1.21.2008

MLS SuperDraft..Yes its Real

Without any significant national exposure, the MLS conducted its 9th annual SuperDraft this weekend. The timing of the draft itself must be called into question.

Why didn’t the MLS wait until after the Super Bowl to hold this? MLS should schedule the draft before MLB teams have their pitchers and catchers report for training camp. That timeframe would also still miss out on all the pre-March Madness hoopla. Waiting 2 weeks would be worth the exposure. For a league still struggling for national attention, they should have used the dead time in February to garner a little more publicity. I would safely wager that none of this blog’s readers knew the MLS even had a draft recently. Speculating further I bet nobody reading this even realized how the MLS got their players.

Soccer in the United States is struggling because it is lacking the ability to cultivate local stars. I, along with the majority of soccer fans, don’t really care which 22 players are on the field at a given time. But for a sport to survive in the US, you must cultivate stars that fans can get behind. MLS execs must put more focus on the draft and work closer with the NCAA to cross-promote. That is why the NBA has started to see a renewed interest -- we actually have gotten to know starts that are coming into the league.

The draft itself was categorized as “unpredictable” by a majority of experts, including ESPN’s Ives Galarcep. You can check his column here for a bio of all of the first round selections. He went on to say that “the Chicago Fire, Toronto FC and Kansas City Wizards were the big winners Friday”. But as in everything, only time will tell who will benefit the most from Friday’s draft.

1 comment:

Lance said...

I just signed up for my fantasy soccer league, and I was excited to see all the new players I could draft. MLS fever Baby, Catch It.