Lately it feels like with every step MLS takes forward, the league takes the cliche two steps backward. Adding New York City FC and Orlando City SC to the eastern conference next season and rumored talks with Sacramento, Minneapolis, and Las Vegas are a huge step forward. Disbanding Chivas USA how it was handled was two steps back. The Chivas USA dispersal draft was held Wednesday, and if fans didn’t already feel betrayed by the fact that the team was disbanded in the first place, the manner in which the draft was conducted probably did the trick.
On November 14th, MLS performed a “lottery draw” of envelopes to determine the order of the draft. Each non-playoff team had two envelopes and playoff teams had one. Totally legit way to determine the future of professional soccer players. Not to mention whatever is planned for .
The Wednesday afternoon draft was done via closed conference call and neither streamed online nor was it live tweeted from the MLS account. Being shut out after all the hype created around this was the opposite of okay. It was like your older brother going on and on about this great party and who would be there while you got ready, then saying, “oh, by the way, I’m not taking you with me.”
Callum Williams, Sporting Kansas City commentator, broke the rules and took all of Twitter to the party, at least for a while. After reporting Dan Kennedy was chosen by FC Dallas, New York City FC picked Matthew Dunn, and Sporting KC passed, Williams was shut down and the tweets were deleted. Williams later tweeted that an apology along with stating he was unaware journalists weren’t on the call.
Needless to say, the conspiracy theories that began cropping up were far more entertaining than the silence from MLS.
.@CalWilliamsSKC: a man of the people, American soccer’s Edward Snowden. #RIPCal pic.twitter.com/CQ8FHAp3o3
— Backheel (@Backheeldotcom) November 19, 2014
The rest of the draft picks were eventually released, but the damage had been done. While MLS did release the details of the draft following its completion, shutting everyone out for the process begs the question: why the secrecy?
Thomas McNamara went to DC United. Montreal Impact took Danny Toia. Caleb Calvert was chosen by Colorado Rapids. Toronto FC picked up Marco Delgado. Every other team opted to pass on a selection.
The teams that picked players aren’t obligated to protect them in the expansion draft set for December 10th and that could have played a major role in the decision to not pick someone yesterday. Chivas players that weren’t picked still have the opportunity to stay with the league in the upcoming Re-entry Draft, which is probably when the teams that passed yesterday will make their moves. Either that or, the teams that passed yesterday are waiting for a chance at Erick Torres.
For better or worse, it was an eventful day for Major League Soccer.
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