MLS: Team-by-Team Off-Season Progress Report

After chasing the day-to-day trade clocking for a couple weeks, and with the Super- and supplemental drafts all wrapped up, today seems as good a day as any to pull it all together. Plenty of changes have already happened and plenty more look likely to happen before Major League Soccer’s (MLS) 2008 season kicks off. The point here is seeing which teams appear most ready and complete with training camps starting in fairly short order.

Below is the most current and, hopefully, thorough record of the player traffic surrounding each of MLS’s 14 clubs. By way of mixing the old with the new, links to each team’s roster will be embedded in their name, while you can find the players each MLS team took in the respective “drafts” here: SuperDraft and supplemental. Completing the picture is SoccerAmerica.com’s list of off-season player moves.

Clocking the incoming traffic is, of course, a little complicated: a number of the players taken via draft won’t make the full roster and, regarding transfer-market horse-swapping, a number of deals remain in progress. So, here’s what will happen in this space: on trades, only “done-deals” – or those that seem “done enough” – will appear. Going the other way, I’m going to treat the players picked up through either draft as part of the team. That said, distinction between players coming in by transfer (e.g. the one’s the club actively sought out, so we’re pretty sure they’ll play) versus the draftees (e.g. who may be waived by the end of February) will be made.  And, of course, corrections of oversights and omissions are entirely welcome.

Finally, a “grade” of sorts, followed by an assessment of how each team looks (as judged by me…obviously), comes after the naming of names. After toying with a, frankly, unworkable grading system (shh…that’s my secret) I’m going to roll with something pretty simple: letter grades. Just like in real life, a grade of a C equal passing – or, in this case, post-season competitive…if only just in some cases. One big thing to clarify on these: this isn’t simply awarded for the quality of the team; consideration for the improvement they have made since the end of 2007 also plays a role, a big one even. As for the assessments, I’ll try to keep them brief and based solely on current, as opposed to possible, circumstances; I can always catch up in future posts.

So, them’s the rules. Time to dig in: Continue reading

Advertisements

MLS Supplemental Draft Coming….Shhh…

It seems Major League Soccer (MLS) views Thursday’s Supplemental Draft as some kind of malformed, chickenhead-eating geek, some horrific half-man they keep under lock and key in the basement. At least that’s the impression one gets from MLSnet.com’s front page (or even news page) radio silence on the event. Don’t know how a body is supposed to whoop up a little excitement absent hype.

Thankfully, 3rd Degree’s Buzz Carrick continues to labor heroically and thanklessly to keep all of us news-starved amateur hacks typing. On that site one can find the order in which teams make selections in the supplemental draft (scroll down; it’s there) as well as a list of his Top 10 players who slipped between the SuperDraft cracks…quite possibly to join that geek in the basement.

UPDATE: The fact that this post picked up more hits than most things I post several times over, that tells me two things: 1) if there’s a “pulse” for MLS news, my finger is nowhere near it; 2) MLS’s media arm suffers from the same shortcoming, because all those hits tell me there was genuine interest in the supplemental draft.

With that in mind, here’s a link to which team picked which players in the 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft.  If I knew much about any of the players named, I’d tell all y’all about it.  But, like most of you, I’m just going to have watch some games and learn what I can about them.