Today was the MLS Superdraft. Sigi Schmidt looks confused, and he has the rules written down in front of him. At least, I assume that’s what that piece of paper is. I wrote about the MLS nuts and bolts here, and that all still holds true. But it seems that almost every article or blog post I read comes up with some other new and undefined term, clause, or added wrinkle. My suspicion is that the MLS is just making it up as they go along.
Anyway, today was the MLS Superdraft. As I noted here, after some wheeling and dealing, Seattle went into the draft with the following picks in the first two rounds: 11th, 21st, 27th, and 29th. New teams Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers got to pick first and second.
The first major event for Seattle was the announcement that the Sounders had traded the No. 11 pick and an international slot to Portland, and in return got the 20th overall pick in the second round and allocation money. See what I mean: International slot? Allocation money? (see MLS Definitions — Part 32 below).
That was it for the Sounders in terms of horse trading and here are the team’s top four selections:
20 – Michael Tetteh, Midfielder, University of California, Santa Barbara
21 – Juan Leone Cruz, Defender from Southern Methodist University
27 – Servando Carrasco, Midfielder, University of California, Berkeley
29 – Bryan Meredith, Goalkeeper, Monmouth University
MLS Definitions — Part 32
OK. These ones are relatively straightforward:
International Slot. Each team is allotted eight international slots, all of which are tradable. A player is considered “international” if they are anything other than a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident (green card holder), or the holder of other special status (e.g., refugee or asylum status). (The rules are slightly different for Toronto and Vancouver). So, it’s a fairly big deal when players like Fredy Montero get a green card.
Allocation Money. There are of course lots of nuances, this is after all the MLS, but allocation money is basically funds provided by the league that teams can use to exceed the MLS Salary Cap of $2.55 million. A club receives allocation money for (1) playing crap in the preceding season; (2) the transfer of a player to a club outside of MLS for value; (3) being a new team; or (4) any other reason the MLS deems appropriate. And it’s fully tradable between teams.