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Draw! MLS stalemates continue at an amazing pace

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Last season, there were 58 draws in MLS play. In 2011 — at just the halfway mark of the season, we are now at a whopping 64 draws.

With six of this past week’s nine games ending up in draws — including both matches played as part of a July 4 doubleheader broadcast on ESPN2 — 2011 continues to show parity in MLS like we have never seen before.

Wow. Even with two new teams adding games to the schedule, the number of draws we are seeing in MLS is remarkable. Out of 158 games played in the league so far this season, 40.5 per cent have ended in draws.

Compare that to the 2010-11 English Premier League campaign; of the 380 matches played, 111 ended in draws, or a percentage of just over 29 per cent. In Germany, 63 of 306 Bundesliga matches in 2010-11 ended in draws, or 20.5 per cent.

In MLS, you are twice as likely to see a draw as you would in the Bundesliga.

So, what affect does it have on MLS? Well, because so many teams are churning along picking up one point at a time — and 10 teams make the playoffs this season — we will likely see teams qualify for the post season that don’t make the 40-point threshold.

And, it also means that no one is really out of the race. Toronto FC has just 18 points so far this season, good enough for second-last in the East. But it’s only six points behind the third-place Columbus Crew and an automatic playoff berth.

The Vancouver Whitecaps are in dead last in the league, but are only six points out of the wild card spot.

With the way MLS is producing draws, if a team can produce two or three wins in a row, it can make major hay in the standings.

Just, please, no more games like the so-called marquee match-up between the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Seattle Sounders on Monday. Yes, Seattle had a penalty saved by Galaxy keeper Brian Perk, but this was a 0-0 draw that did the league no favours. And, there have been too many games like that this season.

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One Comment

  1. Al

    July 6, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    How about going back to the old NASL shootout.

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