Well Ladies and Gentleman. I have heard your cries, yells, screams and demands of what you would like to see from MLS as a change or at least showing respect of the International Calendar for the US National Team matches either in Friendly matches, or during World Cup Qualifiers on Saturdays. I wished I could show you a display for this current season, but as of right now those ideas have been thrown out and those questions have been answered.
Yes I was working the Red Bulls home opener for CSRN while I DVR’ed the USA’s road match in El Salvador. I have to say that it is frustrating to cover a league match while your country is fighting for qualification points to get a step closer in reaching South Africa for next year. But as time passes on and hopefully all MLS Clubs will have the control of new stadiums and the league can completely control the whole schedule we can stop worrying about these fixture congestion’s and still show respect to the international calendar. But till that time comes we are just going to have to grin & bear it. It doesn’t mean we have to accept it, but it does mean that we have to see the problems for the sport in the states that there is still plenty of room to grow.
With the US Soccer Federation creating a bid for one of two World Cups that FIFA will now sell for auction instead of a confederational per cycle and bid the main question will be this. Will MLS shut the league down for a three to four week period to allow the World Cup get exposure within the country. There has been no respect since the league has been playing games from 1996 till now.
We all know that there is a time zone difference between the USA & going east towards Europe & Africa. A early morning start for those of us in the New York, Boston, Philadelphia area means a 1PM in the afternoon down in South Africa. So from 9AM till 5PM EST that means you can see the Revs, Red Bulls, Philly FC, DC United & Toronto FC play there matches at 7:30PM EST (Not excluding everyone else, but at least I’m trying to show everyone an example). But this time I have to side with everyone else, because no one wants to care about league matches when the greatest sporting event comes around once in every four years in the summer.
So if everyone doesn’t mind I have an idea that can work if the higher ups at MLS doesn’t mind looking at, I think I have found a solution where the league can start early, avoid the World Cup and insert US Open Cup Matches as well as fitting in the playoffs for the MLS Cup. Now before I show you guys my idea on here you have to give some respect to the schedule makers from MLS, US Soccer & FIFA for doing their jobs here. It took me many, many weeks & months to make this example seem to work. So with the help of Microsoft Excel here is my idea for the 2010 MLS & FIFA World Cup Schedule
|SUN||MON||TUE||WED||THU||FRI||SAT||MARCH||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|1||2||3||4||5||6||Round 1||MLS Regular season|
|7||8||9||10||11||12||13||Round 2||MLS Cup Playoffs|
|14||15||16||17||18||19||20||Round 3||US OPEN CUP DATE|
|1||2||3||Round 5||COLUMBUS CREW|
|4||5||6||7||8||9||10||Round 6||DC UNITED|
|11||12||13||14||15||16||17||Round 7||FC DALLAS|
|18||19||20||21||22||23||24||Round 8||HOUSTON DYNAMO|
|LOS ANGELES GALAXY|
|1||Round 9||NY RED BULLS|
|9||10||11||12||13||14||15||Round 11||REAL SALT LAKE|
|16||17||18||19||20||21||22||Round 12||S.J. EARTHQUAKES|
|23||24||25||26||27||28||29||Round 13||SEATTLE SOUNDERS|
|1||2||3||4||5||Round 14||Round 1||S.S.S. BEING BUILT|
|6||7||8||9||10||11||12||No S.S.S. STADIUMS|
|4||5||6||7||8||9||10||Round 15||All matches on Sunday, July 4th|
|18||19||20||21||22||23||24||Round 17||Round 2|
|8||9||10||11||12||13||14||Round 20||Round 3|
As you can see on the special color coated grid I have everything separated as you have MLS matches, US Open Cup Matches & the MLS Cup Playoffs with the FIFA World Cup Calendar. I bet your curious to know why I filled in the 4th of July as a MLS match day and not apart of the FIFA World Cup Schedule. If you go to FIFA’s World Cup section and click the official match schedule, Sunday, July 4th is a rest day for the World Cup & MLS can still have a full slate of matches to celebrate our country’s birth and a good restart to the league. Once the World Cup is officially over on July 11th MLS will have the first half of the season finished and then there is plenty of room to have the playoffs & cup final just before the Thanksgiving break.
Also if you look at the other chart a notch down to the designations those clubs in green will have their stadiums ready while a few will be in the middle of construction and of course their is the DC United Stadium issue as well as the Revs & Sounders still in NFL Stadiums by their NFL owners.
This was a tough thing to do & I have to admit, you got to be savvy when you schedule these things. Not just a regular season, but playoffs, US Open Cup & honestly I don’t know when CONCACAF would put in their Champions League schedule for the group stages & I don’t believe in the Superliga, so in my view it should be gone. But once again this was a tough thing to create and I hope I showed all those sports schedule makers that I do respect their tough jobs no matter what sport it is.