While most of the American soccer community struggles to reconcile FIFA's choice of Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup, and a few go about the business of tsk-tsk-ing anyone who questions the tiny country's worthiness, the planet continues to turn.  Part of that turning involves weather.  It being winter in this part of the world, things are bit dicey out there.

I mention this because Don Garber's MLS Cup Final-timed announcement that the League will study the possibility of switching seasons had already hit the cynicism scrapheap before recent snowstorms; we hardly believed it was a legitimate effort before December 2nd, and we're not buying it at all post-Qatari victory. Garber, on behalf of American soccer and the USA bid committee, threw Sepp Blatter a bone (or so it seems). It didn't help.

That won't stop certain people from clamoring for the switch anyway, and time will only tell if Garber brings it up again or lets it lie. 

It's snowing in the Midwest, or was last time I checked, and the storm is wreaking havoc on American football.  A collapsed roof at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, in conjunction with canceled flights, forced the NFL to move a game scheduled for today to tommorow night.  That reality alone might be an argument against soccer in the winter, with the usual focus on game conditions.  Will the fans show up in freezing weather?  How many games will be adversely affected by snow, sleet, etc.?

Travel doesn't generally into the debate, at least not as one of the main considerations.  But as the Giants-Vikings postponement shows, getting from one city to another in North American winters isn't always simple.  Even if MLS took a break through the worst months and did everything they could to mitigate the issues caused by winter storms, air travel in a large country won't always cooperate.  It's hard to play a match when you can't even get to it. 

Russia is going ahead with a season switch.  It won't be a perfect test case for the US and Canada because the Russian Premier League clubs aren't as spread out as those in MLS, but it as close as we'll get.  Few countries, if any, have the type of distances with which MLS contends, and none are currently on a schedule impacted by winter weather.

Travel complications, with the potential for postponed or delayed games (not to mention the affect it would have on traveling support, even for matches within driving distance) is just another reason MLS on the "international calendar" is a bad idea. 


Today is the second anniversary of MFUSA's founding.  I want to thank everyone that has read and supported the blog, with special recognition for fellow writers who have spurred me on (you know who you are) and the sites's other contributors, who make this a more well-rounded place.  

Changes, and only for the better, are in the offing.  Stay tuned, and thanks again.
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