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MLS has some more new tiebreaker rules

Mar 13, 2013, 2:39 PM EDT

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Wins matter more than goals. At least, now they do, according to Major League Soccer’s new tiebreaker rules.

Credit the Seattle Times’ Joshua Mayers for digging this one up. It’s a minor change, one that’s unlikely to matter, but it’s the type of thing we like to know about before it’s actually needed.

MLS has changed its end of season tiebreaker rules – the criterion that would be applied should two teams finish the season with the same number of points.

Last year (late last year) Major League Soccer pushed goals scored to the top of the list, a subtle nudge encouraging teams to pick it up a little. Now they’re reversed course.

Goals are important, but let’s not get carried away, the switch implies. Teams are asked to win. That should be the first on the list.

Here are the two almost identical orders:

2012 Tiebreaker Order 2013 Tiebreaker Order
1. Goals for
2. Most wins
3. Goal differential
4. Fewest disciplinary points
5. Road goals
6. Road goal differential
7. Home goals
8. Home goal differential
9. Coin toss (two teams), drawing of lots (three or more)
1. Most wins
2. Goals for
3. Goal differential
4. Fewest disciplinary points
5. Road goals
6. Road goal differential
7. Home goals
8. Home goal differential
9. Coin toss (two teams), drawing of lots (three or more)

Almost identical … except for places one and two.

One more note on Mr. Mayers, the Times’ Sounders beat reporter:

Apologies for the media glad-handing  but given many of the updates we get on Sounders FC come from his reporting, this is good news.

If you’re on Twitter, give him a shout of congratulations. We all need jobs, and Joshua just happens to be pretty good at his.

  1. charliej11 - Mar 13, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Tight schedule I guess, but have them play it off please. Soccer is rediculous that way.

    Tie at the end of the season ?…..let’s declare a champion based on goal differential.

    Also rediculous is Josh Meyers is just now going full time.

    • Richard Farley - Mar 13, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      The only professional sport that does an end-of-regular season playoff (in this country) is baseball. Football, basketball, hockey … they all use tiebreakers to decide who qualifies for the playoffs.

    • wfjackson3 - Mar 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      Over half of the league already gets in the playoffs. I am ok with them using a tie breaker instead of a play in game.

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