Just before migrating over here to the new blog address, we were having a pretty good discussion over at blogs.thenewstribune.com/soccer about the implications of the Sounders entry into CONCACAF Champions League next season.
I thought this comment from elmocatt was a good way to migrate the conversation over here:
To pick up where some things got left off about the Sounders in 2010, given their ope cup win, the CCL matches they will be playing in as a result of the open cup victory, etc, etc. Wanted to add a couple of comments (about posts that are no longer visible from the old blog):
1) CCL (for 2009-2010) started in late June with matches staggered into our fall and winter with the championship match in approx April 2010.Sounders would be playing in the 2010-11 version which would start in late June 2010 or July. With 2010 being a world cup year (in June/july), those dates may be pushed back a little.
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2) In terms of MLS rosters and expanding them to help MLS teams better handle such extra games (CCL would be happening while 2010 Open Cup and MLS going on). Well, guess what? We now get to experience what other MLS teams (such as Houston, DC, Columbus, and others) already have the challenges of multiple competitions - makes one of the unique things about soccer. Also makes it more exciting. Team doing bad in league play ? Well it can still try and make a cup run!
3) On the issue of MLS roster sizes, these are set by the current MLS/player union collective bargaining agreement. That expires Jan 2010. So a new one is being worked on. Any changes would be as a result of that process.
4) If there are any changes to roster size, it would more importantly require an increase in the salary cap. Even if rosters were not expanded, raising the cap would allow teams to higher more expensive (and presumably better) players. Typically the league has raised the cap by approx $100K-200K per year. Believe that it is currently in the $2.4 Mil range (plus the Designated Player rules). Even if the Sounders are doing great, remember this a league wide rule, so bottom feeder teams have to agree to increases as well.
5) Finally, wanted to add something, before the inevitable whinning from someone about how this is all so unfair by MLS that teams have to play in multiple competitions at the same time and that this is just outrageous.
England, the birthplace of soccer and home of the EPL. What occurs all at the same time there? 1) league schedule, 2) the FA Cup (granddaddy of all open competitions and a HUGE deal there), and 3) a little thing called the Champions League. All three of those things are starting now and will be running until next May or so. Multiple competitions at the same time. Exact same thing occurs in Spain, Italy, Germany, etc..
Joe Roth laid out 4 goals for the team at the season opener:1) make the MLS playoffs;2) win the MLS cup;3) play in competitive international matches, and4) promote a home-grown WA youth academy player to the team.
We just achieved goal #3 with our Cup win!