By Michael Lewis
Everyone has an opinion about the MLS Cup playoffs and how to improve it.
If you play a 34-game season, the teams that finished with better records are not rewarded enough.
So, here are Michael Lewis Soccer’s (that’s my version of MLS) ideas to improve the playoffs:
* Start off the same way we did the last two seasons, with six teams from each conference booking a spot in the postseason.
* Play the knockout round games at the higher seeded side that midweek or on the weekend (weekend equals Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
* On the next weekend, have the four conference semifinals as knockout games at the higher seeds. In other words, we eliminate the aggregate-goals series.
* And on the next weekend, the conference finals for the two conference finals as a one-shot deal at the higher seeds. And yes, we eliminate the aggregate-goals series in this one as well.
* And finally, MLS Cup.
Getting rid of the total-goals series would liven things up and make for much more drama (after Sunday night’s scoreless draw of a fiasco between Vancouver and Seattle, it will make the teams play for something instead of essentially wasting 90 minutes).
Plus, it would allow MLS to schedule games on the weekend, instead of midweek or on a Monday or a Tuesday, which is has for this year’s conference semifinals. That should increase attendances at the games as well.
Let’s make a 3-game season mean something for the teams with the better records.
You say it’s unfair for a team not to have a playoff game in the conference semifinals or final?
Tough, I say.
Finish higher in the standings and earn your way to one.
Don’t know if the powers that be at MLS would buy it because teams would lose a playoff game in the conference series
To me, it’s about the quality of the competition and giving some more meaning to the regular season.