Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Some Worthwhile Reading

Four interesting articles:

First article is very enlightening on Mwanga's thought process relative to MLS.

I thought the second one was a joke at first, but read it through – he’s serious.

The third shows the positioning that’s starting to go on between the two sides in the CBA negotiations, with FIFPro as an ally to the players union.

The final article tries to clarify some of the assertions that FIFPro is trying to make. It’s becoming more clear that this is (at least partially) a clash between the traditional structure of American sports and the structure of international club sports. Of course, the single-entity structure is somewhat unique to both cultures.

OSU's Danny Mwanga: No. 1 pick in MLS SuperDraft?: Toshio Suzuki,

"I wanted to go to Europe," he said, "and I didn't want to be in the MLS for that long."
"One week after meeting with Nowak, Mwanga changed his mind about the MLS. His contract includes a marketing aspect from Adidas and performance incentives from the league."
"Both of Mwanga's former coaches agree that Nowak's willingness to fly to Portland and make a personal appeal is a strong indication Mwanga could be the No. 1 pick in the draft."

A birth certificate worth questioning: Mark Zeigler, The San Diego Union-Tribune

"He is 20 now and headed for his sixth pro club in seven years, meaning we can no longer pass off his rapidly spiraling career to mere youth and inexperience. Instead, we are left with two basic explanations:

1. He has crumbled under the weight of unrealistic expectations.

2. He’s not how old he says he is."

Updated: Donovan, Keller Blast League Over CBA Talks: TJ, MLS Daily

• Player contracts are routinely terminated by the league during their term, as almost 80% of players in MLS do not have guaranteed contracts;
• MLS operates as a cartel in that every player’s contract must be entered into with the league instead of his club;
• The contract of virtually every player in the league contains multiple unilateral one-year options that may only be exercised by the league;
• Virtually any player in the league can be transferred to another club within the league without his consent even if such transfer is international, such as a transfer from an MLS club in the United States to or from an MLS club in Canada;
• There is no freedom of movement for any MLS player to any other MLS clubs when his contract expires – in fact, even if a player’s contract is unilaterally terminated by a club during its term, that club continues to hold such player’s rights and he is prohibited from signing with another club in the league.

FIFPro's latest salvo: fact and fiction: Ridge Mahoney, Soccer America Daily

"Stalemated in its efforts to spark momentum in the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations with MLS, the players' union is rallying more support overseas. FIFPro, the international players' union, has fired another salvo to apply pressure on MLS as well as FIFA. Without taking sides, Soccer America is presenting FIFPro's statement in its entirety in italics, along with clarifications or counterpoints marked in bold letters following each issue of contention."