Starting next season, the NASL is making a radical change to its schedule and competition format, one along the lines of something that some have been calling for MLS to adopt as its own.
NASL announced Wednesday that in 2013, as opposed to the current format in which the regular season is followed by a typical playoff set-up, the league will be played in a split-season, Apertura-Clausura style. The winners of the two half-seasons will meet in a winner-take-all Soccer Bowl, where one will be crowned the league's champion. If the same team finishes first in both half-seasons, then the team with the second-best record for the entire year will qualify for the championship match.
Next season's first portion is slated to begin either in the end of March or beginning of April and last until July 4. The second part will pick up about a month later and run until Nov. 2, according to an NASL press release. All teams will play each other twice, once home and once away, in each half-season.
"The new format takes into consideration a variety of factors including fan and player comfort in our many warm-weather cities," NASL commissioner David Downs said. "But the bottom line is that we believe this new competitive format will bring more excitement and meaning to each of our regular season matches for all of our teams throughout the year.”
What do you think of this development? Do you wish MLS would move to a similar schedule? Do you like the format?
Share your thoughts below.