The 2010 MLS SuperDraft (ESPN2 at 2 PM EST) begins today in Philadelphia (I’m filling in for Tom today as he’s off covering the event), and even yesterday there were last minute deals using draft picks as leverage. This author finds the whole process with its cross-latices of deals and swaps beyond confusing, and I’m not sure Ives Galarcep’s “helpful” Q & A on the subject shed much light on things. Here’s a sample question on the Kansas City Wizards:
CHAD- KC has the fourth pick. There are rumors we’ll trade it (maybe to Toronto). How do you see this playing out? Do you still see us taking Bunbury?
IVES- If KC deals the pick, it won’t be to move down. The trade talk I’ve heard has involved KC and New York in a potential swap of the 2 and 4 picks with a player or cash being involved. The sense I get is that the Wizards will push for a deal to try and get Tchani, but if that doesn’t work the Wizards will take Bunbury.
Right. Soccernet has wisely avoided any and all text altogether, with their SuperDraft homepage consisting of the draft pick order, which is very easy on the eye.
There was also some pre-SuperDraft MLS-player Tweet hermeneutics going on with regard to the collective bargaining agreement talks by Match Fit USA and Ginge Talks the Footy. New England Revolution player/tweeter Taylor Twellman identified a lockout as the most likely work-stoppage means, and then quickly told fans not to panic. Expect a lot of CBA-related quotes coming out of Philly today, as it apparently the potential lockout is overshadowing everything.
Meanwhile, a smattering of team-specific previews on the draft. Jose Romero for Seattle:
I expect the first pick to be an attacking player to replace what Sebastien Le Toux brought on the midfield wing. Defense was not really this team’s problem in 2009 and in fact, the back four with Kasey Keller was the strength. There has to be an emphasis on finding someone to take pressure on two of the team’s best offensive players – and most fouled – Freddie Ljungberg and Fredy Montero.
Charlie Corr for Chicago:
Whether it’s ESPNsoccernet contributor Ives Galarcep, Goal.com or OleOle, everyone seems to like Connecticut defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe going to the Fire. Wake Forest’s Ike Opara and Watson-Siriboe are almost unanimously tabbed the one-two defensive center back punch in this year’s draft class.
John Molinaro for Toronto FC:
Toronto general manager Mo Johnston, who has enjoyed a great deal of success at the SuperDraft in the past, has been pretty quiet in the build-up to Thursday’s festivities, making it impossible to speculate as to whether he’s working on any deals in order to move up in the draft order.
Be sure to check Pitch Invasion as updates come in from Philadelphia.
- Soccerlens discovers that Estonia has the worst-supported league in Europe: “FC Flora play in the national stadium, the Le Coq Arena and have an average crowd of 161. Two years ago entry was 30EEK or the equivalant of £1.75 which means gate receipts would be a total of £280 assuming everyone paid, which I doubt. So where exactly does the money come from to pay the rent, the players, the staff?”
- Rafa Benitez and Liverpool are apparently in crisis after crashing out of the FA Cup yesterday against Reading, at least according to this, this, this and this. Even though there has been absolutely no substantial word at all yet on Benitez’s future with the club. Tail wagging the dog?
- Finally! Twohundredpercent.net has a good news piece on Newport County AFC, to add to news that Lewes FC has avoided a winding up order. A welcome change in direction, albeit a likely unsustainable one.
- Who’s better? Jason Kreis or Carlos de los Cobos?
Richard Whittall writes A More Splendid Life and normally sweeps up around here on the weekend.