Saturday, January 8, 2011

Not a Fan of the Superdraft

As I've stated before I'm not a fan of the Superdraft. It has taken until now for MLS teams to begin their academies which could help put an end to the Superdraft. The problems I have with the Superdraft/college soccer is I don't feel players are developed like they should be like they are in the academies. I know there are players who come out and immediately excel, but compared to the ones who fall off the radar it's not that impressive.

It's hard to develop talent when your goal is to win day in day out. Much like the so called "elite" teams in America it's not hard to have good teams when you take the best talent from one area and put them together. They may be winning and excelling as a team, but they're not improving their individual skills; they're only learning to win together and rely on each other.

I digress as I would like to talk about tweaking the Superdraft. MLS is a league of parity, and it seems that it is time for less parity. It would suit MLS to build stronger teams which in turn could build a full, stronger league. Last year this time, we wondered if MLS would finally grant players free agency. They did in their own MLS way with the re-entry draft. Which was interesting to say the least. It will also be interesting to see if they use the re-entry draft next season.

One way they could tweak the parity of the league is by adjusting the Superdraft and allowing new talent to select the team which they want to join, in a controlled environment. It's a very socialist way that American sports run themselves with drafts. For the most capitalist country in the world it would be more American to run the draft in the opposite direction of the winners taking the top talent. I don't feel it's fair when teams who have worked the hardest and groomed their teams the best to be unrewarded in having a chance at the best college talent unless they make trades to break up their current team.

MLS currently has 18 teams and will have 19 with the inclusion of Montreal in 2012. To make things a bit more even is to group players and teams together. Split the 18 MLS teams into three groups of six. Fifty-four players will enter the draft and they can be split into three groups of 18. The teams should be mixed in regards to where they finished last season. The 54 college players can be mixed by talent/potential. Therefore, we have six teams with 18 players in the group.

Finally, instead of drafting the players the players should be free to sign with any team in their group who is willing to offer a contract. This could possibly give MLS a better chance at signing college players who forgo signing with MLS to go over seas, because they don't want to play for bad MLS teams. This also gives players the chance to select their future with a club that they feel will help them develop as a player; like what happens in Europe.

With the new academies much of the college talent is more impressive than it was in '96, and hopefully the Superdraft's end will be sooner than later. I still feel to become a stronger league MLS needs to put an end to some of the parity it so loves. Continuing to have too much parity will continue to have people looking down on this league.

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