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The "New" MLS

Here are some of the items MLS has announced today:

Game Presentation

· MLS has implemented certain standards for pre-game presentations that will occur at all MLS games.

o Teams will line up alongside each other in the tunnel prior to emerging for kickoff.

o As teams enter the field, led by the referees (FIFA style), a new MLS anthem will be played.

· A new MLS anthem and signature sound was recorded last month by a full orchestra in Prague, Czech Republic, under the direction of an American conductor. More details on this piece of music will be revealed on April 6 on MLSnet.com.

· In-stadium commercial PA announcements during play will be significantly reduced.

· MLS has established guidelines for field maintenance, including:

o The length of the grass cut and optimal watering schedules prior to the match

o The pattern of directional cuts, so as to assist fans and referees better view offside decisions

Competition Format

The four MLS teams with the best regular season records in 2007 will qualify for SuperLiga 2008.
Starting in 2006, the Supporters' Shield winner for best regular season record receives one of the United States' two spots in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. The MLS Cup champion receives the other.
In 2007, the regular season was reduced to 30 games (from 32).
During the past few years, more bonuses for starts and wins have been incorporated into player contracts. In 2007, those bonuses will be paid once every two weeks instead of in one sum at the end of the year as in the past.
Playoffs: At the end of the regular season, the top two teams in each conference earn playoff spots along with four "wild cards" which have highest point-totals in the standings, regardless of conference. This will add competition and intensity to the playoff race. If one conference is stronger than the other in a given year, more of its teams can qualify for the playoffs.
On July 24, 2007, the inaugural edition of SuperLiga begins. This international tournament features four of the top teams from MLS and four of the top teams from Mexico's first division competing in a Champions' League-style format for a $1 million prize.
The MLS Technical Committee will continue to examine the competition format for possible changes in the future.

By Steve Goff  |  April 2, 2007; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: Kim | April 2, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

X,Y,ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Well, with everyone screaming for a single table format, it looks like the MLS has met us half way.

Its not a single table... but I like the new setup, so I can't complain.

Posted by: James | April 2, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

so with that playoff format, why exactly are there two conferences? why not just have the top six teams? ...let the single table hawks erupt....now...

Posted by: l st | April 2, 2007 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I see your point, MLS has given us a "single table" while still keeping a conference-oriented schedule, reducing travel/costs.

Of course, they could have a single table and a region-oriented schedule, but that would be too easy.

Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Given the unbalanced nature of the schedule there's never going to be a playoff format that makes things fair. That's why they need to make the single table thing happen along with playing a fair and balanced (!) schedule. This new format does nothing to address the fact that some teams get to play crappy teams more often with the chance to pad their points total. They should shorten the schedule by a month or two and just play everyone else home and away. Period. And then that leaves plenty of space for the USOC and all of these other cup competitions, friendlies, etc.

Posted by: Glenn | April 2, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

You can ZZZ all you want, but I like the idea of the league expecting a certain standard out of each market, and I like the idea of the wild card format. The offside lines thing will be helpful to some folks, and the incentive disbursement sounds better.

Not reinventing the wheel, but still all welcome news to me.

Posted by: Logan Circle | April 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Good moves all the way around. I'm glad we didn't have any shockers today.

Posted by: Nick | April 2, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

How are they going to mow the fieldturf in NY, Toronto, RSL ?

Posted by: Groundskeeper Willie | April 2, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Yay no more PA during games. or at least no more this corner kick has been brought to you by farmer john announcements.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

There is one announcement that at last will bring me much joy and happiness. MLS is going to reduce PA Announcements and music during gameplay, thank you GOD!!! I had been screaming about that since day one that it is an insult to the fans and the players to be detracting away from the game itself with announcements and mini advertisements. This move alone makes me a much happier MLS fan, WOW, thank GOD again it has been addressed... FINALLY!!!!!!

Posted by: MightyMouse | April 2, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

any word on whether they'll allow the in-game interviews with coaches? they did this on the Soccer Saturday game, think they'll do it on the Thursday Primetime game? it's awful

Posted by: pat | April 2, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Players have been advised to no longer kick the ball out of play when a player is on the ground unless they believe a serious injury has occurred. The referee will stop play in cases of serious injury."

what?! i hope the players don't listen to this advisory, that's stupid.

Posted by: pat | April 2, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

this one seems pretty stupid also:

"Referees have been encouraged, at their discretion, to issue a yellow card caution to players who raise their hand with an imaginary card."

Posted by: pat | April 2, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

EPL has had the "don't kick the ball out of bounds" rule for the first time this year. I applaud the move. What started as a nice sportsmanship idea has been turned on its head and is now used to gain a competitive advantage.

Posted by: Alex | April 2, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

The new MLS regs are interesting to say the least, perhaps an attempt to lift the image of the players and the game to harmonize more with "International" standards. I applaud this. They have got to get rid of the artificial turf in the league however. Its fine for lacrosse or field hockey but for the beautiful game it is anything but. I can't believe that Toronto builds a beautiful new soccer specific facility and puts that surface on. Maybe they want to be able to play in the winter or something.

Posted by: sbgoldman | April 2, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Haha, Goff repping the Brazilians.

Posted by: Ed | April 2, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I really like the steps that they have taken here. I'm sure the players will appreciate the similarity in playing surfaces and the potential for the discourse away from the field with officials. I like the idea of the entrance - hopefully the theme/anthem is appropriate but not too over the topl. I would have preferred that the entrance with youth players in replica kits be incorporated as well (especially with the youth initiative that they have pushed this year).

Thanfully, the commish has not given comments on the upkeep of beards.

Posted by: Jay-Z | April 2, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Great moves all around.

Posted by: Andrew | April 2, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I won't be subjected to injury by playing on Field Turf, so I don't care too much how the lines are faux-mowed.

Posted by: D. Beckham | April 2, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

*Thanfully, the commish has not given comments on the upkeep of beards.*

MLS has established guidelines for Ben Olsen's beard maintenance, including:
o The length of the beard cut and optimal shaving schedules prior to the match

o The pattern and timeliness of growth, so as to assist Olsen in intimidating opponents with his fierce whiskers

No word on whether these guidelines will apply to Wade Barrett's sideburns as well.

Posted by: Kenobi | April 2, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea but it will be unfair to those in a stronger conference to have the new playoff wildcards. They will have an aggregate higher level of competition but will be judged on the same points level as a weaker conference.

Posted by: JMR | April 2, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I guess it was only a matter of time before we lost our monopoly:

"MLS has hired a full-time consultant based in South America to assist MLS teams in scouting and acquiring players from that talent-laden region."

While they haven't gone to a single table, they clearly are emphasizing the regular season record more than they have in the past. There are some problems with that, as has been pointed out, but overall I'm in favor of it.


Posted by: Dave | April 2, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Interesting how when asked if St. Louis was still an option for say 2009 Garber said that they haven't even ruled out 2008 yet. WOW!

Posted by: MightyMouse | April 2, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to see how many of those who complain about artificial surfaces have ever actually played a competitive match on a field that was laid in the last 5 years. I'll take FieldTurf over 98% of the natural fields I've played on in the last 10 years. It's an extremely consistent surface, with no dead-spots, dirt patches, rocks, dips, rises, etc. You know what to expect from the ball at any point on the pitch. The same cannot be said for a majority of the natural pitches, particularly RFK with the infield, mound, basepaths, etc. FIFA 2Star rated FieldTurf is not the pale-green carpet some of you still believe it to be.

Posted by: AlecW81 | April 2, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

I think the "don't kick the ball out of bounds" started off by Man United telling their players not to do it and have told their opponents that they [United] don't expect their opponents to do it either when they play. Now it's generally the rule. However, you'll still see players play the ball out of bounds, and the generally receive it back.

It's an unfortunate policy change, but those sort of sportsmanship type unwritten rules, only work when everyone is following the general "sportsmanship" rules. Unfortunately, "gamesmanship" has taken over, so the the benefit of putting the ball out of bounds, doesn't pay off.

This may also be fallout from the USA/Italy match, where the Italians [successfully] would feign injury to stop the USA's momentum.

Posted by: TCompton | April 2, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Jay-Z. I would have preferred that the entrance with youth players in replica kits be incorporated as well.

Posted by: 12th man | April 2, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

While I like fields being cut to allow officials to better see offsides, assist players and all that, I also like creatively cut fields and nice patterns. That may not matter to anyone else, but a concern for me is RFK. How much say does United have on the direction of the cut? We've all seen the grass cut according to the baseball diamond.

Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Alec,

I think you're missing out on the fact that Field Turf (and similar products) are not uniform from venue to venue, and that there's a great variety in those products that can be installed. Sure some are good for soccer (especially when new), but a lot are not. Some facilities have very fast surfaces because they're tailored for american football, or they've lost their 'bounce' due to age.

And I'm not talking local facilities, I'm talking 'big time' ACC venues.

Posted by: Kim | April 2, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Please don't forget that the Revs will be playing on field turf this year.

Did the competition committee comment on whether or not a team that qualifies for the SuperLiga can decline to play in that tournament? I was just wondering because the Revs might want to opt out if they somehow manage to qualify. The Revs like to focus on one thing without any distractions. Is that one thing driving away its fanbase, you ask? No! It is winning the MLS Cup... or at least getting to the MLS Cup.

Posted by: Revs Fan | April 2, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Interesting changes, but when are they going to bring back the 35-yard shootout?

Posted by: rke | April 2, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

It makes no sense to have a single table system if you're not going to have relegation and promotion, too. And we're not. Ever. This was definitely the best way to go. Good structure.

Really like the new entrance,too, with the music: a little pomp and circumstance. Gives the Barra a chance to explode when they see the colors. Nothing quite like staring down the tunnel and seeing the boys emerge from the darkness. I get chills just thinking about it.....

Posted by: grotus | April 2, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Revs fan,

I thought the Revs had accomplished their goal of driving away fans and now are working on driving away players.

Posted by: Kim | April 2, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I think a single table only works when you can have enough teams to play each other twice (home and home). Until then, it doesn't make a difference. You're not going to have an even level of play.

You don't need relegation to make a single table make since. Instead have bonuses based on where they finish (i.e., Players on the bottom two teams get no bonus).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2007 3:18 PM | Report abuse

A single table works with a home-away format. With 13 teams, that means a really short 24-game season. Adding regional matches to fill up the schedule will remove the fairness of a single table format.

MLS should keep the division format until there are 16 teams in the league (30 home/away matches). I don't see this happening because playoffs and championships generate money.

Posted by: I-270 Exit 1 | April 2, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Steve,
Great job with the bullet points above!

Posted by: apqjr | April 2, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Do the playoffs and championship really generate money? While the ABC/ESPN types may be more interested in showing them, looking at attendance numbers, it bears out that the fans actually care less about the playoffs than they do the regular season.

Personally, I want a true European style just as much as most people who read this, but agree with the above poster that perhaps it should wait until MLS can sustain 16 teams and do 30 games home/home.

At that point, promotion/relegation should be attempted as well. It's a great way to move soccer into smaller markets and w/ the minor leagues already functioning should easily be incorporated. It would make the smaller markets more viable and perhaps weed out the "bigger markets" that do not truly care.

Posted by: Kyle | April 2, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Given the structure of the league there's no way we're ever going to see promotion/relegation. And I don't have a problem with that.

Why not have a single table and playoffs if you must? But maybe change the playoff format to the Aussie style. That would really confuse the heck out of everyone.

I don't think 24 games is too few for the home and away part of the schedule. By the time you add in the USOC that's another couple of games for most teams unless they are really bad. I think 16 teams is better for this type of schedule and we'll probably be up to that number before too long. And if it makes the season end in September or early October instead of mid-November I think that is a great thing.

It just makes everything more fair for everyone and I don't understand why no one cares about fairness. :-)

Posted by: Glenn | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

More football/soccer purity from Garber and I like it.

Posted by: Kev | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Please don't say "most people" Kyle. Keep the single table where it belongs...in Europe.

Posted by: vertualvice | April 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

So why was the anthem done in Czechoslovakia? Does the MLS hate America, are they just out to deny decent good American union musicians the chance to ply their craft for MLS?
What's wrong with the 245 philharmonics in the US, this seems disgraceful.
Almost as bad as actually having an "anthem" I have always made fun of FIFA for having one, what without being a country and all.

The less actual noise that comes out of the PA system the better, espaecially at RFK, sound system installed in 1972.

Posted by: Lonnie | April 2, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Uh oh - did someone say the dreaded R word? Relegation won't happen because it would scare the pants off the gold dust of MLS (potential investors). Can you imagine the league telling a billionaire, "invest in one of our teams, you could get 40,000 for Beckham this year, then 500 if you do down and play Puerto Rico next year"?

In a perfect world, sure. In our world, no way.

Posted by: Kev | April 2, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I have played on new FieldTurf and I would take most grass fields over it. The ball runs faster than it should, bounces higher than it should, and playing in the summer heat on a plastic surface full of black rubber is silly. RFK's surface, even with baseball, is a big step up from FieldTurf. Yes, the new stuff is better than Astroturf or the nightmare surface at Giants Stadium, but it still isn't anywhere as good as a real, well-maintained field (which every team in MLS should have). We're not talking about FieldTurf versus the local amateur league field that has clumpy grass and runs downhill towards one goal.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | April 2, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"Keep the single table where it belongs...in Europe."

And South America
And Asia
And Australia
And Africa

Damn those "rest of the world" snobs! :-)

Posted by: Kev | April 2, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Those who have said FieldTurf and other artificial turfs are just as good or better than natural grass need to remember that there are several different types of FieldTurf, AstroTurf and the other brands. There are turfs specific for different sports. Some turfs are higher cuts, have more rubber pellets, or less cushion beneath them. Also, there has been a lot of improvement over the past few years in turf. Most have negative reactions when they hear "AstroTurf," but their current generation is as good as the FieldTurf that gets positive reactions. New England's surface isn't suitable for soccer. The field at the Meadowlands isn't suitable for sports. As a follower of the ACC, I can definitely agree with Kim. Big time ACC stadiums use different types of FieldTurf. Virginia Tech's football team suffered a few turf related injuries in their victory at Wake Forest this past season.

Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

We're not talking about FieldTurf versus the local amateur league field that has clumpy grass and runs downhill towards one goal.
That's what I call home field advantage, Chest Rockwell.

Posted by: sitruc | April 2, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Baby steps. I like it. I like the upgrade with the professional entrance and the theme song. I also like getting rid of annoying PA accouncement and I def like the added emphasis on pregame. The fact they are placing a much larger emphasis on the production of the game makes me happy. As I have said before soccer is about drama and these baby steps will only serve to brighten the stage.

Posted by: Union Square | April 2, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Three cheers for MLS and Garber. Since the early missteps the league took they have consistently improved at a steady pace and it bodes well for the growth of professional soccer in the US.

I also cheer the decision to encourage yellow cards (at ref discretion) for miming a card (the "hey give that guy a card" whine) and for embellishing. As others have stated in regards to the ol' kick the ball out sportsmanship, this has sadly become necessary. Soccer's biggest image problem (at least in the US) is the whiny baby stuff.

I also saw (go to MLSnet.com for the full list) the league has funded a ref position for the first retiring MLS player who wants it. Please don't let that be Carlos Ruiz!

As for the St. Louis possible in '08 nugget, I can only assume that means moving the Wizards. Don't they get like 40 fans per game or am I way off?

I'm assuming the expansion cities are still likely to be St. Louis, Philadelphia and Portland/Seattle. As usual dependent upon stadiums as it should be.

Posted by: Shmoo | April 2, 2007 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I agree that field turf is inferior to natural grass; the game is meant to be played on a natural surface. Period.

Posted by: CY | April 2, 2007 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I like the move of having the top four teams from the regular season qualify for the SuperLiga. That, along with the Supporters Shield winner qualifying for the Concacaf Champions Cup, makes the regular season much more important.

Posted by: Diego R. | April 2, 2007 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Lonnie, word is that the mls contacted the union and "vito" sent a few garbagemen since they were next on the hire list. Unlike the government n labor unions, the mls doesn't pay people for doing nothing...except if u are cuatemoc blanco, john ellinger and alexi lalas of course

Posted by: matt y | April 2, 2007 10:12 PM | Report abuse

At RFK the away team always comes out from behind the goal while DC comes out from the sideline. Are we going to have to move the away teams locker room to a storage closet on our side of the stadium?

Posted by: Adam | April 3, 2007 12:36 AM | Report abuse

I just can't wait to rock that MLS anthem on my iPod.

Really, what a weird and interesting thing to do, and I hope it doesn't suck.

Single table would be ideal, but anything that puts more emphasis on the regular season is welcome. I'd still like to see some bigger bonuses and reqards for getting the regular season championship, i.e. the Supporters' Shield.

I'm all for the officiating changes as well. Diving and time-wasting have generally not been a big part of our national soccer culture, and it's a noble attempt to minimize it in our league. Anyone who sees that sort of cheating as "just part of the game" is welcome to move back to Italy.

Posted by: Joe S. | April 3, 2007 2:40 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Adam, the two teams do march out side by side now at RFK in the manner described by the MLS release. Only the subs and team officials come out from the visiting locker room via the other dugout now. I don't think that is going to change.

On the referee thing, FIFA has been talking about clamping down on the diving for a long time now. The problem is that the players who dive are often pretty convincing at full speed. When you see the replay you can see the dive but it's not always evident in real time. Maybe the league should fine people after the fact for diving. And this notion of cautioning the players with their imaginary cards may seem like a good idea, but in reality, at this level referees have to be judicious in their use of cards for man-management.

And while I also like the idea of a former player being trained as a referee, I wonder if they plan to immediately throw this former player into professional games. Being a referee is a very different from being a player and it takes time and experience to learn how to do it right. Fast-tracking may not be a bad idea but this person is going to need to learn a lot.

Posted by: Glenn | April 3, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Single table would be great, though as many have pointed out, you need the numbers to pull it off equitably. As an additional point to that topic of conversation, MLS should stop making the regular season a qualifying tournament for the MLS cup. The reward for winning the regular season is the supporters shield. The MLS cup should be open to all MLS teams. You can run it as a post season tournament or even during the season.


Also, I'll add to the topic of kids accompanying the players onto the pitch. Scott Miller, DC rep who attended our coaches meeting here in Frederick County, said that DC is planning to have kids accompany players onto the pitch this season. Should be cool.

Posted by: Matt | April 3, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

These changes sound good overall, except for one thing.

I agree with Jeff Bradley that MLS should switch to an NFL-style playoff format, in which the top seeds get a bye in the first round. It would greatly increase the value of the regular season (which everyone wants) and increase the likelihood that the best teams end up in MLS Cup (which everyone--including MLS--wants). It would be so much better.

Not a sermon, just a thought!

Posted by: Larry | April 3, 2007 6:26 PM | Report abuse

[quote

any word on whether they'll allow the in-game interviews with coaches? they did this on the Soccer Saturday game, think they'll do it on the Thursday Primetime game? it's awful

Posted by: pat | April 2, 2007 01:47 PM [/quote

that is one practice that needs to find it's place amongst the mighty dodo bird.

I like the no kicking the ball out for injuries as that courtesy has been so abused by floppers that it should be the official's discretion to stop play.

I do like the idea of the best teams irregardless of points making it into the playoffs, but I do worry about teams playing in a crap conference loading up on points with their weaker conference brethren getting in while a team from the stronger conference who is better doesn't cause they have been dogfighintg all year with the superior teams.

I'm not a single table fanatic, but I have a reason to believe that we will be single table soon OR 2 conferences (that don't play each other during the regular season) and the top 2 from each play for the cup like baseball used to. I'd put more money on single table making it though.

Posted by: papa bear | April 3, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Larry: (the one just above my last comment) that actually isn't a bad idea at all and it does add value to do well in the regular season.

I just wanted to add also to all the field turf jabs, Anfield, that little backyard a small club called Liverpool plays at is Field Turf. So "real" soccer clubs/leagues do use the stuff. My personal distaste for the material aside, matches are played on it everyday...with the new "TV Turf" coming out where imaged can be directly projected from the turf up I'd expect many other clubs to make the switch to boost revenue.

Posted by: papa bear | April 3, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Liverpool, and many other English club teams, do not use FirldTurf (which is a purely artificial 'grass' and a brand name).

The pitch at Liverpool is laid on dirt (unlike FieldTurf), but the grass is reinforced by "artificial fibers". This has become fairly common in Europe to make the surfaces more durable, yet not completely artificial.

Posted by: Kev | April 4, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Rochester is also on the short list for expansion. 1 million metro population, they have a 15K seat stadium for a USL team and get good attendance.

Fieldturf, not preferable, but many of these "soccer specific stadium" are also becoming the new ampitheather type venues in their cities for concerts. the fifa aproved 2 star FieldTurf (by FieldTurf, not some cheap knock-off) is actually very good and playable and a major upgrade from the original FieldTurf that was introduced in the mid 90s. Do I necessarily like it? No, do I understand it and can deal with it? Yes.

The league could go single table but will, for the foreseeable future, need playoffs as that is what the american sports psyche is built upon, so I applaud this move, with conference alignments and "wild cards" making the reg. season point tally very important, in effect replicating a single table.

Everyone posting and reading here is already a purist and would like the league to be like the EPK, Bundesliga, Serie A, Spanish Premiere, etc. in form and function, but MLS already has us as fans, and they need to start drawing the 30 - 45 year old whose kid is a soccer player and wants to go to the games, so they need some americanized element.

After a few early missteps I truly think MLS is doing a wonderful job managing their growth and marketing slowly but surely. This league will not fail but also must be prudent in their finances and approach to bringing the game to the U.S. market.

The Superliga needs to be expanded and lets hope the Concacaf Champions Cup comes to fruition and most MLS teams get to participate, that and more friedlies vs. the major European clubs during the summer while they are in training camp. Living in Dallas I am now very hopeful we may get to see Liverpool come play FC Dallas as a tuneup for their season. Last year Pizza Hut Park had an FC Dallas game followed by Everton vs. Club America (Mexico) and it was fantastic.

These are great changes and I applaud the new theme and hope it is very good and similar to the Champions League theme.

P.S. - they recorded it in Prague as the best classical musicians in the world reside there............

Posted by: Jay | April 5, 2007 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, it's hard to believe, but in the zillion posts I read that are posted above this one, I couldn't find one that commented on the following issue: The number of playoff teams has been REDUCED from eight to six. How is this supposed to be a good thing for fans? (OK, I suppose that the level of play in the playoffs will go up, but still ...)

Posted by: Jimmmm | April 7, 2007 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Hmmmm, it's hard to believe, but in the zillion posts I read that are posted above this one, I couldn't find one that commented on the following issue: The number of playoff teams has been REDUCED from eight to six. How is this supposed to be a good thing for fans? (OK, I suppose that the level of play in the playoffs will go up, but still ...)

Posted by: Jimmmm | April 7, 2007 1:18 AM | Report abuse

Oops, pardon my extremely bad arithmetic in my earlier post. (Two times two) plus four equals eight (same number of playoff teams as last year).

Posted by: Jimmmm | April 7, 2007 1:27 AM | Report abuse

Soccer is a fun game and i like to see goals.

Posted by: Jim Felders | April 16, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

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