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The Daily Dirt, September 1: Breaking the Rules

Key weekend of MLS games starts tonight, should it?

Portland Timbers v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

One thing MLS can do to improve the quality of its product is to not schedule games during international breaks. I know it will mean more mid-week games, but for the integrity of the competition, it needs be done.

Twelve of the league’s twenty teams are playing this weekend, starting with NYCFC vs. DC United tonight. Teams playing important matches at less than full strength due international call-ups is not right. Clubs should not punished for having players who are chosen for the national teams, that should be celebrated.

Mid-week games are a tougher draw, there’s no doubt about that. That is not just a MLS challenge, look at the difference in leagues around the world and in MLB here in the U.S. The league can try to spread out mid-week home games so clubs are not hit with too many. The clubs have to put in some extra work to draw a crowd on those nights as well. The league has matured to the point that clubs can handle a handful of mid-week games.

MLS has made good moves in this area like taking time off during the group stage of the World Cup and Copa America Centenario. I can even be persuaded to accept that some games early in the season on a FIFA date can be handled. However, when teams are battling for playoff positioning at this stage of the season, MLS should not be playing games on an international week.


Huge game tonight with playoff implications as NYCFC hosts DC United (Black and Red United)

Patrick Mullins named the SB Nation MLS Player of the Week (SB Nation)

Hunter Freeman heading to Miami from the Cosmos after a six-figure transfer deal (This Is Cosmos Country)

Why do American players seem to peak later than their counterparts? (Stars and Stripes FC)

USWNT legend Heather O’Reilly to retire? (Excelle Sports)


Moussa Sissoko stole the show on deadline day (SB Nation)

The top 20 players currently out of contract who are still available to be signed (Record)

Chelsea’s Matt Miazga heading to Vitesse on a season long loan (We Ain’t Got No History)

Robbie Keane with quite a goal in his Ireland farewell: