FanPost

Experiment with 3 conferences?

This has certainly been an interesting year. It seems to me that the up and downs of teams has been magnified this season - for a few games a team may look unbeatable and then get smacked down for the next few games. I'm not sure if it's because of the condensed schedule or that teams are only playing the same teams in their own geographic region. For instance this year the Dynamo won't play DC or New England, though they see a lot of Kansas and Minnesota. And this got me to wondering, is MLS taking this opportunity to experiment with a three conference system? Since MLS already plays an uneven schedule, are they looking to strengthen regional rivalries?

So I decided to take a whack at what a three conference system would look like, north to south (roughly) and including the expansion teams.

West

Central

East

Vancouver

Toronto

Montreal

Seattle

Minnesota

New England

Portland

Chicago

NYC FC

Salt Lake

Kansas

NY Red Bulls

Colorado

Columbus

Philadelphia

San Jose

Cincinnati

DC

LA FC

Nashville

Atlanta

LA Galaxy

Dallas

Orlando

Sacramento

Houston

Miami

Austin

Charlotte

St Louis

It works out pretty well except to make each conference even, a team from Central would have to move to the West. Dallas is the farthest west, but that would break up the Texas Triangle. Kansas? I would be sad to break up that Sporting – Dynamo rivalry. St Louis, since they would be new comers and don’t have any rivalries yet?

Each team would play a home and home series within their conference and then play single games with teams outside their conference. For the playoffs, the top 4 teams from each conference would qualify and two pools of 6 teams would be created (in some convoluted MLS way), with the winners of the pools meeting in MLS Cup.

This has been a interesting mental exercise and maybe a glimpse into MLS future? Probably not, but it’s fun to imagine.

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