MLS Draft, CBA, and More


Stuff I Follow from the Cheap Seats

MLS Superdraft

A good starting point for Superdraft information.

Generation Adidas explained, reported by L.E. Eisenmenger.

Before the expansion draft I was pegging Philadelphia to take defenseman Ike Opara with the first pick in the upcoming SuperDraft. But with their strong back line picks, Jordan Harvey and Shavar Thomas, along with the signing of Danny Califf, I am now leaning towards them taking forward Danny Mwanga. Update: It’s being reported that a deal is in place between the Union and Mwanga.

MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA)

In Defense of MLS Players by the Ginge.

Jason Davis’ overview of the demands.

Back in September, I gave my take on the rosters and financial portion of the.CBA and didn’t address free agency and guaranteed contracts which have been generally reported as the two top issues for the players. Many good writers have extensive posts on these issues, so I’ll just give my ‘from the hip’ viewpoint.
If a player without a guaranteed contract is dropped before July 1, he should be able to sign with any team that wants him without compensation to his former team. If a player is out of contract, he should likewise have the right to sign with any team, his former team retaining no rights whatsoever. Retuning MLS’ers from foreign leagues should also be able to sign with any team. With salary restrictions still in place, this does not change the structure of the league.


The official USL/TOA/NASL solution, for one year at least.

Inside Minnesota Soccer’s articles on the USL/TOA/NASL situation.

Bill Archer’s summary of the USL/NASL solution.

A view of the USL/NASL dispute from the perspective of Portland Timbers community bloggers. The Timbers are scheduled to move up to MLS in 2011.

Financial stability. I think that was the keynote of Sunil Gulati’s address on the ‘formation’ of USSF D-2. The continuous turnover of USL-1 teams lends credence to this opinion. The current solution may be the best thing to have happened, with a possiblity of direct affiliations with MLS clubs a real possibility in the near future.

Good Things that Effect MLS

Development Academy teams are poised to become true feeders to the parent clubs. Now the league needs to loosen up the rules about signing developmental players in the upcoming CBA.

Does MLS Have it Right?

Manchester United is debt ridden by John Leicester of AP.

And now they are looking to raise money to restructure its debt.

Manchester City is reporting huge loss.

Portsmouth is having trouble paying its players. with a great explanation of who owns MLS teams.

Some folks across the pond are wondering the same.

Dumb Things I Expect to Read This Year

  • MLS is ready for promotion/relegation(a holdover from last year).
  • Field Turf is all right for a pro playing surface. If you think the game doesn’t change, you haven’t been watching closely enough.

    Great Pieces About Soccer Coverage

    By J Hutcherson at USSoocer

    By Tom Dunmore at Pitch Invasion.

    Pics from the recent Development Academy Winter Showcase

    Chivas Academy Players

    Chivas Academy Players

    Chivas Academy Coaches and UANL Tigres Scouts

    Chivas Academy Coaches and UANL Tigres Scouts

    Crew Academy Players

    Crew Academy Players

    Crew Academy Players

    Crew Academy Players

    Holland Academy Players

    Holland Youth Players

    Rapids Academy Players

    Rapids Academy Players

    RBNY Academy Players

    RBNY Academy Players

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  • 15 Responses to MLS Draft, CBA, and More

    1. Charles says:

      Sure the turf is different. So are long cut grass, short cut grass, dirt where grass was……Some ( not very many of us ) think the plastic is better in some ways.

      It is definitely a faster game. I have watched 100s of games at QWest with the turf, obviously as the Sounders have played there for many years now, and a few with grass. The grass is just so slow, looked like Chelsea, who I am sure is a very fast team, had lead weights attached.
      ( Interestingly Barca didn’t look any slower )

    2. Charles says:

      ps. I like how you say MLS isn’t “ready” for pro/rel like it is something you grow into….a great idea but we just aren’t ready for it. Pro/Rel is the single stupidest business idea in sports. Take 40 teams and tell 20 of them, you can’t win it all for at least a year.

      • Peter C says:

        “Take 40 teams and tell 20 of them, you can’t win it all for at least a year.”

        I think of it as ‘in a few years any team could win it all’.

        I like pro/reg. I think it adds a level of excitement. That being said, US Soccer would have to ‘grow’ into it and we’re very far away from even considering it.

    3. Charles says:

      Well my RedBulls friend is glad they can win it this year.
      IF you have a parity league like MLS, there is no need for extra excitement, it was exciting right to the final second of the final game of the season.

      The leagues where there is no chance for 15 ( or 18 ) out of 20 teams winning, sure I guess it adds excitement….see who can lose the least.
      I just don’t ever see that flying in the US. The only way we talk about the losing teams in the US is if they lose them all.

    4. MLS has got it right? Is getting beat by WWE in cable tv viewers by an average of 25 to 1 getting it right? Is a closed, fracturing pyramid getting it right?

      The single entity sucks. Sure, it may insulate investors from risk, and from relegation. It might protect their other endeavors. It might allow them to experiment with every conceivable curb on club autonomy, and all of the mediocrity it promotes. It will never, ever, bring us world class soccer.

      The open league model, featuring promotion, relegation, and independent clubs, makes the club soccer as accessible as the game itself. Capture the imagination of the vast majority of American soccer supporters. Enable small to mid size communities to host a club with an unlimited future.

      The craving for reality sports is real. We can’t get there without prying the game out of a small group of investors – with mixed motives – who currently control it.

      Deregulation may not work for insurance, banking, healthcare, et al, but it works for this game. We have to get over the fact that we didn’t invent it, and accept the fact that it made club soccer far and away the most popular pro game on our planet.

      • Peter C says:

        “…club soccer far and away the most popular pro game on our planet. ”

        Except in the USA. And from that point on your very fine argument falls apart. WWE’s and Poker and so many other sports outpacing soccer on TV is the indicator.

        The US soccer fan base is not nearly large enough yet to support a pyramid with pro/reg system. That’s just a financial fact. For now, lower divisions and amateur teams will have to settle for the gold ring of the US Open Cup.

        I’m not going to take the time to compare media rights revenues in the US compared to elsewhere. I’m sure you’ve seen the data yourself. And until the revenues increase drastically, survival is the primary concern.

        Do I think MLS will eventually become a top tier league? Possibly, but not for many years.

        But given the financial struggles and of teams such as Liverpool, Man U, Portsmouth, just to name a few, the profligate spending is reaching a breaking point and the whispers of salary cap are rumbling through the soccersphere.

        Are there changes MLS can make now to improve the league? Certainly, but going full tilt ‘free-market’ is not the way.

    5. And remember, we are in a recession. If it reigns in the spending of a few clubs, so be it.

      The great depression helped to kill the second most popular league in the United States: The American Soccer League.

      Meanwhile, open leagues plowed through – and conquered the world.

    6. eboe says:

      And also, don’t forget the NASL, I mean, we have had free, unregulated professional soccer in America. And despite certain teams paying big money for half-washed up internationals, the unlimited expansion killed the league dead. When MLS was formed, they went over all of the failures of the NASL, especially since at least one of the owners in MLS had been an owner (Lamar Hunt), and Alan Rothberg had been an owner in the NASL and helped in the formation of MLS. These men knew FIRST HAND what happened in the past, and they knew what had to be done to make sure the problems did not happen again.

    7. eboe

      I also fault overexpansion with for the fall of the NASL. Many of those teams should have been relegated straight away. Of course, NASL couldn’t be blamed. There wasn’t a defined pyramid of any kind in the 1970s. Still, the league made soccer the most popular youth sport in the USA, and a certain NY Cosmos outdrew both the Yankees and the Giants in 1977.

      Yes, Hunt and Rothenberg learned lessons: The only way that soccer could survive in our closed domestic system is to put the straightjacket of the single entity on it, and run it like Denny’s.

      Don’t give these guys too much credit for learning lessons. They are trying to make soccer work – but only on their terms. They are far too accustomed to their closed league entitlements to see outside of the box. So, they are on the same path as their predecessors. 1/25th of the cable TV viewers of WWE is an abominable performance for a league well into adolescence – especially when at least 25 times more kids are playing organized soccer than training to be pro wrestlers.

      Name an open league that died. Meanwhile, I’ll make a list of ten closed American leagues that have gone belly up since 1894. Pro/rel and independent clubs are part of the soul of this game. I suspect, if the FA didn’t adopt the system in the nineteenth century, we wouldn’t be talking about it today.

    8. Peter

      I’ll ask you what I asked eboe – name an open soccer league that went belly up. I will name ten closed American soccer leagues that have.

      Soccer is the most popular youth sport in this country for thirty years running. In 2006, World Cup matches drew more fans than World Series or NBA Finals games. The Cosmos drew more fans than the Yankees or the Giants in 1977.

      The game rises in popularity, just as MLS average attendance records languish in 1996.

      Don’t fear the reaper, man. The free and open market can work for sports. In fact, I think that’s the most frightening thing to some of the more conservative MLS owners. Not only would they lose the protection of their single entity womb, but if the thing took off, it would question the business models of their other pro sports.

      Please, please don’t saddle soccer with the problems of MLS, and the top of the fracturing pyramid they own. It’s quite healthy by every other measure.

      • Peter C says:

        I am not enough of a soccer historian to categorically state that no ‘open’ league has ever failed. On that note, I would suggest that the NASL of Cosmos fame did indeed fail.
        No one can contest the popularity of soccer at the youth level in the US. However your statements about the 1977 Yankees, football Giants and Cosmos is a bit ingenuous.
        The Cosmos drew 512,145 over 15 matches for an average of 34,143.
        The Giants drew 464,362 over 7 games for an average of 66,337.
        The Yanks drew 2,103,092 over 81 games for an average of 25,964.
        So if you are talking total attendance, the Cosmos outdrew the Giants, but got crushed by the Yankees. Want to talk average attendance? The Cosmos outdrew the Yankees(no surprise there) and were crushed by the Giants.

        As for the health of soccer, I would have you read this article about the restrictions that will be put in place in Europe starting in the 2013-14 season.

    9. Clasamente says:

      well worth the read.I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about…

    10. rca ieftin says:

      An interesting point. But does not match the current needs of sport?

    11. fortza gagazzi…
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