One of the benefits of the Colorado Rapids having only Gabriel Torres called up to his national teams this international window is that they played against the two time defending champ LA Galaxy who had their most important players gone for last weekend's Rapids victory. While I must admit that I was glad for the Rapids to play and win the season series against the Gals, I think that this is another area where the MLS is trying to put one over on the fans. Not to mention that the Rapids only play three games in September and one was during the time that the rest of the world pauses their major domestic leagues to watch the World Cup Qualifiers. Maybe that is the answer. The MLS doesn't act like the world's best leagues. Although it seems to me that they think they are one of the most forward thinking leagues in the world. Which for many reasons I think are wrong but let's just talk about the international window matches.
Why do fans go to matches? Well, unless you're a Chivas USA fan you go to see the star players on the team and cheer on your local eleven to victory. The MLS will not be as hampered during these windows as the Barclays Premier League or La Liga. But, to not have a television contract of any consequence and the main draw of your league is going to the local soccer only stadiums to see the players live then maybe having those faces of the league not playing is a major mistake. When you only go to one game a year in-person and your favorite player isn't playing, what makes you want to go back? Does the MLS expect fans to check out when the international match windows are and plan accordingly? Even the NHL gets it right by having a break during the winter olympics. How often can you say that the NHL makes better decisions then any other North American sports league?
I'm not a Don Garber defender by any means and I realize that he works for the owners. Which is different than any other soccer head in the world. I wonder if people realize that he worked for the NFL before coming to the MLS. He was in charge of the NFL Europe. That league eventually folded. So how often do people that run a league into the ground get a second chance? Garber has done the most with his. I suspect I know why the NFL brass sent him to Europe permanently. The question is who let him come back. At least he doesn't have the chance to ruin the NFL. If he was commissioner of the NFL, then sports media would have run him out of the league so fast. But the MLS' small footprint and forcing the media to virtually worship at the altar of the league to get any access means his opposition is like the matrix. Every now and then when the aberration comes along it is smashed and then it's back to same old, same old.
I'm not suggesting that the MLS shut down for a month when the World Cup starts next year. Maybe for two weeks during group play. That will allow half the players to return home and minimize playing games without their best players. For a league that needs the gate to make money. It seems like a no-brainer.