MLS Announces New Playoff Format for 2019

  • Welcome to NYCFC Forums 2.0. Since completing our upgrade I've had a number of people request to make a donation. If you'd like to Donate you may do so via this Paypal link below. Thank you all for the support and your willingness to cobtribute.
Consider becoming a 'donor' member to help support the forums! Click Here To Upgrade

mgarbowski

Senior Member
Elite Donor
Donor
Seasoned Supporter
Jul 16, 2014
11,353
32,005
353
Queens, NY
mgarbowski.com
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.
 
Last edited:

413Blue

Active Member
Seasoned Supporter
Apr 23, 2014
2,934
4,777
273
MA
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!
 
Last edited:

adam

Senior Member
Elite Donor
Donor
Seasoned Supporter
May 30, 2014
7,399
17,404
353
41
LBNY
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

Regular Member
Dec 6, 2014
1,541
1,875
193
44
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

Senior Member
Elite Donor
Donor
Seasoned Supporter
May 30, 2014
7,399
17,404
353
41
LBNY
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
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shwafta and LionNYC

Falastur

Senior Member
Staff member
Donor
Seasoned Supporter
Mar 20, 2014
3,378
4,544
353
32
Herts, UK
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.
 

moogoo

Junior Member
Nov 8, 2017
173
296
63
NYC
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vallos

Falastur

Senior Member
Staff member
Donor
Seasoned Supporter
Mar 20, 2014
3,378
4,544
353
32
Herts, UK
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.
 

Gotham Gator

Senior Member
Donor
Feb 9, 2015
9,401
19,142
353
53
Bronxville, NY
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Shwafta

LionNYC

Senior Member
Staff member
Elite Donor
Seasoned Supporter
Jan 2, 2015
14,946
25,885
303
New York, NY
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.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: adam