In this week’s Like/Don’t Like, we discuss a reality star's soccer aspirations, the pros and cons of losing players to Liga MX and Camilo's transfer triangle.
The MLS Combine is here: Many teams have already started making moves in preparation for 2014, but if you are truly an MLS nerd like I am, you'll want to check out the MLS Combine coverage beginning later this week. It's your first chance to get to know some of tomorrow's MLS stars today, and perhaps get a glimpse of the players who will help your team make that push up the standings this season. I realize the Combine is pretty inside baseball for some people, and that's fine. But if you are eagerly counting down the days until the season starts, you can get a taste of MLS action already.
Finding a place back in soccer through "love": I'm not a fan of The Bachelor, but if Nick Rimando and Herculez Gomez love it enough to tweet about it, I guess it can't be all bad.
But could Juan Pablo Galavis be looking not for true love on television, but his true love, soccer? See, he's been making the media rounds, as you do when you simultaneously date 27 women on a reality show, and it seems he has the itch to get back in the game. I don't know, it sounds like it could be a crafty move. At 32, he's too old to become a contestant for Sueño MLS, so perhaps he's making his own reality show route to the pros.
Players going to Liga MX: One of the ways to increase the prestige of MLS is to sell some players to bigger leagues. Like it or not, Liga MX remains a bigger league than MLS right now. With Jose Villarreal, Michael Farfan and Rafael Baca going to Cruz Azul, and maybe that sticky situation with Camilo landing him in Queretaro, MLS can demonstrate it is capable of producing good talent coveted by higher profile leagues. Of course, these players need to demonstrate they can hack it in Mexico, but if they can, the reputation of MLS will increase along with that of the players themselves.
Players going to Liga MX: While there are valid reasons to be happy about MLS players going to Mexico, there are drawbacks, of course. Obviously, it is hard to become a top league overall if better leagues continually buy your players. Leagues like the Eredivisie and the Argentine Primera have shown that it can be hard to shake a reputation as a “selling” league once it is established. And of course, with Mexico being the main rival of the United States, selling good players to the other side can be galling. MLS will simply need to find and retain more good players in order to try and surpass Liga MX in the long run.
The Camilo mess: There's no way for this story to be resolved with everybody satisfied. In fact, it will likely leave several parties very unhappy. Although we must see what twists in this story will come, and there will be more twists, it is a shame that this is happening to the reigning MLS Golden Boot winner, of all people. I'm a fan of Liga MX too, and while I understand the Camilo's desire to leverage his good season into something better, he's either going to be forced back to Vancouver, where everybody will have sour feelings of him, or the Whitecaps will lose him. On the other hand, another unhappy striker, Darren Mattocks, will still be around. Maybe if nothing else he'll get the playing time he so desires, if Camilo is indeed gone for good.
Keeping the coach's seat open: Two MLS teams, Chivas USA and FC Dallas, still don't have head coaches. The Colorado Rapids reportedly don't have a head coach either. The MLS SuperDraft is next week. Why the delay? Of course, coaches aren't always responsible for making personnel decisions, but it still seems pretty risky to wait so late to install a coach. It is early, and if these teams get the right coach, everything could click, but right now, leaving the position vacant for so long doesn't bode well for these clubs' success in 2014.
What do you like? What do you, er, Don’t Like? Let us know in the comments below.