What with the stoppage in MLS play after a mere couple weeks of action, I’ve seen several people suggest that now is the time for Major League Soccer to conform with the vast majority of club teams in the world and play a schedule revolving around a summer break, with league play beginning in August or September and ending in May. This, many people reason, would prevent MLS from having to avoid major international competitions that always take place in the summer (in 2021, the international competitions set to take place are… almost all of them, from the Copa America and the Euro to the Gold Cup and even the Olympics), and maybe, just maybe, get MLS to adhere to not scheduling matches during FIFA windows.
Such a switch, however, will be difficult, what with the need to keep games going with some sort of frequency, the amount of time each of these international competitions tend to take up, and there being 26 teams in the league, with more on the way! The unscheduled virus break seems as good a time as any. You most likely won’t be able to play any games until the summer at the absolute earliest anyway. But how do you get around the pesky climate challenges presented by places like Colorado? Listen, there’s a very simple solution to all of this, which I will detail below.
First of all, let’s all simply agree to take a mulligan on the first two weeks of the season and start fresh in September. You can’t expect no games to be played for three or four months and then teams to come back afterwards, play a full-length season after that, and still expect the results that happened more than a year ago to count the same as the ones that are only just a couple weeks old. The first two weeks were just a little preseason tournament, one which Sporting KC, Minnesota United, Atlanta United, and the Colorado Rapids all jointly won, and now it’s over. We’ve moved on with our lives. Next, you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you’re not stuck with any home games between November and February for Minnesota, Colorado, Toronto, NYCFC, New York Red Bulls, New England, heck, probably Kansas City, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Salt Lake while we’re at it. Those are all premium “we’re going to have to replay these at the end of year” territory.
So now that you know that like, half the league can’t play home games during the huge middle swath of the season, you’ll probably want to insert a winter break in there. Maybe December, maybe January, maybe a combination of the two, but that will help space things out even more. Sure, you’ll have to stagger it still so that the Northern teams will always have long home-stands to finish out the most crucial part of the regular season, but you will be able to successfully schedule all your games.
After that, you’ll come to about the end of February or March 2021, realize that Colorado still needs to play 12 games at home, and you’ll see that Commerce City and it’s plague-happy prairie dogs are buried beneath three feet of snow. What’s more, you’ll realize this snow is unrelenting, and punishing, freezing the state of Colorado for an abnormally long time. Rapidman will hear a strange, mystical voice calling out to him. He’ll need to follow the voice, completing an arduous trek to find its source. He will encounter all of the Rapids erstwhile mascots that filled the void in his absence, now revealed to be the elemental spirits of the wild. Rapidman, himself, is the only person who can stop this deep freeze and bring peace and soccer to MLS. Rapidman is the fifth spirit. He must give up his throne as Lord of Colorado, bequeathing it to Robin Fraser, and take his rightful place in the pantheon of the gods of the wild, restoring balance to nature and becoming the spiritual protector of the United States, while the league goes back to Arendelle to hold the playoffs and crown the next MLS Cup Champion.
Or, you could just space out the current schedule a little better and not play through FIFA windows like Scandinavia. Seems like it could work.
On My Birthday
No, it’s not my birthday. This is a poem I wrote a couple years ago that feels appropriate, or at least like a more elegant thing to say than “WE ARE THE VIRUS.” It got published in a mag called Resistance is Fertile, which is a poetry publication to my name, no matter how much I hate that pun.
I keep thinking of fevers
and how the body
waves gently at death
as it tries to kill off
what ails it.
I keep thinking of Earth
and how it’s doing much the same.
I try sending up smoke signals
to let it know
that I am one of the good ones.
Trivia: Picture Puzzle
What player does the picture spell out?
Answer to yesterday’s trivia: What club team has the highest goals per game ratio in European Cup Competition of all time? It’s QPR. Seriously. And it’s not particularly close.