It is silly season in Major League Soccer. The moves began in abundance with Real Salt Lake leading the way as expected yesterday. A total of 12 players came or went for Salt Lake today as general manager Garth Lagerwey worked to make room under the cap. There is still a good core in Utah so be careful how you describe it.
More of RSL after the break.
March 17, 2012; Sandy, UT, USA; Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (21) acknowledges the crowd
MLS rules can be convoluted, but they do allow for a lot of player movement. The salary cap was a big concern for Salt Lake and will be for other clubs, such as Seattle. Regardless the silly season keeps the MLS interesting off the pitch. The moves should open up some room for offensive players but also will allow Luis Gil to find the pitch more often. Jámison Olave and striker Fabián Espíndola went to New York. Will Johnson is off to Portland. The moves did not seem to startle the players making one think that Lagerwey has clearly communicated expectations.
Real Salt Lake will be adding some players as well and early signs show that they are looking for promising players on smart cap deals. Keeper Jeff Attinella was added from the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL. He returns after not signing with RSL following the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft. He’ll be insurance to Nick Rimando, the clear number one keeper with Salt Lake.
Silly season will also include the Re-Entry Draft and the process list was released today. Chivas USA’s Danny Califf, FC Dallas’ Julian de Guzman, Chicago’s Gonzalo Segares and Colorado’s Marvell Wynne were among those listed. The 63 players are comprised of those whose contract has elapsed or their club option was not picked up. The list may change as negotiations on these players can continue until Thursday at 5 pm and the players may also opt out of the process. Kevin Hartman and Ike Opara could be top targets with Toronto, Chivas, and Portland having the first three choices. Stage One takes place this Friday at 3 pm EST with Stage Two coming a week later. If you have time to spare, here are some more rules and regulations with the Re-Entry Process.
The MLS Cup did not have great television ratings despite growing attendance. This site offers suggestions to increase interest, but I’m not sure I agree.
Lots of cities are hoping for the 20th MLS franchise. New York has long been considered an option, but the Cosmos won’t be playing in the NASL until next fall. Sacramento has an investment backing to start a USL franchise and hopes it can be converted into a MLS squad. The Pittsburgh Riverhounds are getting a new 3,000 seat stadium in a busy area of the city and they hope to move to the MLS as well.