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Sep
15

MLS moves to 34-game schedule in 2011

Everybody likes more soccer, right?

That’s exactly what we’ll get in 2011, as the Major League Soccer regular season schedule will run from March 19 to October 22 and expand from the current 30-game format to 34 regular season games. It’ll be the longest MLS regular season schedule ever, as clubs have never played more than 32 regular season games in years past.

Of course, the schedule change is made in conjunction with the addition of two more expansion teams for the 2011 season, both in the Pacific Northwest. The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will join the league, bringing the count up to 18 teams.

We’ve had the chance to see the Revs play quite a few games this season, including a pair of international friendlies and multiple SuperLiga matches (even a semifinal and final), but there’s simply nothing to compare with the atmosphere created when rival MLS teams meet on the field of play. More of that can only be a good thing.

Like everyone else, Revolution Chief Operating Officer Brian Bilello is looking forward to what next year will bring …

“Across the league, our fans have stated that they want their season ticket packages to include more games against league opponents and fewer games against outside teams. Increasing the schedule to 34 games allows teams to showcase more league opponents, and ultimately give our fans more of what they want.”

So how does this change affect you, Revolution fans? Well, for starters, the 18-game season ticket packages will now include 17 regular-season games and one special event, meaning more live regular-season soccer right here in Foxborough.

What are your thoughts on the league’s move to a 34-game schedule?

26 comments

  1. jw says:

    All of my thumbs are locked in the upward position.

  2. mike l. says:

    Looks good, hopefully MLS will move to a single table format instead of conferences.

  3. d3 says:

    so we gain one extra game on our package. Sounds good, next year especially since we wont have a CCL or superliga games to deal with.

  4. Sean says:

    The season ticket package will still contain 18 matches, the same as this year. This year there were 15 MLS matches and 3 special events (Benfica, Cruziero and one of the SuperLiga matches, I think). Next year it will be 17 MLS matches and only 1 special event.

    The more interesting questions are:
    1) Will any MLS matches be played mid-week?
    2) What will happen to the schedule in 2012 when there are at least 19 teams?
    3) Can we please get rid of the unnecessary idea of having two conferences in our league? A single table is sufficient.

  5. jw says:

    Yes, please push for the single table. The two conference setup is useless. Especially now if you are trying to figure out the to 8 for playoff purposes. It is annoying.

  6. jw says:

    That should read, “Top 8″. Sorry

  7. Morgan says:

    Love the idea of keeping the regular season schedule balanced and more games, MLS got it right. Hope for a balanced schedule in 2012 with the arrival of Montreal.

    Single table is a must, easier to compare stats at a glance across the league.

  8. Morgan says:

    Sean, with 34 games in a 32 week season I would say its a safe bet that there will be mid-week matches.

  9. Cooper says:

    Single table please.

  10. I Want my special games! says:

    Published STH renewal materials state there will be three Special event tickets. now there’s only 1 because of the additional regular season games. Good to see the league communicates things like this to teams in advance for planning purposes.

  11. Dennis says:

    GREAT!! Now if MLS could play weekend games at times where most of the soccer playing population (yes, kids) can actually attend. Take a lesson from Europe here folks, growing popularity of the sport isn’t only about television ratings. If you want to fill those stadiums, make the games start at 6, not 7:30… that 8am travel game the next day will prevent most U6-U12 kids from attending a game that gets done at 9:30.

  12. Mark says:

    I must be in the minority here, I enjoy seeing how the MLS compare to world class teams. Now that they’ll only be 1, maybe, it looks like this will be happening less. I also remember games that were in the middle of the afternoon when I would take my whole kids soccer team and have a cook out. Hopefully these will make it back.

  13. d3 says:

    I wouldnt blame the league for miscommunication, i am sure it is on the revs end.

  14. ted scott says:

    No one has mentioned the issue with 2 new teams, that we can only protect certain players,(the new team draft) this would seem to be a good time for Steve to decide which contracts to not renew. I think it is up in the air, but many fans would agree, we could cut at least half the team, and start over again. I watched a USL game recently, and follow a PDL team, there is some decent players out there.Its like poker, sometimes you feel good with a hand, sometimes, its so bad, taking 4 cards can’t hurt.Being in the basement, we can cut all the guys, who haven’t been playing this year. I am thinking of Colaluca,Jankauskas, Smith,well, don’t get me started.
    My only fear is, what players would anyone want from our team?

  15. d3 says:

    your right the good thing is we shouldnt loose anyone important in the expansion draft because we can probably lock down the 4 guys we want to keep. everyone else dont matter anyway. It is too bad that we are so bad this year with 2 new expansion teams, it would have been nice to have the 2nd or 3rd pick of the draft. oh well, we will probably be in the bottom 3 next year too, so at least we have something to look forward to.

  16. Sean says:

    I wouldn’t blame the league or MLS for miscommunicating the changing schedule. The owners had to vote for the schedule change, and the last news that I heard was that the vote was going to come in November at the owners meeting. I was surprised that the decision was made so quickly. Also, I am sure that the Revs will schedule one to two international friendlies next year, and if they over schedule on the 18-game ticket package, the season ticket holder price should be low enough (like $10) to make it worthwhile.

    There is also a rumor that the league is going to allow a roster expansion next year, from the current 26 up to 30.

    The expansion draft will be interesting to say the least.

  17. d3 says:

    30 players, who is going to fill those spots, most teams will fill them with acadamy players but we wont because we dont have an acadamy it is only a glorified club team. Does anyone know how much it costs for a player to be on the revs acadamy team?

  18. Am says:

    Can we please call Twellman retired? 3 years now?
    We need a striker desperately, Steve!

  19. George Seeley says:

    Five Talking Points +:

    1) Ride the groundswell — go to a single table

    2) Schedule some week-day games for variety. Some of us have friends who would rather go on week-days.

    3) Saturday games at 6 pm & Sunday games at 4 pm would be excellent. Does TV rule here with the monotonous 7:30 p.m. Saturday evening start?

    4) Get the U.S. National team back to Foxboro whenever possible.
    What about the younger National teams?

    5) Build a soccer specific stadium—anywhere! Even with using both sides of Gillette, it will still feel like playing in the Grand Canyon.

    **Don’t know if the Tom Brady to Randy Moss audio still plays when you are on hold while calling the Revolution. If it is, change it to Brad Feldman, the voice of the Revs. And please don’t use Patriot napkins at Meet The Revs events. We are the “poor cousin”, but we don’t need these reminders.

    Thanks,

    GS

  20. gar ridge says:

    - agree with single table

    - here’s the crazy idea, give the Supporter’s Shield winner a bye in the first round, then the next 6 teams play two game total goal series to earn the remaining places in the semi-finals.

  21. KP says:

    D3, it costs nothing to play for the Rev’s Academy teams. It’s something they are doing the right way.

  22. d... says:

    KP,
    i agree if it doesnt cost anything they are moving in the right direction, but before you say they are doing it the right way take a look at RSL, they are doing it the right way. All the teams are moving closer and closer to a residence program partnered with a local highschool for academics, this is how it should be. we are not even close to that at this point.

  23. Dick Dawson says:

    Yes, please – Single Table. The notion of conferences makes sense for baseball, football and basketball, but for MLS the teams will play each other once home and away, resulting in a clear top 8. This should be the format – I’m afraid MLS is stuck on the quaint conference notion that will make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    As for the Revs offices and whatnot – guys, remember we don’t exist without the Patriots. They’re not going away, and if we have to wipe our chins of the free food the Krafts give us with Patriot napkins, well so be it.

    As for the roster – we’re all in Wait and See Mode. We’ve got nearly $1,000,00 tied up in players who don’t or can’t play… let’s get that cleared up, pay those we want to keep, and go get some more talent.

    15 years and counting…

  24. Rob says:

    I think this is great and it looks like we will have to go to a single table conference or else the East and West will be unbalanced again…

  25. Cathy Hofferty says:

    George:

    I believe that a new stadium is currently in preliminary talks (as part of the Green Line extension to Sommerville/Medford).

  26. Jim says:

    Has Mr. Seeley not noticed that midweek games have drawn the lowest crowds of all our games for, oh, the last ten years?

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