Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mid-Week Thoughts

A few things are on my mind this Wednesday morning. It would seem that the rippling effects of last year's CCL is paying dividends for the league this year. As are several other league changes. Enjoy the rest of your week!

CONCACAF Champion’s League: Major League Soccer is being represented extremely well in the region tournament. Thus far, two MLS teams have won in Mexico (a previously unaccomplished feat). FC Dallas, Colorado, Seattle, LA and Toronto have all notched wins thus far and are representing MLS in a way we haven’t seen…ever. Players and coaches are taking this tournament seriously and with pride. As always, we credit Real Salt Lake with getting us started there.

It would seem though, that with more teams taking this tournament seriously the importance of the tournament is improving ten-fold. Fans are becoming more educated on the competition as are the teams not involved. This should raise the profile of other region tournaments, if only as a means to reach the CCL. Could the U.S. Open Cup become more important as a bi-product of the CCL? It’s certainly a possibility.

On the upside of the border, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Edmonton will have an even healthier rivalry in the Canadian Championship as a means to reach the CCL.

Bottom line: with Major League Soccer giving more incentive to perform in the CCL and with teams taking it seriously the entire league will benefit in ways that will only become apparent over time.

George John to Blackburn: FC Dallas star centerback was barely known outside MLS circles a year or so ago, now he’s nearing a transfer that will be profitable for both MLS and the player. Recent reports have the transfer fee somewhere between $1.5 and $2 million. There is little doubt that John’s personal paycheck will see a jump as well. It would seem to be a win-win for all involved.

Some would say that MLS should do more to keep it’s upper eschelon of talent within the league, however in this case it was not do-able. FC Dallas tried very hard to resign John, but the player wasn’t interested. My take is that it’s ok, not to worry.

Dallas is being compensated well and with that money they’ll be able to find suitable replacements for their team. It is not in the team’s and MLS’ best interest to do anything to block this transfer. John is yet another ambassador for the league in Europe and it behooves MLS to see him happy. The MLS talent pool is growing at a healthy rate, as is the league… it would seem this move is a generally positive one.

If you missed it, we spoke to MLS Player of the Week Graham Zusi this week.

Have your own Mid-Week thoughts? Care to comment on mine? Feel free to do so down below or via Twitter.