The formula is pretty simple, yet not commonly known by many sports fans. The aggregate system in FIFA international tournament soccer adds up the goals of two games (one home game for each team) to determine a winner.
I have to admit that the aggregate way has grown on me. Originally, I was against it. I didn’t think it made sense to add results together from one match to another match from a different day. I thought a best of three series was a better way to settle things.
I have watched the aggregate scoring system play out in soccer around the world and I have gotten used to it. I like it because it keeps players completely engaged from start to finish for both matches, since every moment counts.
I think it would be best to use an aggregate series for the MLS Cup Finals. Unfortunately, MLS uses only one match to produce a champion.
This season’s MLS Cup Final will be hosted by Sporting KC against Real Salt Lake at Sporting Park, Saturday, December 7th at 4 p.m. ET.
Most soccer leagues throughout the world don’t have playoffs. The regular season determines the winner for that season. Major League Soccer has decided to Americanize its way to finding a champion and does use a playoff system.
The aggregate system has had an influence on many corners of world soccer. In some competitions throughout FIFA club tournaments there are quarterfinals, semifinals and finals with home-and-home aggregate series. Sometimes, whichever visitor scores more goals can also be a factor for determining the winner if the scores are tied.
Here are my problems with MLS Cup only being a one and done match: firstly, both teams have been through two rounds of the playoffs already with home-and-home aggregates, so it makes sense to continue the formula for the sake of consistency and allow the public to enjoy the competition they have just gotten used to. Also, it makes sense for dramatic purposes and to give fans of both teams a chance to witness MLS Cup excitement. An aggregate series would probably intensify the MLS Cup Finals and bring a bigger television audience for the second game.
Howard M Alperin is managing editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com