2008 MLS scheduling problems
- Concacaf Champions League
- US Open Cup
- 2008 Olympics
- ESPN2 Thursday night broadcasts
- World Cup Qualifying (the league will play on international dates)
- No national broadcasts from San Jose
- Stadium scheduling conflicts
- International friendly competitions
That's a lot to cram into a 31-week regular season and no doubt some items (US Open Cup) are going to get the short end of things. This will upset some people (like myself), but instead of going off on why it is more important to support say the oldest team cup competition in the US instead of booking a meaningless game against a pre-season EPL side in July, I will need to remember that MLS is a business and although they are doing much better these past 5-years, they still are not in the position to pass up easy money.
I'll also have to remind myself that when MLS players are called away for international duty and miss a number of important games down the stretch, that the league can't take those weeks off because of their contract with ESPN2 requiring a game. Plus, with a 30-game schedule, if MLS took more then one a weekend off, that would mean there would need to be more mid-week games and we all know what the attendance at those are like.
So I will withhold any anger I might feel when the schedule comes out (provided there is nothing really stupid like a couple weekends with light play early in the season only to cram more games in late) and remember that a number of these problems are the result of the league growing (SuperLiga, TV contract, Beckham).
Now let's see if I can live up to this resolution.