American Soccer

MLS Will Take a Break During 2010 World Cup

TORONTO - JULY 23:  MLS Commissioner Don Garber speaks during his state of the league press conference at the Liberty Grand on July 23, 2008 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images for the MLS)
Elliott SpruellContributor ISeptember 17, 2009

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber announced today that for the first time in its history, that MLS will not play games during group play, semi-finals and finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

This is a great decision by MLS and the Commish, even though the entire tourney should have been included, considering the good ol’ Red, White and Blue will be participating in each of the five rounds. This decision will not only benefit the league and its teams, but also the players, fans and most importantly, myself.

League: Garber saved himself a trillion angry phone calls, texts and emails by making this decision. This will only help the league in the long and short run.

Teams: No MLS teams want to play soccer while their star players are away on national team duty. More importantly, no MLS coach wants their job riding on what they can produce without their best players in the mix.

Players: This category is twofold: MLS players participating in the World Cup and MLS players staying stateside during the World Cup. For MLS players who will be playing in South Africa, this break will give them some peace of mind. Players like Landon Donovan won’t have to worry about leaving their MLS clubs to fend for themselves and returning to find a side that has lost four straight matches. This break will give those players a chance to dedicate their full attention to success at the World Cup. For MLS players left stateside, we must remember they are just people too. Who wants to be flying from Dallas to Kansas City or taking a bus ride from Chicago to Columbus when Brazil is playing Ghana in South Africa?

Fans: MLS fans won’t be subjected to having to watch uninspired, mediocre football being played by players they don’t even recognize. Also, hardcore MLS fans won’t have to feel like they have betrayed their team and the league because they stayed home and watched World Cup soccer instead of attending a midweek clash at Toyota Park.

Me: I am excited because my life expectancy just got a little bit longer. I am definitely less likely to be strangled by my girlfriend if I am only watching three World Cup games a day, compared to three World Cup games and an MLS game.

Overall, this was a great decision that leaves all parties excited about the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

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