SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies

MLS PLAYOFF STRUCTURE EXAMINED AS SEMIFINALS START THURSDAY

     MLS is set to begin its playoff semifinals on Thursday,
eight days after the conclusion of the first round, which is "too
much down time," according to Frank Dell'Apa of the BOSTON GLOBE.
MLS is "in the midst of what should be the most suspenseful time
of the season. ... But instead of drama, the MLS is producing
apathy."  The league had to arrange stadium availability and
conflicts with World Cup matches, but MLS "added to the problem
by insisting on the best-of-three format."  Dell'Apa notes that
formula "has been rejected as impractical and superfluous by most
league.  Hopefully, MLS is learning why."  Under the current
system, some players will be playing in their fifth game in 11
days during the MLS Cup on October 20 in Foxboro, "not a formula
for optimal performance."  Instead, Dell'Apa recommends changing
to a two-game, home-and-home series, with total goals as the
first tiebreaker (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/8).
     REVIEWS: MLS "surprised a lot of skeptics in its freshman
season with solid attendance and cash flows that exceeded
projections at most of the ten teams," according to the latest
FORBES.  L.A. Galaxy Chair Marc Rapaport is featured for his "big
score" in the L.A. market (FORBES, 10/21)....In Boston,
Revolution investor Bob Kraft, on the future of pro soccer: "We
averaged better than 19,000 paid per game.  That's more than the
Bruins and Celtics average.  ... From what I saw at Foxboro this
year, the crowds were half-male, half-kids 8-15 years old, half
suburban and about one-third new Americans" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/5).
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