Same Old Same Old

Well, if there's anything I've learned it's that in the future I'm going to leave satire to the professionals. Apparently I have no talent for it. Fair enough. I can't tap dance either but somehow I've managed to get by.

So I'll just stick with guys like Jack Bell who is as straight up as they come. Jack HAS A COLUMN THIS MORNING detailing the latest mini-drama in the increasingly acrimonious RedBulls/Fire kerfuffle.

I'm not going to weigh in on the merits of the case except to say that any league that has rules that can be exploited like this has to expect exactly this kind of thing.

It's just a variation on the game Sunil Gulati invented when he was with the Revs. The MetroStars released Mike Sorber, he cleared waivers, nobody wanted him and he went home and got a job.

But Bob Bradley had an open spot and asked Sorber if he'd like to come back, albeit for much less than his previous contract, because that was all the cap Bradley had left.

Sorber agreed and they filed with the league. Unfortunately, MLS declared that since Sorber had a new contract that he was not the same Mike Sorber who had been cut previously but was now a "new" Mike Sorber and thus he had to clear waivers again.

This in turn meant that Sunil Gulati, who had been banished to the Revs by the MLS Owners Revolt, had first dibs on the player since his team had finished last the previous year.

Now, Gulati had no interest in Sorber at any price, and no roster room anyway but he announced that he was "thinking about it" and would take the full 72 hours allowable to hash it out.

Bradley knew when he was being held up at gunpoint, but he caved and sent New England a draft pick for Sorber's rights.

Now in the past I've been one of the few defenders of the MLS acquisition rules, even when they had absurd outcomes such as the Sorber deal. The point of all of it is to prevent even a whiff of "Free Agency" to sneak under the door, and MLS still can't really afford it.

But some of this is getting ridiculous. The sight of MLS teams playing games like this with the rules only increases fan frustration and reinforces the image of a league that isn't really serious about competition.

MLS needs to find a way to balance the overal good of the league with some plain common sense acquisition rules that are clear to everybody and that can't be abused in ways that are clearly ridiculous.

The Pitch Invasion has a piece up this morning outlining a dilemma which Toronto FC's box office success created: THE INABILITY TO ACCOMODATE VISITING SUPPORTERS GROUPS

TFC supporters are busy thumping their chests about the hundreds and thousands of supporters who will be following their team around the league. Fair enough. But if TFC isn't willing to make provisions so that teams visiting BMO can return the favor, then maybe it's time to restrict the size of TFC's traveling party until they are.

The peripatetic Marc Connolly has an "exclusive" INTERVIEW WITH BRUCE ARENA now up on goal.com, which is, I bellieve, the 4,317th soccer website he's written for.

Arena tells us that the US is definitely not going to win World Cup 2010, something which, quite honestly, we didn't really need his superior brainpower to figure out.

Finally while the Galaxy is lost and wandering aimlessly in the Far East someplace, actual news has been sketchy. Tibet, Burma, Kuala Lumpur and points east are being scoured for signs of roadside vendors peddling LA Galaxy jerseys with #23 on the back, but beyond that all really have is the 2008 MLS version of "Kilroy was Here" plastered on walls in less fashonable far east neighborhoods:

They're out there somewhere, and I know we're all praying they make it back in time for the start of the season.