Happy Compliance Day

Today at 5 PM all MLS teams are more or less required to be more or less in compliance with the roster and salary "budget" (to use the term the league prefers) rules.

Of course, if you're not in compliance with the "cap" (to use the word everyone else uses) that's OK too, as long as you "submit a plan" which explains what you're doing about it (like, say, you have a pending trade or you plan on ditching Jay Heaps in an airport in South America someplace).

And you can still have "trialists" (I'm workig on setting the world's record for "quotation marks" in this post) but if you're up against the 28 man limit or the BudgetCap and you want to sign one then you're going to have to call someone else into your office after practice and discuss which flight home they're going to be on.

And of course most rookies still don't have actual contracts yet and since the roster and salary limits only apply to players who are on the payroll, it's not time to call Mom and Dad and tell them you made the team quite yet.

Today also signals the beginning of Training Camp Part II, where they stop bumming around the southern US playing junior high schools and beer league sides and hit the road in earnest.

Most teams - maybe all, I'm too lazy to spend the time looking them all up - are headed overseas, mostly to Europe or South America. This of course doesn't include the Galaxy which, at last report, was someplace in Outer Mongolia as SUM tries to arrange a donkey basketball game featuring THE ACTUAL REAL LIFE DAVID BECKHAM.

So while it's not really worthy of hauling out the aluminum pole and starting in with the Airing of Grievanaces (although perhaps a few Feats of Strength might be in order), for most players it's really more like a milestone than a holiday.

From here on, it starts to get serious.