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SBD/8/Leagues Governing Bodies
MLS PLAYOFF STRUCTURE EXAMINED AS SEMIFINALS START THURSDAY
Published October 8, 1996
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).