Thoughts On “Game First” Initiatives

Thoughts On “Game First” Initiatives

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On April 2, 2007
  • 4 Comments

Lots of interesting thoughts from the Game First Initiatives given out by the MLS today. Some were totally expected while others were somewhat worthless.

I felt like a total moron for a minute reading them when I saw the playoff format. I honestly thought I read that the league was keeping the 8 team format and instead they are going to a 6 team format, which rather pleases me and lets me know that even if they was already announced and I had already misread it before that the league does care about the regular season now.

A few things that I liked:

  • Playoff format – I just touched on it, but conference leaders and four wild card teams. That sounds solid to me. I was calling for a four team playoff format for the longest time but six will suit me just fine I think.
  • 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 – I am telling you the talent is there…the league is better off finding talent in South American that is fresh and young than going to Europe and getting an old washed up star!
  • MLS will work with broadcasters to provide a better broadcast. HEY Thank God! Something I have been waiting on for a while.
  • Re-investment of transfer fees – Clubs actually get transfer fee money (2/3 of it) unlike before where the league got the whole pie. Honestly, the league shouldn’t get 1/3 of the fee but it is still better than before.
  • In-stadium commercial PA announcements during play will be significantly reduced – Smart move that many may not realize. I hated siting through games and hear countless and mindless adds for random car dealerships and what nots. Somethings just aren’t meant to be heard during a match.
  • MLS is actively exploring new, meaningful international competitions – I like this one the best. They actually saved the best for last on the page. Hopefully this means no more MLS All-Stars vs. Real Madrid during the middle of the season in Madrid. Dumbest move the league ever made I feel.

Things I felt were pointless/worthless to mention/stupid/unnecessary/etc.:

  • The length of the grass cut and optimal watering schedules prior to the match – Uh…what about fields with AstroTurf? I guess once all teams get their own SSS this will mean something a bit more?
  • The pattern of directional cuts, so as to assist fans and referees better view offside decisions – Again, stupid…an offsides is an offsides no matter how the grass it cut…believe me.
  • 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 – honestly this isn’t stupid or anything like that but I cannot realize why this hasn’t been in place until now.
  • Referees have been encouraged, at their discretion, to issue a yellow card caution to players who raise their hand with an imaginary card – this could very well be the dumbest thing I’ve read all day

Last thing of note that I felt the league sort of snuck into this:

More signings are expected prior to the April 15 transfer deadline.

Something tells me we will possibly see one or two more big names signed. Or at least one or two more foreign players signed.

Give me your thoughts on this. What you liked, didn’t like, etc.

  • Chris

    I believe that 8 teams still make the playoffs: <br />
    &quot;While the top two teams from each conference will earn an automatic berth into the MLS Cup Playoffs, the other four spots will be occupied by the next four teams with the highest point total – regardless of their conference.&quot;<br />
    So the top two from each conference (4) + the teams with highest point totals (4) = 8.

  • drew.epperley

    2 conferences + next best four = 6…I was messed up on the format as anyone else, I really felt the league wasn't clear enough on this as they could have been…

  • Chris

    I believe that 8 teams still make the playoffs:
    “While the top two teams from each conference will earn an automatic berth into the MLS Cup Playoffs, the other four spots will be occupied by the next four teams with the highest point total – regardless of their conference.”
    So the top two from each conference (4) + the teams with highest point totals (4) = 8.

  • drew.epperley

    2 conferences + next best four = 6…I was messed up on the format as anyone else, I really felt the league wasn’t clear enough on this as they could have been…