The soccer news starts with the Philadelphia Union's intriguing approach to the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. They opted out entirely, trading all five of their picks to expansion club FC Cincinnati in return for an immediate $150k in general allocation money and the potential for $50k more. FC Cincinnati now enters the draft with 10 picks. Whether or not this was good business for either team is the question, along with the bigger point about the SuperDraft itself.
The divergent approach from the two teams slots the rest of the league in-between. Building for their expansion season, Cincinnati obviously values the draft. It's easy to argue that they're overvaluing it given the number of drafted players over the last few years that stick on MLS rosters. The draft is a moving target for all clubs, producing less as other avenues into the league grow. More chances to pick players unlikely to contribute to the senior squad wouldn't count for much, something Philadelphia seems to have doubled down on.
“When evaluating how we want to build our roster for the 2019 season and beyond, we decided that acquiring this money is the best use of our SuperDraft resources,” Philadelphia sporting director Ernst Tanner said. “Not only will we look to continue both signing Union Academy products for the First Team and Bethlehem Steel FC, as well as attracting young talent from abroad, we believe that this sum of money will help us complete crucial signings ahead of the upcoming campaign.”
The stress on the value of allocation money is nothing new. We've seen enough GAM and TAM trades since the league introduced those concepts to suggest a trend. Philadelphia, perhaps inadvertently, made another point. They sent a clear message to players in the draft class that their future wouldn't be with the Union at least immediately. That's a step in a new direction for an MLS club. Should it catch on, the SuperDraft will have no choice but to adjust as well.
Moving to the Copa MX, Ventura Alvarado scored in Necaxa's 2-0 win at San Luis. Eduardo Herrera opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with Alvarado doubling the lead in the 15th. Alvarado saw yellow in the 75th minute. William Yarbrough was in goal for Leon for their 1-0 home loss to Alebrijes de Oaxaca. The game's only goal came in the 71st minute. Omar Gonzalez's Atlas won 1-0 at UNAM Pumas. Rodolfo Reyes scored in the 76th minute.
Did Not Play: Jose Torres (Puebla 2 - Tampico Madero 3), Michael Orozco (Lobos BUAP 0 -Mineros de Zacatecas 1)
MLSsoccer's Alex Dwyer with USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter's approach to roster building. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Jonathan Tannenwald on the Union's non-draft strategy. ESPN's Jeff Carlisle tells the story of American soccer player Ben Lederman.
The Telegraph's Adam Hurrey makes the case for lopsided soccer scores. The Independent's Jonathan Liew stresses Harry Kane's overall approach to the game. The Guardian's David Conn looks at the impact of sports betting on soccer in England.
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