Monday, May 17, 2010

2010 Relegation Play Offs Preview

In the United States and Canada, even in Mexico, every top professional sports team plays their regular season games with one goal in mind, reaching the play offs. For those of you who know what Argentina's relegation play offs are all about, you can skip the following paragraph.

For those clueless American and Canadians who may have stumbled upon this, whether accidentally, or any other reason, who has never heard of relegation, prepare for a shock. Teams in Argentina don't play to make the play offs, but avoid them. Imagine, if you will, that the two worst teams in MLS (or any other sports league of your choice) at the end of the season swapped places with the two best minor league clubs. That's what happens in leagues through out the world, though the number of teams exchanged varies. In Argentina it's perhaps more complex than anywhere else, as points earned over the course of three seasons are averaged, and the two worst teams based on that average are automatically dropped from the Primera A down to the Primera B, while the Primera B champions and their runners up move up to take their place. In addition, the next two weakest teams in the Primera A face the 3rd and 4th place teams from the Primera B in a home and away play off for the right to play the next season in the Primera A. Got it? Good. (If not, try again. I know it's confusing.)

Already relegated are Chacarita Jrs,and Atlético Tucumán, both had only just been promoted from the Primera B at the beginning of the season. Taking their places are Primera B Champions Olimpo Bahía Blanca and runners up Quilmes.

Heading for the relegation play offs from the Primera A are Rosario Central and Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata. Central will face the Primera B 4th place All Boys, while Gimnasia will take on 3rd place Atletico Rafaela. The Primera B teams will host the first match on Wednesday, May 19th, which, as the theory goes, gives the Primera A teams a slight advantage when the second match is played on Sunday, May 23rd. The winners will be determined on the goal totals from both games, with away goals scored determining the winner in case of a tie, and they'll go to penalties if that is tied as well.

Now Rosario Central, for those who aren't aware, are Newell's Old Boy crosstown arch-rivals, and I'm not going to lie. I've stated many time, here in this very blog, as well as else where, that I'd rather see the Sinas (short for Sin Aliento - a nickname for Central, a rough translation would be "with out volume," which they earn from not exactly being the loudest of fans in Argentina.) remain in the Primera A, only to be forced to play off after play off. This is the second year in a row that they have done so, but now that the time has come, I just can't find it in me to hope for anything other than an All Boys victory. So...

Bye, bye, Sinas! Bye, bye!

No comments: