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The danger in Jermaine Jones to New England: perceived league chaos

Aug 26, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT


Look, let’s imagine for a second that everything done to land Jermaine Jones in New England was above the sheets, by the book or however you want to categorize something being downright legitimate.

Imagine that Chicago wasn’t screwed, neither was Los Angeles in its pursuit of Sacha Kljestan and Bruce Arena’s still bummed that Jurgen Klinsmann’s getting more high fives than he did.

[ MORE: Jermaine Jones unveiled in New England, quips ‘I like to win’ ]

In that case, everything’s cool.

But that’s not likely how the job got done, as a blind draw moved Jones away from his reportedly-preferred but today-denied destination of Chicago. And Los Angeles may’ve been kept from acquiring a respected American player who wanted to play for the Galaxy.

Now imagine Jones gives New England the boost they need to surge into the playoffs, that as a dominant midfielder he propels the Revs into a title game.

Against Los Angeles.

This would be a problem, and it’s not as silly as it sounds. Look at how DC United has surged from the bottom of the league to the top of the East. Jones is, no exaggeration, exactly what New England needs to facilitate its attack and organize its midfield. He’s the field general they’ve needed, and makes everyone better from Bobby Shuttleworth between the sticks to Teal Bunbury and new, big Dutchman Geoffrey Castillon up top.

The ‘blind draw’, so shrouded in secrecy until it happened, could genuinely not only affect how the East shakes out but who the West has to face to win the thing. The season’s timing in relation to the international transfer window already affects team prospects far too much; One of the last thing the league needs is yet another factor that can destory a season’s worth of work.

In sports terms, it feels a bit like law of war. Here came a massive, potentially game-changing figure. In the past, that figure has been able to engineer his destination. This time, cloudy measures got him to his eventual destination despite, well, this:

And these Retweets:



And these comments from Chicago more than three weeks ago.

Sure, there’s a chance things literally fell apart with the Fire, that Jones decided he’d go to either location. But then why did it take so long?

And what if it all feels a bit dirty once a champion is crowned?

  1. dws110 - Aug 26, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    Those of us with children know, this is why we can’t have nice things.

  2. lyleoross - Aug 26, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Anything that keeps LA from winning the whole thing is good. If you really want to solve the problem, introduce revenue controls or sharing so that all teams have the same payroll. Then let them spend it how they want. That way they’re all playing on the same pitch.

    • dp2310 - Aug 27, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      Sure but parity leads to a mediocre league, and less popularity. I’ve been trying to find an article that mentioned when the EPL didn’t have one or two major title contenders off the bat, the popularity of the league suffered. If everyone didn’t have one team to hate, no one would come out to watch other teams try to beat them.

      I think it would be fine if there were one team from the east and west that were just powerhouses, and basically became “villians”. Much stronger narrative, and more reason to watch.

      • lyleoross - Aug 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

        I’m gonna disagree. The parity that has come from revenue sharing in the NFL has created a ton of growth and popularity. The fact that the NYY can buy any player has killed baseball’s popularity in relative terms. The small market teams basically get hosed. If you really want to say that the NFL is mediocre because of revenue sharing, well you can run with that if you’d like.

        Now you might argue that because there will be less cash on top for the NYRB and the LAG, then they will not be able to attract those European has beens, and you’d be wrong. You’d also be wrong that the clubs couldn’t have brought home Beasly, Dempsey, Bradly and Jones. The truth is that parity results in a better product, more interesting games, and the greater likelihood that your team will make the playoffs; that more butts in the seats, more money per say, and the same ability to bring in those better players.

      • Sgc - Aug 27, 2014 at 6:20 PM

        2 + 2 = 4. 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 4 too. No matter how you spread it around, if you’re talking about the same total money, you’re also talking about the same talent. A league taken as a whole isn’t any more ‘mediocre’ with one talent distribution than another (the middle team is always ‘mediocre’ because that’s the definition of that word), and you’re going to have a hard time convincing me it’s more entertaining to know which team is probably going to win before they play the games than to legitimately have a lot of possibilities.

  3. talgrath - Aug 26, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    The issue with Jones seems to be somewhat inherent in the structure of the league and its transfer system; two teams wanted Jones and both were willing to pay him DP money. Jones preferred to head to Chicago, but he was okay with Boston too, as long as he got more money. So…allow me to postulate a relatively simple system for future reference, using three easy steps on how to enter the league.

    1. Designated Player – If the player would be paid designated player money, they bypass any other system below. In the case of multiple, interested teams, the team willing to shell out the most cash wins. DP contracts cannot be redone once signed until the end of the season (to prevent a Shalrie Joseph situation).

    2. The Draft – Players who have not played in a top professional league, as determined by the FA of the country they play in, enter MLS via the draft more or less as it works currently.

    3.Allocation – Arguably the biggest change to the system, allocation would apply to any player that doesn’t fall under 1 or 2. So unlike the current system, players from other countries (who aren’t DP signings) would go through allocation, not just former MLS players or USMNT players. Just like now, the team with the top allocation spot gets first dibs at a player, going down the list until someone picks them up. Just like now, if you want someone through allocation and you don’t have the top spot, you need to trade for said top spot.

    There you go, a simple revision that doesn’t blow up the current system completely.

  4. rjbailey - Aug 27, 2014 at 7:58 AM

    Reblogged this on Locating Frankenstein's Brain.

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