Pondering The 2012 MLS Schedule

Pondering The 2012 MLS Schedule

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On August 23, 2011
  • 2012 MLS Schedule, 2012 MLS Season, Features

Don Garber and the MLS front office have a huge task in front of them for 2012. (Getty Images)

One thing is certain, 2012 will be different. How different for Major League Soccer is the question.

MLS will have 19 clubs next season with Montreal entering the mix. This all means the schedule gets a little trickier. Sporting News’ Brian Stratus had this post about the schedule earlier today with some interesting comments from Don Garber and others from the league’s front office.

“More than likely, you won’t see a balanced schedule going forward,” Garber said recently during a meeting with fans. “The real question is whether we have a competition that is conference based, which means you’re playing against your conference more, or is it rivalry based, which would work well for television but might be less balanced in terms of the fairness of the competition.”

“Everything’s on the table, from single table to conference-laden, geography-based scheduling,” Rodriguez said. “More games, less games — all on the table. (Calendar) footprint, on the table. We have to look at it all. We have to make a short-term decision for 2012, ’13 perhaps, but we have to take a longer view.”

In a way the league really has a challenge ahead of themselves here. The geography of this country (and Canada) is huge. With four timezones to deal with, the amount of travel and let’s not forget all the extras like the CCL and USOC (and the meaningless friendlies), the challenge is a tall one.

One thing I’d love to see happen is the league stretch out their start and finish dates a little more. Begin a little earlier in March and go towards the end of November for MLS Cup. I know at this point the league isn’t going to go back and change their playoff structure to be something a little more meaningful but I’d love to see the season stretched a little bit more to give clubs involved in the CONCACAF Champions League a little more breathing room towards the end of the year when the group stage is going on.

The schedule will only continue to get more crowded as the league grows. But we knew that already. It is amazing to think where things stand today and going into next year when you compare them to even just back in 2007.

With that, what would you like to see happen next year to the schedule? Time off during FIFA fixture dates? Improved scheduling for the CCL group stage teams? Let’s hear it.

  • Mr. Downtown

    Definitely time off during the FIFA fixture dates. If that means a season starting earlier and ending later so be it. It would be great to still see a balanced schedule too.