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  1. #1
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    Default Lalas: MLS getting what it pays for

    From a few days ago but didn't see it posted anywhere. Apologies if it was.

    If you're a typical American soccer fan, you've probably never heard of John Ball. The odds are even slimmer you've never seen him play.

    Too bad.

    Ball, who currently plays for the Rochester Rhinos, has been one of the most consistent professionals in this country for the past decade or so. I played against him back in 1998 when he was with the Staten Island Vipers, and he was by far the best player on the field. But other than a cup of coffee with the Chicago Fire in 1999 -- nine appearances, one playoff goal -- Ball has spent his career bouncing around the now-defunct A League, the USL, and the indoor leagues.

    Read More:
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/200...x.html?eref=T1

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    hmm, i think that instead of raiding the USL we should be able to develope our own.

    As for the cap, i'd like to see 3 million for a 21 man roster + a DP that doesn't count against the cap. The DP would no longer be any player making more than 400K but simply the most expensive player on the team. That way all teams will benefit.

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    Yeah MLS needs to get its act together fast! and by fast i mean they better rectify the Salary Cap(RAISE IT!!!) DP Slot(Don't have it count against the cap!) Expand the roster size a little bit!! TFC better sign a DP by the end of January!!

    or else I'm done watching this league.

    If MLS doesn't smarten up, i am seriously through supporting our team and this league!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFCREDNWHITE View Post
    If MLS doesn't smarten up, i am seriously through supporting our team and this league!!
    do you sing toronto till i die

    just curious
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazza View Post
    I had my first King Dave experience[...]was blowing in my mouth all game.

    I loved it, it tasted like Canada!

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    While i agree with most of points, I think a key compenent has to be a senior roster minimum salary. it's the only way you're going to guarantee that teams will upgrade their mid-level talent, rather than keep a bunch of cheap guys for the reserves and spend all on big players.

    A minimum (whether general or by position), ensures the team will get rid of the cheap guys and get better talent for the money they have to pay.

  6. #6
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    This is a well-written, thoughtful article.
    "Of all the things in life that don't actually matter, football matters the most." - Stuart McKeown

    Supporting since 2007


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    Quote Originally Posted by joel View Post
    While i agree with most of points, I think a key compenent has to be a senior roster minimum salary. it's the only way you're going to guarantee that teams will upgrade their mid-level talent, rather than keep a bunch of cheap guys for the reserves and spend all on big players.

    A minimum (whether general or by position), ensures the team will get rid of the cheap guys and get better talent for the money they have to pay.
    Well said. I agree that the motivation to jump a level has to be there right from ground level. This league has the unique approach of buying huge stars one at a time to play with a very slow growing talent pool of players that don't get rewarded enough to play in what the league wants to be known as- The biggest league in the US and Canada.

    The focus should shift marginally to the minimum salary to not only lure the best of USL but kids out of college that simpy choose more lucrative careers than a base salary in the MLS. Add blue collar joke here...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NF-FC View Post
    + a DP that doesn't count against the cap. The DP would no longer be any player making more than 400K but simply the most expensive player on the team. That way all teams will benefit.
    What a simple and spectacular idea.

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    It's already under consideration. The president of AEG, which owns the Galaxy, asked for the same thing a few weeks back.

    The problem is going to be posed by the CBA negotations. Even if the owners see the common sense in, say, a $5 million payroll and no DP hit on the cap, they're still going to start from the lowest possible increase in the assumption that they'll need to bargain upwards to constrain requests from the players' union.

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    I have been left scratching my head very often when I read Greg Lalas' columns but I can't argue with anything here.

    Roster Sizes need to expand. Salary Caps need to expand. DP's should remain tightly limited but (as mentioned above) their salaries should not count against the cap.

    There is nothing wrong with raiding USL for talent. What matters is that MLS improves dramatically in overall quality as quickly as possible. Developing "our own" will take a very long time. The USL does development better than MLS right now (and for the past few years) and there is a large pool of players in USL that would put to shame many of the players we count as "depth" players in MLS.

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    in a perfect world Garber would just fix all this stuff immediately. but I understand where he's coming from when it pertains to the CBA negotiations. Garber should not be handing the players concessions like handing candy to kids at halloween. this CBA dynamic can be dangerous. If he gives in now, without pressure, that could set the foundation for massive increased 10 years from now (every concession now is the floor for future ones).

    Really, the players need to step up, get their act together, and in these next negotiations really demand as much as they can. their union has been weak in the past. that's their job.

    i also think both sides need to start talking this fall, cuz they need to get the deal worked out before next summer, when they start planning the 2010 schedule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocker View Post
    in a perfect world Garber would just fix all this stuff immediately. but I understand where he's coming from when it pertains to the CBA negotiations. Garber should not be handing the players concessions like handing candy to kids at halloween. this CBA dynamic can be dangerous. If he gives in now, without pressure, that could set the foundation for massive increased 10 years from now (every concession now is the floor for future ones).

    Really, the players need to step up, get their act together, and in these next negotiations really demand as much as they can. their union has been weak in the past. that's their job.

    i also think both sides need to start talking this fall, cuz they need to get the deal worked out before next summer, when they start planning the 2010 schedule.
    As a business person, I agree with what you are saying. Don't give the workers anything more than you obligated to give them until you are forced to (i.e. at the end of a contract period).

    However, as much as I know the players want more money and bigger rosters, there is another constituency that needs to be considered by MLS and that's the fans wish to support a league they can be proud of. All I want is good soccer. I don't think it's too much to ask for my team to be told "here is your salary cap figure. now go do with this fixed amount of money whatever you like". A well managed club might be able to stockpile 30-34 players if they were not restricted to some arbitrary number.

    The MLS is at a critical point in its development, not so much from a fiscal standpoint (because, despite what Garber is telling people, it is starting to appear that most teams are starting to make money or get pretty damn close to it and franchise values are shooting through the roof) but from a soccer standpoint. The quality of play is simply not good enough to warrant being taken really seriously. The league needs to make a couple of small but important decisions that will have some impact on the bottom line but not a drastic impact but, more importantly, will allow ambitious, well managed clubs do what is right and necessary for their club's to succeed both in the league and in tournament play.

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    These $50million expansion fees will go a long way toward softening the hits on payroll while improving the quality on the field.

    Lalas has a great point here about improving the mid-level salaries. We can look at the Dynamo and Revolution as perfect examples of teams that have enjoyed success in MLS without resorting to having Designated players and the cap hit.

    As it stands right now, DP's haven't proven to be a difference maker when it comes to winning and only Becks and Blanco have put butts in seats.

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    My biggest issue right now is the ability to sign academy players. 1 per year? 1 gen adidas every 3 years? WTF! Clubs should be allowed to sign academy players at will. Also, development salary has to be atleast doubled. No one in their right mind would pass up University scholarships to make $12500 a year. Development players should make min. 25K, rookies 50K, and seniors 70K

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    What's the rationale behind the rule where you can only sign one academy kid? Is it so teams like NY and the Galaxy don't hoard players in heavily populated areas?

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    ^ i think it's so teams choose prospects wisely. Don't just start "throwing money" at every kid in your system

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    Quote Originally Posted by NF-FC View Post
    ^ i think it's so teams choose prospects wisely. Don't just start "throwing money" at every kid in your system
    Ah, the old "chose wisely" routine. Gotcha, thanks.


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    i can understand that thinking. but like the DP rule, since it's just 1 player, it almost becomes too scary to use it. teams are too afraid of making mistakes. there could be some kids who have the ability to shine at a higher level, but the fear of picking the wrong one will keep the kid down.

    the reason behind the rule against moving guys from academy to dev roster spots is less clear to me. That would seem the essential way that you find out if these kids have the ability. unless MLS is worried the teams would populate the roster with kids and not young men (young men might be more able to contribute). Osario noted that his good academy boys are still only playing against other boys.. if he could get them on the dev roster, he could have them in reserve games to test them, and maybe a sub spot here and there on the senior 18.

 

 

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