Tuesday, November 16, 2010

State of the League

Today Don Garber spoke on the State of the League in a conference call that was streamed on MLSsoccer.com. There was plenty of interesting information coming out of the conference, and at least one thing that makes you just shake your head thanks to Paul Gardner. Some of the key points for me at least are below:

- Garber announced in the next 30-40 days there would be more jersey sponsorship announcements, with KC's announcement tomorrow, one would think that when Omar Bravo walks out in the new jersey there will be a sponsor on the front of the jersey.

- He officially announced the removal of the home grown player rule.

- Salary cap will be $2.67 million.

- The official announcement of the increased roster size was also announced. The 6 new roster spots have to be for players 24 or under and will not count against the cap.

- Also the reserve league is officially back, the season will be 10 games long, and teams will be divided into 3 6-team divisions. Teams will play each team in their division twice. The top 8 teams will make a reserve league play off. There are new eligibility rules, making games only available to the first team roster, trialists, and youth team players. A good move that will avoid front office people suiting up for the teams' reserves.

- Next season will have a 34 game schedule, they haven't finalized the format for next season and whether the schedule will be balanced or unbalanced. They are looking to possibly change and possibly expand the playoff format. MLS Cup will be November 20th, and they are looking at possibly having MLS Cup at the site of the highest seeded playoff team. Most of this is going to be decided at the Board of Governors meeting coming up soon. Garber did say the first game should be announced soon and that the full schedule should be out in January or early February. He also said that the league will never do away with the playoffs.

- The league is looking to potentially increase the salary cap for teams that make the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champion's League.

- Garber basically gave away who the MVP was this year it seemed like saying that the Golden Boot winner was in MLS Cup, but then backing up and saying there was an announcement coming later this week on an award. This seems to point to David Ferreira being the MVP, which is a great call in my opinion, he was my selection.

- New York 2 is still the leading candidate for the 20th expansion slot. Garber thinks we'll see the league expand over 20 in our lifetimes and included Atlanta, Florida (Tampa and Orlando), and San Diego, among others that were looking to get into the league.

- Finally the head shaking came when Paul Gardner from Soccer America was given the chance to ask a question and then proceeded to rant about the playing style in MLS until he was cut off by Garber asking him what his question was. Gardner continued to rant his opinion only shaping it as a very lopsided question that I thought Garber did well to answer. Gardner embarrassed himself more than anything in that exchange and has been laughed at and mocked quite a bit since the press conference.


drew said...

I'd like to think MLS will be smart enough to stop at 20 teams. No top league in Europe has over 20. The English Championship has 24, but they play an extremely grueling season that MLS doesn't need to put themselves through. If they keep increasing the number of teams, then they'll have to have a long season or a lopsided schedule and only play b/t 30-40 teams. Also, if they increase the teams I feel that MLS will keep the game to themselves. What I mean is they won't be able to compete in the Champions' League or do any kind of international tourney. Not like they take it too seriously anyway, tho.

szazzy said...

The US is almost the same size as all of Europe. There is no way they stop at 20, but I wish there was a way we could jump straight to 40 without blowing up the whole thing. Then you do MLS I and II or MLS East and West with playoffs between the two. I would prefer I and II so we have better talent playing with one another, but I don't want to be relegated either...

I agree it's nice to have something that is just simple like we play everyone away and home. See you at the end.

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