09 January 2007

Trust, but Verify

I think everyone has the correct attitude: We're interested in the new owners, we're happy they are here, but we want to see what happens next. By all means. Now, I'm not sure that we'll get a big signing this year (even the best clubs miss their targets occasionally) but let's see how things progress. Major media takes are fairly similar. Steve Goff agrees with us that MacFarlane introduced himself well. But the story of the ownership is pretty much consistently packaged with the story of the stadium. Tim Lemke in the Times, like pretty much everyone, pushes the two angles simultaneously. The Post also carries many of the stadium implications in a second story (in the Metro Section?! Page B4!)

Now, the stadium story seems to be the next major issue, and some are still wondering about how loyal the new ownership is to the team as opposed to the real estate development aspect. For the moment, those two issues are highly intertwined. In fact, I can imagine that the owners are going to be less inclined to part with money for player signings until the stadium deal is finished. Not saying that it is definite, just a possibility considering that the owners will be parting with some cash to build the thing.

Which brings us to this: What horizon do we have on judging the new ownership based on their actions rather than our impressions? Well, honestly, given how huge the stadium is in this entire situation, I don't think we'll be able to make a fair assessment of the owners until 2010. The next few years will be interesting, as the priority is clearly on the stadium. That's not to say that the resources for acquiring players won't be there, but they may be reduced compared to a post stadium situation. In the meantime, we can't judge them based on acquiring big players, we'll have to judge them based on how well they continue to play the MLS game of old: Finding good talent at a discount. The good thing is we know they have a guy that can play that game.

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