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Dempsey's Home Debut Brings Record Crowd; Questions Linger Around MLS Allocation
Published August 26, 2013
TOP 10 SOCCER CROWDS BETWEEN AUG. 23-25
|Serie A||Inter Milan-Genoa||42,797|
|La Liga||Athletico Madrid-Rayo Vallecano||41,815|
SOMETHING FISHY WITH ACQUISITION? In Portland, Geoffrey Arnold wrote Dempsey's signing was "hailed around the soccer world as a major coup for MLS, but the methods surrounding the acquisition has raised questions about the murkiness and secretive nature" of the league's acquisition rules. Questions also have "surfaced about the league's competitive balance." Dempsey is "likely the most important" player in MLS since David Beckham. Dempsey's signing "represents evidence that the league can attract world-class players in the prime of their careers." But the "manner in which the league acquired Dempsey, discreetly steered him to Seattle and then fumbled its attempt to explain the transaction process, hurt the league's credibility." Using a "strict interpretation of allocation rules," the Timbers "looked to have the first shot at signing Dempsey." Even if the Timbers "didn't want to pay or couldn't pay Dempsey the money he demanded," the team could have had "leverage in determining where he would land in MLS." It is "doubtful the Timbers would have allowed their archrivals to acquire Dempsey" (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/25).
STATE OF THE PLAYERS' UNION: MLSPU Dir of Player Relations Eddie Pope said of DC United's possible new stadium, "I'd assume the most important thing for every single player who's ever played for that club, would be that ... DC United fans need to be taken care of." Pope said of one thing that needed to change since his playing days in MLS, "Getting that minimum salary up was, and still is, a major priority for us. From the first day I took this job, that was a priority for me, helping the guys on the bottom" (MLSSOCCER.com, 8/21).