At week's end 15 of MLS's 32 matches had gone to the shootout. In August the MLS competition committee will vote on the future of the much-maligned tiebreaker. Last year the committee voted 4-1 to keep it. One of those voting in favor was Alan Rothenberg, the U.S. Soccer Federation president from 1990 to '98.
Alan, the shootout's a joke. What were you thinking when you voted for it?
People have to remember that the objective of the shootout is to remove the incentive for ties. The NASL used it, and Pel� and Franz Beckenbauer say they thought about it when they were on the field.
But wouldn't it be better to play a sudden-death overtime of real soccer, declaring a tie if nobody scores?
Then you'd have to worry about TV time constraints. I'd consider other point systems for the shootout [e.g., the shootout loser gets one point, as opposed to none], but I'm absolutely in favor of keeping it.
Do you sleep well at night knowing you've allowed five shootouts to happen in a single weekend?
I sleep fine. Those five games would have ended in ties.
You're a stubborn man.
I just know Americans don't like soccer teams playing for draws.