MLS Schedule Musings: No Gulf Stream, No FIFA Calendar

Published on 03-Jan-2014 by J Square Humboldt
Soccer / Soccer Daily Update

Is this any way to qualify for the World Cup?

It's weekends like this one that should give MLS commish Don Garber pause.

Because weekends like this one happen more than once in North America every winter. Sometimes, much more.

So this weekend could be a good time for football fans in the upper climes of metropolitan North America to find a warm hearth, curl up with a good pint of winter warmer, and wonder if the MLS commish is wise to suck up to FIFA and its preference for his league to fall in line with the world football calendar.

More simply put, conduct the domestic season from August to December.

That schedule works in Europe for one main climatological reason: the Gulf Stream. To wit:

As Mother Nature didn't install a similar thermostat over most of North America, matches like the infamous Concacaf snowfest in Denver between the United States and Costa Rica could be more frequent. Ask Los Ticos what they thought of the experience:

Ten of the current nineteen MLS clubs -- all but one in the East -- are based in hard-winter venues. And if the NFL is having a hard time selling tickets for its playoff games this weekend, what chance would a fledgling sport have for hawking its regular-season games?

While the prospect of shifting to the FIFA calendar has its advantages, the arguments against it still serve as more than a counterweight.

And who knows? With a consistent stream of data indicating harsher winters becoming more frequent in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps it may come to the point that FIFA will need to adapt to the MLS calendar.

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