- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On November 21, 2008
- 10 Comments
- Don Garber, MLS Cup, State of the League Address
I am getting word from a few sources out in LA attending MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s State of the League Address tonight. As I get information across I will update this post with it. Sorry if some of the information is little in detail, all I am getting is text messages at this point (big thanks to RS out there doing this for me).
- Next year will have a 30 game schedule, starting one week earlier than in 2008 (March 21). The league will do it’s best to avoid as many FIFA dates as they possibly can (yeah right).
- Playoff structure will not change in 2008. (kind of a let down really but with the more teams in the better it will have to get, but I still believe they need to do away with the opening round home-and-away series)
- Reserve division is no more…senior rosters will be expanded in the process (I will go more into that later…its a good thing really as the league expands)
- No overlap between CCL and SuperLiga teams…another good thing to happen
- Seattle Sounders FC have sold over 18000 season ticket…good Lord, whatever they are doing can they teach eight or nine of the clubs that have been in the league since day one on how to do it?
- Big one here…Montreal has DROPPED their expansion bid! Wow!
- Speaking of expansion, we will get word on the next two in prior to the 2009 season, say mid-to-late-February? Definitely no later than the middle of March. (I give them another month before they announce the Miami bid though)
- MLS Cup is a sellout for Sunday…gosh that is good news. I honestly had a little fear that it wouldn’t reach 20k.
Okay, time to go a little more into details on a couple things, once I get more details on a few things I will continue to update this:
Drop of Reserve League:
Basically the league is cutting some costs here. By getting rid of the Reserve league they can expand senior rosters from 18 players to 20 and keep four development players. Some thoughts behind the removeal suggest that with travel costs, and very little change from those players each year the league is investing more money in the senior roster by dropping those bottom four spots.
As the league expands they needed to do this anyways to fill roster spots for four new clubs by 2011. Clubs can will also be able to spend more money on current talent or foreign talent. And seeing how those bottom four development players hardly ever work out for anyone, it’s not a bad idea at all.
Probably the biggest news of all out of this is Montreal dropping their expansion bid. Apparently they let the league know about a week or so about that they were going to be doing this. I don’t know if it was fear of not getting in due to a couple strong bids or what. I think it comes down to their desire to wait a couple more years to see if they should really expand into MLS. Who really knows but once details trickle out about this story I will definitely have it.
No club will play in both tournaments. Finally the league thought things through here.
SuperLiga: Chivas USA, Chicago, New England, Kansas City.
Champions League: New York, Columbus, Houston, D.C.
A little different than what I was originally told. Its going back to the top-two clubs getting auto-bids. The next four will be wild-cards regardless of conference. The playoff format will remain the same: home and home in the first round, single-game conference finals and MLS Cup.
Garber said the league is taking a serious look at holding MLS Cup at the site of a finalist, but for 2009, the game will be at a neutral venue. Next year’s site and date have not been finalized.