If that seems like a sorry-ass excuse for free agency, you're right. I don't know what the hell "first come, first serve" is supposed to mean in this case. Or the difference between a genuine offer and a Bona Fide Offer, apart from assuming that the Bonda Fide offer will be worse.
(I was going to say the league office has no incentive to make sure "genuine offers" are anywhere near fair, but MLS does have a history of stepping in and saying "No! You must pay that player more!" However, the person who did that lost his job, and therefore is now in no position to hurt American soccer any further.)
I fantasize about MLS going USFL or 1950's Colombian league on the rest of the world in revenge for Qatar, but MLS owners won't even take on Scandinavia in revenge for stealing Mikkel Diskerud from us. (Oh, wait.) Even this Re-Entry Draft was designed to prevent two MLS owners from inadvertently bidding against each other, driving a player’s wage all the way up to the unimaginable heights of fair market value.
So Jimmy Conrad is enslaved to Chivas USA, and Dema Kovalenko, as far as I can tell, is a free man. I'm despairing that Conrad will play for Chivas USA, but I’m sure Conrad is happy to come back home, and can’t wait to meet his new coach and general manager.
And at least the Galaxy got Frankie Hejduk. Yeah, I know, someone should tell Bruce Arena the Galaxy won the 2002 MLS Cup already. I love Frankie, as all good Americans should. Let’s hope he remembers to show up for games in between surfing.
It's Juan Pablo Angel that really makes the Galaxy red-hot, rock-solid favorites to win the MLS Over-30 Division. I thought last year Angel had a much better season than, to pick a couple of examples entirely at random, Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez. If Arena's love of coaching his old players trumps his reliance on dour, ugly midfield play, then I can’t wait for next year.
I do fear the implications if an offensive-oriented team fails to repeat as Shield winners, or worse. If that happens, I plan to blame Beckham. It's worked so far.