HARRISON NJ - NOVEMBER 04: Juan Pablo Angel #9 of the New York Red Bulls celebrates after scoring a second-half goal against the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2nd Leg of the MLS playoffs on November 4 2010 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for New York Red Bulls)
So the first ever MLS Re-Entry Draft is complete and my first reaction is...wow, what a mess. No, the result wasn't necessarily messy, but the process sure was...a lot like cooking a big meal.
It took less than 10 minutes for the entire process to play out and with Twitter providing the only real-time outlet to learn who picked whom, you can imagine how clear and concisely the information was transmitted. In hindsight, I should have put some speed metal and rode the lightning.
You can get a complete rundown of the draft here. As for the Houston Dynamo, they selected no players and traded their 5th pick in the first round to the Los Angeles Galaxy for their 4th Round pick in the 2014 SuperDraft. When LA selected Juan Pablo Angel in that fifth spot, I'm sure the eyer of many a fan turned on the Dynamo.
I'll be sure to prepare my best "No one likes us, we don't care" chant for next season.
The actual draft was held via a closed conference call with no less than 19 different Twitter feeds ready and waiting to announce picks in a glorious overlapping shout fest that resembled the finale of Trading Spaces when Louis and Billy Ray screwed over the Dukes by cornering the frozen orange juice futures market.
Between the MLS Insider account, all the individual team account and the rest of the watching MLS Twitterverse started going crazy, it was truly ten minutes of raw, carnal digital pornography. We're talking 8mm snuff here.
While that nonsense ultimately served a purpose, it managed to just look and feel completely ridiculous...I'm sensing a trend.
It was a "noble" attempt to allow players some ability to move within the league and I think it sort of accomplished that goal. Instead of indentured servitude, players can now be exchanged by Don Garber throwing names in the air with all the teams running in to grab whatever they can get their hands on like a crazed mob attacking a busted slot machine.
It's not that I don't think the Re-Entry Draft worked or that it could be the first step in eventually getting the players true free agency rights, I'm just forced to once again shake my head at another hard to explain cluster&!#@ produced by MLS. As if two Western Conference teams in the Eastern Conference Final wasn't bad enough, the league has managed to create a player movement system that best resembles a swap meet.
Yes yes, this was the first time the league has ever done anything like this and it will probably work better next year, blah blah blah. Honestly, the idea of excusing questionable decisions by the league office because it's a "first time event" is getting old. After all, they've been holding conference finals for years and they still can't quite get those to go right.
I want MLS to be successful as much as the next guy but I'm not going to just sit here and not point out the absurdities when I see them, it's against my moral code. I want people to take the league seriously and while I suppose helping to cover up the screw-ups would be the more noble act, I'm not really that noble and I'm going to call it how I see, warts and all.
I suppose the best thing to do is just accept that while the results of one of the Frankensteinian creations cooked up by MLS may produce the desired results, the actual process will rarely, if ever, be pretty. You could see the stiches holding monster together today, along with the pegs sticking out of the neck, hell, I almost expected the draft itself to get in a tux and perform 'Puttin' on the Ritz'...while tryin' hard to look like Gary Cooper...super duper.