MLS Announces New Playoff Format for 2019

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mgarbowski

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Interesting item from Reddit earlier today which demonstrates how having playoffs disrupts the likelihood the best team wins MLS Cup:

Fun fact: according to [538], every favorite among the Big Five European leagues has a better chance of winning their 2019-20 title than LAFC has of winning MLS Cup, even though none of those five leagues have played a single game yet this season.

  • Man City 55%
  • Barca 59%
  • Bayern 76%
  • Juve 61%
  • PSG 80%
  • LAFC 51%

https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/co3c74/_/ewfxd15
The OP says this is why the playoffs are good. You could argue otherwise just as easily. But this is a nice demonstration of the effect.
 
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413Blue

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Interesting item from Reddit earlier today which demonstrates how having playoffs disrupts the likelihood the best team wins MLS Cup:

Fun fact: according to [538], every favorite among the Big Five European leagues has a better chance of winning their 2019-20 title than LAFC has of winning MLS Cup, even though none of those five leagues have played a single game yet this season.

  • Man City 55%
  • Barca 59%
  • Bayern 76%
  • Juve 61%
  • PSG 80%
  • LAFC 51%

https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/co3c74/_/ewfxd15
The OP says this is why the playoffs are good. You could argue otherwise just as easily. But this is a nice demonstration of the effect.
Can you imagine how boring MLS would be without playoffs? I would have turned away months ago this season.

Now imagine our future 30+ team MLS with a single table no playoff format..... yikes!
 
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adam

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Interesting item from Reddit earlier today which demonstrates how having playoffs disrupts the likelihood the best team wins MLS Cup:

Fun fact: according to [538], every favorite among the Big Five European leagues has a better chance of winning their 2019-20 title than LAFC has of winning MLS Cup, even though none of those five leagues have played a single game yet this season.

  • Man City 55%
  • Barca 59%
  • Bayern 76%
  • Juve 61%
  • PSG 80%
  • LAFC 51%

https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/co3c74/_/ewfxd15
The OP says this is why the playoffs are good. You could argue otherwise just as easily. But this is a nice demonstration of the effect.
I know it’s not the same system, but it’s close enough to use as a barometer. From 1990-2012 the 1 or 2 seeds (get the bye week) won 15 of 22 Superbowls.


I like that the regular season doesn’t guarantee a championship. But I also like that the best regular season in the East and West gives a decided advantage, as opposed to previous formats.
 

ferrarinycfc

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Zlatan isnt a fan thats for sure and he is right.


7 out of 12 teams making the playoffs is too many, however like everything in MLS, it's designed to keep owners happy.

Should be top 4 and reward teams that are doing a better job.
 

adam

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The Mets are now .5 games out of the wildcard and the hottest team in baseball. Playoffgeddon is looking like a real possibility now.

532FDC9E-44E4-4C73-89ED-6E08C86A7A1E.jpeg
 
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Falastur

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Interesting item from Reddit earlier today which demonstrates how having playoffs disrupts the likelihood the best team wins MLS Cup:

Fun fact: according to [538], every favorite among the Big Five European leagues has a better chance of winning their 2019-20 title than LAFC has of winning MLS Cup, even though none of those five leagues have played a single game yet this season.

  • Man City 55%
  • Barca 59%
  • Bayern 76%
  • Juve 61%
  • PSG 80%
  • LAFC 51%

https://www.reddit.com/r/MLS/comments/co3c74/_/ewfxd15
The OP says this is why the playoffs are good. You could argue otherwise just as easily. But this is a nice demonstration of the effect.
(Playing Devil's Advocate here)

From what I can see, though, the betting odds are just as stacked in favour of those clubs for the domestic cup competitions of those 5 countries as the league betting odds are, too.

I'd honestly say it's more about how MLS doesn't have teams dominating competition, and that's not because of the playoffs so much as it's related to how the US system gives benefits to the weaker teams, not the stronger ones, plus how - as a league not among the top 5 in the world - MLS isn't in a position of being able to see its top two or three teams hoarding the best players in the world.

There's also possibly an argument to be made that that statistic is slightly skewed as both England and to a lesser extent Spain are currently going through an unusual period where one team seems able to dominate year-on-year, in England's case because Guardiola's perfectionism is paying off big-time while in Spain it's more to do with Real having a bit of a wobble. Usually those two countries are used to a situation where one team destroying the competition in one year is no guarantee that they will keep up their standards the following year.
 
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moogoo

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This country is too big and have too many markets to have a small number of teams. England or Spain, countries the size of one state, have 20 teams in their top tier. People who argue against the playoff system don't understand the logistics of managing a league schedule across a country of this size and with this many different climates and time zones.

You don't see anybody saying the world cup or champions league is stupid, and they're essentially playoff systems.

that being said, 7 teams is too many. they should reduce it to 5. If MLS ever grows to 30 teams, are they gonna let the top 9 teams qualify for playoffs? That seems kind of crazy to me. If they want to make it more like european leagues, just have the conference champions go at each other for the cup. makes coming in #1 in your conference that more important and then it'll become an east v. west kind of thing.
 
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Ulrich

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You don't see anybody saying the world cup or champions league is stupid, and they're essentially playoff systems.
A playoff is essentially a Cup competition.
 
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Falastur

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This country is too big and have too many markets to have a small number of teams. England or Spain, countries the size of one state, have 20 teams in their top tier. People who argue against the playoff system don't understand the logistics of managing a league schedule across a country of this size and with this many different climates and time zones.

You don't see anybody saying the world cup or champions league is stupid, and they're essentially playoff systems.

that being said, 7 teams is too many. they should reduce it to 5. If MLS ever grows to 30 teams, are they gonna let the top 9 teams qualify for playoffs? That seems kind of crazy to me. If they want to make it more like european leagues, just have the conference champions go at each other for the cup. makes coming in #1 in your conference that more important and then it'll become an east v. west kind of thing.
Oh I don't disagree. I've come to accept the US system for what it is. I was just playing Devil's Advocate to the claim that the play-off system made MLS more unpredictable than the top European leagues. MLS IS more unpredictable, but I reckon it's for other reasons.
 
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BxLio91

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What's predictable is that we'll lose in the playoffs if we play any of TFC, Atlanta or the piss drink marketing reps.
 
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Here is something that I haven't seen anyone discuss, but it strikes me as potentially important.

Decision Day is October 6. The following weekend is an international break, so the playoffs start 2 weeks later on October 19-20. The second round is the following weekend.

Since the top seed in each conference has a bye, each top seed will have a full 3 weeks off between its last regular season game and its first playoff game. That is plenty of time for a team to develop some rust and get out of sync.

So, you can have a game like LAFC hosting the Galaxy or the Sounders - or Atlanta hosting DC or the Red Bulls - with the home team coming back from 3 weeks off, while the visitors are a week from having just won a tough game.

Should be interesting.
 

LionNYC

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you can have a game like LAFC hosting the Galaxy or the Sounders - or Atlanta hosting DC or the Red Bulls - with the home team coming back from 3 weeks off, while the visitors are a week from having just won a tough game.
Yeah - It's also an opportunity for teams to schedules friendlies to get extra revenue.
 

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The Mets are now .5 games out of the wildcard and the hottest team in baseball. Playoffgeddon is looking like a real possibility now.
So, I entered procrastination mode at work and took a closer look at this.

The weekends in play are as follows.
  • First Round MLS Playoffs (Oct 19-20) and very end of AL/NL Championship Series
  • Second Round MLS Playoffs (Oct 26-27) and middle of World Series
The MLS Conference Championship is least 3 days after Game 7 of a World Series and MLS Cup is a week later.

First Round MLS Playoffs
The MLB Divisional Series end no later than Oct 10. By experience, we know that if the Yankees make the ALCS, they will move the NYCFC game that weekend whether or not they would be hosting games on or near the given MLS playoff date. The ALDS will end no later than Oct 10, so we would know at least 9 days in advance if there is a conflict.

The Mets are 2 games out of a Wild Card game. For there to be a conflict at Citi Field, the Mets would need to make the playoffs, win the Wild Card game and then win the divisional series. If the Mets do all that, they will not be hosting any playoff or World Series games within 3 days of the MLS playoff game because the Mets will not have home field advantage in either series. Whether the Mets will be willing to host NYCFC in between the ALCS and World Series is anyone's guess (the Yankees would not).

The third choice is Hartford. UConn hosts a football game on 10/19. It's not clear whether that would allow an MLS Playoff game on 10/20. Yale, incidentally, does not host a football game on 10/19, so the Yale Bowl in New Haven would be available.

It is worth noting that if we finish first in the East, we will not be playing a game on this date in any event.

Second Round MLS Playoffs
If the Yankees make the World Series, we will not be playing this game in Yankee Stadium. We will know whether they make the World Series no later than one week in advance.

If the Mets make the World Series, we will not be playing this game in CitiField.

The stadium in Hartford will be available that day. The stadium in New Haven will not.
 

mgarbowski

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So, I entered procrastination mode at work and took a closer look at this.

The weekends in play are as follows.
  • First Round MLS Playoffs (Oct 19-20) and very end of AL/NL Championship Series
  • Second Round MLS Playoffs (Oct 26-27) and middle of World Series
The MLS Conference Championship is least 3 days after Game 7 of a World Series and MLS Cup is a week later.

First Round MLS Playoffs
The MLB Divisional Series end no later than Oct 10. By experience, we know that if the Yankees make the ALCS, they will move the NYCFC game that weekend whether or not they would be hosting games on or near the given MLS playoff date. The ALDS will end no later than Oct 10, so we would know at least 9 days in advance if there is a conflict.

The Mets are 2 games out of a Wild Card game. For there to be a conflict at Citi Field, the Mets would need to make the playoffs, win the Wild Card game and then win the divisional series. If the Mets do all that, they will not be hosting any playoff or World Series games within 3 days of the MLS playoff game because the Mets will not have home field advantage in either series. Whether the Mets will be willing to host NYCFC in between the ALCS and World Series is anyone's guess (the Yankees would not).

The third choice is Hartford. UConn hosts a football game on 10/19. It's not clear whether that would allow an MLS Playoff game on 10/20. Yale, incidentally, does not host a football game on 10/19, so the Yale Bowl in New Haven would be available.

It is worth noting that if we finish first in the East, we will not be playing a game on this date in any event.

Second Round MLS Playoffs
If the Yankees make the World Series, we will not be playing this game in Yankee Stadium. We will know whether they make the World Series no later than one week in advance.

If the Mets make the World Series, we will not be playing this game in CitiField.

The stadium in Hartford will be available that day. The stadium in New Haven will not.
Helpful research and thank you.
Putting aside the extremely strongly-held preference of almost all NYCFC fans, do you consider both MetLife and RBA to be completely out of consideration as possible sites? I know RBA would be especially mortifying. But if all other options are impossible, then the possible, however unlikely ....
 
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Shwafta

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Helpful research and thank you.
Putting aside the extremely strongly-held preference of almost all NYCFC fans, do you consider both MetLife and RBA to be completely out of consideration as possible sites? I know RBA would be especially mortifying. But if all other options are impossible, then the possible, however unlikely ....
Yes. Can you imagine the uproar and teasing, laughter, etc. when NYCFC play MLS Cup somewhere that's not in NYC?
 
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adam

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Helpful research and thank you.
Putting aside the extremely strongly-held preference of almost all NYCFC fans, do you consider both MetLife and RBA to be completely out of consideration as possible sites? I know RBA would be especially mortifying. But if all other options are impossible, then the possible, however unlikely ....
Imagine if we're hosting the Redbulls. I don't think the club can do that unless they were allowed to paint the whole place blue, or something of that nature. And even then..
 
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mgarbowski

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Yes. Can you imagine the uproar and teasing, laughter, etc. when NYCFC play MLS Cup somewhere that's not in NYC?
Yeah but he included Hartford. And I can see excluding RBA as a very, very special case, but I think the team has to look at MetLife at least. It has a lot of flaws, but I'm not sure they are worse than Hartford.

ETA: Both Hartford and MetLife are in different states. MetLife is much closer, and can hold more than 5,500. It will also be expensive, and look pathetically empty.
 
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LionNYC

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Helpful research and thank you.
Putting aside the extremely strongly-held preference of almost all NYCFC fans, do you consider both MetLife and RBA to be completely out of consideration as possible sites? I know RBA would be especially mortifying. But if all other options are impossible, then the possible, however unlikely ....
On MetLife...I can understand NYCFC hosting a match here say for example we play a friendly against Barcelona or Real Madrid where the match could sell 80,000 tickets and its the only applicable venue in the metro area to host the match. You have to think to yourself, how big of a soccer specific stadium in New York City (proper) would cause FIFA to think about hosting a World Cup Final there vs. MetLife? 20K, no. 30K, no. 40K, no. 50K, no. 60K, maybe... That's the gauge for playing a match in MetLife vs. another venue.

On Red Bull Arena...I'd rather play the match away, or forfeit, than play a "home" game here.
 
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