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Possible schedule format change for 2019.

Discussion in 'Team News and Rumors' started by 413Blue, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. 413Blue

    413Blue Active Member Seasoned Supporter

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    We've seen rumors that the league and players union may make serious alterations to the CBA this offseason, now we hear the league may change the scheduling format.
    The biggest change in these reports is the single elimination playoff structure which would wrap up before the November international break. Also possibly an earlier start to the season.

    The article is behind a paywall on the Athletic, which I have not committed to yet. If one of the subscribers can post a link and maybe more details. Thanks!
     
  2. sundance

    sundance Regular Member Elite Donor

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    *praise hands*
     
  3. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    They said exactly what you wrote about the playoffs. They will do it by keeping the March start, but playing more mid-week games and allowing more charter flights to satisfy the PA. They think they'll lose attendance numbers, but gain TV ratings. Also, will avoid any conflict with the 2022 WC.

    Also, they want to expand to 14 playoff teams. I don't understand how that works, can someone explain that?
     
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  4. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    Link:

    https://theathletic.com/664327/2018...-regular-season-playoff-schedules-on-the-way/

    The quick version:

    - Playoffs expanding to 7 teams, single elimination format
    - Each team would have 2-3 weekend games moves to weekday to try to condense the schedule
    - Season would run from March-Week before INTL break in November.
    - Season possibly starting in February to decrease the gap in the off-season
     
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  5. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    [​IMG]
     
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  6. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    I like that because it actually makes finishing 1st in the division that much more meaningful. This year would have looked like this:

    ---bye-----------1.NJRB______1.NJRB v
    ---------------------------------------------------------- 1.NJRB v
    4.DCU v________________1. 4/5 winner
    5. CLB

    3. NYCFC v______________3.NYCFC v
    4. PHI
    ----------------------------------------------------------- 2. ATL
    7.MTLv_________________2. ATL
    2.ATL

    We probably get to the same place, but it's a much more fair way to get there, quicker, and really puts emphasis on finishing higher for home matches. Also, a good number of non-MLS fanatics probably don't understand aggregate goals, and playoffs are a time to suck in the new viewers. So single elimination helps simplify it for them and hopefully fall in love with the game.
     
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  7. Ulrich

    Ulrich Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Probably didn’t proof this layout on a phone before posting......
     
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  8. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    Single elimination SHOULD also help increase the overall quality of the games. You won't have teams bunkering for 90 minutes. Should see games played with both tactical brilliance and urgency all at once. Having games like this will help bring in casual viewers as they'll see two desperate teams showing urgency with every pass instead of "Wait so the one team is winning but they are losing because the other team scored more goals at their stadium?"

    Will also put a very large emphasis on finishing first, which should also enhance the regular season. Teams will want to fight to ensure they don't have to travel and get to play at home. Overall, I'm okay with the changes.
     
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  9. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    PC Master Race
     
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  10. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Even as an active fan, a playoff in which the team that wins the final game goes home (as sometimes happens) has never felt right, and has to be off-putting to casual viewers.
     
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  11. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Looks great on my Mac...
     
  12. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    A few more points:
    • The 7 team playoff qualification is expected to hold through league expansion to 28 teams. That would put 50% of teams in the playoffs, after a transition period of more than 50%.
    • Starting in February will not happen in 2019 even if they implement these changes but is a maybe for 2020 and after.
    • One concern is that teams that don't make the playoffs will be off 5 months unless you start the season earlier. That's a lot in soccer and there is worry it will hinder development of younger players.
    • Additional midweek games could lead to raising the cap on charter flights.
    • Currently, 3/4 of teams do not use all 4 allowed charter flights. If you're wondering why it hasn't been raised yet, that's why, I expect.
    • Though attendance suffers, TV partners are happy to move games midweek, which makes me wonder why so few of them are on national TV currently.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
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  13. SoupInNYC

    SoupInNYC Senior Member Elite Donor

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    That is definitely a valid concern, but one that should be able to be mitigated by having teams that don't make it schedule friendlies or something.

    I don't have a ton of time to think through all the possibilities at the moment, but there have to be some somewhat simple solutions for this.
     
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  14. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    I'd like to think that they would either do some sort of pre-season tournament. Similar to the regional stuff that typically goes on, but maybe get more teams involved into more of them to try to draw out the preseason to fill the gap.
     
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  15. Ulrich

    Ulrich Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    The charter flight issue (not every club their allotment) could be due to not knowing if a team will need one in an emergency. Didn’t a club or two this year have an issue with weather delays, or something of that nature, and have to burn a charter to arrive on time? That becomes a bigger problem if a club uses all then needs one in an emergency, kinda like a team saving a sub for the GK.

    Or some clubs’ owners are super cheap and like going steerage.
     
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  16. mgarbowski

    mgarbowski Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    I did consider that. I also wondered if it could be both/and: that clubs save them for emergencies, then use the fact that they weren't used as a reason for not raising the cap.
     
  17. Ulrich

    Ulrich Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Would be nice if it was a league-wide preseason tournament, group-format so all clubs get a minimum threshold of matches before elimination rounds, and add in some sort of parameter to make early (group) matches have quota of youth participation. Award additional GAM and/or cap room and/or charters to final standings (1-8 spots with decreasing amounts?) so there’s incentive to perform and not simply go through motions of preseason trial/error.
     
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  18. Korker

    Korker Junior Member Elite Donor

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    Was actually thinking something along these lines. WC format with regional play. Group teams based off of location to minimize travel, winner of groups move on to single elimination games. Winner gets some sort of reward. TAM/GAM, INTL spot, whatever it is. Run it from week after New Years till week before season starts. Would probably need to do some sort of incentive or something for teams who make MLS cup and have those deep runs so they don't get the short end of the stick.
     
  19. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    I'm thinking this mid-week thing is also an attempt to raise the overall ratings numbers before they re-negotiate the next TV deal. The healthiest leagues in the world get most their money from TV, not gate revenue. This might be MLS' push in that direction. As one of the few on this forum who loves the mid-week games, I fully endorse this avenue.
     
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  20. adam

    adam Senior Member Elite Donor Donor Seasoned Supporter

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    Sounds like the NIT.
     
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