August 31, 2009
Whenever the day dreaming about Rochester in MLS comes up on Bob Matthews' radio show, I start screaming at my radio.
I scream at my radio because Bob has the same take every single time. And his take is that since MLS has a single entity system, they wouldn't allow any good players to come to Rochester. In turn, the team would struggle to be competitive, and thus the team would fail to draw fans.
The fact that everyone knows that MLS would love it if their NY franchise were relevant and they haven't been almost ever should be huge evidence that MLS doesn't stack teams.
You can also look at the standings and wonder why Toronto FC isn't given better talent since they are a bright light in the league?
Or why is Columbus, a market that is one of the smaller in MLS currently, allowed to have enough talent such that they won the MLS Cup last year and are only a point behind Houston for the best record in the league (and the Crew have two games in hand over the Dynamo...).
The only legit question with regards to the talent on a Rochester MLS roster would be whether this market would generate enough revenue for a Rochester team to spend money to add a Designated Player. Although, not all Designated Player contracts are created equal. While David Beckham is guaranteed $6.5 million by LA, Juan Pablo Angel and Freddie Ljungberg make in the $1.3 to $1.8 million range and Luciano Emilio and reigning league MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto are making less than $800,000.
The talent on a Rochester MLS team would be limited only by the quality of the front office that was employed by the club. The talent in the front office would also be the limiting factor on how well the team draws.
Just look at the NY Red Bulls. They have had issues for years simply because they don't stick to the basics both when it comes to building a team and marketing their club. Whereas teams like DC, Houston, Seattle, New England (on the field, at least), Toronto (off the field, at least), Chicago, and LA have gotten it right a lot over their histories.
There are no guarantees on how well run a Rochester MLS club would be. I'd love to see a Rob Clark/FC Barcelona partnership take the Rhinos to MLS with Peter Wilt running things. On the soccer side, how about Brian Bliss and/or Dave Sarachan running things? Can you go wrong with a Rochester native that has an MLS Cup ring?
But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
News & Notes:
- With the 1-1 draw on Saturday, the Rhinos have gone unbeaten in their three league games in Canada this season. If you would have asked anyone if they would take a 2-0-1 mark in Canada before the season started, I think they would have taken it.
- While the Rhinos' roster freeze USL-2 pickups weren't Earth shattering, it was par for the course around the league with Portland adding a player from the PDL, Charleston picking up a pair from Wilmington.
- Matthew Delicate and the Richmond Kickers took home the USL 2nd Division title on Saturday night.
- Speaking of Charleston, check out what happened to former Rhino Ian Fuller earlier this year.
- With Scott Palguta day to day with a calf strain, the Colorado Rapids made a trade with FC Dallas to pick up Drew Moor.
- MLS Talk is starting a series on the USL after the sale of the league last week.
- The Seattle-DC back and forth ahead of Wednesday's US Open Cup final is awesome.
- I kind of like the Everton away jersey. The rest are horrid, though.
- The Austin Aztex have won a local community relations award. Too bad that hasn't led to more butts in seats.
- Here is a breakdown of the best websites in the EPL. Manchester City's site is really clean. I like it.
- Add Adam Sandler to the list of new celebrity soccer fans.
- Bob Bradley has named his 24 man roster for the next couple of WC Qualifiers.
- The WPS All-Stars defeated Umea IK 4-2 yesterday in St. Louis.
- Does the NC$$ really have to be a part of soccer in America? Can't we harness the power of technology to give the best and the brightest both a college degree and a better soccer education than even the best NCAA progrmas provide? The University of Phoenix has enough money to slap their name on the Arizona Cardinals home stadium. Why not partner with them on a new Generation adidas program that targets the best high school players and gets them into MLS (or USL) play instead of into college soccer as a way to develop them as pros at a faster rate?
Was that another rant?
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author, and not necessarily those of the Rochester Rhinos or SoccerSam.com. Feel free to send any comments or complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org. James promises to read (but not to respond) to all of them.