MLS Rules Changes - The Reaction

Of course, the initial reaction was always going to be, "Wow, MLS has rules? Neat!" Cynicism aside, there are some pretty interesting changes afoot, as detailed in Goff's massive post on the subject. Some morsels to chew over:
  • Grandfather Clause or Dangerous Precedent? The Grown-Ass Man, Captain Kissypants, and the Flopping Fish are all considered grandfathered under the DP rules for 2008 and 2009, with the distinction that salaries in excess of the $400k mark will be picked up by the individual clubs, not MLS. Hmmm. To me that smells a bit fishy, and it's not just the stench coming off of Ruiz. I wonder if these are the first inklings of a move to having perhaps a "franchise player" for each club with the excess salary being covered by the league, and a tradable quantity of "designated players" that can sign for high salaries that will have to be covered by the clubs? With sensible GM's, this could potentially work. As long as Lalas still has a job in MLS though, it's a ticking time bomb for whatever club employs him.
  • International Spots are now Swapable. Of course, salary-cap restrictions limit the "foreign legion mercenary club" potential that's now on the table, but the possibilities have to be tempting. The question becomes, does this lead to (1) clubs in cities with international appeal loading up on cheap foreign talent, acting either as a shop window for youngsters hoping for a look-in from Europe or simply providing a route to the American Dream, thereby leaving the likes of KC and Columbus filled to the brim with Red, White, and Blue, or (2) the expansion by certain clubs of their foreign affiliations, thus allowing for an increase in loan/development deals for the youngsters of sister clubs abroad?
  • Those Pesky International Dates. It still pains me that MLS will be in operation during international fixture dates, but I can understand the decision. Until everybody is in their own stadium, scheduling is always going to be a nightmare. Besides, MLS is still growing and needs bodies in the seats and money in the bank. That means a cap on midweek games that simply don't draw the necessary numbers.
  • Waived means "Waived"! My God, but this was a "duh" move. What the hell took so long? When you waive the rights to a player, you don't get anything for them should they sign elsewhere and you don't retain any control of their rights--you freakin' waived those rights! Unbelievable.

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