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SBD/March 22, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies
FIFA World Cup Qualifying Seen As Crucial Juncture For USSF President Sunil Gulati
Published March 22, 2013
GIVE ME A BREAK: NBCSPORTS.com's Steve Davis wrote it is "just not right" that MLS will continue to play over the weekend, despite many top players being away at FIFA World Cup qualifiers and friendlies. It is wrong for MLS to "position itself on one hand as a wanna-be top league around the world -- but on the other hand plow stubbornly through competitive matches as clubs do without their valuable difference makers, the men away on international duty." Besides not "being fair to ticket buyers and being a drag on quality (which ultimately affects everything), it just doesn’t feel right." The problem is that "going dark on more weekends means adding more of pesky mid-week matches." Or "expanding the playing window further still." But starting in March and ending in December "looks like plenty to most of us." Dynamo President Chris Canetti said that the nine-month window is "stretched too far already." Too many MLS markets "still have trouble selling mid-week matches," but that is "changing." As more high-quality talent "migrates into MLS, more players will come up missing on these FIFA dates." So we are "not just talking about a few American stars" (NBCSPORTS.com, 3/19).