people--but why have two conferences if there is a balanced schedule?

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#4 BenBurton

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:47 PM

I'll admit to not knowing as much about sports as a lot of people--but why have two conferences if there is a balanced schedule?


The only reason is because the league will grow larger than most leagues around the world. Eventually we could have 40+ teams. We could have two balanced schedules.

Personally I think a balanced schedule is a good thing. I can't stand the Supporters' Shield with an unbalance schedule. That said, I don't think a balances schedule is the definition of the sport either. I'm not so disturbed with divisions and conferences.

#5 Saeyddthe

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 04:48 PM

I'll admit to not knowing as much about sports as a lot of people--but why have two conferences if there is a balanced schedule?


There is no real reason, in my opinion.

The only possible reason is to promote "rivalry"...

Either by perception... Constantly viewing the standings by conference...which also leads to a very slightly increased perception that whatever crap team is at the bottom of the table isn't quite so far out of the picture as they really are.

Or through the artificially enhanced odds of meeting a closer team (by proximity) in the playoffs....once again promoting "rivalry".

Other than that, there is no real reason at all to not simply go single table and use straight seeds for the playoffs.

#6 Chicano Fire

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:04 PM

I don't mind the balanced schedule, but i don't understand why people keep asking for single table....i like the playoff system.

#7 jl_murtaugh

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:13 PM

I don't mind the balanced schedule, but i don't understand why people keep asking for single table....i like the playoff system.

Not advocating for single table, but the two aren't mutually exclusive. You can have one set of standings and playoffs.

I think two conferences are fine, considering how things will inevitably get bigger. What I don't want to see (and don't think we will) is micro-divisions of 4-5 teams as in the NFL. East and West and that's about it.

#8 bahns82

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:25 PM

I think I'm missing a connection here, but I know Vancouver joining the Eastern Conference has something to do with my thought.
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#9 BenBurton

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:30 PM

All I know is that it's better than 1999 when we played The Dallas Burn SEVEN TIMES in the regular season and playoffs.

SEVEN.

#10 bahns82

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:40 PM

ok, so the perfectly "balanced" schedule will only exist for one year unless the league ups the number of games we play. once 2011 rolls around it all goes out the window again, but Vancouver still has to go to the East so there isn't a 10 & 8 split between the conferences.
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#11 dabull

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 05:59 PM

ok, so the perfectly "balanced" schedule will only exist for one year unless the league ups the number of games we play. once 2011 rolls around it all goes out the window again, but Vancouver still has to go to the East so there isn't a 10 & 8 split between the conferences.


Umm, I think it might be safe to assume that teams in the 'middle' of the country will be changing conferences so Vancouver or Portland isn't put in the Eastern Conference. Conferences are not set in stone for all eternity.

#12 WolfmanHasNards!

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 06:33 PM

Playoffs can still go on with a single table. Instead of East and West teams they could simply send the best 6. One day I hope to see the overall winner crowned champion with no playoffs. That would be badasssssss.

#13 jl_murtaugh

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 06:52 PM

Umm, I think it might be safe to assume that teams in the 'middle' of the country will be changing conferences so Vancouver or Portland isn't put in the Eastern Conference. Conferences are not set in stone for all eternity.

As of today, I'd bet on KC moving West and Dallas/Houston moving East in 2011. However, if an Eastern team is locked in (Montreal?) before then for 2011/12/13, I could see them simply go with uneven numbers.

#14 Sandinista

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 07:39 PM

I don't mind the balanced schedule, but i don't understand why people keep asking for single table....i like the playoff system.


playoff system negates the regular season to an extent. winning the league (during the regular season) should automatically put you in the mls cup final at the very least.

#15 bahns82

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:21 PM

Umm, I think it might be safe to assume that teams in the 'middle' of the country will be changing conferences so Vancouver or Portland isn't put in the Eastern Conference. Conferences are not set in stone for all eternity.


umm, you're probably right. The projections I have seen placing Vancouver in the East were likely only for hypothetical purposes until MLS decides which team will switch conferences. Shouldn't have interpreted those documents literally, but my mind was jumping all over the place when i first read this thread.
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