OK, it is Sunday in LA and time for MLS Cup and the entire day of activities that go along with that. I will be posting updates as the day goes along, starting with the Supporters Summit meeting with MLS Comish Don Garber where feedback to the new unbalanced schedule is probably going to be brutal. We already know what he will say about the reasons as we got that last week with the State of the League (you can check out my posts on that) but in front of a crowd of some of the leagues most dedicated and loyal fans, ducking questions will be much harder than it was with the media. It should be a fun morning with that.
Then it will be time to hang out at a couple of tailgates, the #MLSCupTweetUp, more tailgates, the SupportersFest, and who know what else leading up to tonight's MLS Cup match. It looks like my request for credentials has hit too many dead ends, but that is OK I will be using all my gadgets to get you some updates from the stands, the pitch, or wherever I find myself as the Houston Dynamo and the Los Angeles Galaxy do battle tonight.
So check back often, add your thoughts and comments on the days activities, and lets make this a fun MLS Cup Day (why isn't this a national holiday yet?)
after the jump my thoughts on the summit
Well I saw the details of the new schedule just minutes before Don Garber announced them to the supporters at the Summit and I agree with the overwhelming boo's that were heard when he gave details of it. I am not opposed because I wish to be like the Europeans, but rather because a balanced schedule keeps the results of the regualr season fair, each team will face the same teams the same number of times as opposed to:
Each of the 19 MLS clubs will play 34 games, 17 at home and 17 away.
o All clubs will play an equal schedule within their respective conference.
Western Conference - 24 in-conference + 10 out-of-conference games:
- Western Conference clubs will play eachWestopponent 3 times(24 games):
- West clubs will play 4 conference opponents twice at home and once away
- They will play the other 4 conference opponents once at home and twice away.
- The home and away games will be reversed in 2013.
- Western Conference clubs will play eachEastopponent once each(10 games):
- 5 of these will be at home and 5 will be away.
- The East opponents each team faces at home and away will be reversed in 2013.
Eastern Conference - 25 in-conference + 9 out-of-conference games:
- Eastern Conference clubs will play25 gamesagainst otherEastclubs:
- East teams will play 7 conference opponents three times each (21 games) and
- 2 conference opponents twice each (4 games).
- Some will play 4 at home and 5 away while others will play 5 at home and 4 away.
- The West opponents each team faces at home and away will be reversed in 2013.
So I don't like this at all since we know each year one conference is weaker than the other and this will allow teams who end up with an easier schedule to gain things like Champions League spots, playoff home field advantage and simply opens doors of schedule tampering.
I fully support the new playoff format:
- The 4th-and 5th- place teams will play a single knockout game, the winner of which will advance to the Conference Semifinals and face the 1st-place team in the conference.
- The Conference Semifinals will be decided by a two-game, aggregate-goal format (same as 2011).
- The Conference Championships will be decided by a two-game, aggregate-goal format (change from recent years).
- MLS Cup will be hosted by the finalist that finished the regular season with the most points in the standings.
While the odds makers in Vegas have Houston a huge underdog, while the match is being played at the home of the LA Galaxy, while the weather isn't what anyone was hoping for, the players themselves will be the ones to decide this match and there is a team with a distinct advantage. I think if either side tries to play defensive or negative it may come back to haunt them.
Well it is time for me to jump out of the car and go see how much fun I can have in a very wet, chilly, and breezy afternoon/evening in Carson, CA at the Home Depot Center. For those who want to know I think Houston wins 2-1, or 3-2 in regulation time.
OFF MY SOAPBOX