Author Topic: MLS taking serious look at aligning schedule with FIFA calendar  (Read 236 times)

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MLS taking serious look at aligning schedule with FIFA calendar
« on: September 22, 2013, 03:27:58 pm »
MLS taking serious look at aligning schedule with FIFA calendar
For the first time in Don Garber career as MLS commissioner, he didn say no when the question came up, and that may say more about the emergence of the soccer fan in the United States than anything we ever heard.The idea of Major League Soccer aligning its schedule to the falltospring FIFA calendar has never been seriously considered in the 15year history of the league, although Garber has always been open to the idea. Now, he says, the league is investigating how it could work.bottom line is we telling the world we going to begin taking a very serious look at this whole issue and what kinds of things we need to do to determine if it makes sense for us, Garber said over the weekend.If and when it happens, it would be the biggest single change in MLS history and one that tells the American sports fan that soccer no longer fears another sport and is willing to go head to head if it is for the good of the league.And MLS believes its fan base could be ready to accept the switch.This could not have been possible in the early days of MLS. The teams shared too many stadiums with the NFL and the idea of playing the majority of its schedule during the summer, when there was only baseball to contend with, seemed like an optimum time for soccer to make its mark among sports fans.And there was always the weather issue. Playing in cold weather in March and April in the beginning of the season and in October and November at the end of the schedule was one thing, but brushing snow off your seat to watch a game in January was another.So the question persisted: Are there enough passionate soccer fans in the United States who would not only support their team, but attend multiple games in freezing weather to make the move work?But times have changed. We have had multiple MLS Cups in Washington and Foxborough, Mass., in November and fans in those neutral cities have come out in droves for the game.But Sunday night was perhaps the best argument for the move when 21,700 fans in the cold and rain in Toronto attended the Colorado Rapids 21 overtime victory over FC Dallas.Granted, it was a onetime game, but the Toronto fans have been some of the most supportive in the league the past few years despite the product on the field, and will most assuredly support Toronto FC when the club turns it around, no matter what the weather.And the same can be said for fans in New Jersey and Philadelphia and Colorado and Columbus and Kansas City, who attend games in less than ideal conditions early and late in the schedule.The move would also open up the summer for national team tournaments, and the summer and winter transfer windows would come at optimum times to allow new signings to incorporate themselves into their clubs.One of the possibilities the league is contemplating is starting the season in late summer, taking a winter break, and concluding in late spring,Is it meant to happen, similar to the Scandinavian league schedule. The Bundesliga also takes a month off in January, although most of the other top European leagues do not.As it is, MLS teams that advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League will play their home leg in February. At the moment, that right in the middle of preseason training and teams are at an incredible disadvantage, although that won matter this year because the two MLS teams still alive the Crew and Real Salt Lake have been drawn against each other.But Garber has never hidden his disappointment about how poorly MLS teams have done in that tournament, so that might be an added incentive in the back of his mind.But the move will or won be made based on what best for MLS. The belief is that it will happen within the next five years, so you got some time to prepare.Hey, you didn really think those team scarves were for holding up over your head while you sang, did you?The Red Bulls Monday traded defender/midfielder Jeremy Hall to the expansion Portland Timbers for a thirdround pick in January draft. Hall, the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft, played just 13 games this season due to a quadriceps injury and never regained his starting job. . Red Bulls managing director Erik Stover has been named Major League Soccer executive of the year. . The MLS Expansion Draft will be held Wednesday. . Former MetroStars vice president of marketing Chris Canetti was promoted from chief operating officer to president of business operations of the Houston Dynamo. . defender Jay DeMerit, who started all four games at the World Cup, signed with the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps. . midfielder Benny Feilhaber was tripped in the box but missed the ensuing penalty kick in the 90th minute as his Danish club, Aarhus, lost, 10. . Freddy Adu continues to be a man in limbo. Since 2007, he has only played 11 times for Benfica and has been loaned to Monaco (France),mall soccer, Belenenses (Portugal) and Aris (Greece) and trained, but wasn signed, by Swiss club Sion in July during his world geography tour. Now he is training with FC Randers (Denmark), but the club said it also has no plans to sign him. . The United States is ranked 24th in the latest FIFA rankings. . North Carolina State men coach George Tarantini, who coached Tab Ramos in college, is retiring after 25 years and 234 victories. . The Kansas City Wizards,Cheap Soccer Jerseys, who move into a new $180 million stadium next season, changed their name to Sporting Kansas City. They will also have new colors (indigo and light blue), new uniforms and a new logo. . Match Day 5 of the European Champions League will be played today and Wednesday. . The draw for the 2011 Copa Libertabores will be held Nov. 25. . Real Madrid (1002) plays at Barcelona (1011) next Monday. . Monterrey, Pumas, Santos and America have advanced to the Mexican league playoff semifinals. . Former AC Milan and MetroStars midfielder Roberto Donadoni is the new coach at Cagliari. He replaces Pierpaolo Bisoli, who was fired. Donadoni coached Italy at the 2008 European Championships. . Juventus striker Amauri will be out until January with ligament damage in his left knee. . Goalkeeper Shay Given earned his 109th cap in Ireland 21 loss to Norway, breaking the Irish record held by midfielder Kevin Kilbane, who had 108. . insurers will pay approximately $800,000 in compensation to Liverpool after midfielder Steven Gerrard sustained a hamstring injury while playing for England against France last week. Gerrard is expected to be out a month. . Venky an Indian poultry company, completed the takeover of Blackburn for $36.8 million. . Manchester United is close to signing 26yearold Denmark goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard, who could eventually succeed Edwin van der Sar. . Construction of a $168 million national soccer center in England will begin in January, almost a decade after the plans were first unveiled. . Chelsea promoted former Nigeria defender Michael Emenalo, who had been scouting opposing teams, to assistant coach to replace Ray Wilkins. Emenalo, 42, who attended Boston University, played 56 games for the San Jose Clash from 199697. . Chelsea has lost consecutive league matches for the first time since the end of the 200506 season. . Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires, 37, signed with Aston Villa for the rest of the season. He had been without a team since being released by Villarreal in the summer. . Tottenham victory over Arsenal Saturday was its first at Emirates Stadium in 17 years and snapped a 68game run without an away victory against the Big 4: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool. . Nuremberg defender Javier Pinola received a fourgame suspension by the German football federation for spitting at Bayern Munich Bastian Schweinsteiger. . Lionel Messi scored three goals to give him 101 in 154 Spanish league games for Barcelona, which whipped Almeria, 80. The win tied a Spanish league record for largest road victory margin, set by Barcelona in 1959. Almeria,New Braunfels., which set a club record for largest margin of defeat,mallsoccer, saw its coach, Juan Manuel Lillo,USA Soccer Jerseys, get fired after the game. . Former Mexico World Cup coach Javier Aguirre is the new coach at Real Zaragoza. He replaces Jose Aurelio Gay,Spain Soccer Jerseys, who was fired last week. . Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna tied Rodolfo Arruabarrena record of 219 appearances for the club. . Villarreal defender Joan Capdevila will be out two to three weeks with a sprained left ankle. . Jesualdo Ferreira, fired by Malaga Nov. 2 after nine games, is the new coach of Panathinaikos. . Denmark midfielder Martin Jorgensen earned his 100th cap in last week scoreless tie with the Czech Republic. . Finland forward Jari Litmanen, who turns 40 in January, scored his 32nd goal in 137 games in an 80 European Championship qualifying victory over San Marino. With Finland not playing again until March, Litmanen international career, which began in 1989, may be over. . Ajax suspended striker Luis Suarez for two games after television replays appeared to show him biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal. . Marcelo Bielsa won his farewell match for Chile, 20, over Uruguay to finish his 50game tenure with a record of 28157,Cheap Soccer Jerseys on sale, including an entertaining 22 mark in the World Cup when Chile reached the second round. . Croatia went unbeaten this year (703) for the first time since it became an independent country in 1990. . Claudio Borghi, Boca Junior fourth coach this calendar year, quit a day after the team lost to rival River Plate, 10. . Nagoya Grampus claimed its first JLeague championship with three games to play. . Mike Stojanovic, a member of the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and a former North American Soccer League player, died last week at the age of 63.

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