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Volume 26 No. 224
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Sources: MLS Not Holding Physical Draft Event Starting In '20

MLS starting in '20 will "no longer hold a physical event for its amateur draft," a move that will "cut costs, while also eliminating the often hit-or-miss live elements like crowd reactions and drawn-out speeches from draft picks," according to sources cited by Maurer & Rueter of THE ATHLETIC. A new iteration of the draft will "most likely be held via conference call and streamed on the league website in a similar fashion to their Matchday Central broadcasts." The change leaves the league "without an offseason event to bring clubs and the media into one place." However, MLS has "expressed its intention to broaden the scope and size of its annual preseason media day, perhaps helping to offset some of the coverage lost by eliminating the draft" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/15).

THE LION KING: THE ATHLETIC's Adam Snavely wrote former Galaxy F Zlatan Ibrahimovic was the "fuel to the fire" of the Galaxy-LAFC rivalry. Not only did he "single-handedly make the Galaxy competitive time and time again, his constant needling sparked that intense animosity amongst players on the field and the fans in the stands." Without Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy-LAFC "turf war doesn't enter the upper-echelon of MLS rivalries as quickly as it has." For everything one can "say in dislike of Zlatan, he was MLS' perfect heel." Snavely: "Zlatan made the league more fun to watch than any player I can think of in recent memory, even while criticizing MLS and its quality at every turn" (THEATHLETIC.com, 11/17).

SOUNDING OFF: In N.Y., Rory Smith wrote as MLS continues to expand, there "has to be something to shoot for, a standard to live up to." A revolution "needs something to overturn." There "has to be an example to follow, and it's hard to think of a better one" than the Sounders. Smith: "Not just for the way the team is run, but the crowds it attracts, and the bond it has with its place" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).