new coaches make league’s 24th season a mystery

buy canada goose jacket cheap Since its initial season nearly a quarter century ago, MLS has had two persistent problems: when to start the season and how to end it. The continued growth of the league has pushed the season opener canada goose outlet jackets earlier and earlier, and now we have action the first weekend in canada goose montebello uk March. buy canada goose jacket cheap

canada goose factory sale It is a busy time in American sports, with NCAA basketball, the NHL and NBA all approaching the most intense junctures of their regular seasons and baseball’s spring training in full operation. But the American soccer season has to start sometime, and a full slate of MLS games this weekend offers the promise of warmer weather soon to come. canada goose factory sale

With Atlanta United attempting to declare in its third season it canada goose emory parka uk has become not only the league’s reigning champion but also its dominant team, and with so many interesting new players arriving and a redesigned competition in place for 2019, there are plenty of questions to ask about how the next 8 1/2months will develop in MLS.

1. Is thisnew playoff format the one that finally will work?

The season ending playoffs have been a challenge for Major League Soccer since it began play in 1996. The league has gone through several format changes, none of which was truly ideal. In recent years, teams in the conference semifinals and finals have played two leg, total goals series that have provided essentially no real advantage for the team that finished higher in the regular season standings.

So the league has come up with a new one. Seven teams from each 12 team conference will make the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in each conference will earn a bye to the conference semifinal round. The other teams will be matched according to seed 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6, 4 vs. 5 in single elimination games. The higher seed will be the host for all playoff games. Teams will not be reseeded to accommodate an upset; the original tournament bracket will stand throughout.

The season also will end earlier, with MLS Cup arriving on Sunday, Nov. 10, which does not assure ideal soccer weather if the game winds up in a Northern city. But it’s a better bet than it was when canadian goose coat black friday the game came a month later.

Canada Goose online 2. Was FDB the right hire for ATL? Canada Goose online

canada goose uk black friday Atlanta cheap canada goose United unquestionably made the correct coaching hire when it joined MLS as an expansion team in 2017. Tata Martino introduced an attractive style of soccer, aided in the construction of a dynamic roster that included Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez and led the club to an MLS Cup title in its second season. Tata then chose to accept the head coaching position with the Mexico national team, which left Atlanta searching for someone to replace him. canada goose uk black friday

The choice: Frank De Boer, who managed Ajax in the Netherlands from 2010 16 and won the Eredivisie four consecutive times, the only club to accomplish that in its history. That sounds promising. After things wilted, though, he resigned and took a job at Inter Milan. He was fired in less than three months, having coached 14 games. His next job was in England’s Premier League, at Crystal Palace. He stuck around only five games, four of them in the league, all of which were losses and none of which included a Palace goal.

When Atlanta United began its competitive season being shredded on the road 3 1in the CONCACAF Champions League by Herediano of Costa Ricait was hard not to wonder if Atlanta had been searching more for the name than the game in choosing De Boer.

3. Can Toronto FC rediscover its swagger?

In early January 2014, Toronto FC signed Michael Bradley as a transfer from AS Roma and the era of TFC ambition began. A year later came Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco, and by 2016 the club was in the MLS Cup final. It claimed the title in 2017 and then began 2018 by coming closer than any MLS team ever to winning the CONCACAF Champions League, falling on penalties to Chivas Guadalajara.

canada goose clearance sale Then it all fell apart. Injuries limited playmaking midfielder Victor Vasquez to 21 games, Altidore to 13 and defender Drew Moor to eight. TFC allowed 64 goals, second worst in the Eastern Conference, and finished 14 points out of a playoff spot. canada goose clearance sale

Canada Goose Parka MORE: Giovinco questions TFC’s commitment, claims club forced him out Canada Goose Parka

Since then, TFC allowed Giovinco to depart along with Vasquez apparently because it didn’t want to offer big contracts to either player. In its 2019 canada goose black friday sale CCL debut, the club was smacked 4 0 by CA Independiente of Panama. It was a shocking result, but only because 2018 was viewed to be an exception to the Canada Goose sale club’s recent history.

canada goose uk shop The trick is to assure it’s not the new normal, and to do it without two players who ranked with the league’s best. canada goose uk shop

4. What will the league do about the LA Galaxy’s DP overflow?

Since 2010, canada goose uk price MLS teams have been permitted to have three “designated players”; only a fraction of the salaries of such players count against their team’scap. This has allowed such teams as TFC and Atlanta United to flourish and attract high level talents to the league.

But you can’t have four, and with the season openerSaturday at home against Chicago approaching, the LA Galaxy haveforwardZlatan Ibrahimovic and midfielders Jonathan Dos Santos, Gio Dos Santos and Romain Alessandrini.

Doesn’t somebody have to go? Or at least have a contract restructured somehow? League rules make that a challenge, so it’s unclear what the Galaxy canada goose outlet authentic will do. If anything.

cheap canada goose uk GM Dennis te Kloese told the Los Angeles Times all four players will remain with the team. That’s about all that’s clear. cheap canada goose uk

The Galaxy sold forward Ola Kamara to a club in China. He scored 48 goals in 90 regular season games with the Galaxy and Columbus, including 14 in 30 games in his first (and only) season in LA. But that doesn’t really address the issue, and there still hasn’t been any real direction given about how that will be handled.

uk canada goose outlet 5. What does outflow of great young talent mean for the league? uk canada goose outlet

It seems a little like more good young players left MLS than in any recent offseason, but it could be more so that it was about better young players departing.

Almiron not only was by far the most expensive player ever sold by Major League Soccer, at $31 million, he also broke the transfer record for Newcastle of the Premier League. Canadian teenager Alfonso Davies went for $13 million, but he canada goose outlet eu also went to one of the most powerful clubs in the world, Bayern Munich.

New York Red Bulls midfielder Tyler Adams went for only $3.5 million, but to a club in Germany’s Bundesliga, RB Leipzig, where he was expected to make an immediate impact. And he has.

canada goose black friday sale All this does seem to indicate a willingness on the part of Major League Soccer to occasionally sell its most promising talents to bigger leagues. That could be viewed canada goose black friday as a negative, particularly by American audiences accustomed to seeing their leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL) as destinations for the best players. But it also could encourage top young talents from here or abroad to consider the league as a place to develop canada goose black friday sale.