Wait a doggone minute! Didn’t Philadelphia and Chicago just play?
Of course they did. We wrote about it and everything. Heck, the network attached to this blog even televised the proceeding from Toyota Park just six days back.
So why are the same teams meeting this weekend at PPL Park outside Philadelphia? What is this, some in-season home-and-away gambit the league is using to gin up new rivalries?
No, it’s not. It’s just more goofball scheduling from a league that needs to be better here.
Scheduling is tricky math. It always has been, and I am not completely unsympathetic. But I keep saying it: Major League Soccer needs to keep pushing away from certain comfort zones, and suspect scheduling is a perfect example of something that smells like complacency.
There is the ongoing issue of playing through FIFA dates, probably the most pressing scheduling problem that needs sorting. There is the issue of not kicking off simultaneously on final match day, something that undermines the league’s credibility as a competitive enterprise. (I have personally been banging on that one for some time now.)
Afternoon kickoffs during the late-spring or summer matches in Texas certainly need a re-think.
This business of the same teams facing each other over consecutive weekends (this Chicago-Philly two-legger is not the first MLS incidence of it in 2013) is “misdemeanor” stuff in my mind. There aren’t competitive elements at stake here.
But the truth is, it’s just goofy.
And Major League Soccer should be better by now.
The full MLS weekend schedule is here.