15 January 2007

We Are Well in the Middle of It

Let's set the table for the upcoming week with a quick recap of the ton of stuff that's going on right now, shall we?

STADIUM DEAL: EVERYONE TRIES TO PREEMPT EVERYONE -- Part of the reason that we've been covering the stadium situation so closely was that we were convinced that the deal would be much more publicly examined, even without a final plan on the table. Now, while we've been careful to state that we have to see a plan before final judgments can be made, and to determine some tests on how to evaluate it, The Washington Times has decided they know enough to weigh in with an editorial judgment: "This is a sweetheart deal for wealthy sports magnates worth tens and possibly hundreds of millions of dollars."

Again, we think the indications are different on this, but we think final decisions can't be made until the facts are on the table. The Times apparently thinks differently, applying the same editorial standards and news judgment to the pending stadium deal that they applied to the war in Iraq.

OFF SEASON TRANSFER MOVEMENT: Let's just establish that until you see an official press release on a team's website, it's difficult to know who's going where. We can give you (and will give you) all the rumors we have, but those are the simple facts. Steve Goff in the Post says Ruy Bueno Neto is not coming to DC United, but Luciano Emilio may be. MLS Underground (in a slightly older post) says that the Palermo situation is "contradictory" but they're thinking things are moving towards the cooler end (we have not heard an update from our people on this, but if we get something we'll let you know.) SportsYA (credibility - untested with us) says that the Emilio deal is done because Olimpia, DC's CONCACAF Champions Opponent, took too long to make an offer. And George Solomon in the Post thinks that something's going to happen because "Kevin Payne does not sit quietly on the sideline." Last season, the transfer season was not nearly as crazy as this, but I tend to think that all of the contradictory, confusing, and somewhat exhilarating developments are more likely in the future. Kinda fun, for an offseason.

SUPERLIGA ANNOUNCED: DC UNITED IN GROUP B: The long rumored MLS / Primera Division de Mexico competition has been announced, and DC United and the Houston Dynamo represent MLS in Group B. The system currently calls for only three games to be played in the group stage, and all in the United States (er?) Hey, it's something, and while I'd prefer a home-at home setup, this will work for now. They'll continue to mess around with it. Fine with me. Games are July through August. I can't wait.

THE DRAFT AIN'T DONE: The MLS Supplemental Draft is coming. And yes, that matters. Consider that both Andy Metcalf and Devon McTavish, both of whom got some time with the first team last year, were selected in the supplemental draft. McTavish remains on the roster so far. Domenic Mediate was also acquired for a supplemental draft pick, and seems to have shown some value. So there's more to come. The Supplemental Draft will be held on Thursday.

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