2020 Schedule Thread

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Gotham Gator

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I don't think this waters down the value of the Supporters' Shield as much as some may imagine. Even some schedule imbalance has much less of an effect than the randomness inherent in a single elimination tournament.

The Supporters' Shield will be a good, but imperfect, test of which team is best over the course of a season. MLS Cup will be more fun to follow and more prestigious, but less informative of real quality. Not much different than they both have been.
 
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Fantazma

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I don't think this waters down the value of the Supporters' Shield as much as some may imagine. Even some schedule imbalance has much less of an effect than the randomness inherent in a single elimination tournament.

The Supporters' Shield will be a good, but imperfect, test of which team is best over the course of a season. MLS Cup will be more fun to follow and more prestigious, but less informative of real quality. Not much different than they both have been.
i never liked the shield, but how can it still stand as valid when say LAFC may not even play the best teams in the other conference ( for example they dont play Philly and ATL and NYCFC) last year, can they really be held as the best performer in the league when those around them in table didnt even play each other? if its to measure who is the best team of the season cant, PPG or some new analytic essentially serve the same purpose?
 

Gotham Gator

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i never liked the shield, but how can it still stand as valid when say LAFC may not even play the best teams in the other conference ( for example they dont play Philly and ATL and NYCFC) last year, can they really be held as the best performer in the league when those around them in table didnt even play each other? if its to measure who is the best team of the season cant, PPG or some new analytic essentially serve the same purpose?
I am not saying it will be perfect. I think it will be a better test than people think, and it will certainly be a fairer test than a single-elimination tournament.

Even with 3 teams missing from each team's schedule, the schedules will have a lot more in common than not. I don't expect that the different schedules would account for more than a point or two of difference, particularly among teams at the top of the standings, which tend to win most of their games anyway.
 

mgarbowski

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I feel like I'm probably in the minority in not thinking this is a big deal. Yeah, this waters down Supporter's Shield, but that was already known to not be the top objective. So it's still important, but MLS Cup is still the most important, and seeding within your own conference is a huge factor to that. The one thing about that, with an unbalanced schedule, is I think I'd like seeding for the playoffs to be based on "Conference Points" instead of total points. It'd really suck if NYCFC finished 2nd in the East by a point because we had to play LAFC while Atlanta got to play Colorado.

I would imagine divisions are in the future for MLS, but not until there are more teams actually playing.
I don't like it but agree it's not a big deal.
And the people saying this delegitimizes the Shield never liked the Shield anyway. People don't like the shield, that's fine. But telling me that a 34 game schedule is illegitimate for crowning a champion because not everyone plays the exact same schedule while exalting a Cup you can acquire with a 3-game winning streak in a tournament where everyone also has a different schedule is an insult to intelligence and discourse. The MLS Cup is like money: it is important because everyone has decided it is valuable. Trying to justify it with logic is counter productive.
 

Shwafta

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In terms of the Support Shield thing, everyone complaining about the "Fair test bc you are missing three teams" - you are all forgetting that home-and-home intraconference and one game interconference is just as bad of a measurement. What happens if all the good teams are in the west, and NYCFC, say, is the only good team in the east? That means NYCFC could win all 22 games in the East because everyone else sucks... But a team in the western conference would have a much harder time because they're playing teams on their level more often.
 

sbrylski

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the issue with that is that not every team will be in the leagues cup ( some CCL others in neither). so i dont think it evens it out. Plus keep in mind the US open cup, i dont think there is a need to extend the leagues cup to more games ( honestly its not needed from the start but thats another issue). plus i dont like mixing tournaments because the league cup wins wont count towards a regular season point anyway.
You just expand the Leagues Cup to include everyone. Sounds like you already don't like the Leagues Cup so you'll pan any option along those lines.

Spring/Summer: MLS Conference Play, US Open Cup, Champions League

Summer/Fall: MLS Conference Play, Leagues Cup (Interleague Play)

Fall: MLS Cup Tournament
 

sbrylski

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In terms of the Support Shield thing, everyone complaining about the "Fair test bc you are missing three teams" - you are all forgetting that home-and-home intraconference and one game interconference is just as bad of a measurement. What happens if all the good teams are in the west, and NYCFC, say, is the only good team in the east? That means NYCFC could win all 22 games in the East because everyone else sucks... But a team in the western conference would have a much harder time because they're playing teams on their level more often.
Yeah lol, the balanced schedule ship sailed a long time ago a significantly further distance than these 3 games that are now dropped from the schedule.

Last year we played 22 of the same games as LAFC, plus one against them. This year we will play 18 of the same games, plus one against them, or 20 of the same games if we don't play each other. If this is your threshold for when the Shield loses its integrity, it's very arbitrary.
 

SoupInNYC

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Yeah lol, the balanced schedule ship sailed a long time ago a significantly further distance than these 3 games that are now dropped from the schedule.

Last year we played 22 of the same games as LAFC, plus one against them. This year we will play 18 of the same games, plus one against them, or 20 of the same games if we don't play each other. If this is your threshold for when the Shield loses its integrity, it's very arbitrary.
And there wasn't as much of a deal made about this when previous schedules had certain teams from the same conference playing each other 3 times, other teams in its conference twice, and then out of conference teams once.
 

mgarbowski

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Yeah lol, the balanced schedule ship sailed a long time ago a significantly further distance than these 3 games that are now dropped from the schedule.

Last year we played 22 of the same games as LAFC, plus one against them. This year we will play 18 of the same games, plus one against them, or 20 of the same games if we don't play each other. If this is your threshold for when the Shield loses its integrity, it's very arbitrary.
And there wasn't as much of a deal made about this when previous schedules had certain teams from the same conference playing each other 3 times, other teams in its conference twice, and then out of conference teams once.
There is no way to parse out the argument that the Shield is illegitimate, unfair, or cannot properly pick the best team, and have it make sense. As these points show, the closer you look the less rational the argument gets. The biggest benefits of a tournament over the regular season are that it keeps the winner from being decided with several games remaining, and that the winner actually wins a game and the cup at the same time. It feels just a little off when a league winner clinches on a weekend when it drops points. Or even if it clinches on a Saturday and then plays a meaningless game Sunday. And it's even worse when they go on a bit of a downward spiral for multiple games after clinching. Tournaments avoid all that and are excellent reasons for preferring the Cup. It's even better now that they got rid of 2-game sets where a team can "win the second game" (even though it's not really a regular game) yet lose. It's good to have success and emotional resonance aligned like that. But one thing the tournament most assuredly does not have more than the regular season, however, is fairness, or legitimacy, or any certainty that the best team wins. For all its flaws, the Shield is more likely to go to the best team than the Cup is.

Me, I like both the Shield and the Cup and recognize the Cup is more important.
 

FredMertz

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I feel like I'm probably in the minority in not thinking this is a big deal. Yeah, this waters down Supporter's Shield, but that was already known to not be the top objective. So it's still important, but MLS Cup is still the most important, and seeding within your own conference is a huge factor to that. The one thing about that, with an unbalanced schedule, is I think I'd like seeding for the playoffs to be based on "Conference Points" instead of total points. It'd really suck if NYCFC finished 2nd in the East by a point because we had to play LAFC while Atlanta got to play Colorado.

I would imagine divisions are in the future for MLS, but not until there are more teams actually playing.
So play inter conference games, but just don’t count them for anything?
 

Fantazma

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You just expand the Leagues Cup to include everyone. Sounds like you already don't like the Leagues Cup so you'll pan any option along those lines.

Spring/Summer: MLS Conference Play, US Open Cup, Champions League

Summer/Fall: MLS Conference Play, Leagues Cup (Interleague Play)

Fall: MLS Cup Tournament
people already have problems following two tournaments at once ( MLS cup/ US open cup) breaking it up into apertura/clausura type tournaments will further confuse and kill the vibe and marketing of the whole thing especially a country not used to this type of format.

again well see, but i dont like where this is going.
 

Fantazma

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I am not saying it will be perfect. I think it will be a better test than people think, and it will certainly be a fairer test than a single-elimination tournament.

Even with 3 teams missing from each team's schedule, the schedules will have a lot more in common than not. I don't expect that the different schedules would account for more than a point or two of difference, particularly among teams at the top of the standings, which tend to win most of their games anyway.

fair but imo if the "essence" of the shield is to have the best regular season team you need to play all of the teams at least once. or else its going to be just for whoever took advantage of their schedule the best since they not playing everyone, kinda of how it is now. therefore it shouldn't even be awarded. power rankings or PPG can give you a idea of where teams stand during season or at end of season.

if all it gives you is a plate and doesnt make you champion its not worth having anymore (even worse now that you dont play everyone). they still can give the bye to top seed each conference, and the CCL spot too. no need for hoopla about SS.

EDIT: I mean tell RB fans how they feel about them 3 shields, a good chunk of them want a cup. Armas won the shield ( basically finishing jesses work) and they still want a cup and want him gone as if the shield didnt matter at all ( it doesnt).
 

SoupInNYC

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So play inter conference games, but just don’t count them for anything?
Yeah, perhaps exactly what I put out there isn't all that great, didn't really think through it too much. And when you point that out, I really see the big gaping hole in what I laid out, haha.

I guess where I was going in my head was to somehow prioritize the inter-conference games when determining conference seeding. But perhaps how that should be applied is inter-conference points used as the first tie-breaker.
 
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sbrylski

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people already have problems following two tournaments at once ( MLS cup/ US open cup) breaking it up into apertura/clausura type tournaments will further confuse and kill the vibe and marketing of the whole thing especially a country not used to this type of format.

again well see, but i dont like where this is going.
I think you're still misunderstanding me, and I also don't see people struggling with following two tournaments at once.

Each team would play twice against conference opponents from mid-February through September. One single regular season, a simple double round robin within the conference. The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the four-week MLS Cup Playoffs in October.

Simultaneously, there is always one interleague competition in progress. There may be some overlap, but generally, it would go Champions League (four teams, up to eight games), then Open Cup (everyone, up to six games), then Leagues Cup (everyone, up to eight games). The season ends with the MLS Cup Playoffs (16 teams, up to four games).

That would be a minimum of 35 games across all competitions, same as today. And a maximum of 56 games, up from 51.

Seems simple and clean to me, dense but not overly daunting, and has a competition for each traditional purpose plus LigaMX v MLS crossover games.
 

Fantazma

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I think you're still misunderstanding me, and I also don't see people struggling with following two tournaments at once.

Each team would play twice against conference opponents from mid-February through September. One single regular season, a simple double round robin within the conference. The top eight teams in each conference qualify for the four-week MLS Cup Playoffs in October.

Simultaneously, there is always one interleague competition in progress. There may be some overlap, but generally, it would go Champions League (four teams, up to eight games), then Open Cup (everyone, up to six games), then Leagues Cup (everyone, up to eight games). The season ends with the MLS Cup Playoffs (16 teams, up to four games).

That would be a minimum of 35 games across all competitions, same as today. And a maximum of 56 games, up from 51.

Seems simple and clean to me, dense but not overly daunting, and has a competition for each traditional purpose plus LigaMX v MLS crossover games.
people still asking me difference about US open cup with mls league play. and when the tournament happen. granted its the more casual fans but still.

i see the format your proposing and its fine for league part of it. its just that leagues cup adds no benefit at all ( you know dislike it), its more games for nothing and its mid season while international tournaments happening so the squad is even more diluted with limited squads already. i mean imagine we were in it and during our US open cup mini 3 game run, we would literally have no players to play with due to the amount of games. get rid of that and the format works i think.
 

ManhattanValley

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Sad times for those of us looking forward to a yearly honky tonk away day in Nashville.

Sucks for those guys to be forced to make up the numbers in the West, even temporarily. Who's their nearest conference rival now, Houston? That's a 12 hour drive at least. Not easy to build a rivalry out of that.
 

Shwafta

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Sad times for those of us looking forward to a yearly honky tonk away day in Nashville.

Sucks for those guys to be forced to make up the numbers in the West, even temporarily. Who's their nearest conference rival now, Houston? That's a 12 hour drive at least. Not easy to build a rivalry out of that.
Maybe MLS did it because they want to keep that Atlanta - Orlando rivalry going?
 
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