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FIFA International Dates and MLS

There have been quotes from coaches around the league that MLS should not be playing on a FIFA international date. Teams are losing quality talent to Euro 2012 qualifiers, to African Cup of Nations, to friendlies in CONCACAF and CONMEBOL, and yet with a third of the season left the MLS sides still need to gather points.

In an ideal world MLS would be able to have these weekends open so that its best players would be available for both club and country. In an ideal world MLS fans would actually show up to weeknight games, and would watch matches not involving their own team on television.

Because that's why MLS teams have to play on these weekends. Since the primary fuel for revenue is around the game-day experience, MLS can not afford to have light gates. If MLS made TV ratings like the NHL (an actual rating point) that would become its fuel and they could play some weeknight matches and miss these FIFA dates.

But let us also note that it isn't just MLS and USSF Div 2 that are playing this weekend.

England's Leagues outside of Premier and Championship
Scotland's non-Premier leagues
Spain and Italy's second and lower flights
Wales and Northern Ireland's top flights
Costa Rica
El Salvador

That's a lot of leagues with similar talent level to MLS, and a few that are better. Yes, the biggest leagues in Europe have the weekend off, as does Japan. But outside of Europe, this is a weekend, and weekends mean - MLS.

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