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Old 10-25-2019, 09:29 AM   #1
Boomcoach
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MLS Playoffs

Some thoughts:
  • With NYCFC out, no more games played on baseball diamonds!
  • LAFC gets over their LA Galaxy nemesis, which means no more Zlatan this year. Makes my daughter VERY happy!
  • The new format has worked, for me, to give more intensity in these games, rather than cagey 0-0 first legs, which had become the norm.
  • If MLS wants to move into better consideration as a major US sports league, maybe you should have your playoff games on networks that people can actually see! I planned my day, last Saturday, to be free to watch all 4 games, but I don't have Univision or TSN, so I only got to see two of them!
  • As a neutral (my Crew are having to use the "wait til next year cry, unfortunately) the Sounders - FC Dallas game and last night's El Trafico brought some serious entertainment!
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:15 PM   #2
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[*]The new format has worked, for me, to give more intensity in these games, rather than cagey 0-0 first legs, which had become the norm.
Not that I followed closely, but the two-game series made no sense to me. Basically, it was just a twice-as-long game stretched out into four quarters, with the first two quarters being played one day, and the next two quarters being played several days later. Stupid.
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:57 PM   #3
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Two game series are the standard in Europe, so that the better team is more likely to win and that 90 minutes doesn't decide the whole thing. Similar to a best of five or seven series in baseball.
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Old 10-25-2019, 08:57 PM   #4
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I'm ok with a home and away series like they do in other countries. What I'm not ok with is half the teams making the playoffs. This is why I can't take the NBA or NHL seriously. Also, I'm still ticked we (Wisconsin) never got a team. I remember Garber saying about a dozen years ago that Milwaukee was one of the top considerations for expansion and it never happened. Maybe someday, after they fail in LA & Florida multiple times.
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Old 10-25-2019, 10:13 PM   #5
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I'm taking it their playing games over what we call 2 legs (games), are they using the away goals count double in the event of a draw? I'm thinking it would confuse alot of Americans if it ended up LA 1-1 NY then NY 0-0 LA and NY going through even though nobody won a game.
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Old 10-26-2019, 12:37 AM   #6
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I like Atlanta United to repeat as champions. And what a success story, those home crowds are simply amazing.
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Old 10-26-2019, 03:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman576 View Post
Two game series are the standard in Europe...
Be that as it may...

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman576 View Post
... so that the better team is more likely to win and that 90 minutes doesn't decide the whole thing...
The better team is also more-likely to win a single game (NFL, March Madness, MLB wildcard) or a best-of-three/five/seven (MLB, NBA, NHL)... Clearly, the more games played, the more-likely the better team wins. But in a two-game series, it's a significant probability that a tiebreaker scenario - rather than most games won will decide the winner.

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... Similar to a best of five or seven series in baseball.
No, it's not similar.

- In a two-game series, the significant possibility that a one-game-each split will occur, resulting in some quirky tie-breaker scenario based upon goals scored will be needed to determine who advances. So if there's a two-game sweep, no problem. But if not, winning games means nothing.
- In a best-of five or seven, the team that wins the most games win the series. Period. (There is never a planned-for - planned-for!!! - scenario where something other than winning games will decide a series winner.)

This also begs the question: If one game has always been good enough for the MLS Cup, why wasn't it good enough for the rest of their playoffs?
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Old 10-26-2019, 04:47 PM   #8
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Over in the real world of soccer, Leicester trucked Southampton 9-0 to tie the Premier League record for largest margin of victory. Leicester set a Premier League record for largest margin of victory on the road.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:23 PM   #9
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Two good playoff games this past couple of days! MLS tries to piggy-back off the World series hype, by having the road teams win both games!

I thought the Atlanta-TFC game was an excellent watch, from a coaching perspective. Atlanta was on the front foot for most of the first half, but Vanney's substitutions and change of shape really shut them down and switched the momentum to TFC.

A further sub and reversion to their original shape, let them turn the momentum into attack. They got the go-ahead goal and then held on for dear life.

I was very surprised the Atlanta did not make more and earlier changes, deBoer just stood pat while the game slipped away from the Five Stripes.

I am looking forward to the final!
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:34 PM   #10
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Not that I followed closely, but the two-game series made no sense to me. Basically, it was just a twice-as-long game stretched out into four quarters, with the first two quarters being played one day, and the next two quarters being played several days later. Stupid.
Obviously, you don't follow the game if you don't make sense of the home/home series and how it works or its reason for being. Stupid = I don't understand.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:02 PM   #11
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Obviously, you don't follow the game if you don't make sense of the home/home series and how it works or its reason for being. Stupid = I don't understand.
Everybody's got an opinion. My opinion of the two-game home & home is that it's stupid (because it devalues wins and overvalues tiebreakers), just like your opinion of thinking something is stupid equals don't understand. We're both entitled to our opinions, regardless of how "stupid" we each think the other's is
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:05 PM   #12
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This also begs the question: If one game has always been good enough for the MLS Cup, why wasn't it good enough for the rest of their playoffs?
Because cup games are designed not to decide what's the best team, but to have more randomness and upsets.

You either design playoff systems to make it a better format of deciding better teams, or you give the championship by regular season and only consider the playoff system a fun cup game.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:00 PM   #13
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Because cup games are designed not to decide what's the best team, but to have more randomness and upsets.
Which produces more randomness, a single game where - in pretty much any sport any team can beat another on a given day, or a two-game series where there's a high-likelihood of a tie, which would be broken by statistics? On one hand, the longer the series, the more likely the better team wins. On the the other hand, in a two-game series there is a significant chance of a tie and then random statistics being used to determine who advances.

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You either design playoff systems to make it a better format of deciding better teams, or you give the championship by regular season and only consider the playoff system a fun cup game.
Let's pull the two Super Bowl participants out of a hat! That would be random and fun!

At any rate, I can't speak for other soccer leagues, but I'm pretty sure the MLS players/organizations/fans put much more weight on winning the MLS Cup than they do winning the regular season "championship."

Last edited by thehef; 10-31-2019 at 08:01 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 11-01-2019, 07:57 AM   #14
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Obviously, you don't follow the game if you don't make sense of the home/home series and how it works or its reason for being. Stupid = I don't understand.
That is more than a bit harsh. I have followed soccer, both MLS and European, for several decades and I think the change in the format for the MLS makes complete sense. While I do not dislike the 2-leg format, per se, in the MLS it has routinely made for awful first leg games. I have paid money for more than one tentatively played 0-0 home games, and do not miss them at all.

I think there are other good reasons for the change:
  • Know your market. If the MLS wants to grow, it needs to attract more of the US sports audience. One can be pig-headed and stick to your pride and blame fans for not liking the way you do things, or you can adapt. US fans like to see a playoff decided by wins. The option to go to a 3 game series is a non-starter, so a one game round makes sense and has added a level of excitement to the playoffs that I think it lacked in prior years.
  • International break. The MLS playoffs has always had to deal with the fall break, which has made for some very extended and disjointed playoffs, with finals running into December, which is an unpleasant watch, I have been there! This year's playoff nestled nicely between the October and November breaks.
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