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Why The Hold-Up On The Schedule?

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While MLS has posted the early fixture list for each team, doesn’t it seem odd that a release of the full schedule has been delayed? Is there some form of uncertainty at this point that leaves them concerned about publicizing the list?

For instance, I was beginning to consider a trip for this summer. I thought to myself, “I wonder if the Union are going to be on the road to a place that we’d like to visit???” I go to their website and, of course, nothing.

A post was made last week contending that USLPro took a slap at the NASL’s disorganization. Maybe they should have gone a step further. Even the NASL, the butt of American soccer fans’ jokes, has now released its schedule (as previously reported).

Shouldn’t we hold Major League Soccer to the same kind of standard?

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. eplnfl

    January 31, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    After a long winter and more on the way if you live in Chicago we all look for forward to the schedule release. Historically MLS is on time if they make the announcement this week. I just can’t wait!

  2. Richard

    January 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    I like the NASL set up also with a single table and playoff setup. I hope MLS stops at 20 and then supports NASL and a D-2 for future pro/rel. Also, MLS should schedule as if NFL was operating normally. Then, if NFL does strike make schedule changes on a few games during the season and see how it works.

    • Alan Higgins

      February 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      They need to focus on the west coast now. All 8 teams are on the east coast now.

  3. WSW

    January 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    NASL has a better system than MLS

    Single table
    Playoffs home and away
    NASL final home and away not like MLS Cup some neutral site, where the fans don’t see their team play.

    • Tim

      January 31, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      Less teams, shorter season, lower costs

    • Fan

      February 1, 2011 at 8:56 am

      How is that better? You liking it more does not mean it’s better.

      • CoconutMonkey

        February 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

        I suppose it all depends on what you’re concerned with.

        From a competitive fairness point of view, I would say that a balanced schedule is ideal. However, we don’t want a new club like Edmonton going broke because they have to fly to Puerto Rico at least twice a year. Or have only 400 people come to see Minnesota because they’ve been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in mid July.

        At this level, simply surviving financially is a big challenge. So if “competitive fairness” = teams going broke, then maybe it’s not so good.

        The same thing goes for the playoffs. Peter Wilt had a great article on PitchInvasion way back about this. Basically he said that a playoff should do 3 things:
        1) Crown a worthy champion
        2) Entertain the fans
        3) Maximize revenue for the teams and League

        I’d argue that each goal is dependent on the last. For example, fan’s aren’t going to be entertained by a playoff if they feel the competition isn’t legit. Yet, if the NASL just put the top 6 teams in a hexagonal, that would be pretty lame. And of course, if fans don’t like something, they’re not going to pay money to watch it.

        As far as this fan is concerned, I think the NASL’s setup is quite good considering that their an 8 team league.
        -Top clubs are rewarded with proper seeding/a bye (although, I’m not sure how much of an advantage that is).
        -The 2-leg semis & final minimize the fluke factor. I don’t have any data to back this up, but at least it’s consistent with many other playoff systems in the soccer world. Plus, the fans are rewarded with the chance to see their club play for a title.

        I’m sold on it. But then again, I live in a foreign country and troll message boards to pass time at the office. So, it’s not my dollar they need to worry about.

  4. CoconutMonkey

    January 31, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Uh oh…

    http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/mls-set-make-major-announcement-tuesday

    This is going to be really good, or really bad.

    • Jason

      January 31, 2011 at 8:19 pm

      Why are those the only too choices? Really good or really bad?

      I swear to God, people do nothing but complain and fear for the worst. What IS it with you people?

      Also, I’m glad someone pointed out that the schedule isn’t usually released until about this time. This season starts a bit earlier than usual, though.

      And if the EPL released its schedule nearly two months prior to the start of the season, guess what? Their schedule has a lot fewer moving parts than MLS’ does.

      • CoconutMonkey

        February 1, 2011 at 1:10 am

        @Jason:

        Hey! Really good was an option too! 😉

        You do make a good point though. I think it’s fair to say that a lot of posts (especially mine) have been overly negative.

    • jpeg

      January 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm

      Maybe garber got his NFL head out of his ass and realized that adding two teams to the playoffs and conferences are not going to fix anything so they are switching to single table……oh and maybe MLS schedule too.

  5. Joe

    January 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Funny coincidence that you write this today. I’m hoping to take my girlfriend’s parents to a Red Bulls game this year and just yesterday was confused to find they had nothing beyond a mid-March date with Seattle. Maybe they somehow think they’ll generate more excitement for the season if they make us wait for the schedule.

  6. Newtex

    January 31, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    The 2010 schedule was released on February 3. The 2009 schedule was released on January 28. The 2008 schedule was released on February 7.

    It is not “delayed’ this year. You can complain that it is not out but it is not “delayed”.

  7. hendrix

    January 31, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    I’m an MLS geek and season ticket holder and I don’t care that MLS hasn’t released the schedule yet. It’ll get released when it needs to be released.

  8. Zach H

    January 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    @Rabble – Yes, I understand why the schedule isn’t out yet, but I don’t know if the ‘tude called for. Sheesh.

    Really hoping that the MLS secures some more ESPN spots, even ESPN3. I’m considering investing in Directv Direct Kick for the MLS games, but if a bunch of them are offered for free on ESPN3 I’d rather do that.

  9. AdamEdg

    January 31, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    I kind of wondered if MLS was waiting to see how the NFL negotiations come out. Maybe they are hoping to get some Sunday TV slots in the late summer?

    • Dan

      January 31, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      NFL negotiations won’t happen well into the MLS season

      gosh i hope they go on strike though, having NFL gone for a year, or even half would do WONDERS for the MLS if Garber attacks it correctly.

  10. Glubber

    January 31, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    A two-year old could develop the NASL schedule with little difficulty. The MLS schedule, on the other hand, is arguably the most complex amongst all US sports/leagues.

    • dj voter

      January 31, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      ^^^^THIS

  11. Rabble Rouser

    January 31, 2011 at 11:57 am

    If you actually paid attention to soccer instead of just randomly finding things to complain about, you would know that the schedule is pretty much always released in the first week of February and that the contract negotiations with FSC are a key role in why things have not been resolved.

    It’s funny that you hold up the NASL as a bastion of success in this area because it’s pretty easy to schedule games that won’t be on TV and will probably never be played.

    • GI Joe

      January 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

      I totally agree!

    • Earl Reed

      January 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

      Calling NASL a butt of jokes is equitable to considering it “a bastion (sic) of success?” Sure.

      OK, the EPL released its 2010 fixture list on June 17, nearly 2 months prior to the season opening on August 14. In addition they have the complication of three new clubs to work into the schedule, worrying about potential stadium renovations etc. Not to mention their season ends mid-to-late May. So within a month from the final match, they have their fixtures out.

      Maybe I’m expecting too much.

      • Tim

        January 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm

        Can you name me a EPL team that is the second tenant at their stadium?

        NFL schedule is finalized this week, though not announced for a while.

  12. Robert

    January 31, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I have actually had the same problem. I might be in Portland this summer and was going to venture over to PGE park but the schedule has not been released.

    • Charles

      February 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

      You are going to an MLS game ?

      Why so you can support Garber’s monopoly ?

      You must be kidding, or a different Robert….

      • jpeg

        February 1, 2011 at 11:43 am

        I share Roberts view on both MLS and garbers stupidity but being able to watch b rate soccer posing as a legit first division live is better than no soccer.

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