MLS should eliminate the rarely used and often opaque weighted lottery system and rely on other player dispersal mechanisms, writes Goal.com's Kyle McCarthy.
When I saw that U.S. U-20 captain and former Southampton defender Kyle Davies was on his way to Real Salt Lake last week, I had one thought. It's time to do away with the weighted lottery.
This isn't a slight on Davies or Real Salt Lake. RSL won Davies fair and square according to the current rules. In fact, you could say that RSL beat the odds to bring Davies into the fold.
“We had only a 5% chance to win the lottery, so we were fortunate to be able to add a really solid, young player in Davies,” RSL General Manager Garth Lagerwey said in a press release. “Kyle is a talent that fits our paradigm of bringing in American players who have cut their teeth overseas at a high level.”
While it's nice that RSL hit its long shot, it's time to eliminate the chance for future mathematical miracles. There simply isn't a place for a shadowy lottery system – one where players like Davies just pop onto the scene and end up with a random team without much warning according to weighted odds the league dictates but doesn't release – any longer when there are plenty of other possible player dispersal options in place. Newly signed Generation adidas players and draft-eligible prospects signed signed after the SuperDraft simply don't warrant a unique acquisition mechanism.
A simple two-step process would eliminate the lottery, provide more equity and clarify the muddled process:
1. For potentially key players, allocation dollars are the way to go
If a team really values a player like Davies, they should have the option to use allocation dollars to bring him into the fold before he is exposed to the waiver process. Teams with a small allocation in the lower reaches of the order could take up the opportunity to bring a young player into the fold instead of futilely waiting their turn for a returning U.S. international, particularly if the young player is roster-protected. It isn't a burden for a defender-needy team to use some of its allocation dollars and a senior roster slot on the U.S. U-20 captain.
2. For everyone else, the waiver process will do just fine
If a player isn't worthy of allocation money, then why is he worthy of a separate, non-waiver process? The weighted lottery favors those lesser achieving teams anyways. Give those strugglers a certain first crack at the player through the waiver system.
By implementing this new system, MLS could dismantle one of its more arcane player distribution mechanisms and make the process far easier for everyone to follow.
Carver should forward an invoice for his recent fine to U.S. Soccer
MLS fined Toronto FC head coach John Carver $750 yesterday for comments unbecoming after he expressed his displeasure with referee Tim Weyland's performance in FC Dallas' 3-2 win over TFC at Pizza Hut Park. Given his comments, it's difficult to argue against the fine.
“I'm having a go at the referee today because his performance was a disgrace,” Carver told the Toronto Star.
While Carver expressed general displeasure with Weyland's performance, the deciding penalty kick decision – David Ferreira cut back, the ball hit Marvell Wynne's extended arm and Weyland pointed to the spot – drew the most criticism.
“Now, you tell me how a guy who's running flat out can change direction having to have his arms down by his side,” Carver fumed. “It's impossible. I'm sure the referee couldn't change direction with his hands in his pockets.”
Carver should have also noted that Weyland shouldn't have been on the field in the first place after a less-than-stellar performance the week before in the SuperClasico. After distributing cards without hesitancy in the first half, ignoring similar or worse fouls in the second half and effectively ruining that derby as a spectacle with his persistent whistling, Weyland should have had last weekend off for performance-based reasons.
U.S. Soccer, which assigns the referees for MLS referees weeks in advance, dropped the ball by not giving Weyland a one-week break before reintroducing him into the pool. A bit of common sense from the federation would have saved Toronto FC a point, Carver some money and Weyland another week of criticism.
Around the League
- Carver would likely pay more than $750 for the ability to field Dwayne De Rosario over the next few weeks. Instead, the Canadian international will miss at least the next two games with a hamstring injury.
- Maybe Carver should save that money to acquire defensive improvements. Then again, Carver is used to calamitous defending after his time at Newcastle United.
- Columbus goalkeeper Will Hesmer is “very, very questionable” for this weekend's clash with Chicago, Crew head coach Robert Warzycha told the Columbus Dispatch.
- Still waiting for the league to clear the deal to bring Avery John to D.C. United. The former Trinidad international is currently training with United while awaiting the completion of the deal.
- The Friday Forecast clearly won't cover the midweek matches between Chivas USA and Toronto (at BMO Field tonight) and Kansas City and New York (at CAB tomorrow) for obvious reasons. For the record, I like a draw in Toronto and a Wizards win in Kansas City.
in case the midweek tilt isn't enough for you, there's U.S. Open Cup
play-in action tonight between United and FC Dallas at R.F.K.
Stadium. Expect a healthy dose of
reserves from both sides. FC Dallas will head to Los Angeles after the game to prepare
for Saturday's game against Chivas USA.
- Remember the Cosmo Girl feature I teased in Friday's Forecast? The push continues. One player from each club is featured in the magazine Web site's “eye candy section.” Each player has offered up a “girl-sized” replica jersey as part of a sweepstakes competition. The grand prize? A soccer ball signed by David Beckham. I suspect those 15 players will face significant stick in locker rooms across the league this week.
Kyle McCarthy writes the Monday MLS Breakdown and frequently writes opinion pieces during the week for Goal.com. He also covers the New England Revolution for the Boston Herald and MLSnet.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter by clicking here.