Written by Will Parchman


It’s been three months since troubled Turkish giant Galatasaray paid Wes Sneijder’s salary. That’s a problem. In fact, that’s such a problem that FIFA has a protocol for this. Sneijder can legally step out of his contract for no fee during the ensuing transfer window, and judging by Galatasaray’s frequent problems (and those of the Turkish league as a whole, which is racked with issues), it’s hard to see him sticking around beyond January.

This kicks up a cloud of dust that has to involve MLS, if only speculatively. Sneijder is 30, and he’s the exact type of No. 10 MLS craves so desperately. He’s also the kind of low-risk signing the league needs. Creative, doesn’t rely on his physicality, unreal vision. His form’s dipped since he moved to Turkey (duh), but it stands to reason a soft landing ground will change that.

The question now is merely where.

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Written by Will Parchman


Over on Reddit, there’s a pretty interesting discussion going on regarding a built-up table piling three years worth of results on each other for a cumulative MEGATABLE. This is what that thing looks like, and it’s pretty fascinating.

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Written by Will Parchman


It’s becoming increasingly obviously that world soccer is entering a phase where possessionally sound soccer is praised and boot-and-chase becomes increasingly more derided. Whatever merits that presents, what about MLS? Which players are most consistently inclined to play the smart and/or killer pass?

If you’re starting a team, here are the three most robust possessional midfielders in the league as judged by me in light of the numbers. Let the games begin.

3. Osvaldo Alonso, Seattle Sounders

In darkened pubs and rum-soaked living rooms across the world, the GOAT conversation rages through time’s thick tunnels. When we talk about Messi or Fat Ronaldo or Hot Pants Ronaldo or Zidane or whoever, the discussion’s buck generally drops dead at the consistency argument. Yes, so-and-so was world class, but for how long were they world class? Was it the sustainable equivalent of farm-raised eggs, or did they simply make trips to the proverbial grocery store to buy a few successful seasons before fading back into the dusky twilight?

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Written by Will Parchman

Jose Mari took a ball to the face. It looks like it hurt. Mari reacted like it hurt, anyway, and he crumpled to the deck pretty quickly thereafter. It probably didn’t hurt that much, however, and Mari’s screaming riposte to the ball’s ultimate question (does this hurt?) seemed like a bit much.

Referee Juan Guzman agreed. Atiba Harris happened to be in the vicinity, and when his left arm casually swung off his side, nowhere near Mari’s face, Guzman saw yellow. Immediately. Even if he didn’t actually see the foul. Or any foul. Good times.

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Written by Will Parchman


Talk about MLS and how it raises its young has increasingly swirled around the topic of incentive. That is, whether the league can offer enough of it for players to jump at an uncertain opportunity either out of college early or straight from high school. That, unfortunately, has to start with money.

Today, we got a glimpse of that when the league released its update of the salaries of every player in MLS. You can see the entire list here, but today we focus on the future. Specifically, Homegrowns.

When I spoke with Cristian Roldan recently about his decision to put off MLS, he talked about how he wasn’t ready, how he needed more time to develop. But also talked about the salary figure, about needing to see it before he made a decision. Make no mistake, MLS needs players like Roldan, and the money wasn’t enough, at least not yet. Roldan stayed in school another year.

It goes without saying that in order to compete with top leagues worldwide, MLS needs a larger war chest. But what isn’t mentioned as often is that MLS is also competing with college scholarship money. If a school like Washington or Virginia offers you money to attend school and play soccer, which often works out to be worth far more than a rookie contract in MLS, well, that’s the capitalist system at work. Wages drive markets.

So how’s MLS doing on incentivizing the jump for its best young talent? Here’s a list of every Homegrown player signed this calendar year and what those players make. Note that these are all base salaries.

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Written by Will Parchman


There are great coaches in MLS history. Many of them are in MLS right now. But there are also many not great coaches in MLS history. This is a list of the five worst as judged by me. My criteria is wide-ranging and impossible to explain in anything less than 4,000 words, so I’ll leave it at this: it’s highly scientific and not at all whimsical. This is serious business.

Let’s count it down. Beware: No. 1 is a doozy. Apologies in advance, TFC fans. You’ve had a lot of awful coaches.

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Written by Will Parchman

MLS held its Draftapalooza on Wednesday between NYCFC and Orlando City. The two 2015 expansion teams were asked to have a draft for another draft in order to determine which team has top bidding for discovery players, the MLS SuperDraft and six more acquisition mechanisms. It was all terribly confusing, as Jason Kreis confirmed with astonishing completeness pretty quickly.

Partway through the process of picking which mechanism they favored, Kreis did a bad thing. He picked top billing for discovery players. He didn’t want top billing for discovery players. Oops.

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Written by Will Parchman


This, ladies and gentlemen, is the most incredible thing.

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Written by Will Parchman


The New York Red Bulls are not getting a USL PRO affiliate. That much became clear this week when sporting director Andy Roxburgh told Big Apple Soccer as much. His deflector shields fully deployed, Roxburgh made a few oblique mentions to organizing a relationship with “someone else,” though whoever that may be is uncertain. For now, NYRB will bull ahead with its relationships to other clubs and without a foot in USL’s warm pool.

The politics behind this move aren’t clear. The Red Bulls’ Austrian overlords have been historically aloof, so the New York-based front office may have had its hands tied on this particular venture. We don’t know. What we do know is that the Red Bulls’ stable of academy products have fewer options than some of their brethren from other MLS academies. And, were the Red Bulls to actually sign one of their academy standouts, their outlets are limited.

Last weekend, there were 15 players tethered to the Red Bulls’ academy system who saw serious time in major Division I college games. Several are legitimate pro prospects. Arun Basuljevic and Chris Lema at Georgetown are live-wire midfielders, and Basuljevic in particular has that build as a No. 8 to run back channels and find space at the professional level. Virginia’s Scott Thomsen is a bonafide left back with a golden left foot (which MLS team can’t use that?). Tricky dribbler Adam Najem at Akron can fit into a number of schemes and thrives playing off the shoulder of a lead striker. And that’s to say nothing of Sean Davis (Duke), Brandon Allen (Georgetown) and Michigan’s Evan Louro, one of the best freshman keepers in the country. And we haven’t even mentioned the Red Bulls’ current HG signings.

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