Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hooligan's Wake Up: The MLS Superdraft is here... yay...

The MLS Super Draft is today, if anyone cares. Chicago has the first overall pick, followed by Colorado, Philadelphia, and New York City. Of the high end draft picks from last year, very few had an impact on their clubs during the season. Cyle Larin, who went first overall to Orlando City, and San Jose's Fatai Alashe were notable exceptions.

The importance of the draft was already pretty small due to fans' general unfamiliarity with college soccer. Just ask your average American soccer fan to name any collegiate soccer players and the only name you will hear is Jordan Morris, who isn't even in the draft due to his status as a Seattle Sounders academy player.

Academies have made the draft even less important. Any youth player worth his salt is likely going to become part of an MLS academy system. It just makes more sense for both players to train with the teams they will be playing for and for the coaches to mold the players how they need them. Say what you want about college sports, but it's not the most efficient model for creating strong professional players. Leaving it to the clubs to hunt out and develop their own youth talent is a better option. You get a player who has been shaped from a young age exactly how the team will need him. Colleges are more concerned with winning at the present as opposed to filling the future needs of MLS clubs.

For what it's worth, Georgetown defender Joshua Yaro is the top prospect in the draft and will likely go first overall to the Fire. With how awful Chicago was last season, he has the potential to step right in and make some noise in their back line. He won't get the headlines as the season rolls on, because he's a defender, but he could help Chicago climb a few places in the standings by allowing fewer goals.

Other than that, I won't waste my time researching these guys. The only exception would be if there were a Detroit City FC player slated to get picked, which there aren't really any this year.

For those interested, The draft happens in Baltimore at 1pm today, and you can watch all the "action" on mlssoccer.com.

Yesterday's Scores
Premier League
Chelsea 2-2 West Bromwich Albion
(Azpilicueta 20', McAuley OG 73')-(Gardner 33', McClean 86')

Manchester City 0-0 Everton

Southampton 2-0 Watford
(Long 17', Tadic 73')

Stoke City 3-1 Norwich City
(Walters 49', Joselu 67', Bennett OG 78')

Swansea City 2-4 Sunderland
(Sigurdsson PK 21', Ayew 40')-(Defoe 3', 61', 85', Van Aanholt 49')

Tottenham 0-1 Leicester City
(Huth 83')

Liverpool 0-0 Arsenal
(Firmino 10', 19', Allen 90')-(Ramsey 14', Giroud 25', 55')

Full Premier League Recap
European League Tables

Copa del Rey- Round of 16 Second Leg
Celta Vigo 2-0 Cadiz (5-0 on aggregate)
(Guidetti PK 35', Drazic 77')

Villarreal 0-1 Athletic Bilbao (2-4 on aggregate)
(Williams 21')

Espanyol 0-2 Barcelona
(El Haddadi 32', 88')

Las Palmas 3-2 Eibar (6-4 on aggregate)
(Junca OG 43', Momo 59', Garcia 83')-(Ekiza 52', Enrich 53')

Cadiz was just sort of happy to be in the round of 16 since they were only their due to Real Madrid's stupidity anyway. They will take the extra income for getting walloped by Celta Vigo any day of the week. Luis Suarez being banned wasn't enough to give Espanyol an advantage over Barcelona, Munir El Haddadi picked up a brace for them. Those were his fifth and sixth goals in his short career at Barca.

Coppa Italia- Quarterfinals
AC Milan 2-1 Carpi
(Bacca 14'. Niang 28')

AC Milan may be struggling in SErie A, but they head to the semifinals of Italy's cup competition with this 2-1 win over Carpi. They last won the competition in 2002-03, when they defeated Roma 6-3 over two legs in the final.

Headlines
Jerome Valcke has been let go from his position as FIFA secretary general. He had already been suspended since September and was facing a nine year ban for ethics violations that are so common among FIFA executives these days. The firing is a result of some sort of fraud involving World Cup ticket sales.

Speaking of shady international soccer people, there was an investigation looking into match fixing at this past summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. It has come to the conclusion that no matches were fixed despite awfully suspect officiating. The main point of the investigation was Mexico's 2-1 semifinal win over Panama in which two penalties were called against Panama, which led to both Mexico goals. There will be "changes" made to the officiating system for future tournaments, such as the upcoming Copa America tournament held in the USA, to hopefully prevent such disasters in the future.

This ought to make Russia happy. Five nations were fined for their fans' anti-gay chants during World Cup qualifying matches. Chile was docked $70,000 while Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and URuguay were all fined $20,000. Honduras is apparently under fire too. Russia, hosts of the 2018 World Cup, haven't taken enough criticism for their anti-homesexual laws.

AS Roma have struggled in Serie A of late and, as a result, they have fired manager Rudi Garcia. Roma currently sit in fifth in the league, and will face Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16. Alberto de Rossi will lead the team until a permanent replacement is found.

Arsenal have finally completed the move for Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny. A work permit issue was delaying his arrival at Emirates Stadium, but that appears to be cleared up. Arsene Wenger hopes the former FC Basel man will be available for Sunday's match against Stoke.

Ahead of today's draft, Philadelphia Union have added Brazilian defender Anderson Conceicao on loan from Tombense FC, who play in Brazil's second division. He comes with experience playing for Mallorca in La Liga and newly promoted Brazilian club America Mineiro.

Today's Matches
Copa del Rey- Round of 16 Second Leg
Granada v. Valencia- 2pm
Atletico Madrid v. Rayo Vallecano- 2:30pm

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