Friday, October 27, 2006

Some Manly Suggestions from the Manly Ferry

Over at My Very Brain, The Manly Ferry has posted the first part of his two part piece as how he suggests that MLS "improve" itself in the scope of its league schedule, league make-up and playoff scheme.

I have already emailed my points to Jeff, as Blogger isn't being nice and letting me leave the comments on their website. Overall, I like his points. They are different from mine, but still offer good ideas. Here is what I emailed Jeff:

"Overall, I like the ideas that you put forward. Changing the scope of the season is a good idea, one that allows MLS to adapt to the rest of worlds leagues, yet still allows us to deal with the other US sports. However, I do feel that a split season would not make much sense to other, non-soccer fans. NHL fans still have a problem understanding why the NHL breaks for 2 weeks for the Winter Olympics. Trying to explain to soccer fans that only follow MLS that the league is on a two month break for the Gold Cup/Copa America/World Cup would be a daunting task, but it would be one that I would still roll out of bed every morning to do.

Changing the playoff format is another good idea, and leaving the scope to 8 clubs is fine, when there are more than 14 clubs in the league, IMHO. Until we get to 14 clubs, I think that MLS should reduce the number of playoff clubs, as I mentioned earlier. Once we get enough clubs to truly show that making the playoffs is a thing that a select few actually get to accomplish, fans and some players will still feel that they are sorta cheap.

I have never thought, with the exception of next season, that a single table would work in the US. The main reason is that with the country as big as it is, in order to get the fans to travel to a majority of the clubs road matches, you need to make most of their road matches geographically close to home. I am pretty sure that is why the NFL and NBA and MLB have done their leagues that way as well.

I like the idea of reducing the number of matches, and the College football like alternating seasons thing would be a pretty good idea as well. I think a 26 or 28 match season would be best. You through in the USOC, CCC and whatever the hell we are doing with the Mexicans and they guys should still be running out on the pitch for about 40 matches a season. That is below the EPL clubs, but hey, they have their problems too.

All in all, I think that your suggestions are very sound and if MLS were to even consider looking into their application, they would be on a good track."

I will be eagerly awaiting the second installment of his suggestions, so we wait until Monday.


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