Jan 14, 2013, 7:30 AM EDT
Major League Soccer’s draft is unlike some of the other major U.S. sports in one important way: Whereas professional football and basketball employs the draft as the leagues’ predominant player acquisition tool, it’s just among one of the tools in Major League Soccer.
The international player market and, increasingly, the mechanics of homegrown signings, help stock MLS those rosters.
But the draft does remain an important element in MLS. For instance, 6 of 11 LA Galaxy starters in December’s MLS Cup win were plucked from the draft (although not necessarily by Los Angeles, originally).
Since we’ll have some draft talk this week, it seems smart to start Monday with a quick sketch of this year event, going on Thursday in Indianapolis.
The run-up: It’s all about the combine, going on right now in Fort Lauderdale. A lot of the names about to be called Thursday are playing in a series of friendlies; most of the deciders (MLS managers, technical directors, sporting directors, GMs, etc.) are there. (Watching NFL playoff games, by the sound of it, but also monitoring the combine matches).
Sitting very, very pretty: Toronto FC has two of the first three picks. They have their own, for stinking so badly in 2012, and Portland’s from 2012 (as part of the trade that sent attacker Ryan Johnson and goalkeeper Milos Kocic to Oregon.)
Anyone else sitting pretty?: After Toronto’s first pick, the choices belong to Chivas USA, Toronto (again), New England and Vancouver. You could do a lot worse than Vancouver, in fact, with the 5th and 10th picks. The entire draft order is here.
Rounds: Just two, so 38 picks overall. Five days later, teams will conduct a supplemental draft, where the occasional gem has been dug up.
TV: Not so much. We talked about that the other day.
Mock drafts?: But of course! Early versions are split on whom TFC will choose first, some leaning toward Furman defender Walker Zimmerman, others wondering if Louisville defender / midfielder Andrew Farrell might be first up.
Apr 21, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Barring an epic collapse by Liverpool, Chelsea’s title hopes are limited to the Champions League.
Apr 21, 2014, 7:34 AM EDT
Despite the Albion’s poor status in the league they have managed to take points this season each of the Top 7 except City.
Apr 20, 2014, 11:05 PM EDT
It’s actually amazing how quickly she regroups — in an instant — after getting blasted.
Quick Six: Liverpool inches closer, Moyes’ reception, and the rest of the headlines from the BPL weekend
Apr 20, 2014, 10:40 PM EDT
Mourinho changes his communications style, while Villa tried to secure its sale.
Apr 20, 2014, 10:07 PM EDT
No one would blame Evra for ignoring Suarez’s season, but it really is a strong nod to the Frenchman’s class.
Apr 20, 2014, 9:18 PM EDT
Blackpool: Where dozens of tangerines and tennis balls on the pitch are second in weirdness to a coach striking his own player
Apr 20, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT
The Magpies have been brutal, and manager Alan Pardew’s return from suspension could require a job-saving performance.
Apr 20, 2014, 7:36 PM EDT
Plenty of notable names remain in question for Miguel Herrera.
Apr 20, 2014, 6:41 PM EDT
Bedoya’s fifth Ligue 1 goal was part of a 6-2 win.
Apr 20, 2014, 5:45 PM EDT
Atletico Madrid is now 3 wins away from its first La Liga title since 1996, while Barcelona and Real Madrid can only hope for big mistakes
Apr 20, 2014, 5:01 PM EDT
The Timbers fell to 0-3 on the road this season with Saturday’s 1-0 loss, complicating an already head-scratching start to the year that has Portland in second-to-last place out West at 0W-3L-4T.
Apr 20, 2014, 4:21 PM EDT
How many Americans could find themselves in the UEFA Champions League next season?
Apr 20, 2014, 3:29 PM EDT
Arlo White and Graeme Le Saux break down how having a clear identity continues to push Everton above teams while Manchester United’s lack of an identity continues to hurt the team.
Apr 20, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
With domestic success and European disappointment, Paris Saint-Germain has decided to extend Blanc’s contract and the manager says it will be finalized in the coming days.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:53 PM EDT
After Toffees do the double over United, Martinez praises Moyes work and his own side:
Apr 20, 2014, 2:40 PM EDT
Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling combined for Liverpool’s second goal, and video showed it wasn’t a fluke they knew exactly where their teammate was going to be.
Apr 20, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Everton’s old boss the villain on return to Goodison, as pastures new prove to be a nightmare:
Apr 20, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
With the cheekiest of chips, Dimitar Berbatov sent Monaco to the Champions League with his winner against Nice.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:09 PM EDT
Randy Lerner released a pretty useless statement on the Villa website today, refusing to rule out a sale of the club which has been reported in recent days.
Apr 20, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT
Nightmare return for Moyes, as Everton do double over United for first time since 1970:
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