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MLS should take a hint.

(Tuesday, August 31, 1999) SoccerTimes readers support several suggestions made by Jerry Langdon in his column "A few suggestions for MLS and its new commissioner Don Garber," and add a few of their own. Plus a couple more correspondences.

Sincere thanks

I just want to sincerely thank you for keeping the issue of the lack of Confederations Cup coverage in the spotlight. Your web site has been the only media outlet where I've discovered that I'm not the only one disturbed by the situation. I am essentially voiceless, but you guys are speaking up for many of us. Keep up the good work.

SJT315@aol.com


I just wanted to say Jerry Langdon does a great job informing many soccer fans in this nation and his writings are one of the few dependable and informative soccer news sources to read. I just want to tell him that his work and dedication to all real soccer fans is being appreciated!

Erwin P [EPIDO77@aol.com]


MLS should listen to suggestions

I here by nominate Mr. Jerry Langdon to the post of MLS Commissioner Consultant. Anyone who truly wants the MLS to survive is, at minimum, periodically reading "Jerry's World" and I'm sure that Mr. Garber is as well (hopefully).

Paul Dunlap [pfd@purchasing.sannet.gov]


In your August 30 article, I thought you did an excellent job of developing a laundry list for success for (MLS commissioner Con) Garber. I wonder, would it be worth your time to discuss briefly what the voices against such issues would be saying? What does the league party line think when reading your list of league-wide repairs?

I wonder, because we hear so little from MLS leadership on anything. It would be nice to know where they stand on something other than single entity!

Keep up the good work.

Dave Sylvester [dsylvester@mwcog.org]


I agree with the latest points you've made. We have to get the hardcore European\South American fans that are in this country.

More thoughts:

How about playing on aggregate, with away goals rule, in the playoffs. The higher seeded team gets the second game with the possibility of overtime. Hardcore fans would respect it. While fans that are unfamiliar with it might find it interesting and different. Both happy.

More emphasis on regular season Champs with the possibility of a SuperCup. Work in the U.S. Open Cup champs too.

I like the idea of getting rid of East and West in the future.

No NEW women's league. Just improve on the W-League, which seems to be doing fine in my area.

True we are not in Europe and have our own ways of doing things, but they have been doing it longer.

Keep up the good work

Dan Alves [dalves11@yahoo.com]


I liked most of your suggestions for Garber, but two I must object to:

1. Eliminate the shootout (I'm OK with that part) and give teams points for ties. The second part I disagree with. I think the standings should be determined by wins on the field - NO points for ties - if it ends tied after 90 minutes, everybody goes down -- and the last 10 minutes are an intense scramble for three points instead of a snoozefest awaiting the shootout. Just list the standings as Games Played, Wins, Goals For, Goals Against and leave it at that.

2. The referee should control the clock - OK, but the ref should wait until the end of an offensive surge to declare the game over - NO - that is so subjective that it always brings in calls of bias in deciding exactly when the surge is over . The ref should decide how many minutes of injury time, and it should run down and the whistle be blown no matter what. You'll get some dramatic finishes and some near-misses, but everyone will feel that the timekeeping was fair.

Just my point of view no credit for ties, strict fairness in timekeeping.

Peter Higgins [pdrh@acpub.duke.edu]


I like your suggestions. In addition to every one of your ideas, I'd like to see a relegation system in place over expansion. a system of relegation and promotion would increase competition, quality and fan awareness/excitement on all levels of the game.

Also, a single division with cup play is sufficient and dramatic; sponsor logos more prominently on uniforms to boost marketing\ad revenue and sponsor time, like every other league. And buy some truly great, TOUGH players! . . . Top-flight caliber playing alongside our younger boys would do wonders for the American game -- at home and abroad.

And then there's media attention. can you play the race card here? Of course, if ESPN, ABC, FOX, AOL, MICROSOFT et. al. were logo sponsors, I'm sure we'd see more coverage.

But here's my biggest gripe: If a million or so MLS fans have such great, COMMON-SENSE ideas, why the hell can't the league organizers figure out this stuff? . . . If this league folds, who loses? Me, the fan. It's enough to make you wanna kick something.

Dave Harris [radwrld@aol.com]

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