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Greetings From Quiet RFK

I asked DCU Coach Tom Soehn whether there were any trialists at training today.

"Not yet."

Tomorrow?

"Not yet."

Another reporter: Any new things that you.....

"Not yet. I'm not talkative today. You are not going to get much out of me."

Soehn will appear on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" between 5 and 6 p.m. ET today. Should be invigorating. ;-)

Team captain Jaime Moreno said he has been contacted by the Bolivian federation about playing in the Guatemala friendly next Wednesday night at RFK and that DCU has cleared him to play.

That's all for now.....

The wait for new players continues.

By Steve Goff  |  July 29, 2008; 12:54 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: No Deal for Cooper

Comments

Can we throw some money at Kyle Martino, to lure him back into MLS? I believe he retired this year to work on Wall Street or something. He would definitely go a long way toward resolving our issues on the flank, particularly since he can play on the left.

Posted by: jrnail23 | July 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but do you realize that if the season ended today there would be 5 west coast teams and 3 east in the playoffs? Remarkable turnaround from the beginning of the season where the west was simply atrocious. Now, you'd have to say the west still isn't lighting it up, but at least it's evened out a bit.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Martino retire for health reasons? Concussion I think?

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey Goff, tell Tommy to give me a call.

Former D2 player
RB/LB/RM/LM/CDM
Actually capable of accurately crossing with either foot.
90+ minute fit.
high 4.4 40m

Make it happen.

Posted by: AlecW81 | July 29, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Can we throw some money at Kyle Martino, to lure him back into MLS? I believe he retired this year to work on Wall Street or something. He would definitely go a long way toward resolving our issues on the flank, particularly since he can play on the left.

Posted by: jrnail23 | July 29, 2008 1:12 PM

Please no. I hate that guy. I'd rather bring back DeRoux

Posted by: GoUnited | July 29, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

So why is the coach not talking today? Is he under orders from management? Frustrated at the lack of trialists available? Or just in a bad mood?

Posted by: Two-Tone Tommy | July 29, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I go from an Arsenal season derailed by injuries to now watching United wade through a middle of the table campaign riddled with injuries.

UGH.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | July 29, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Being an Arsenal fan is your own fault.

Posted by: DC | July 29, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off topic, but do you realize that if the season ended today there would be 5 west coast teams and 3 east in the playoffs? Remarkable turnaround from the beginning of the season where the west was simply atrocious. Now, you'd have to say the west still isn't lighting it up, but at least it's evened out a bit.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 1:14 PM

That's because western teams have played more games. If you looked at the standings in terms of points per game, here's how it would stack up:
1. New England - 1.94
2. Columbus - 1.72
3. Chicago - 1.53
4. Real Salt Lake - 1.42
5. Chivas USA - 1.38
5. DC United - 1.38
7. Houston - 1.35
8. Toronto - 1.29
8. Kansas City - 1.29
10. Los Angeles - 1.28
11. FC Dallas - 1.22
11. New York - 1.22
13. Colorado - 1.17
14. San Jose - 0.83

This format would have 5 eastern conference teams making it. (Also the first team to not make the playoffs would also be from the east). So I still think the east is pretty superior to the west. (Note: Goal Differential served as a tiebreaker).

Posted by: GoUnited | July 29, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"Soehn will appear on Comcast SportsNet's "Washington Post Live" between 5 and 6 p.m. ET today."

I foresee a whole bunch of non-answers, generic sports-speak and I expect his appearance will be a big waste of everyone's time (his/mine/WPL staff).

Posted by: Beaker | July 29, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

On the off-topic. There are 9 teams within 2 points of each other. How weird is that? If the season ended today you'd have to go by points per game since several teams have played fewer matches. That would be 5 teams from the east and 3 from the west.

Posted by: DCUinCT | July 29, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I heard that you guys needed some offense on the wing...I'll only ask for DP type money now.

Posted by: Matias Donnet | July 29, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Back to potential player moves... do United still have the MLS rights to Bryan Arguez (assuming that they do)? From this site and BigSoccer, looks like he's in the doghouse in Berlin

http://lettersfromvagabondia.blogspot.com/2008/07/arguez-in-hertha-coachs-doghouse.html

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

@GoUnited:
Yeah, I hear you. It's true the west is still struggling. But in the beginning of the season it wasn't even close.

Nice math on the ppg though ...

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

If the season ended today you'd have to go by points per game since several teams have played fewer matches. That would be 5 teams from the east and 3 from the west.

Posted by: DCUinCT | July 29, 2008 1:34 PM
---------------------------------------------

Then, it's a good thing the season doesn't end until each team has played the SAME number of matches.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 29, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

What is this team doing????? They're killin me!

Posted by: kris | July 29, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Was Soehn mad at you Goff? Was he purposely adversarial? Or is the tone lost in the text?

Posted by: Dave | July 29, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like MLS's salary cap goal of league parity is working.

No ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal...oh and then the rest of the Premiership here!

Posted by: Tweaked | July 29, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Arguez has some issues to straighten out, if he's making a habit of being late -- even skipping practices. No wonder that Brett Favre isn't putting up that kind of stuff...He's got enough on his mind as it is trying to get back into American football.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

@Tweaked:
Yeah, it's nice to have a rooting interest in your team's season. It sucks knowing before the first kickoff that you'll be an also ran.

I'm hoping the league continues to move in the right direction. Sometimes it seems painfully slow. But it would be nice to have parity AND excellence, instead of parity in mediocrity.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Sadly I'm not surprised about Arguez. "Questioning his commitment" is nothing new. Definitely sounds like he's blowing an amazing opportunity.

Good to hear he's an Obama fan though ;)

Posted by: DCUMD | July 29, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

So why is the coach not talking today? Is he under orders from management? Frustrated at the lack of trialists available? Or just in a bad mood?

Posted by: Two-Tone Tommy | July 29, 2008 1:21 PM

============================

I'm telling you, it's bad feng shui over there. Dude's lost his chi, whole team's lost its chi, I wonder if moving the field didn't have something to do with it. And messing with the clock.

I'm told the feng shui consultant retained in secret by FO (the "change" Soehn referred to before) says that the possible aligments in Greenbelt are very promising.

So, Greenbelt? "Not yet."

Posted by: OWNTF | July 29, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

bad comments by soehn, at a time when he needs to be getting spirits up. I don't think he manages the media and fans well at times.

Posted by: downtown | July 29, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Looks like MLS's salary cap goal of league parity is working.

No ManU, Chelsea, Arsenal...oh and then the rest of the Premiership here!

Posted by: Tweaked | July 29, 2008 1:40 PM
---------------------------------------------

Chelsea is seriously bad for the sport -- not just the EPL, but the entire global sport. Have you looked at their depth chart? Guys who aren't likely to sniff the starting lineup would be "all-stars" in almost every league around the world. It's a travesty that the public doesn't get to see these talents play game in and game out because Chelsea needs to have Anelka, Pizarro, Kalou and Shevchenko on the bench, along with Malouda, Obi Mikel, Wright-Phillips, Ben Haim, Bridge and half of the Portuguese national back line. Of course, they're handsomely paid for not playing, but it's ruining the sport. A WASTE OF TALENT.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 29, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Sadly I'm not surprised about Arguez. "Questioning his commitment" is nothing new. Definitely sounds like he's blowing an amazing opportunity.

Posted by: DCUMD | July 29, 2008 1:48 PM

United could certainly find a place for him. I'm sure the logistics (and finances) would make that impossible though.

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I am tired of Soehn's moodiness. Sometimes "10 players and a goali" and then now "Not yet." He is a very bad coach.
I think he is on the hot seat.

Posted by: JoJo | July 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

OWNTF, I think your lo-mein had too much ptomaine in it.

jrnail23, Just what we need. An out of the league, out of shape, out of it Kyle Martino. Brilliant.

Posted by: Ron | July 29, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe when MLS gets to 16 teams the league will ditch the conferences and switch to a single-table format, 30-game season, home and away to each opponent. Expand to a 34-game season with 18 teams. Top eight teams make the playoffs, seeded one through eight for the knockout tournament.

Unlike the rest of American sports leagues, the MLS tradition of conferences is not deeply fixed in the fans' view of the game, and could be ditched rather easily. The European and most Latin American leagues do just fine without artificial conference or division structures - the local derbies and traditional rivalries are still going strong in most countries.

Posted by: SSMD | July 29, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: New England Guy | July 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

The Martino idea is one of the worst I've ever seen on this blog. He's out of the league, for goodness sake!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

bad comments by soehn, at a time when he needs to be getting spirits up. I don't think he manages the media and fans well at times.

Posted by: downtown | July 29, 2008 1:51 PM
________________________________________________

Youre right, Soehn must be the worst coach in terms of encouragement, you just have to see his team, its pretty amazing that the first 15 minutes of each game the team never goes to the field with their spirits high, and they never attack like theres no tomorrow....

Posted by: Loco Bielsa | July 29, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry...

Quit the Chelsea knocking. MANU stocks up, Real Madrid, Barcelona, AC Milan, et cetera. Pizarro and Shevchenko cannot cut it in the EPL. Kalou is always in the rotation, usually starting or coming in for a decent run. Anelka is scoring like he always had during the pre-season (looks like he and Drogba will be a much more lethal combination than Torres-Keane), Obi Mikel is the new Makelele (and he is only 20 years old), Wright Philips is looking good on the left side and could actually start the season in the first XI and Ben Haim is/has been sold to ManCity. As for the Portuguese backline, Bosingwa starts, Carvalho starts and Ferrera is the right-back cover (although Essien usually claims the spot because of his total awesomeness). I don't mean to go on, but if you are going to talk smack about my team, at least be educated enough to get some things correct.

Posted by: True Blue in Baltimore | July 29, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Fisch Fry,

Keep up the Chelsea knocking. World football always needs a Public Enemy #1.

Posted by: Ferguson, Wegner and Benitez, LLC | July 29, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Goff,
Any word on Mediate? Is he still out with Concussionissues, and if so whats the prognosis? Has he been runnign and doing drills? Did Gros leave his headband behind?


Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I was going to agree with my annoyance at Chelsea's stockpiling, but then remembered how many talented players they've sent on loan to my club (QPR) - and I can't complain.

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Fisch, when I lived in Madrid, I thought the same thing -- and that's why I hate Real Madrid. They had Michael Owen on the bench. When they subbed him in, they scored, setting a record for points per minute.

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

@SSMD:
Man, I'm with you on the single table thing. And if they're going to go single table I think the league cup should also be all inclusive. Making the regular season an extended qualifying tournament for the league cup is just silly.

But it'll most likely never happen.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I am tired of Soehn's moodiness. Sometimes "10 players and a goali" and then now "Not yet." He is a very bad coach.
I think he is on the hot seat.

Posted by: JoJo | July 29, 2008 1:58 PM

He doesn't want to reveal what he is doing in practice to the other teams. What is he supposed to say? "I will start Jaime as AM, and am going to use Carroll in the back with McTavish." The team is going through a rough stretch;every team does. He gets at least a few more games.

Posted by: United fury | July 29, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope the reason for his moodiness has something to do with DCU FO giving him an ultimatum or packing orders.

Posted by: juanma | July 29, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

The way I read Soehn's non-response is that something is in the works. No, not a trialist (though that is supposed to happen). But a possible trade which would mean dealing or cutting a player. And since DCU has been down this route before (ie: nearly acquired Joe Cannon for instance, nearly signed Veron) I'm sure the marching orders are: say nothing until it's a done deal

As for Martino....I think we have far better options than him. A card-board cut-out of Rudiger Abramciz, Olsen in a wheel chair, Steve Guppy with a walker....need I go on?

Look, this team has no defensive organizer if Peralta is out. We need an upgrade in goal. And we don't have an outside mid who can swing in crosses semi-accurately. Everything else we've got enough to slide by on unless there are 5 forwards who get hurt all at the same time.

And yes it's bad for Chelsea (and other clubs) to stockpile talent. Sheva doesn't start because he can't hack it in the Premiership. He doesn't start because guys like Drogba are ahead of him. It's not good for baseball when 2-3 teams are guaranteed contenders every year b/c they have double the salary of almost everyone else. It's not good for futbal/soccer when 2-3 teams are guaranteed contenders in their league every year when they have double the salary of almost everyone else.

Posted by: JoeW | July 29, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

A coach making uninformative comments to the media might irritate you, but that doesn't make him a bad coach. I'm not defending Soehn, who is losing my confidence, but the childish reactions people have in general when the coach doesn't drop by your office or home to give you a detailed report of the lineup, tactics, bench, what happened at practice, and lunch (on his dime) are ridiculous. The guy's job isn't to keep you informed; it's to lead the team to wins, keep morale up, and help improve the players at his disposal.

We can discuss how well/poorly Soehn is doing those things, but his almost-always-bland comments to the press don't impact what's on the field. Soehn could insult me personally every time SG talks to him, as long as we get ourselves back on track and into the form we saw in June. The only people I can think of that have a legitimate gripe about Soehn's comments to the media are the media themselves.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | July 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Having Anelka coming off the bench, and Shevchenko pining for a chance -- that's like the Yankees stockpiling and having Duke Snider as pinch-hitter because they've got Mays, Mantle and Aaron in the outfield. A Hall-of-Famer, whose career would have been forgotten in a few years because he was "depth". Having Michael Essien in defense is like the Yankees adding Hanley Ramirez or Jose Reyes, and playing and moving Derek Jeter to first or second base. It's an insult to the game.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

As it relates to Noonan (na na na na na na na na), let me get this straight as it relates to MLS free agency.

He used to work for the Chili's in Bethesda, but then gets a great offer to work for PF Chang's at White Flint. Doesn't work out there - drops a few lettuce wraps, forgets to put some spices in the dumplings, whatever. Decides to go work for the Chili's in Tyson's Corner since he likes working there, but the head of the Chili's corporation says Bethesda still has his rights so he has to work there even though they have already replaced him on the wait staff, and he will have to go back to what he was making before he went to PF Chang's.

Is that about right?

Posted by: AM | July 29, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Surprising -- Mathis didn't get a contract w/ the Norwegian team he was trying out for.

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Shhhhhh! Enough with the single table talk!

Posted by: Europhobics | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

So is someone trying to say Shevchenko is coming to DCU?

Posted by: dadryan | July 29, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Man, I'm with you on the single table thing. And if they're going to go single table I think the league cup should also be all inclusive. Making the regular season an extended qualifying tournament for the league cup is just silly.

But it'll most likely never happen.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 2:16 PM
--------------------------------------------

I have to agree. If you go to a single table, then either the playoffs or the regular season becomes extraneous. Conferences provide a rationale for a playoff system. Yes, we have a Supporters' Shield, but so long as there are conferences, the real champion emerges in the MLS Cup. If you go to a single table, what is the argument for having a playoffs system, other than money? Competing for a conference champion to face off against the other conference champ -- that's a compelling narrative. A single table would kill that. The NHL figured that out, after a brief fling with a single table.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 29, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

All I'm saying is that I may like Noonan, but I'm still not going to eat at Chili's, even if he is working there.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | July 29, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

AM - re: Noonan - LOL - You nailed it!

Posted by: New England Guy | July 29, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

5.8 quake in LA. I hope Becks is ok.

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Soehn better have some serious relief lined up otherwise his silence makes him look even more unqualified for the job.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Soehn better have some serious relief lined up otherwise his silence makes him look even more unqualified for the job.

Posted by: | July 29, 2008 3:00 PM
--------------------------------------------

??????????????? It does??????????????? It means he's got nothing to say that hasn't already been said.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 29, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Fisch - I think that MLS will go to a single table after a couple more expansions - but I don't think they'll lose the playoffs. Personally, I kind of like how England's rugby Premier League does it. Top 4 (of 12) make the playoffs in a single table.

I already think that the Conference champions are kind of irrelevant as things stand already, because the Supporters Shield essentially rewards the overall top team (as it will in a single table in the future).

I think we'll still see 8 teams in the playoffs. The owners will want the revenue from higher profile post-season matches (as you alluded to). It will be hard for the league to convince its investors otherwise. I know this is another whole messy debate, but relegation will never happen for a similar reason. You can't beg a group to put money in the league one year then send them through the trap door to Puerto Rico the next.

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

RE: Single table.

I could see single table, home and away format (I think Garber even hinted at it) because it would make the Supporters Shield an even competition. If that happened, MLS would still retain the playoffs because it's American and, as our beer-battered piscean friend notes, it's all about the money. One needs playoffs to be able to market a championship game. they'll come up with some format in which LA +7 and 7 other teams enter the playoffs with LA getting byes until the semifinals.

RE: Noonan. I just returned form lunch at the White Flint PF Chang's. The dim sum appetizer platter was very good and, for tea, I recommend the Dragon Oolong over the White Tangerine.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 29, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

5.8.................isn't that what the Galaxy give up per game, as well?

Posted by: Hoost | July 29, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Goff - "all quiet at RFK" except for the sound of crumbling concrete and the crackling and popping of electrical shorts! Too bad we can't get a 5.8 quake in SE to take out the old stadium. Thanks for including the link to my Letter to the Editor last Saturday.

Posted by: Mark (in Herndon) | July 29, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Fisch,

I may be dating myself but the NHL only had 6 teams from the 40's until expansion in the late 60's. I'm pretty sure they had a single table and had the Stanley Cup which is their de facto championship.

So they may have expanded into conferences/divisions, but I don't think 20+ years is a "brief fling".

I see no reason why MLS will not do both if it suits them. The league does a lot of things that does not have a competitive rationale like playing games while internationals are off playing in the world cup and its qualifiers.

Posted by: Tommie | July 29, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Fisch,

I may be dating myself but the NHL only had 6 teams from the 40's until expansion in the late 60's. I'm pretty sure they had a single table and had the Stanley Cup which is their de facto championship.

So they may have expanded into conferences/divisions, but I don't think 20+ years is a "brief fling".

I see no reason why MLS will not do both if it suits them. The league does a lot of things that does not have a competitive rationale like playing games while internationals are off playing in the world cup and its qualifiers.

Posted by: Tommie | July 29, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

They can go to a single table with a second cup competition similar to the Carling Cup in the EPL. They could do a single elimination the way it's done over there or what might be more interesting draw the teams into groups and have the top two advance similar to the CL. What they need to do away with is the divisonal set up.

Posted by: Orange14 | July 29, 2008 3:28 PM | Report abuse

A half-season, and Noonan gives up on his European dream?

Stop going to these small, obscure clubs!

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

No, I didn't have Seagram's and a 7-up at lunch, I just forgot to delete the "and 7" from the above post.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 29, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Mexico doesn't have single table either, and it seems to work for them. They also dropped their in-season cup competition years ago.

Maybe Noonan can go play there. Go sign with Atlante and live in Cancun for the season. Forget Norway...

Posted by: AM | July 29, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Chili's is a single-entity corporation.

Posted by: TGIRevolution | July 29, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

chest rockwell - "The guy's job isn't to keep you informed; it's to lead the team to wins, keep morale up, and help improve the players at his disposal."

exactly. soehn is doing 0 of those 3 things. how about a trialist coach instead of throwing new players at an old problem?

Posted by: moses | July 29, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

I say keep an eye out for Boliviar players Botero, up front, plays like jaime but is younger by 4 years i believe, and Pachi who is darker and shorter but is very quick and has been playing great for bolivar lately. Maybe given our Ties to them they could be loaned out to help us right now?? Then again the bolivian league is about to start again...

Posted by: Bolivian DC Fan | July 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Energie NY made some moves today, if you're interested...

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Mexico doesn't have single table either, and it seems to work for them. They also dropped their in-season cup competition years ago.

Posted by: AM | July 29, 2008 3:37 PM

Well if Mexico does it one way, that's the most compelling argument for the opposite ;-)

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

why all the love for single table? this isn't England, Germany or Spain, travel isn't easy. let's assume, just for a minute, that a 20 team MLS looks something like this:

New England
New York A
Philly
DC
Columbus
Chicago
Kansas City
St. Louis
Houston
Dallas
Salt Lake City
San Diego
LA
Portland
Seattle
Denver
San Jose
Toronto
Montreal
Vancouver

38 games, home and home. There are now 19 games in Greenbelt and 4 games within reasonable driving distance of DC. (PHL, NYC, NE, CLB) 500 miles is my version of 'reasonable driving distance'. there would be 6 games (SLC, SD, LAX, PDX, SEA, VAN, that take place more than 2000 miles from DC. so that is more games farther than 2000 miles away than closer than 500 miles.

to give everyone an idea of scale, there is no team in the Premiership farther than about 350 miles away from any other team (Newcastle to Portsmouth), or roughly DC to New London, CT) it is 600 miles from Malaga to Santander in Spain (or roughly DC to Montreal) and 1000 miles from Turin to Palermo in Italy. (roughly DC to Kansas City)

are you ready for DC to play more than a third of its games, total, more than 1000 miles away? that's 13 games, three whole months, more than 1000 miles away.

Posted by: northzax | July 29, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Remember, Mexico doesn't have single table either, and it seems to work for them. They also dropped their in-season cup competition years ago.

Posted by: AM | July 29, 2008 3:37 PM

Well if Mexico does it one way, that's the most compelling argument for the opposite ;-)

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 4:06 PM

******************************************

I'm a DC fan and support MLS but Mexico's quirky season and playoff structure makes for much more compelling soccer than anything MLS has attempted since its inception.

It seems a bit much to have 2 seasons (apertura and clausura) PLUS playoffs but Mexican fans and TV viewers seem to like and keep spending their pesos coming back for more.

Like MLS, they still tinker with their format pretty frequently, too. This season they've done away with some wildcard slots (repechage) to their playoffs so 8 teams rather than 10 will make the postseason. And the 3 groups in Primera are randomly drawn every season so it's not like Redskins - Cowboys or Yankees - Red Sox divisional rivalries exist. Since everyone plays each other once in each season the groups don't really affect scheduling - but being in an easier group and qualifying with a 1st or 2nd place finish makes it easier.

Standings after opening weekend:

http://www.mediotiempo.com/fmf/primera/apertura_2008/tabla_grupos.php

Posted by: garbaggio | July 29, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the Mexican League copied the Carolina League's playoff system. Yeah, that's right, they copied Single A minor league baseball.

Posted by: RK | July 29, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

PF Chang's doesn't have a single table?

Posted by: Joe Doc | July 29, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

@northzax:
Yeah, the logistical argument is a compelling one. And honestly, I'm not a season ticket holder. I probably make it to 5 matches a season. So I'm not one to travel anyways. New York or LA, either way I'm not making the trip.

The other problem with single table would be (maybe some day) having a league with more than 20 teams. At what point do you say, ok no more teams? And when your market is as vast as the US is, would you be leaving markets untapped for the sake of keeping a single table?

But I still like the idea. From a competitive perspective I think it makes the most sense. And I particularly like the concept of making the "regular season" games more meaningful. For instance by offering a larger prize to the supporters shield winner or making the league cup an all inclusive tournament.

Posted by: Matte | July 29, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

are you ready for DC to play more than a third of its games, total, more than 1000 miles away? that's 13 games, three whole months, more than 1000 miles away.

Posted by: northzax | July 29, 2008 4:17 PM

I don't think that presents much of a change from the current format, where United play at all the Western Conference teams once as is. Look at the rest of United's schedule this season. They play at Chicago, San Jose, LA, Dallas and Houston - just in the next couple months.

Posted by: Kev | July 29, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

10 players and a goali and not yet.

Posted by: Soehn | July 29, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Nigel, your commentary is aboot as exciting as listening to Mr. Bean talk. I've fallen asleep in the booth at least 16 times this year.

Posted by: Craig Forrest | July 29, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Northzax: You have thoroughly confused me. For argument's sake (and to annoy Blatter), I'll accept a your 20-team league. Have you moved Chivas USA to another city?

As far as your analysis, time zone changes are as important (if not more so) than distance. So I would add Colorado to the list of travel-intensive matches, but delete KC, St. L, Houston, and Dallas (all Central time). That makes 8 travel-intensive matches. Not bad, out of 38 total.

Travel isn't easy, but we live in a big country and have to deal with it. At least we don't live in Alaska or Hawaii. Nothing against 49 and 50, but they'll never get MLS teams.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | July 29, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Craig, shut up you wanker. You have up 9 goals in one game to Manchester United. Worst keeper in the Premier League.

Posted by: Nigel Reed | July 29, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Chili's is a single-entity corporation.

Posted by: TGIRevolution | July 29, 2008 3:40 PM

Work with me here, people. Use whatever analogy you want, I was hungry at the time.

Point being, Wolff, McBride and Noonan all could have come back to MLS this year. Wolff signed happily with the team who still had his rights, but it's where he wanted to go. If he had a choice, he did not let on. Noonan had to grovel back to New England because they were the only ones who could take him back. McBride still technically has not come back since his rights had to be traded from the team who had his rights through the 'free agent draft' for lack of a better term. It seems like the exact same situation - free agents coming to play in the U.S. and all subject to different rules.

Posted by: AM | July 29, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

PF Chang's doesn't have a single table where you can hear your companions.

Posted by: Cheescake Factor | July 29, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I did some calculations on single table air travel vs. the current unbalanced schedule:

http://www.settingthetable.info/simpleblog/default.asp?view=archives&month=4&year=2008

Bottom entry.

Posted by: equus | July 29, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: lprevolution | July 29, 2008 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Dallas' rejection of the offer for Cooper was refreshing. Imagine if we had heard United reject the ridiculously low sum we gave Perkins away for. Sure could use him now.

Shouldn't anyone be held accountable for these decisions? Neill? Please. Peralta? Marginal at best. Martinez was the only good pick up in the off season. Unfortunately we lost a lot of talent in order to pay for Gallardo. He's good, but comperable to Gomez who wanted a 20th of the cash.

Goff, do you know if Chang and MacFarlane have ever called our FO on the carpet for anything?

Posted by: David | July 30, 2008 12:41 AM | Report abuse

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