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Cuban Updates

Two MLS clubs submitted discovery claims on Cuban forward Reinier Alcantara, who sought asylum during the national team's stay in Washington for a World Cup qualifier in October. The league is determining who will hold his rights, based on the teams' 2008 finish. Two other teams expressed interest, but apparently did not submit claims.

Alcantara trained with Kansas City, Colorado and San Jose last month, and told the Insider two weeks ago that New York had indicated it would offer him a workout opportunity this winter.

When I find out which team won the formal discovery rights, I'll let you know.

Meantime, I am hearing that the expansion Seattle Sounders have their sights on Cuban midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, the USL rookie of the year at Charleston this past season. He defected in 2007.

By Steve Goff  |  December 10, 2008; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  
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Comments

how much of a better national team Cuba would have if they would let their players play for foriegn clubs..

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 10, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

I thought Alonso showed pretty well against United -- maybe better than anyone United had in its midfield. Is United interested, but trumped by discovery claim, or are they just sitting this one out?

Posted by: fischy | December 10, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be so off topic - the Cubans story interests me - but having just seen the ESPN.com story about the Arena Football League looking to cancel their 2009 season as they reorganize amidst the economic situation I felt that was now on my mind.

MLS is on more than solid footing but not immune as sports spending is totally discretionary. But the interesting line in the article is that the league is exploring becoming a single entity structure.

Now - with that in mind, and coupled with Ivan going to Arsenal, one has to wonder if this business structure we have here, while far from perfect is perhaps the one to examine further unless you are the NFL or Barclays Premier League and command money with alarming regularity.

I'm not the biggest fan of single entity - I think it's confusing, not player or team building friendly and ultimately could be abused (Galaxy) more than not - but that thing has allowed MLS to reach a point where no one is writing that the economy is going to kill soccer in America.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | December 10, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Steve:

Do you think the discovery system will be altered at all in the new CBA?

Posted by: beach3 | December 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

If I were in charge of an MLS team, I'd have put in a claim on Alonso as soon as I was allowed to. He's capable of starting immediately. He puts in the work, is very comfortable with the ball, and looks like he thinks faster than most players. In the words of Christopher Sullivan, I very much like this player.

Seattle obviously has a massive advantage, being able to get first dibs on all USL players (is there some kind of limitation on that, like it runs out after they sign X players, or do they have right of first refusal on every USL player that an MLS team is interested in?).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 10, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

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