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):

“MLS’s more wealthy franchises, such as the Los Angeles Galaxy, would love to give themselves a boost by packing their lineups with as many talented players as they could lay their hands on. But the salary cap will prevent teams from doing so, ensuring that a reasonable competitive balance remains in place.”

So, with the minor change noted, I walk away happy: even if one waived player has a chance to find a club without waiting a year while another stubborn club holds onto the rights, that’s enough for me.

– Red Bull New York’s hiring of Juan Carlos Osorio may be old news by now, but the commentary keeps on a-coming. Of the few I’ve read, credit Frank Giase for nailing the one thing of which we can be certain: the odds for an exciting Red Bull team in 2008 are pretty high (by which I mean, I expect them to cure insomnia). That doesn’t mean nearly as much to’s Pat Walsh (maybe he’s a Red Bull fan?), who figures the Osorio’s hire gives the team the best possible crack at ending the curse they’ve played under since their inception…or since they canned Octavio Zambrano, anyway. As for me…I dunno…a curse is a curse. Unless I see some chicken blood on Osorio’s coat or dead virgins in the locker room, I’m assuming status quo hiring.

Down the Byline offers up some groovy local reporting by scouting the Bannister Mall site, where a soccer-specific home for the Kansas City Wizards looks all but certain to be. Good stuff.

– Speaking of stadiums – and lots of ’em – surely there’s a place in the soccer hall of fame for the architectural firm that built the infrastructure for soccer in the U.S. Where does one forward a vote on such things?

2 Responses

  1. pretty sure that layout on MLS Rumors is just a screen shot of the CONCACAF site…could be wrong though…

  2. Probably true. But I usually try to avoid official sites when at all possible…so much bilge.

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