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Old September 12th, 2019, 06:50 PM   #16941
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Is there a chance that minor league soccer towns support their teams as well as minor league baseball towns do? Chattanooga, Dayton, and Durham all come to mind when I think of cities that love their team and don't feel bad that they aren't in the top tier.
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Old September 12th, 2019, 07:39 PM   #16942
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As a Jets fan, I'm watching the AFC East teams play a lot.
Kudos for that. Raised in an extended family of predominantly Giants fans I proudly rebelled and adopted the New York Sack Exchange as my 2nd team (after Atlanta) back in the day.
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Old September 12th, 2019, 09:37 PM   #16943
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Is there a chance that minor league soccer towns support their teams as well as minor league baseball towns do? Chattanooga, Dayton, and Durham all come to mind when I think of cities that love their team and don't feel bad that they aren't in the top tier.
MLS would do good to look to the NHL and its minor leagues for a model.

Have USL Championship teams act as separate entities with separate identities, but are still nominally development teams and some are even owned by the nearby MLS side. Put them in secondary markets that would strongly support a team, but just aren't big enough to host an MLS squad.

A few good example being: Sounders 2 becoming the Tacoma Defiance, and them and Louisville and Colorado Springs building their own "minor league SSSs".
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Old September 13th, 2019, 11:09 AM   #16944
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I'd love to see someone create a 34 game regular season schedule or less with 32 teams that all play each other at least once that doesn't include an 8 division split. I've tried, nothing works! If anyone has a good proposal I'd love to see it.
I've thought about this in the past. If there was 32 teams in the competition, my proposal would be:
* A 32 match regular season
* Each team plays each other team once - either at home or away (total = 31 matches)
* Each team plays one other team for a second time - home or away, depending on where they played the first time. This second match can be used for "rivalry" matches for example
* Total is 32 matches
* No need for "divisions" or "conferences". With all teams playing each just once (except for the "rivalry" round), it is pretty fair when determining the teams who advance to the finals (be it 12 or 16 teams for example)
* The competition schedule can be set against a two year cycle (for arguments sake, let's say a cycle is an odd year and an even year e.g. 2019 and 2020). Even though it is two distinct seasons, the schedules across these two seasons would ensure that each team would have a home game against each other team. For example, in 2019 if Atlanta hosts Seattle, then in 2020 Seattle would host Atlanta. In 2021, Seattle could potentially host Atlanta again, but in 2022 the schedule would ensure Atlanta hosts Seattle, etc.
* My preference for a Finals series would be 12 teams. It means that only the best teams advance to the playoffs. My format would be as follows:

Qualifying Finals: Seeds 1 to 4 BYE. (A) 5 v 12 (B) 6 v 11 (C) 7 v 10 (D) 8 v 9. All matches are "one off", with the winners advancing to Quarter Finals

Quarter Finals: (E) 1 v 4th Highest Seed Winner Qual. Finals (F) 4 v Highest Seed Winner Qual. Finals (G) 2 v 3rd Highest Seed Winner Qual. Finals (H) 3 v 2nd Highest Seed Winner Qual. Finals. Matches are played over two legs - home and away

Semi Finals: (I) Winner E v Winner F (J) Winner G v Winner H. Matches are played over two legs - home and away

Final: Winner I v Winner J. Match is a one off. Venue can either be the higher seed, or my preference would be a venue that has bid to host the Final, similar to the Super Bowl.

All up, home and away season, plus finals, there is 38 matches, which is pretty standard world-wide.
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Old September 13th, 2019, 04:58 PM   #16945
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It's certainly an idea, although not one I'd be too fond of if I'm being perfectly honest.

Having playoffs means that it doesn't really matter whether or not the regular season was unbalanced in terms of schedule. What's important is to minimize travel and make the most of regional matchups.

And it's very unlikely MLS will have a 12 team playoffs in a 32 team league. It'd be 16. The league has also indicated that two-legged ties could be going the way of the dodo as well.

Ultimately it has to be a conference or divisional system (or mixture of both).

The proposal I suggested on the previous page ticks all the boxes.

-Home and away games against nearby regional rivals.
-12 games against teams in the same conference.
-And 16 games against teams from other conference, with 8 of those being away and 8 being at home. That means western/eastern teams only have to travel 8 times outside their conference a year, which is ideal for minimizing travel.

On top of that you get teams staying in the playoff hunt for longer with top 2 in each division getting playoff spots, while conference can decide seeding, meaning there is still lots of emphasis on finishing atop the conference standing.

I'm sure others have had this same idea, and I'm fairly confident MLS brass would've stumbled upon it too.

As much as I want a 2 conference system with home and away against all conference teams as we have today, it just doesn't work in a 32 team league if you want to keep the same amount of regular season games.

The 8 division/2 conference system is perfect. Every time I think about it I'm more convinced that it's the right way to go.

Now...if the league goes to 30 teams, then give me MLB's 6 division, 2 conference playoff system but with top 2 in each group going through.

That'd be 33 regular season games, and Gunner can keep both of his rivalries with Charlotte and Nashville in tact.

Last edited by 5portsF4n; September 13th, 2019 at 05:05 PM.
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Old September 13th, 2019, 05:37 PM   #16946
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Yeah, the 12 team finals is more of a personal choice! We've had some history here is Australia with various sporting leagues "over-compensating" and awarding far too many teams spots in a finals series. Our National Basketball League at one stage in the mid-2000's awarded the 8 teams in an 11 team competition a spot in the finals!! I like the idea of having less than 50% of the teams qualifying for finals - and generally you would eliminate teams progressing with win-loss ratio of less than 50%.

In this day and age I think travel is less of an issue. Players have a wealth of resources available for recovery.

I agree, my schedule only allows for one rivalry matchup to be played home-and-away, which is a drawback. You could always increase the number of rounds by an extra two (to 34) which would allow each team to play three other teams for a second time. A few issues I find with a conference system is that you don't get to play every other team. It's always a talking point here in Australia with our two main winter sports - NRL (Rugby League) and AFL (Aussie Rules). The competitions have 16 and 18 teams respectively, and play 24 and 22 matches per team each. Each team plays each other team atleast once, but will then also play a number of teams a second time to make up the total matches. There's always an argument around the "unbalanced" schedule, and some teams getting an "favourable" draw, and there is always so much pre-season analysis around each teams schedule. I would imagine by not playing ALL the teams at least once that this would be even more of a talking point, although I understand that the NFL does it this way.

My other issue with a conference system is that it quite often rewards teams with less points than a team in the opposing conference a spot in the finals. For example, using the MLS table as of now (according to Wikipedia.....), 7th place in the East is New England on 39 points and currently in a playoff spot. In the West, LA Galaxy sit in 8th, but with 42 points, and out of a playoff spot. To highlight this in a more extreme way, check out the Women's AFL (Aussie Rules) season standings for 2019, with the top two in each conference going through to the finals....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_A...season#Ladders

Also, as a fan, I'd be a little disappointed if my team didn't play, for example, the reigning champions, or a particular team with a particular star player (Inter Miami FC & Lionel Messi, or maybe Usain Bolt might make another attempt at a pro career ??!!)
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I have developed a hobby for locating Chinese stadiums on Google Earth. I have currently found well over 1,000. PM me if you would like the challenge in helping me find new ones!

PDF Files:
I have made PDF files of the stadiums in China I have identified. I will update these periodically! Enjoy!


Constructions (as at 14 Sep 2019): https://docdro.id/sBtIyED

Completed (by capacity):
40k+ (as at 14 Sep 2019): https://docdro.id/RLcy9QS
20-40k (as at 14 Sep 2019):https://docdro.id/qIZ2FJ5
More to come....

Google Earth KML File: to come...


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Old September 13th, 2019, 09:48 PM   #16947
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It's always a delicate balance of national exposure vs regional rivalries. No league in the US does a totally balanced schedule for good reason. And soccer is a totally different animal since the season is long and spread out.

Once the league reaches 32 teams, there's no reasonable way to play every team in a season and still have the geographic rivalries the league loves so much (i.e. there's no way the league would only have Seattle play Portland and/or Vancouver once).

It'll likely be:
-Play each team in your 8 team division two times (14 games),
-Each team in the rest of the conference once (8 games)
-12 games against the remaining opponents in the opposite conference

Leaving a 34 game schedule, and 4 teams you don't play.

If you bump that up to 38 games like the premier league does, then you can get at least once against every team in the league and still have your home and away against in division opponents, but I'd bet if the league goes to 38 games, they'd rather do 3 games against in division opponents and cut down on the number of intra-conference games instead. so...

-3 games against in division opponents (21 games)
-1 game against the rest of the conference (8 games)
-1 game against 9 teams of the opposite conference. (9 games)

Or perhaps it could be 2 in division games per team, plus an extra 2 "rivalry matchups". Like Seattle plays Portland and Vancouver 3 times, and the rest of the teams in the west twice (16 games+ 8 rest of the conference + 12 opposite conference).

I dunno... lots of ways to go about it, but still... no way each team is playing each team in a season.
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Old September 14th, 2019, 12:09 AM   #16948
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I doubt they'll go more than 34 games in a season. They'll just expand the amount of playoff teams. With 32 that means a probable 16 teams making the playoffs.
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Old September 14th, 2019, 03:03 AM   #16949
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Joey Mansueto, who owned 49% of the Chicago Fire which he purchased last year, just paid $204m for the 51% held by Andrew Hauptmann. That values the team at $400m. And, at least in my mind, backs up the idea that there are plans afoot for an SSS in Chicago. It'd be bizarre to break a contract with Bridgeview, move to rent at SF, and pay hundreds of millions to acquire the team fully if the end goal wasn't an SSS. And I doubt Mansueto would be doing it if he knew there was no chance of it.

Also Fire fans are saying that Mansueto wants to keep the branding, and they seem happy about it. I think it’s a missed opportunity, but as long as they can get a new SSS somewhere close to downtown, it’s a good outcome.
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Old September 16th, 2019, 04:39 PM   #16950
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Quote:
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* A 32 match regular season
* Each team plays each other team once - either at home or away (total = 31 matches)
* Each team plays one other team for a second time - home or away, depending on where they played the first time. This second match can be used for "rivalry" matches for example
* Total is 32 matches
The catch with this approach is that MLS has literally been expanding with an eye specifically geared toward the generation of regional rivalries and decreasing travel costs. They want teams to have multiple rivals to gun up fan excitement - The Cascacdia trio, the northeastern quintet, the Canadian trio, 3 teams in Texas soon, likely 4 in California, and so on. Having more than one rival gives you more than one chance to win a critical series for the fans, and creates that much more reason for an otherwise local story to carry broader appeal. Thus, for many teams the league and the fans want to have multiple games versus more than just one rival.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 08:21 PM   #16951
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Old September 17th, 2019, 09:01 PM   #16952
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MLS would do good to look to the NHL and its minor leagues for a model.
In some ways I think MLS needs major junior teams (like the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League) more than it needs an improved USL. Having 25-year-old players for depth in USL is fine and dandy, but to develop players that can compete with the best Euros and South Americans we need to develop 17-year-old players.

Also, boo Thunderbirds! Go Silvertips!
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Old September 17th, 2019, 09:14 PM   #16953
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Also Fire fans are saying that Mansueto wants to keep the branding, and they seem happy about it. I think it’s a missed opportunity, but as long as they can get a new SSS somewhere close to downtown, it’s a good outcome.
I don't think I will ever understand why we name teams after disasters. The Earthquakes and Miami Hurricanes are two other examples of teams paying homage to something prone to killing their fans, which seems impolitic to me. Next someone will name a team after cancer or car crashes.

But if the fans in Chicago want to keep a team name associated with futility and the near destruction of their city, so be it.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 09:19 PM   #16954
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At the moment, not a realistic one... But Austin happened... so... who knows?

But really, its a pretty small market (would be the smallest in MLS after Austin), and MLS is having a hell of a time cracking the TV numbers. You don't improve that by sticking to small media markets.
And I think Cincinnati is too close.
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Old September 17th, 2019, 09:39 PM   #16955
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In some ways I think MLS needs major junior teams (like the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League) more than it needs an improved USL. Having 25-year-old players for depth in USL is fine and dandy, but to develop players that can compete with the best Euros and South Americans we need to develop 17-year-old players.

Also, boo Thunderbirds! Go Silvertips!
Hmm... I'll amend my previous statement to say they could use both...

Infact, I'm all for the major junior model for ALL american sports. This idea that players in college are "student athletes" is a steaming pile of bull sh*t.

For the big time college sports like B-Ball, Football, etc where participants have a real shot at playing pro, their "major" is 100% "Sports". The NCAA spends a lot of time and money trying to pretend otherwise. But the schools like the money and prestige that comes with it too much to give it up.

I prefer the model where top flight amateurs have a pro style league to play in, without the distraction of a college curriculum. And if they don't make it... THEN there's a scholarship to a university waiting for them at the end of their time in the league (and possibly more sports too, but at a much lower key like Canadian College Hockey).

Europe has already figured this out with the academy systems, and MLS teams are just taking the slightest toe dip into following that model. But it does feel icky for kids to be signed to "pro" organizations before they even have hair on their balls, and it gives big money teams an advantage like big universities have in the NCAA. I like the mixing bowl effect of the bantam draft to spread talent around a bit.

Lots more to say on this, but that'll be getting way off topic. Either way, Still good to have USL Champ teams developing a solid base...

PS: GO TBIRDS! and... sure... fine... go Tips if its not the Tbirds...
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Old September 17th, 2019, 10:45 PM   #16956
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Kind of crazy that Madison beat Milwaukee to having a professional soccer team, but better late than never.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 04:37 AM   #16957
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Mecklenburg County will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Memorial Stadium on Friday. Demolition will start in late September. Construction will wrap up in spring 2021. 10,500 capacity. It will be home to @Independence, concerts and amateur sports
https://twitter.com/JoeBrunoWSOC9
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Old September 18th, 2019, 04:47 AM   #16958
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In some ways I think MLS needs major junior teams (like the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League) more than it needs an improved USL. Having 25-year-old players for depth in USL is fine and dandy, but to develop players that can compete with the best Euros and South Americans we need to develop 17-year-old players.

Also, boo Thunderbirds! Go Silvertips!
Every MLS club is required to have a youth academy. The Seattle Sounders for example play a plethora of teenagers with their USL Tacoma team when they feel they're past the USSDA level.
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Old September 18th, 2019, 05:30 AM   #16959
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USL San Diego to play inaugural season in 2020 at Torero Stadium

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SAN DIEGO Calif. (Sept. 17, 2019) – The United Soccer League (USL) Championship club for San Diego announced today it will play its inaugural season in 2020 at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. The Club will play its first regular season match the first weekend of March 2020. Deposits for season tickets will open up to the public on September 18 at 10:00 a.m. PT.

“Playing our inaugural season in 2020 was important to us, to the league and most importantly to the San Diego soccer community,” said President and Co-founder Warren Smith. “The excitement and anticipation we have for the season is palpable. We have our sights on our opening night in March 2020, and that incredible moment we can take the pitch for America’s Finest City.”
https://www.uslsandiego.com/news_article/show/1049951
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Old September 18th, 2019, 06:55 PM   #16960
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Interesting shape, I wonder why the seats are so far away?
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