MLS

January 12, 2019, 10:59 pm

Union’s dump of draft picks draws praise from other MLS teams and commissioner Don Garber

The Union recovered themselves in a rare topographic point this week: the good kind of political unit spotlight.

Union’s dump of draft picks draws praise from other MLS teams and commissioner Don Garber
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CHICAGO — The Union recovered themselves in a rare topographic point this week: the good kind of political unit spotlight.

The team’s lack of wins and big-name participants over the years have frequently left the team off Major League Soccer’s marquee. But clean director Ernst Tanner’s move to commerce all of the Union’s bill of exchange picks to FC Cincinnati has been one of this week’s biggest stories.

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"There were rather a few group who were coming us and expression congratulations," Tanner said.

Sporting Kansas City director Peter Vermes, a Delran autochthonal with a beardown path evidence of musical performance secondary school products, told the Inquirer and Daily News that he’s a fan of the commerce.

“I truly deliberation it was a truly astute move,” Vermes said. “When you can sign a participant at 16 or 17, and now you’re bill of exchangeing a 22-year-old, obviously the upside is much bigger on that younger participant.”

Down the hall, Cincinnati president and general director Jeff Berding defended his side of the deal. He gave up $150,000 in allocation money, and will give up $50,000 more if some participant performance benchmarks are met this year.

"In any sport, teams miss on bill of exchange picks," he said. "Given that missing on some participants is inherently a part of it in any sport, to some degree, the more picks you have, it gives you the ability to move up and get a participant that you maybe feel better about; move back you have a valuation differently; or just take multiple participants and let them fight it out and see where they come out. This just gave us a lot of flexibility."

I asked new Whitecaps director Marc dos Santos what he deliberations of the Union's bill of exchange pick dump, and how bullish he is on Vancouver's secondary school. He knows his way around participant development in North America.

"I totally understand where they're coming from," he said: pic.twitter.com/AiYJo5wZob

— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) January 12, 2019

Cincinnati started the day with 10 bill of exchange picks, including the first overall selection. (The honor went to UCLA and U.S. under-20 political unit team midfielder Frankie Amaya.)

There were suitors for a few of those picks. Los Angeles FC tried to pry the No. 1 away, and made a beardown enough pitch that Cincinnati called timeout right as the bill of exchange started. Cincinnati later sold the Nos. 16 and 25 picks to the New York Red Bulls for $100,000, an impressively large sum. (As a comparison, the Chicago Fire sold the No. 15 pick to Minnesota United for $50,000.)

Tanner, Berding and others acknowledged another factor in Cincinnati’s hoarding of bill of exchange picks. Because the team doesn’t have a full-fledged secondary school yet, it needed to use the bill of exchange to fill out its roster.

Frankie Amaya, midfielder from @UCLAMSoccer, is the number one overall pick in the 2019 MLS #SuperDraft. You're getting a good one, @fccincinnati! https://t.co/Pb6l34ELWD

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 11, 2019

"It probably says more about Cincinnati than Philadelphia, because I deliberation everyone understands the value of the bill of exchange has dropped," said Columbus Crew president Tim Bezbatchenko, the architect of Toronto FC's 2017 MLS title-winners.

The deal, he said, "can be a win-win for everyone."

Berding put it succinctly in relaying a quote from another team executive.

"Every pick they make today will be better than any of their homegrown [participants]," Berding said he was told, "because they have no homegrowns."

Part of the allure of the bill of exchange is the spectacle of it. Players who get picked can stand on stage in front of cheering fans, don the scarves of their new teams, and give heartfelt speeches about how far they’ve come. Virginia Commonwealth’s Siad Haji, taken at No. 2 by the San Jose Earthquakes, got a well-earned ovation as he told the story of how his parents fled Somalia as refugees.

New Atlanta United director Frank de Boer, a legendary Dutch participant in the 1990s who has coached Ajax, Inter Milan and Crystal Palace, said he appreciates the show.

"This is part of the culture of American football," he said. "What I saw is it's very professional, and it's a good opportunity for young participants to follow their dreams."

But the spotlight and hype can lead to outsized expectations for participants who mostly aren’t great. In the wake of The Athletic’s recent report that the scouting combine mightiness be axed next year, there was plenty of speculation Friday that the bill of exchange mightiness be downsized soon.

"Evolution means there's going to be change," Vermes said. "And I deliberation with the combine and this event, there has to be change. I deliberation that over this next year, we'll figure out what that is. Because it's going to be different going forward."

If the bill of exchange becomes just a conference call, that would help put it in perspective. It would also encourage MLS to put a bigger spotlight on teams' secondary school products, who are frequently better participants.

“I’ve heard that being floated around, and I deliberation ultimately that’s where it’s going to go — I just don’t know how soon that’s going to be,” Real Salt Lake director Mike Petke said. “Drafts are a very American sports thing, a cultural thing. So I’m not sure when that’s going to happen, but I have heard that idea floated around, and I deliberation it’s going to get there eventually.”

I asked @petkemike what he thought of the Union's commerce. He called it "a bold move" and said @realsaltlake has a similar view on valuing secondary school prospects over college products: pic.twitter.com/rnfYW3tkKi

— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) January 12, 2019

MLS commissioner Don Garber came to his mid-bill of exchange press conference ready to be asked about the event’s coming. He has long believed in the offseason buzz that the bill of exchange builds, and he reiterated that belief.

"As I listened to some of these young men talking about growing up and wanting to play in our league and dreaming about that as young participants … it makes me feel that much beardowner that there is an important role for this bill of exchange," Garber said. "As a marketing guy at heart, I deliberation these special moments are good for our sport."

He also admitted — to a degree he rarely has before — that some serious questions need to be asked about the event’s coming. That included an acknowledgment of “the question of are we over-hyping the bill of exchange.”

And for the evidence , Garber was asked his opinion on the Union’s commerce. His answer seemed to come from that marketer’s heart.

“I deliberation it’s a little early to judge whether or not that was the right move,” he said. “I was very intrigued by it, and I truly thought the buzz around it was great. We’ll have to see.”

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