As much hand-wringing as there has been over the announced changes for the 2012 Major League Soccer season, it's easy to start believing that there is near universal approval. The displeasure was expected to be particularly palpable for Canadian soccer fans, who will no longer be guaranteed to see each of their Great White North rivals at home every year.
But Whitecaps blog 86 Forever is rarely predictable. They view the changes, essentially, as much ado about very little. Perhaps most relevantly, they point out that the whole idea of playing each team just once at home and away is a relatively rare occurrence:
In 2011, four out of thirty-four Whitecaps regular-season games were against Seattle or Portland: 11.8%. In 2012 it'll be six out of thirty-four: 17.6%. That's the end of the world? In 2010 Vancouver played 13.3% of their regular season games against Portland alone, and every one of them was an occasion. This schedule will not hurt our rivalries; we know this because of all the other times an even more lopsided schedule did not hurt our rivalries.