It's been a HOT minute since I've done one of these, hence the title starting with "Not-So-Daily..." I know myself enough to know I would not be able to do this daily.
That being said, I've got some time today and some topics to give opinions on. Enjoy!
Talking Point #1: Leagues Cup group draw officially announced
On Friday, January 20th, the Leagues Cup announced its group-stage draws
As a reminder, the Leagues Cup is a "World Cup-style tournament held from July 21 to August 19" that will include every single team in MLS and Liga MX.
The Leagues Cup champion, as well as the second and third-place finishers, qualify for the Concacaf Champions League
No matches in the Leagues Cup Group Stage will end in a tie (decided by penalty shootout)
A regulation win earns 3 points; PK shootout win earns 2 points; PK shootout loss earns 1 point
The addition of the Leagues Cup this year is one that will surprise many fans from both leagues. At this point, the announcement of the new structure of the competition came out so long ago that many will have forgotten its existence. That is, until Friday's announcement.
I'm interested to hear others' opinions on the new tournament as it does put a pause on our beloved MLS season but, on the flip side, will provide a platform for potentially great entertainment.
I'm excited to give it a shot to see how it plays out. There is a huge prize on offer and I think all teams will (and should) take the tournament seriously. It also lets us easily compare where the two leagues are at quality-wise.
I will say, I'm not so sure about the tournament being an annual occurrence. Every other year feels more appropriate. We shall see...
Talking Point #2: Allocation order and process eliminated
On Friday, January 20th, MLS announced the Allocation order and process is no longer in effect
The Allocation Process was used to determine which club has first priority to acquire a player listed on the Allocation Ranking List. This list consisted of the following, with teams able to trade places in the Allocation Order:
Select US men's national team players
Select youth US national team players
Former MLS players returning to MLS after joining a non-MLS club for an outgoing transfer fee of $500,000 or more.
Finally. Processes such as this one are holding the league back from its potential. Any team in our league should be able to sign any player they want *without* having to go through a prioritization list.
I understand the concept behind implementing it all those years ago but in the modern age of MLS, this process made zero sense. At this point, the allocation order was just an extra hoop teams had to jump through to sign a player. And, not only just any players, but USMNT, youth USMNT, and former MLS players over $500,000. Why in the world would we make it harder for teams to bring this talent to the league? We should be making it easier for teams to acquire these types of players, not harder.
The process just didn't make and I'm glad it's gone. I seem to recall a headline quite awhile ago that there was an agency coming in to review the league's rules. I can't find anything when I search for it but I swear I remember that happening. If that is actually the case, this must've been an outcome of that review. Hopefully, there is more to come.