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MLS To Expand Playoffs, Consider International Schedule

Before the MLS Cup match got underway, commissioner Don Garber announced in a press conference the league’s agenda for the upcoming winter meetings. For the vocal contingent of MLS fans who want to see MLS take on a more international look, the big news was that MLS will consider switching to the August – April schedule used by the best of the soccer playing world. These changes wouldn’t be in the immediate future, the most notable thing about next year’s schedule being that it will expand to 34 games with the two new expansion franchises and will be a balanced schedule.

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Also discussed were changes to the MLS playoff schedule. The 8 team field is now expanded to a 10 team field, though it has yet to be determined how the play in game for those bottom four teams will work. MLS is also going to rework the conferences, and consider taking measures to avoid having teams from the same conference in the final, or at least avoid this years situation where two Western Conference teams fought for the Eastern Conference final.

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For the Galaxy, a schedule change would be beneficial as the league would also adopt the practice of not playing during international competition. Landon Donovan and Edson Buddle lost a significant portion of their MLS season playing in the World Cup. It would also put MLS in line with international transfer windows, which would mean players like Donovan and David Beckham wouldn’t be able to go on loan in the offseason.