Some Quite Fine Soccer Writery Methinks

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You know the drill. I wrote about soccer for various outlets. Follow the map to then read my writing about soccer at various outlets. Yes, this is a link-post. However, in addition to my own writing, there were some good words typed about the MLS CBA negotiations from other folks.


For Vice, I did some investigative research (open records requests) on why David Beckham’s stadium plans fell apart in MIami. Or, as the VICE Sports EIC called it in a tweet, “Beckham’s Miami coke dream.”

For SoccerGods, I was on a roll last month. First, I wrote about Irapuato FC, a 2nd division side in Mexico that has been screwed over every way possible. Then, I glanced at two clubs going in opposite directions: Veracruz and Queretaro. I analyzed the FMF’s incredibly simple and self-serving “desafiliacion” policy. Lastly, I looked closely at Liga MX club’s brass knuckles approach to international transfers.

For Paste, I wrote about Argentinians again. For starters, I looked closely at the mercurial madness that is Carlos Tevez. I also wrote about Leo Messi and my favorite part about him: how he wears long sleeves when he’s cold and tugs up the edges like fingerless gloves. Lastly, I looked at another biggie: Cristiano Ronaldo.

In terms of MLS CBA negotiations, Sam Mellinger has a great piece at the KC Star on how the field is always tilted towards owners in these disputes. Jason Davis voiced the frustrations of everyday fans: how can MLS claim to aspire to be a big league, yet drag its feet on free agency? Meanwhile, Jorge Arangure at VICE looked closely at the MLSPU: his assessment was prescient – hot air aside, these guys aren’t ready or really willing to strike.

For me, I really wanted the players to at least draw some blood in this round. However, going along with preseason and not having a big enough general strike fund really put them in a weak position. Once the CBA expired, they needed to stop showing up for work. What did they do? They showed up for work. In terms of a step towards free agency, I think two options are possible and palatable to both sides: keep the reentry draft, but give players two team strikes for each year of MLS service. That way a guy with, say, 6-8 years of service has a pretty good way to control with which team he lands. Alternatively, scrap the entire reentry draft and go to MLB-style arbitration.

I don’t think either will happen this time around: players will all get pay raises and the salary cup will go up, but MLS is enamored with the DP rule to the detriment of the union and average player. Only a strike and/or fundamental change will alter that. The union is even further away from tying the salary cap to league revenues than ever……

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