Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Wherein I play the role of Scaryice
I got to thinking and one of the things that frustrates me most about the current MLS setup isn't the lack of focus or intensity in regular season games, it's the number of the times the same teams face each other.

Now, nothing really alleviates that other than more teams. With that in mind, I'm planning for 2007 already.

Let's say in 2007 that one team (Toronto) enters the mix because the other team (Milwaukee) won't be ready until 2008.

D.C. United
New England
Kansas City

Chivas USA
FC Dallas
L.A. Galaxy
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Quakes

When we get to seven teams per league, I think it works out pretty well for a 32-game regular season. That's three games against intra-conference rivals (18 games) and two games against non-conference rivals (14 games). That adds to 32 pretty well.

However, if only one new team comes in 2007, what the heck happens?


Blogger D said...

How do you handle home/away splits for intra-conference games? Seems like that could be an issue.

10:57 AM  
Blogger maradawga said...

Hrm, that's a good question. Depending on how long we're going to be at 14 teams (2 years?), it would be worth it to home and home with that third intra-conference game.

For instance, D.C. and Metros play three games in 2007. Metros get two home games that year (because they have the new stadium and the most flexibility) and in 2008, D.C. gets two home games.

Hopefully, in 2009 we have two new teams.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Eric PZ said...

You'd put natural rivals like Milwaukee and Chicago in different conferences?

12:27 PM  
Blogger incendiarymind said...

Or you can just put them all in one table, have a 26 game regular season and have more off-time for internationals.

And Eric took the words out of my mouth. The only thing weirder than putting Chicago and Milwaukee in different conferences is to switch Columbus to the west.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could always just send Kansas City to the West, that leaves Toronto and Milwaukee both in the East.

I'm with the single table format.

1:13 PM  
Blogger maradawga said...

Eric -- Good point, but at some point each team should play each other team only twice. The White Sox and Cubs are in different divisions. So are the Yanks and Mets and Jets and Giants.

This year it was important for Chivas and LA to be in teh same division because they're the only ones drawing attendance for the Goats.

In the future, Milwaukee and Chicago will go against each other only twice a season anyway. Wouldn't it be cool to also have them compete in an MLS Cup? We could move Kansas City back to the West, that'd be fine, but it'd be nice to keep them in one slot (let alone keep them in Kansas City).

1:26 PM  
Blogger maradawga said...

Msr. Footcer - Playing 13 home games per team doesn't generate enough revenue I think is the reason for the 20 (including friendly) home games during the season.

Would it be nice to be off on international dates? Sure. But what would even be better, until soccer's on solid enough footing, is to have doubleheaders where you can watch the US international game on the stadium big screen and then watch the game on the field.

1:30 PM  
Blogger Eric PZ said...

I dunno, history and merging of competing leagues are what caused teams in the same town to be in different conferences in NFL/MLB. MLS currently seems to enjoy the cross town series lately and are looking to exploit that more. I can't see that happening in MLS.

5:49 PM  
Blogger scaryice said...

Nice post title.

I've thought about this some, and first, Milwaukee will definitely be in the East. I don't see how you could put them in the West. KC will continue to be the team that gets switched back and forth as needed.

Assuming the two conference setup remains:

14 teams

3*6 conf teams = 18
2*7 non-conf = 14

16 teams

7*2 conf teams = 14 games
8*2 non-conf = 16 games
Plus 2 more conf games vs rivals

After 16, you're better off going to just home and away.

7:04 AM  

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