Over the past week, the Hot Topics included the MLS playoff format, Javier Aguirre's new position and Chris Wondolowski being named Major League Soccer's MVP.
Refresh yourself with the article, check out the comment Goal.com editors chose from one of the website's users and see our response. And let's keep the discussion going!
|MLS playoff format criticism centered on wrong aspects
User: Ron Kurtti
The whole idea that playoffs prove anything but which team has the best form at the moment is counterintuitive. I have followed the sport in America (and abroad) for north of 40 years, and wonder how long we will pander to potential customers by holding USA sporting traditions like a death-grip. I understand the cash-cow potential of playoffs, and that the matches are played at a different intensity...but three rounds to crown a so-called champion versus a 34-match schedule is lunacy.
So here is what you do about it. Supporters' Shield winner is given a four-foot-tall cup and the attendant adulation that the accomplishment deserves. Playoffs are held year-end (format negotiable, limited only by imagination and scheduling constraints). Hell, all teams could be let in (play-in rounds) for that matter. For this tournament a trophy approximately half-height the one awarded the regular-season winner is the prize, along with a bag of money. If anyone from MLS is looking at this, I offer the solution, free of charge. Cheers.
Your position is not an uncommon one, and the debate over whether the regular season means enough in MLS continues to rage on with lower-seeded teams continuing to make deep playoff runs and higher-seeded teams bowing out early. A number of suggestions have been brought forth on how to revamp the playoff system or give more incentive to the teams that played the best in the regular season, but that's not going to eliminate the element of parity in the league. It's an element the league's brass strives to have and one that means that not much will separate a top team from a mid-table team, talent-wise.
It is not as if the Supporters' Shield-winning team gets nothing. That team is automatically entered into the CONCACAF Champions League regardless of what happens in the MLS postseason. The bottom line is that as long as MLS remains an American sport -- which will always be the case -- the playoffs will always follow the regular season as the means to crown the league champion. The hope for many is that a more competitively balanced format will surface to provide ample meaning to both the regular season and playoffs to improve the integrity and legitimacy of the competition.
-Avi Creditor, Goal.com USA Editor
|Aguirre named Espanyol head coach
Let's put it in perspective. I am a bit torn with my opinion of Aguirre. First the positives. He rescued la seleccion from two disastrous qualifying campaigns. He came in for Meza after the Aztecazo and qualified the team for Japan and Korea. Eight years later he rescued the team from an even greater disaster in the name of Sven. Sven was a joke that almost killed off a great generation of players. El Vasco saved things once again and got the tri to South Africa.
As for as the actual World Cups, he screwed up. How do you not get to the quarters when your opponent is the US in the 2nd round. Mexico played well in their 1st round matches and then managed to screw up their 2nd round match.
South Africa was even worse. The inclusions of Bofo, Conejo, Guille, and I'll go as far as saying Cuautemoc were a joke. Cutting Jonathan on the last leg of their European tour was also disgraceful. He risked losing Giovani because of that silly move. His lineup choices were also highly questionable at best. Ochoa should've started in goal. And don't even get me started about Guille Franco. All he ever did for Mexico was score a handful of meaningless goals against minnows from the Carribean that I'm sure some of us posting messages could score against. To leave Chicharo on the bench for this clown so infuriated me in the summer of '10. 'Giving players like Bofo minutes while taking minutes away from Guardado was also a joke.
I would not ever want Aguirre to coach el tri again, but if I had a team struggling at the bottom of the table, like Espanyol, I might give him a call. And ultimately, he is Mexican, so I'll wish him well.
As a club manager, Aguirre has always been pretty stable. He's a reliable guy, and he thrives on situations like the one he'll walk into at Espanyol. Given a good squad, like at Atletico Madrid, he can produce some excellent results as well.
With El Tri, it's a different story. I can definitely understand most Mexican fans still being upset with Javier for his awful second stint, but his job was basically to get the team into the World Cup after a rough outing with Sven. And he did.
It's in the past now, and hopefully Aguirre doing well in Spain will open doors for other Mexican managers who may have a future abroad.
-Eric Gomez, Goal.com Mexico Chief Editor
|Wondolowski win MLS MVP award
User: John McLeod
Henry and Keane were way better, they just played fewer games. They had better strike rates, more assists, and way better goals. The MLS had to give it to Wondo because of the record (if they didn't it would look like they were favoring the DP's). And in the playoffs Wondo was bad and missed a sitter or two (unlike Keane, who has been great). Wondo just isn't a good player, he is a decent poacher who was on the right team.
Yes, he absolutely played more games. But that's not his fault. Keane was saving himself for the Euros and Henry still won't play on turf. You make a good point, but that doesn't mean that Wondo and the goals he scored weren't deserving of the honor.
Wondolowski was also the best player on the best team in the league in the regular season. Add his scoring record on top of that, and that to me is enough to name him MVP.
-Allen Ramsey, Goal.com USA Chief Editor