Frank Giase writes that ties in MLS have become an acceptable result, a compromise teams are willing to settle for rather than push for a game-winning goal and risk giving one up themselves. MLS executives have noticed the trend this year and have expressed concern. It's something they will monitor closely next year.
This season there have been 228 games played, with 87 ending deadlocked, including 25 scoreless ties. So we have 38 percent of MLS games ending in ties, with nearly 29 percent of the ties goalless. And with nine weeks remaining in the regular season, when games tend to get tighter as teams fight for playoff berths, the overall number could top 40 percent.
The Chicago Fire has already set a league record with 15 ties and the Red Bulls have 14. But the really disturbing statistic this year is this: 11 of the 18 teams have more ties than wins.
“We’re not going to eliminate ties from Major League Soccer, but we have way too many ties and way too many zero-zero ties,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “What could we do as a league to make it more valuable for a club to play to win every game as opposed to playing for just a point? We’re looking at what those initiatives could be. And that is a league initiative.”