Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Rework the postseason

Another writer chiming in on how the MLS postseason doesn't work.

Okay, so that writer is me.

I guess my bottom line is that I feel in many ways the playoffs are cheapened somewhat by the inclusion of teams that have more losses than wins or have had an otherwise drab regular season.

Plus, consider that MLS sees 8 of its 13 teams in the postseason while MLB allows 8 of its 30 teams in the playoffs. Yes, there are too many #$*&!@ baseball games in one season but that season means a whole helluva lot more than the MLS campaign.


Anonymous said...

I've always seen the playoff system as a way of reaffirming a team's good season, and weeding out paper champions. They challenge teams to not only maintain consistency and play a specific style through a lengthy season, but to be able to play in high intensity matches under heavier pressure.

MLS doesn't have the kind of dominance that you'll find in other leagues. DC United just barely squeaked by with the supporter's shield. And I'm not just referring to Chivas USA. Houston and New England were all within a stone's throw.

Extraordinary circumstances and exceptions aside, the better team will always win. If Chivas USA and DC United can't get past lowly Kansas City and Chicago that shows a lot about the team's character in my opinion.

I'd agree with reducing the number of teams in the post-season, but I would argue that this will become less of an issue with the 14th, 15th, and 16th teams coming in. Yet, I still think that they playoffs are a good way of measuring a team overall.

Matt L said...

First round: Game at top seed's home

Second round: Home / away series

Final: Home / away series

1. Rewards regular season performance. I don't care that all teams don't get to host a game.
2. The final will be played to huge, passionate crowds.
3. I don't care how other leagues in the US do their championship. MLS brass get some balls.


JT (Chicago) said...

If you must have playoffs, and we know MLS must, cut the teams to four and play it out as home & home.

If you have to have 8 teams for continued regular season interest, matt I has the perfect setup.

Oh, one other thing, Chicago should get an automatic qualifying spot each year ... okay, can't blame me for trying.

L.B. said...

I can kind of see the argument about keeping it at eight so when the league expands the playoff format itself doesn't need a change but I still have an issue with that. I mean, if some 12-year-old kid weighs 200 pounds, can you justify that by saying 'Well, that's what he's going to weigh when he turns 20 so let's get him there now.'

As the league grows, there will be changes to everything from the conference format to the amount of games played and the schedule itself. All those things seem pretty fluid. In 2006, teams played 32 games and there were six teams in each conference and that all changed this year and it's going to change next year (at least the last part).

The playoff system needs to fit the league's immediate needs, not remain stagnant to fit what many speculate the needs might be in three or four years.

charlton heston said...

I'd say top 6 get in. Top 2 should get a bye to the second round.

3rd place club plays 5th in single elimination. The 6th ranked club plays number 4. Both higher seeded clubs would have home field advantage

The top club plays the winner of 6 verses 4 in two home game series, team with most points advances to the championship.

The second place club plays the winner of 3 verses 5 in a home/away series to advance to the championship.

That way you reward the top club for consistent performance while eliminating some playoff matches in that most fans aren't showing up for them anyway.