2015 MLS SuperDraft Winners and Losers

Another Major League Soccer SuperDraft is in the books as the 20 teams of MLS gathered in Philadelphia on Thursday to make their picks. Drafts in any sport are tricky to manage. A team has to balance its needs on the field, financial concerns, building plans for the long-haul and duty to make its fans happy. But in MLS, the draft can be even harder to figure out with things like allocation money and Generation Adidas contracts in play. And that's to say nothing of homegrown signings, international roster spots, the allocation order (not to be confused with allocation money), designated players and the like—complexities that MLS teams deal with everyday. With all that in mind, here are your 2015 MLS SuperDraft winners and losers.Begin Slideshow
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Steven Gerrard Move to MLS Is Good for League, Bad for LA Galaxy

Steven Gerrard looks set to join Major League Soccer, with his most likely destination appearing to be the LA Galaxy. After announcing that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the current season, Gerrard confirmed that he would be coming to play in America, and ESPN's Jeff Carlisle has reported that he will be joining the Galaxy on an 18-month contract worth $6 million per year. While the signing will be good for MLS overall, it looks to be a bad decision on the Galaxy's part for a number of reasons. Having won the MLS Cup in three of the last four seasons, the Galaxy will enter the 2015 season with a Landon Donovan-sized hole in their roster—one they seem to be intent on filling with Gerrard. The problem lies in the fact that Gerrard is not a like-for-like replacement for Donovan, who normally occupied a wide-midfield role for the Galaxy. Gerrard, who made his bones as an attacking midfielder for Liverpool, has become a holding midfielder in the twilight of his career. But the Galaxy already have an established center-midfield combination: Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho (assuming both stay healthy). That means Galaxy coach Bruce Arena will be forced to either push one of ...
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Frank Lampard Staying at Manchester City Is Bad for New York City FC and MLS

When Major League Soccer's expansion franchise New York City FC signed English midfielder Frank Lampard as one of their designated players for the 2015 MLS season, it seemed like a great move for the club and MLS in general. But because Lampard was signed in July and NYCFC was not scheduled to begin playing until the 2015 MLS season, Lampard was loaned out for the remainder of 2014 to Manchester City. Initially, the move seemed to make perfect sense. NYCFC is owned by the same group that owns Manchester City and NYCFC would want Lampard to stay active over the next six months until the 2015 MLS season began. However, now that Lampard's loan stint is nearing an end, there has been wide speculation (via The Mirror) that he will be staying with Manchester City after the New Year—a move that would be terrible for both NYCFC and MLS. When Lampard was first signed by NYCFC, the old adage about MLS being a "retirement" league was trotted out again. Lampard, while a legend with Chelsea, was out of contract and, at 36 years of age, his top-flight club career seemed near its end. However, one of the primary factors in Manchester City's desire to keep ...
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2014 MLS Expansion Draft: Best Values Available for New York and Orlando

On Wednesday, Major League Soccer's two expansion teams, New York City FC and Orlando City SC, will partake in MLS' expansion draft. Each of the current 18 MLS teams were allowed to protect 11 players on their current roster with the remaining players on each team available for selection by either expansion team. However, picking players in the expansion draft is not as easy as simply selecting the most talented players, as each of the new teams will have to abide by MLS' salary cap rules. The object of the draft is to pick the best players at the lowest price. Using 2014 salary numbers provided by the MLS Players Union, and the average league salary by position (calculated last season by Liviu Bird for the blog Sounder at Heart), here are the best values available in Wednesday's draft.   Defenders Looking at back-line players, there are several good choices available. The 2013 league average for defenders was $110,000. One of the most appealing, despite his above-average $165,000-per-year salary, is the Houston Dynamo's Corey Ashe. Ashe is an experienced and talented defender, who helped the Dynamo win three conference championships. However, since the arrival of DaMarcus Beasley, Ashe has become surplus to requirements in Houston. Ashe is also a ...
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5 Things We Learned from MLS Playoffs

The 2014 MLS Cup is now set and Major League Soccer fans couldn’t have asked for a better matchup in the championship game. After two blistering series, the final game of the 2014 MLS season will feature the LA Galaxy hosting the New England Revolution. The Revolution advanced on a 4-3 aggregate over the New York Red Bulls after a spirited second leg in Foxborough, Massachusetts and the Galaxy advanced on away goals after tying the Seattle Sounders 2-2 over two legs. Here are five things we learned from this weekend’s games.Begin Slideshow
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5 Things We Learned from MLS Playoffs

After a two-week hiatus to accommodate the November international break, the MLS playoffs were back in action this weekend with the first legs of the Eastern and Western conference finals being played on Sunday. In the East, the New England Revolution picked up a 2-1 win on the road over the New York Red Bulls, while, in the West, the LA Galaxy won at home 1-0 over the Seattle Sounders. Here are five things we learned from the games.Begin Slideshow
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5 Things We Learned from MLS Conference Semifinals

In Major League Soccer’s 19 years of existence, it’s hard to remember a year in which the MLS playoffs offered this much excitement. Of course, there were the big scorelines, particularly in the LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake and New England Revolution-Columbus Crew matchups, but the comparatively cagey series between the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United in the East and the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas in the West were thrillers as well. Check out all the highlights and get a preview of what’s to come in the MLS conference finals in this week’s edition of “5 Things We Learned from MLS.”Begin Slideshow
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5 Things We Learned from MLS 1st-Round Playoff Matches

Major League Soccer opened up the 2014 playoffs this week, first with two midweek play-in matches and then with a full slate of semifinal tilts on the weekend. The defending champions, Sporting KC, are shockingly already out, while teams like the Columbus Crew and D.C. United have already put themselves in big holes. Read about all the action in this week's edition of "5 Things We Learned."Begin Slideshow
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5 Things We Learned from MLS Matches from October 24-26

In the final weekend of the Major League Soccer season, there was still plenty to play for, highlighted by the Supporters' Shield race, one final playoff spot up for grabs in the West and the MLS single-season goal-scoring record on the line. Catch up on all the action, and see all of the important goals in this week's edition of "Five Things We Learned from MLS."Begin Slideshow
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5 Things We Learned from MLS Matches from October 16-19

As much criticism as Major League Soccer sometimes gets for not embracing a single-table format, fans couldn’t ask for a much more exciting finish to the regular season heading into the final week of regular-season play. In the Eastern Conference, while the five playoff teams are already decided, three teams are still battling for final positions, including who gets to avoid the play-in game and who gets home-field advantage. In the West, the final playoff position is still up for grabs, as is the battle to avoid the play-in game and the race for the league Supporters’ Shield. Read about all the action, see video of another great strike from Lee Nguyen and get the latest on the Jurgen Klinsmann-Don Garber feud in this week’s edition of “5 Things We Learned from MLS.”Begin Slideshow
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