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Leagues: MLS

Quick Hits

I’m very impressed with the writing ability of former West Ham and Pompey netminder Shaka Hislop who came to MLS for a cup of coffee a few years ago. Hislop understands the league and is in the process of educating British fans about the league in his weekly Guardian Unlimited column. This week’s posting focuses on Blanco and the Fire.

Toronto FC made two moves this week. One was very impressive: The signing of Amado Guevara, who instantly becomes one of the top ten players in MLS. Guevara has proven how good he is in this league and that he can almost on his lonesome make a team very competitive. The other was the signing of former Spurs midfielder Rohan Rickets who was playing for Barnsley this season. Yet again, Mo Johnston makes a totally ill advised signing of a washed out British player. One step forward, one step back for TFC.

I’ll admit I’m having a very tough time getting psyched up for this weekend’s MLS action. No, it’s not the Masters that is stealing my attention (well maybe it is to a certain extent, but not totally) but this past week’s Champions Cup. I really felt like DC United retooled their entire squad for this one competition and fell short. What’s worse is that unlike last season while despite Troy Perkins gaffe I didn’t feel too bad because Guadalajara were clearly more capable, this year I really think DC took it to Pachuca. True Pachuca is on a downward swing and I fully expect Saprissa to beat them in the final, but this was a golden opportunity for MLS and it slipped due to some odd officiating decisions and simple bad luck. Oh and Zach Wells not covering the post down at Estadio Hidalgo didn’t help either. The bottom line is MLS’ continued international failures have me as a proponent of the league feeling sick. Not simply because our teams can’t get over the hump, but because in the case of DC this time I finally saw what I had been waiting for: an MLS team to outplay a Mexican team over two legs in this competition. Some of you may continue to feel I am too harsh on MLS and too in love with the Mexican League, but this was the first time EVER an MLS team outplayed the Mexican team over two legs. Yet the result didn’t come. I guess we always have Superliga to look forward to.

Jonathan Starling has a thought provoking and insightful blog on the MLS Salary Cap over at the Third Half .

Check out the posting and please give us feedback on the salary cap issue as this is going to be front and center the next few weeks on the American Soccer Show and on our respective blogs.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Berlin

    April 14, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I’m actually a supporter of the salary cap in some form. I think it should be raised to a more reasonable level now that MLS has begun to establish itself in the mainstream ethos with new TV deals, marketable players and a multiplicity of owners. However, the designated player rule needs to be updated as well. I love that Beckham is in the league and I have mixed feelings about his mixed success (league’s not as soft as you thought is it DB), but I have to believe that some of the issues they have out there are that some guys carpool to the Home Depot Center while Beckham is talking about buying the team. That kind of disproportionality has to kill morale. It’s one thing if you make a million and A-Rod makes 20, it’s another if you’re making minimum wage. The one thing I really disagree with is the national player rule. You want better American soccer, pay the players what they deserve and force the teams to establish better development systems (I know there are some good ones out there but it’s been too long coming). This is America, what does it mean to American players? Do they have to be born here or can they nationalize? Are we really going to force Canada to have Canadian players, why not just kick them out of the league now (no slight against Canada intended, they face the same issues we do relative to their numbers). I don’t even like the fact that we have these requirements now. Arsene Wenger is as much at fault for the failure of British football as he is for the failure of the Empire. Money talks, pure and simple. Better players and better coaches will come when there is a better infrastructure to funnel them into the league (my college didn’t even have a Men’s team) and a better incentive for them to stay there. Supply and Demand 101.

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