2015 is the second year in a row that the NASL will utilize The Championship, the 4 team post season tournament that culminates with the Soccer Bowl. The winners of the Spring & Fall seasons get an automatic berth in the competition. The next two teams with the highest point totals in the combined standings will also complete the field. In 2013 only the winners of the Spring & Fall would meet for the Soccer Bowl. In its first year, 2014, the split season made sense with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil taking place in the summer, right in the middle of the NASL season. It doesn't make sense anymore.
My biggest beef with this format is that the winner of the Spring season has no motivation to play well in the Fall and could realistically end up near the bottom of the table and still play for the Soccer Bowl. This occurred in 2013; Atlanta won the Spring but floundered in the Fall, just 6 points from last place, yet still played for the Soccer Bowl - and unsurprisingly lost to the Cosmos. [thats for another post]
Even with the Women's World Cup (WWC) being hosted in Canada this year, it could have been realistic to play a one table season by having FC Edmonton & Ottowa Fury play some away games if their home stadiums were to be used for the WWC.
In the current format, it does give teams the opportunity to acquire more hardware during the season as there would be champions of each season, the winner of the Woosnam Cup (awarded to the team with the most points at the end of the season), and of course the winner of the Soccer Bowl. The break during the summer does also allow for teams to play international friendlies, which I do enjoy. I love seeing my team go against new competition.
I would advocate though for the single table season that would still end with The Championship to determine our champion. I believe that would give even more legitimacy and respect towards the league. Because the league is still very much in its infancy, it is important that it takes the necessary steps in order to become relevant in the North American & U.S. landscape.
Soccer On -ASC
All things NASL
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