MLS Playoffs: National Team Call-Ups Hurt Teams in Hunt


By now we all know that this is an international date in FIFA, meaning that many national teams will be playing games for different reasons. Teams in Europe are in the process of qualifying for Euro 2016. Other teams like the United States Men’s National Team are playing a friendly Friday against Ecuador. I understand everyone wants to play for their respective national team but here is a problem that I have.

Why call up MLS players for an international friendly? All you are doing is hurting those clubs chances at making the MLS Playoffs.

There are several teams that are in the midst of an MLS playoff hunt and everyone of these matches mean the world to the teams involved. I understand that you need to call up your players to get a look at them for the next World Cup rotation but why do you call up players on teams that are actively trying to make the playoffs? Not only does it leave teams short on players, the San Jose Earthquakes being a great example.

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USMNT Shines Bright with Convincing Victory Over Oman
USMNT Shines Bright with Convincing Victory Over Oman /

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  • The Earthquakes only were able to bring 15 players to Portland when the two team faced off Wednesday night. Yes, I know the Earthquakes don’t have a chance at making the playoffs but why severely deplete the team? Chris Wondolowski was the only player that got called up for the USMNT but they lost other players going to their respective teams to play friendlies. The lost a bunch of players that contributed to nearly 75% of their goals scored for them on the season.

    The Los Angeles Galaxy lost three players with Robbie Keane being the exception being called to his national team to qualify for an actual competition. Real Salt Lake lost four players with two of them playing for the USMNT team and two others that called-up to play for their teams for a friendly.

    Currently the Galaxy and Salt Lake are two and three in the standings missing these key players that could severely hurt their chances at maintaining their respective positions. This is the most crucial part of the MLS season and by pulling these players away you are hurting their teams. All European clubs are off during this time so why not call-up those players that play in Europe to compete in these friendlies?

    I don’t like it and I never will. Some are suggesting that MLS take a break in league matches to honor these international dates but if they do that, the season will be even longer. For a long time FIFA has wanted MLS to switch their season to mirror those in other leagues across the world. Commisioner Don Garber has said that will not happen anytime in the near future.

    What do you think? Do you agree with me or do you think I am crazy for thinking this way? Let me know in the comments.