- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On October 14, 2013
- 9 Comments
Wow. This news sounds very, very interesting. The New York Daily News is reporting that various league sources are telling them that Major League Soccer is inching closer to adopting a European-style calendar.
The plan, which has the full support of FIFA, the sport’s governing body, would have the MLS season begin play in either late July or early August and include a six- to eight-week winter break. The championship would either be played in late May or early June. The MLS season currently begins in March and runs until the championship match in the first week of December.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been considering adopting the calendar used in Europe for several years but talks have intensified in recent weeks, according to a league source. The move would also placate FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who has been an outspoken — and often unfair — critic of the country’s fastest growing professional league.
Most European domestic leagues begin in late August and end in early May. A winter break is necessary for the MLS since it has franchises in several cites — including Chicago and Toronto — where playing matches in December and March is a risky proposition.
Risky indeed. I have never been a big fan of the idea of moving to such a calendar. Games in Colorado, Toronto, Montreal or Chicago in the winter months is a dangerous idea. I mean, look at the snow game between the Unites States and Costa Rica earlier this year in Colorado as proof. Very dangerous to move to that sort of calendar.
The biggest hit on this type of switch is attendance. You can’t expect fans to come out to games in the winter months like they would for the NFL. The support just isn’t there yet.
Update: MLS shot down the rumor. 2014 will be similar to the 2013 format.
— Dan Courtemanche (@courtemancheMLS) October 14, 2013