MLS Offseason 2014-15: Do You Feel A Draft?

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Titans Bastard

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With MLS Cup in the books, the 2014 season is over and it's time for a new thread.
 
First, some key offseason dates:
 
Nov 19 - Chivas USA Dispersal Draft [completed]
 
Dec 10 - Expansion Draft
Dec 10 - Waiver Draft
 
Dec 12 - Re-Entry Draft, Phase One
Dec 18 - Re-Entry Draft, Phase Two
 
Jan 15 - SuperDraft
 
Feb 24-26 - CONCACAF Champions League QF, Leg One
Mar 3-5 - CONCACAF Champions League QF, Leg Two
 
early March TBD - beginning of 2015 regular season (was March 8 last year)
 
 
How Does Expansion Draft Work?
 
Existing MLS clubs will protect a certain number of players.  Most homegrown players are also protected.  NYCFC and Orlando City will take turns making selections.  When a club loses a player, they get to protect one additional exposed player.  No club can lose more than two players.
 
What the fuck is a Re-Entry Draft?
 
Short answer: A tortured compromise in the last CBA that is a small concession towards player movement without coming close to free agency.
 
Long answer: There is no free agency, so when a player's contract runs out or his team option is declined, he isn't free to sign with any other MLS club.  His original team still has his rights.  (Since he's out of contract, he is free to sign anywhere else in the world, however.)  This obviously sucks for the player.  So there's something called a Re-Entry Draft to help players get out of this.  Players who meet certain service requirements are eligible - I think it's something like four years in MLS but I'm not sure.  In the first phase, teams are obligated to take on the player at his existing salary or option year salary.  Not many players are selected.  In the second phase, teams can negotiate down salaries and quite a few players are selected.
 
Players who aren't eligible for the Re-Entry Draft are made available in the Waiver Draft.
 
What's the SuperDraft?
 
This is just the college draft.
 
But why does it have a silly name?
 
There used to be a College Draft for amateur players and a Supplement Draft for minor league pros.  In 2000, they were combined into the SuperDraft.  The league no longer drafts minor league pros and has since used the Supplemental Draft name for other purposes (basically, extra college draft rounds), though this practice has since been discontinued.  The SuperDraft name has stuck, even if the draft isn't all that Super.  There are good players in the draft, but not many make an impact in their first year.  Long-term, even many first round draft picks don't have much of a career.  It's a crapshoot and the SuperDraft isn't nearly as important in MLS as other amateur drafts are to their leagues.
 
Is there something wrong with me if I pay attention to these drafts?
 
Let's just say the prognosis isn't good.  Top league players won't be on the move in these drafts because they'll be protected in the expansion draft and clubs pick up team options on them.  This is about building depth, reshuffling journeymen, and bargain hunting.  That being said, there will most likely be some solid middle-class players in MLS available.  Because of the salary cap, cost/value weighs so heavily on roster decisions in the league.  There are always some players who are jettisoned because their salary is just a little too high, but are still solid players, especially if they can be had in the second round of the re-entry draft.
 
 
 

Titans Bastard

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So there was a brief trading window that opened and closed today, providing an opportunity for teams to make some changes between MLS Cup and the Expansion Draft on Wednesday.  There was a flurry of activity as some out-of-contract players found new homes and new foreign signings were brought in.  A few more teams announced their initial offseason cuts -- mostly where they declined their team option on players.  A few more teams still need to do that before the Re-Entry Draft on Friday.
 
- Orlando acquired a pair of players who will form part of their core.  CB Aurélien Collin comes from Kansas City in exchange for allocation money.  DM/CB Amobi Okugo comes from Philadelphia in exchange for allocation money and a second round pick.  Both were out of contract, but have signed deals with the Lions.  Collin was too expensive to fit into KC's wage budget.
 
Philadelphia lost Okugo, but traded their first round SuperDraft pick for FW C.J. Sapong.  Sapong was the 2011 rookie of the year, but his career has trended downward ever since.  KC used him wide in a 4-3-3, which doesn't suit his skillset.  With enough reps, I think he could turn into a good target man, but his touch is not great and neither is his finishing.  In a more mature soccer country he probably would have ended up at CB in his later teens.
 
- The Union also jettisoned some deadwood and old players - Corben Bone, Brian Brown, Fred, Cristhian Hernandez, Brian Carroll, and Conor Casey.
 
Kansas City acquired a Bernardo Añor from Columbus for allocation money.  He's a versatile player who is primarily a midfielder but who played left back.  I'm thinking KC might see him as a fullback because they don't use outside midfielders in their 4-3-3.
 
- NYCFC also picked up a Crew player, Josh Williams for allocation money.  Williams has played all across the backline, but is best at RB.  After missing the second half of the season, he seems to have fallen out of favor with Berhalter.  If he returns to form, he's a good attacking fullback.  The Crew are rumored to be after an Egyptian RB at Zamalek.  NYCFC also acquired a international slot from DC for $$, which gives you an idea of their roster building strategy this offseason.
 
Portland had a very busy day.  They dealt fullback Michael Harrington to Colorado for allocation $$ and signed three players.  The first is Ghana NT goalkeeper Adam Larsen-Kwarasey, who comes from Strømsgodset in Norway.  The second is Colombian Dairon Asprilla, a 22 year old winger who comes from Alianza Petrolera.  The last is a Brazilian defender named Jeanderson Pereira, who has played at several obscure Brazilian clubs.
 
- Portland also cut loose Kalif Alhassan, Bryan Gallego, Pa Modou Kah, Danny O'Rourke, and Rauwshan McKenzie.  They bumped homegrown midfielder Steven Evans off the roster, but got him to sign a USL contract for their new team.  They also sold Jose Adolfo Valencia to an Argentine club.
 
D.C. traded backup GK Joe Willis and DF/MF Samuel Inkoom to Houston for winger Andrew Driver and a draft pick.
 

Titans Bastard

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Arroyo Con Frijoles said:
We're going to get stung in the expansion draft.  Regardless of whether you agree with these selections, this demonstrates that there are going to be some difficult decisions to make, and I have to think we'll lose two people from our unprotected list.
 
http://www.thebentmusket.com/commentary/2014/12/1/7317441/mls-expansion-draft-2014-revolution-protected-list-projection-teal-bunbury
 
Having to protect Kobayashi and Castillion is a huge bummer.  Kobayashi is a replaceable part.  Castillion is potentially interesting, but as an unproven foreigner on a relatively large salary, there's very little chance he's taken.  The Revs are getting punished for having such a domestic-dominated roster.  Goncalves is the only foreigner worth protecting; it's crap that we have to take two others at the expense of better players.
 
I have a suspicion that Soares will be left unprotected.  I think he's out of contract and I've heard a rumor that he has an EU passport and will be testing the waters somewhere.  Major leagues won't be interested, but it's not inconceivable that he could land a gig in Serie B or something like that if he doesn't count as a foreigner.
 
Anyway, if that comes to pass, you can protect Bunbury instead of Soares, and then save one of Mullins/Neumann if the other gets picked.  It's weird to say this, but losing Shuttleworth would also make me nervous.  Going into next season with Knighton as a starter won't cut it.  At $100k, Bobby is fairly cheap.
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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I don't disagree with that (though I've always thought highly of Knighton, I actually thought he'd take over at some point this year, and the fact that he didn't should make me worry I guess), but I will be less anguished about Bobby than Mullins or Bunbury, whom I've come around on.  This is America!  Keepers grow on trees!  If you have to lose people in this draft, and I bet we will, I think guys like Soares and Shuttleworth aren't the worst people to lose instead of some of the others we might.  Davies had a good playoffs, but I kind of wonder if they left him available if anyone would take him.  He's not far removed from being crap at D.C., even if he says he's now 90% back.  
 
Frankly I don't think Rowe or Fagundez really fits with what this team has been doing since Jones came on, but I don't think they'd ever move Fagundez and Rowe has been too productive early on to risk losing I guess.  
 
I agree that rule on mandating keeping foreigners makes almost no sense at all and that we will be hurt for having a deep domestic roster.  
 

Arroyo Con Frijoles

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Also from the Revs twitter account, also says they swapped SuperDraft picks:
 
The #NERevs have acquired GK Joe Nasco from Colorado in exchange for FWDs Dimitry Imbongo and Geoffrey Castillion.
 

Titans Bastard

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robssecondjob said:
Seems to indicate they fear losing Shuttleworth.  I will miss using Imbongo as an object lesson for my hot head youth players.
 
 
I've read that they have no plans of keeping Nasco.  This trade is about manipulating the expansion draft rules.  You have to protect X number of internationals, depending on the total number you have.  The problem for the Revs is that Gonçalves is the only international you'd want to protect.  A journeyman like Kobayashi would be about 15th on the list and the rest (Castillion, Imbongo, Bengtson) are scrubs.  So with 5 internationals, they'd have to protect 3, which is a waste because there are so many good domestics worth protecting.
 
By jettisoning Castillion and Imbongo, they reduced their total number of internationals to 3 and therefore only have to protect 2 of them.  So we still waste a spot on Kobayashi, but can replace Castillion with a domestic.
 
 
Arroyo Con Frijoles said:
Shuttle worth kept, Fagundez exposed.
 
HOLD THE PHONE!!!
 
https://twitter.com/RevsPrez/status/542106017312813056
 

Titans Bastard

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Arroyo Con Frijoles said:
That's reassuring, weird, and I bet involves Agudelo's rights.
 
An Orlando beat writer said it was just allocation money.
 
 
Full protected lists are here.  The Revs have done a good job of maneuvering to avoid losses.  The weird Castillion/Imbongo trade cleared cap space and protected list space.  The Fagundez deal gave them more breathing room.  Losing Mullins or Neumann would be unfortunate, but we can protect the other once one is picked.  Losing anyone else wouldn't really bother me much.
 

Titans Bastard

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- Houston hires Owen Coyle.  He's not a very inspiring choice, particularly with the horrid track record that European coaches have in this league.
 
- DC declines options on five: CB Nana Attakora, CB Jeff Parke, CB/DM Conor Shanosky, wingers Kyle Porter and Alex Caskey.  Parke's a solid vet, but was sidelined for most of the year and lost his job to rookie Steve Birnbaum.
 
- NE purges 10 players - GKs Joe Nasco, Larry Jackson, Luis Soffner, DF Jossimar Sanchez, MFs Donnie Smith, Shalrie Joseph, Alec Sundly, and FWs Andre Akpan and Tony Taylor.  Stephen McCarthy is out of contract and it sounds like he won't be back.  These guys had very few appearances between them in 2014, so it's time to clear them out and bring in new youngsters / fringe players who might be able to grow into a role.
 
- Vancouver declines options on five as well -- DF Johnny Leveron, MFs Sebastian Fernandez, Nicolas Mezquida, Mauro Rosales, FW Mamadou Diouf.  International players getting the boot.
 
- Vancouver also traded former #1 pick Omar Salgado to NYCFC, who plan to sell him to a Mexican club.  I guess Vancouver expected to lose him in the draft before Salgado could be sold, so they're parking him at NYCFC for a bit, and NYCFC will get a cut.  Things didn't work out for Omar in Canada.
 
- Chicago signed central midfielder Michael Stephens, who spent a year playing for Bob Bradley at Stabæk after a number of years in LA.  Decent midfielder, nothing special.
 

Phil Plantier

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Just want to say that, although I don't really follow MLS, I like to read about the goings-on, and I appreciate the work TB and others do in these threads. Thanks.
 

DLew On Roids

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The Coyle hiring interests me.  A few years ago he was a rising star in England thanks to his work at Burnley.  He was known for playing an attractive passing style with less talented players in England, which may have gotten him in trouble when he could have earned more draws by parking the bus (and he had the players to park the bus at Bolton thanks to Sam Allardyce).  He pretty much took Bolton down insisting on playing his style with Allardyce's players.  With Houston maybe suffering from the same problems as his English teams, it could be a short stay.  However, if Houston can get middle-of-the-pack talent that's a bit more technical than is usually seen in MLS, Coyle's style could be a successful and fun addition to the league.
 

Pxer

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Should've protected Mullins over Kevin Alston. There's no chance KA gets selected, right?
 
I'd wager it goes Mullins selected, Neumann/Soares protected, with the other being selected unless Soares has made it clear he's moving out of MLS, in which case Mullins should be the only casualty.
 
It would be nice for the Revs to go get a strong DP forward and/or right back as I think there's a decent chance Farrell moves to CB next year.
 

Titans Bastard

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DLew On Roids said:
The Coyle hiring interests me.  A few years ago he was a rising star in England thanks to his work at Burnley.  He was known for playing an attractive passing style with less talented players in England, which may have gotten him in trouble when he could have earned more draws by parking the bus (and he had the players to park the bus at Bolton thanks to Sam Allardyce).  He pretty much took Bolton down insisting on playing his style with Allardyce's players.  With Houston maybe suffering from the same problems as his English teams, it could be a short stay.  However, if Houston can get middle-of-the-pack talent that's a bit more technical than is usually seen in MLS, Coyle's style could be a successful and fun addition to the league.
 
That's always the trick with foreign managers.  They've never seen a salary cap system before and it is often a huge challenge for them to build a successful team under MLS rules.  It's necessary to obsess over cost/value moreso than elsewhere.  And along with that, you need to be aware of where good cost/value players come from (hint: it's not from the Championship).  Latin America, the Caribbean, and a couple of different drafts.
 
Houston needs to make sure that someone else in the FO can guide the player acquisition process and work with Coyle to build out his team.  If he's largely on his own, they're screwed.
 

dirtynine

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MLS teams in Copa MX?  Love interleague competition, but not really a fan of this idea.  Domestic Cup competitions have their own place in soccer's order.  I'd much prefer an expanded CCL or a true Copa America (North + South) with regional stages. 
 

Titans Bastard

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https://twitter.com/thegoalkeeper/status/542385172482899968
 
https://twitter.com/thegoalkeeper/status/542389329394683904
 
 
Good news on the TV front.
 
 
dirtynine said:
MLS teams in Copa MX?  Love interleague competition, but not really a fan of this idea.  Domestic Cup competitions have their own place in soccer's order.  I'd much prefer an expanded CCL or a true Copa America (North + South) with regional stages. 
 
I agree that it would be a bit weird.
 
Domestic cup competitions don't carry much weight in Mexico and in much of Latin America, though.  Copa MX was inactive from 1997-2012, actually, and this initiative is driven by FMF's desire to spice up the competition, which is currently not much more than a place to give minutes to backups, reserves, and youngsters.
 
There's also an unmet demand for MLS vs. LMX competition.  CONCACAF fended off a threat from SuperLiga by creating the CCL and delivering lots of MLS vs. LMX matches.  But when SuperLiga was in the rear-view window, CONCACAF changed the CCL group stage from 4x4 to 8x3, which had the double whammy of (a) separating MLS and Mexican clubs and (b) adding in eight more Caribbean and Central American clubs that really don't add anything to the competition.
 
I'd be happy if this Copa MX idea progresses to the point that it scares CONCACAF into going back to a 4x4 group stage.
 

robssecondjob

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Diego Fagundez giving teen girls all over New England a scare.  He's ok, his mom sounds like she took a bit of a knock.
 
https://twitter.com/DiegoFagundez14/status/542216173639958528
 

nickandemmasuncle

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Titans Bastard said:
I've read that they have no plans of keeping Nasco.  This trade is about manipulating the expansion draft rules.  
 
My only knowledge of Nasco is that this past summer I saw him play possibly the worst game I've ever see a professional goalkeeper play -- this was one of the NBCSN Friday night games, where he gave up 3 or 4 bad-to-shockingly bad goals against RSL.
 
Do you know anything about him beyond that? I know it's just one game, but if that's any indication, I wouldn't want to sign him to my Sunday league team, let alone the Revs, so that would kind of jibe with what you're saying.
 

Titans Bastard

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nickandemmasuncle said:
 
My only knowledge of Nasco is that this past summer I saw him play possibly the worst game I've ever see a professional goalkeeper play -- this was one of the NBCSN Friday night games, where he gave up 3 or 4 bad-to-shockingly bad goals against RSL.
 
Do you know anything about him beyond that? I know it's just one game, but if that's any indication, I wouldn't want to sign him to my Sunday league team, let alone the Revs, so that would kind of jibe with what you're saying.
 
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6jiSWHnfV0
 
 
A legendary performance.  The first RSL goal was pretty sweet, the rest were varying degrees of cringe-worthy.
 
 
 
Nasco finished college in 2007, took a job as a cop, and then showed up to an open tryout at the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2012 and won a contract.  He was somehow in the NASL Best XI in 2013(!)
 
The Revs have already declined the option on his contract and I don't think he'll stick elsewhere in the league.
 

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Titans Bastard said:
A legendary performance.  The first RSL goal was pretty sweet, the rest were varying degrees of cringe-worthy.
 
 
 
Nasco finished college in 2007, took a job as a cop, and then showed up to an open tryout at the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2012 and won a contract.  He was somehow in the NASL Best XI in 2013(!)
 
The Revs have already declined the option on his contract and I don't think he'll stick elsewhere in the league.
 
Wow, that's a hell of a career path. Good info -- thanks for that (and for keeping us up to date on everything that's happening in the league)!
 
EDIT: Stripped out youtube clip.
 

javaisfun

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Titans Bastard said:
 
 
A legendary performance.  The first RSL goal was pretty sweet, the rest were varying degrees of cringe-worthy.
 
 
 
Nasco finished college in 2007, took a job as a cop, and then showed up to an open tryout at the Atlanta Silverbacks in 2012 and won a contract.  He was somehow in the NASL Best XI in 2013(!)
 
The Revs have already declined the option on his contract and I don't think he'll stick elsewhere in the league.
 
Ah, that was one of my favorite RSL games last season. The "Hey! Nasco! It's all your fault!" chants were great.
 
However, it wasn't the best day for RSL fan goalkeeper chants. That day came in 2010, when the infamous "Hey! Hesmer! We all f'ed your grandma!" chants came:
 
http://www.realsaltlake.com/news/2010/08/crew-view-rsl-victimize-hesmer
 
Just some nostalgia. Carry on.
 

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Orlando takes Donovan Rickets from Portland with the first pick!  
 
And then Portland protects Jorge Vilifana!  That is huge IMHO, I really didn't want to lose him.
 
And then the stream freezes dammit!
 

Titans Bastard

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robssecondjob said:
Mullins goes to NY. Neumann protected.
 
 
robssecondjob said:
Tony Taylor from the Revs to NY as well. Revs are done having lost two players now.
 
Losing Mullins sucks, but is expected.  I don't care about losing Taylor - the Revs were likely to get rid of him anyway.
 
Mullins and Taylor drafted, Castillion and Imbongo traded, and Akpan likely out the door.  Davies and the useless Jerry Bengtson are the only forwards on the roster now.
 
Revs need to build forward depth.  Can Davies be good all season?  He had a great playoffs, but wasn't as effective in the regular season.  We also need to address the defense.  If Soares leaves - and that's not necessarily a terrible thing - does Farrell slide into the center or do we sign another CB and leave him at RB?
 

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Arroyo Con Frijoles said:
Ok Agudelo, enough is enough, time to come back.
He seems confused enough on how to get to England that I think the Revs could pull it off with a few strategically placed St. George's crosses and a lot of farcical shenanigans.
 

Billy R Ford

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Losing Mullins is a bummer, I don't think he'll be a star or anything but he definitely has the potential to be a decent striker in this league. Pair him with David Villa in front of Frank Lampard and I'll bet he can play very well.
 
What the Revs really need is a more natural target man. If Fagundez can bounce back next year, he can be the one to share the goal-scoring load with Nguyen, while the new forward would muscle around and create space for them. A target guy would also be a good contrast to Davies.
 
The defense is what needs the most work I'd say though. They were much better in 2013 thanks to Goncalves having a career year, but they can't really count on that again. I'm hoping they can acquire a quality centerback and keep Farrell at right.
 

Titans Bastard

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Full expansion draft results:
 

 
 
Expansion drafts are always wacky and unpredictable.  Even taking into account a player's cap hit and international status, it's hard to anticipate the picks and most mock drafts missed badly.  In part it's because teams quietly add stipulations to deals with expansion teams to not pick certain players and in part because expansion teams pick other players with the express purpose of dealing them elsewhere in the league.
 
Most have said that NYCFC did better in this draft and I agree.  Orlando made some strange picks like Donovan Ricketts - they need a GK to start while Tally Hall returns to health, but Ricketts is old, injury-prone, and expensive for a stopgap.  Danny Mwanga?  Jairo Arrieta?  Do they really want to burn an international slot on Pedro Ribeiro?
 
Post-draft wheeling and dealing has already begun:
 
- NYCFC sold Daniel Lovitz right back to Toronto in exchange for allocation money
- They also traded Sal Zizzo to NYRB in exchange for taking NYRB reserve GK Ryan Meara on loan for the season.  Meara has been in high demand this offseason.  He looked good as a rookie in 2012, but has been stuck behind Luis Robles the last few seasons.  NYCFC's only other GK thus far is Josh Saunders, who does not qualify as overwhelming competition.
 
- Meanwhile, Orlando immediately sent former Crew CB/RB Eric Gehrig to the Chicago Fire for a draft pick.
- These deals haven't been confirmed, but they are also expected to send CB/RB Jalil Anibaba to KC to complete the Aurélien Collin deal and big target man Mark Sherrod to SJ for an unknown price.
 
 
- NYRB has traded big CB Jámison Olave back to RSL, where he played from 2008-2012.  Olave turns 34 in April and isn't getting any younger, but he still has some quality.  He'll be paired with Chris Schuler.  NYRB has a lot of work to do in rebuilding their defense, as they've now jettisoned three of their five CBs, included their two starters at the end of the season.
 

Titans Bastard

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- The list of players available in tomorrow's Re-Entry Draft is here.  The second phase next week will have more action, as that's when teams can negotiate down salaries.
 
- LA declined options on former Rev James Riley, Rafael Garcia, Brian Perk, and Chandler Hoffman and waived Kyle Venter.  Riley is expected to retire.  Hoffman destroyed USL Pro while with LA II (14 goals in 19 games) but never made an impression in MLS.
 
- SJ declined options on GK Billy Knutsen, DF Tommy "not that one" Muller, DF Andreas Görlitz, and FW Billy Schuler.  Longtime GK Jon Busch and journeyman MF Atiba Harris are out contract and may not be back.
 
- Columbus signed Icelandic winger Kristinn Steindórsson from Halmstad BK.  Berhalter's Swedish connection continues.  Looks like he'll compete with Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay on the flanks.
 
- NYCFC signed their third goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who spent the last four seasons in the NASL with Carolina RailHawks.
 
- SJ confirmed the Mark Sherrod deal, sending a second round pick to Orlando in return.  Sherrod will be reunited with Kinnear, who coached him last year in Houston.
 
- NYRB signed one of their academy products, Sean Davis, who spent the last four years at Duke.  Supposedly Davis would have been one of the better players in the draft if eligible.  It's cool to see something like this in the league these days:
 
https://twitter.com/seanakiradavis/status/543208836619071488
 
 
- The initial draft combine roster is out.
 
- More good news from DC stadium front.  It looks like this could be finally be it, at long last.
 
- The Real Ronaldo bought a minority stake in the NASL Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
 

Titans Bastard

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I'm hearing through the grapevine that A.J. Soares is officially gone.  He apparently signed a pre-contract with an (unknown) European club several months ago.  I could see him somewhere like Belgium, Switzerland, or Portugal (non-Big 3) or in the second division of larger countries.
 

Titans Bastard

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- The Orlando Sentinel reports that Brek Shea is coming to OCSC.  It's not clear to me whether it's a transfer or a loan.  If it's a transfer, I would imagine Shea is taking a paycut.  If not, then Orlando is stupid.
 
It's worth noting that Orlando City has strong ties to Stoke City via Phil Rawlins.
 
In a certain light, Shea has become the second coming of Bobby Convey.  Lots of pomp and circumstance around a player who has accomplished surprisingly little when you look more closely.  Shea had a great run with FC Dallas in the first half of 2011.  He scored 9 goals through July and was in the MVP conversation.  Then his form fell off and he got scouted.  He scored two goals from August through the end of the season, and followed that up with a more lackluster 2012 season in which he also carried an injury or two.  And then - Stoke City, which has been dismal for him.  He has played less than 1000 minutes since the end of the 2012 MLS season.
 
I expect that he'll be a useful player in MLS, but I'm not expecting fireworks.
 
Also, this nugget was interesting:
 
https://twitter.com/Ben_Jata/status/544248562239148035
 
 
- KC and Orlando have finalized the transfer of CB/RB Jalil Anibaba to KC to complete the Collin deal.  Anibaba is a considerable downgrade from Collin, but he's considerably cheaper as well.  Ike Opara is more likely to partner with Matt Besler, although Opara is made of glass.  Also, this might be the year when we see some real movement from Erik Palmer-Brown, who turns 18 in April.  The kid has talent.
 
- The first round of the Re-Entry Draft came and went on Friday without much action - as per usual.  GK Eric Kronberg (KC --> MTL), GK Andy Gruenebaum (KC --> SJ) and FW Robbie Findley (RSL --> TOR) were the only players chosen.  This coming week's phase two will have more activity.
 

steeplechase3k

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https://twitter.com/KevinKCBS3/status/544515474906939392
 
 
 
The MLS schedule will be out this week, and if it isn't, the league will at least release the week one matchups. That's what I've been told.
 

nickandemmasuncle

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Jimmy Conrad reporting on Twitter that AJ Soares is gone to Hellas Verona in Serie A. The Revs had some pretty significant weaknesses in the back line to begin with. This won't help.
 
At least he left us with a lovely parting gift, his powerbomb of Jaime Penedo in the closing seconds of this year's MLS Cup final.
 

Titans Bastard

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ThePrideofShiner said:
No idea what role he will have, but this seems like a big deal.
 
Edit: Sports Illustrated's Brian Straus just confirmed this report. 
 
 


 
@TaylorTwellman

Hearing at the start of the 2015 @MLS season, Garth Lagerwey will not be with @RealSaltLake....instead he will be with @SoundersFC.
 
 
If true, the rich get richer.  It's not yet clear how Lagerwey would fit into the Sounders organization and how he would divide responsibilities with Adrian Hanauer (if Hanauer sticks around in his current role).  Lagerwey played a huge role in building a consistently successful franchise in RSL.  He's a hot commodity.
 
 
The word is that current RSL assistant coach Craig Waibel will take over as technical director.  Waibel spent most of his career with the old SJ/Houston franchise and then spent three years kicking around the NCAA as assistant coach before taking his current job at RSL.  Promotion from within is RSL's MO.
 
 
 
In other news, Orlando has signed a "young DP" (meaning a lower cap hit than a regular DP) -- Honduran forward Bryan Róchez.  He scored 20 goals last season for Real España and has 8 goals in 15 games so far his year as a 19 year old.  That's a fairly nice resume for a youngster and he seems like a decent investment.
 

SoxFanInPdx

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Titans Bastard said:
 
 
If true, the rich get richer.  It's not yet clear how Lagerwey would fit into the Sounders organization and how he would divide responsibilities with Adrian Hanauer (if Hanauer sticks around in his current role).  Lagerwey played a huge role in building a consistently successful franchise in RSL.  He's a hot commodity.
 
 
So, its going to be even more tough for Portland and Vancouver to compete in this rivalry in this region. Huge for Seattle. The smartest GM now has tons of money to play with along with a league that is desperate for them to win. 
 

soxfan121

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Zososoxfan said:
Not sure where this should go, but Screamer has an article on Euro clubs setting up in the US:
 
http://screamer.deadspin.com/who-will-develop-the-first-great-american-soccer-star-1671839617/+billyhaisley
 
Paging TB, TB to the Gazza forum please. Thank you.
 
This country has the raw materials to create great soccer players (we've developed great players in pretty much every other sport), and whoever ultimately starts churning them out will enjoy enormous benefits in multiple different veins. MLS would like it to be them; some European clubs are betting they can do a better job of it. The thing is, they're probably right. If we did happen upon a kid with the potential of a Neymar, the last thing we would want is for some MLS academy to fiddle with it.
 
 

Titans Bastard

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Zososoxfan said:
Not sure where this should go, but Screamer has an article on Euro clubs setting up in the US:
 
http://screamer.deadspin.com/who-will-develop-the-first-great-american-soccer-star-1671839617/+billyhaisley
 
Paging TB, TB to the Gazza forum please. Thank you.
 
 
It's marketing/PR + making some money for big Euro clubs looking to "expand their brand" in the US.
 
European clubs can't solve American youth development problems.  Can they provide a band-aid here and there?  Yes.  What they can't do is solve our fundamental problem - the quality of youth coaching across the board.  Only we can do that.
 

Titans Bastard

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Pxer

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Robinho to the Revs, anyone? #BlindDraw
http://bit.ly/1z8lxtI
 
 
Really hope the Revs are gunning for someone like this. If Lee Nguyen leaves (no solid reports that he is looking to move, but it makes sense, doesn't it, especially if he has USMNT aspirations?), this team is going to have quite a few holes. If the Krafts are serious about fielding a top-flight team year to year, they're going to have to bring in talent that can make an impact, like they did with the Jermaine Jones deal.
 
You'd have to think a Brasilian would really resonate with the Portugese population in the Greater Boston area, which could really be a boon for moving a stadium deal forward.
 
I love wishful thinking; let the rumors fly!
 
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