MLS had its broadcast meetings today in Orlando, with the story lines of the 2014 season one of the goals of the seminar. Participants were asked not to tweet about the content, but a few Alexi Lalas tweets out there on the internet give a sense of what was being discussed.
I just asked @MLS what the harm would be if Allocation amounts were made public. You'll never believe what they told me.— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) February 24, 2014
Lalas may not tell us the answer he got, but MLS' lack of transparency is a constant concern for the media. Especially as allocation money for player trades are as common if not more common than player for player trades. It's assumed that the LA Galaxy had to make moves knowing they wouldn't have the allocation money from making the CONCACAF Champions League, but how much of an affect did that actually have on the offseason?
Merritt Paulson asked Lalas if he'd want allocation money made public if he were an owner to which Lalas said it would have added pressure, accountability, and scrutiny. Ultimately that is what it comes down to. Not knowing what the LA Galaxy got in allocation money for Hector Jimenez, all we can really say is that he's not on the roster anymore and the Galaxy didn't want to use their first round draft pick. That's not much in the way of analysis.
In our discussions of Chivas thus far, we've focused on what the future will hold. However, they do have to play this year as essentially a lame duck franchise. For the sake of having to call them something they'll be Chivas USA this season, but they aren't really.
Not only are all the owners gone, but so to is everything they stand for. Sports Illustrated had a great piece by Keegan Pierce in which he gave an insider look at some of the things Chivas USA had hoped to accomplish. The questions that the club used to get about Chivas not living up to their parent club's identity, while at the same time alienating those who weren't fans of that identity, are essentially gone.
So what exactly is the marketing plan for a lame duck franchise? MLS has to build the franchise in order to get a good price when they sell it again. How does it ensure they don't lose the season ticket holders already in place? How does it appease the two remaining supporter's groups? How does it build the season ticket holder base, without looking like it's trying to sabotage one of its flagship franchises in the LA Galaxy?
This season @MLS refs will be focusing on 6-second GK rule, holding in the box, offside interference and foul challenges.— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) February 24, 2014
The six second rule is rarely called, no matter how many seconds Thierry Henry calls off for the ref. Holding in the box is another big rule that's rarely called and has a massive impact on the game. When the NBA goes on about things refs will be looking for, it becomes the story of the preseason (usually on how it will ruin the game) and then never comes up in the regular season.