Creating A Solution To The FIFA 2010 World Cup Calendar

2010 FIFA World Cup by coda.

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

  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
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Round 4      
28 29 30 31             CHICAGO FIRE
        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
25 26 27 28 29 30         K.C. WIZARDS
                    LOS ANGELES GALAXY
            1 Round 9     NY RED BULLS
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Round 10     PHILADELPHIA
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
30 31                 TORONTO FC
    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
13 14 15 16 17 18 19        
20 21 22 23 24 25 26        
27 28 29 30              
        1 2 3        
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Round 15 All matches on Sunday, July 4th
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Round 16      
18 19 20 21 22 23 24 Round 17 Round 2    
25 26 27 28 29 30 31 Round 18      
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Round 19      
8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Round 20 Round 3    
15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Round 21      
22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Round 22      
29 30 31           Quarters    
      1 2 3 4 Round 23      
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Round 24      
12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Round 25 Semis    
19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Round 26      
26 27 28 29 30       Final    
          1 2 Round 27      
3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Round 28      
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Round 29      
17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Round 30      
24 25 26 27 28 29 30 QF 1      
  1 2 3 4 5 6 QF 2      
7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Semis      
14 15 16 17 18 19 20        
21 22 23 24 25 26 27 Final      
28 29 30                

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.

7 thoughts on “Creating A Solution To The FIFA 2010 World Cup Calendar”

  1. March 6? That’s pretty much winter here in Toronto (and it wouldn’t be much, if at all, better in Boston, New York, Columbus or Chicago).

    The time difference will allow the games to be played in the evenings.

    There is no perfect solution. Maybe play a 28 game schedule (four each against your conference only – no cross over until the MLS Cup)? Do that and start one week earlier and you can probably take two weeks off during the WC.

  2. Very nice job here. I hope the MLS office takes a look at it and carefully considers it. The NHL shut down for two weeks during the last Olympics and will do so again come 2010. It would seem that that is the minimum the MLS should consider.

    Duane is right that a early start in March will find cold temps and snow on the ground in the northern US and Canada. What many people do not think about is training. To the best of my knowledge all NFL clubs have a indoor practice area to protect themselves against the bad weather. If a winter schedule was set upon do all MLS clubs have someplace to training inside?

  3. Why go through this exercise and not include the CCL or Superliga? Gonna have to give you an incomplete Dan. 😉

  4. I have a better idea: Why don’t the owners stop throwing the whiny bitch-fits that have hounded American soccer for nearly a century whenever FIFA tries to assert its legitimate authority as the international governing body of the sport, get in line with every other top flight summer league in the world, and postpone the goddamn league during international breaks! It’s a stupid idea anyway, especially considering the fact that SUM handles the domestic rights for the American *and* Mexican national teams (not to mention the holes in MLS rosters during international breaks render the league virtually unwatchable by any objective measure). There’s absolutely no excuse for it, especially from the perspective of the consumer, i.e., us, who is only hurt by it any way you look at it.

  5. Well Duane, if MLS is going to create that 2010 project which most of us have a hunch that Single Table is coming next year. That means the Conference table is gone.

    Matt from SF. 😉 That’s quite alright. I’ll take the incomplete from you anytime.

    Obviously there are things our of our control & it could be possible that MLS will still play matches during the World Cup anyway. But if US Soccer does get the World Cup either 2018 or 2022, FIFA will force the league to shut down. If they can’t do it next year, then they are going to have to try and do it in 2014.

    Sooner or later this has to stop playing matches during International dates planed by FIFA.

  6. gman: That’s how MLS has set these things up. There is the National televised match on ESPN that was on Thursdays, but now it’s all over the place. Most of the matches are on Saturdays including Fox Soccer Channel and the Sunday afternoon spanish language national game from Telefutura. I am only going by what MLS has done with their schedule. It’s a World Cup year next season and somehow these games have to be played and when you have the World Cup between June 11th till July 11th, most of June will be chopped off. That means if there is no MLS games during the World Cup it’s self from the group stage till after the second round, then so be it.

    This is what everyone wants that supports the game here in the States. Taking the time off from the league and respecting the international calendar. If you also saw the other chart involving Soccer only stadiums, there will be a good ammount of clubs not playing at NFL Stadiums or college stadiums that they can’t control. Only Qwest Field and Gillette Stadium are owned by NFL owners that are also members of MLS. Until every club has their own stadium, then everything will be fine.

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