MLS Daily Sweeper 12.19: Draws, Rules, Commentary…HUZZAH!

Here I am, bringing up the rear once again, but that makes some sense with the “sweeper” theme. A lot of the below is hours old, so here’s to hoping I’m bringing some fresh perspective to the discussion…even where I am transparently not…for instance, when I’m quoting others’ work.

– Let’s start with the easy thing: the powers-that-be conducted the draws for the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the 2008 Olympic qualifying rounds yesterday. Steve Goff’s Soccer Insider gave the most thorough presentation of both draws (e.g. he got to both of them – and first) while MLS Rumors provided the best layout for the CONCACAF draw. That noted, here’s what you, dear reader, need to know: the Houston Dynamo will face Guatemala’s Municipal while DC United drew Jamaica’s Harbour View FC. Turning to the Olympics, we’re part of an eight-team tourney and our specific group throws us in with Cuba, Honduras, and Panama; for the record, I think we done good. But the most important thing in all this? As you’ll immediately see upon looking at the schedules for both competitions, March is going to be a busy month.

– Turning now to more complicated matters, Major League Soccer (MLS) announced a couple rule changes yesterday; Steve Goff knocked out a good, lengthy post on the changes and their apparent and reported inspirations. My first reaction – posted as a comment on WVHooligan’s write-up – hasn’t changed much, even if I missed a fairly significant change in the first several readings. But, bottom line, there’s not a whole lot to see here, folks. While I am gladdened by the end the evil, player-hating rule about a given MLS club retaining the rights to a player they waived – that’s simple justice, man – even the change I missed doesn’t amount to much. That change? The “asset” status of the foreign player slots, which allows them to be traded. It sounds neat-o, but as Yahoo! News’ Martin Rogers pointed out, the big-picture economics deflate this change quite a bit (and Soccer By Ives fleshes it out a bit more): Continue reading