Monday, August 11, 2008

Drinking in L.A.

The first part of the title does not really have anything to do with this blog post, but, not surprisingly, the last part of the title does.

Yesterday I posted my take on how Beckham in the MLS is a success, partly because the Galaxy are not dominating the league, and I posted that knowing that the Galaxy, its FO, and its fans want to be dominating the league and I can't blame them.

So, it wasn't surprising that in light of their current form, AEG decided to pull the trigger on Alexi Lalas and Ruud Gullit today. As of now, Cobi Jones has been promoted to interim manager of the club.

For some time I've been of the position that Alexi Lalas should not be GM at Galaxy, or anywhere else. His track record as GM is not anything to write home about. What he should be is a PR guy, a promoter for a club or MLS in general, he's good at that, he doesn't seem good at running the day to day affairs of a club.

At the beginning of the season I would have put my money on Lalas departing mid-season, but Gullit hanging on longer. But that isn't the case as seen by today's events, and when word went out that Gullit's house was on the market, you knew it wasn't going to last much longer.

I don't know if Gullit was given enough time to adjust to the MLS and the salary cap and its limitations, but he's gone. I hope all the best for Cobi, I think that would be a great story if one of the best known American players of chapter one of the Post-Modern Era of American Soccer could transition into being a great coach. Sadley, I fear that Cobi is already hamstrung by the situation at Galaxy and it won't really give us a good idea if Cobi has what it takes to become a MLS coach.

I think the big lesson that MLS clubs will learn from today's events, and the Galaxy's season, is that when you have the majority of your salary cap tied up by three players, you really sacrifice at all other positions.

Last week's events concerning the SuperLiga bonus money is the first salvo, in my opinion, of what is going to become a very contentious negotiations regarding the next MLS Collective Bargaining Agreement. Is the MLS set for its very first lock-out or strike? Very possibly.

BUT . . . .

The problems at the Galaxy might be a godsend to the players, in that by the time it comes to put rubber to the road with the next CBA, AEG might be putting pressure on the owners to expand the payscale and the salary cap, and in light of AEG's history with the league, other owners are more likely to give into the idea. Additionally, one hopes, that the growing number of wealthy owners in the MLS might be looking for the opportunity to flex a little more spending power.

Should be an interesting couple of years ahead of us.

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