Like/Don't Like: Ambition in Ontario, the thrill of the SuperDraft, and Bofo's late arrival
In this week's Like/Don't Like, we applaud the moves made by Toronto and Columbus, question what's happening in Montreal, and more!
Toronto's statement of intent: Toronto FC re-signed Dwayne De Rosario this week. Oh, that's not the big signing TFC made? Right. Actually, while bringing De Ro back may also help the team, bringing in Jermain Defoe and Michael Bradley shows TFC fully swinging for the fences in 2014. While the pessimists may say that TFC's history shows they will find a way to lose once again, it really does look like this could be the year they make the postseason. And Toronto is already becoming a hot away ticket around the league -- did you think you would see that? Here's hoping the team can cash in on the promise and make it an unforgettable year.
The promise of the SuperDraft: Much like the start of a season normally provides optimism to every fan, the MLS SuperDraft provides hope that one of the league's stars will be picked and suiting up for the favorite team come March. Now, there's no guarantee that the players taken at the top of the draft will blossom and those in the later rounds won't pan out. It's the hope that is intriguing! Can the teams pick suitable players? Will the players themselves step up at the next level? We'll see the start of their MLS journeys beginning Thursday morning.
Parkhurst's return to MLS: Michael Parkhurst left MLS a top defender, and after some ups and downs in Europe, he is back in the league, now with the Columbus Crew. I like this move for both Parkhurst and the Crew, as he's the kind of player who flies under the radar but still should be among the top defenders this season from the first game. In fact, I think he could make an outside push to get into Jurgen Klinsmann's US national team squad for the World Cup.
Impact standing pat: The Montreal Impact started last season so well, but limped badly to finish out the season. Now, they are on their third coach in three seasons, and while they are keeping stability in the roster, are they doing enough to improve this offseason? Sure, making changes for the sake of making them isn't a good policy, and the club is already on record that they'll be painting around the edges by going for "cap-friendly" players, but with the likes of Toronto and D.C. United making major changes to try and make the playoffs this year, banking on a squad that squeaked into the playoffs once again is a risky strategy. Of course, just because they haven't made moves yet doesn't mean they won't be making some in the weeks to come. Stay tuned.
Chivas signing Bofo: If Chivas USA had landed Mexican cult hero Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista, say, five years ago, this could have been a great move. But signing him in 2014? Not so much. It remains to be seen if new coach Wilmer Cabrera will use Bofo regularly or if he will provide depth for the team, and whether the player is fit and has the desire to play in a brand new league at 34. He's already provided a jolt to the club with news of his signing, but after largely sitting out the last two years, it is unclear if Bofo can contribute on the field.
The Ballon d'Or voting process: I don't begrudge Cristiano Ronaldo winning FIFA World Player of the Year earlier this week. He had a fantastic 2013. But the way he was elected was just plain silly, after FIFA extended the voting. The timing coincided with the midfielder playing fantastically in a World Cup playoff to send Portugal to Brazil this summer. While the voting may have been extended to allow more eligible voters to have a say, as the official line went, the perception that it was in order to swing the vote from Franck Ribery to Ronaldo is persuasive.
What do you like? What do you, er, don't like? Let us know in the comments below.