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MLS news & notes

To satisfy requirements in the new collective bargaining agreement, MLS has named seven additional "all-stars." None will be in uniform for Wednesday's match against Manchester United at Reliant Stadium in Houston but will receive all-star bonuses. They are goalkeepers Kasey Keller (Seattle) and Jimmy Nielsen (Kansas City), midfielders Joel Lindpere (New York), Robbie Rogers (Columbus) and Freddie Ljungberg (Seattle), and forwards Freddy Montero (Seattle) and Conor Casey (Colorado).

According to the league, those seven were the "next highest in the combined weighted voting at their positions for a 32-man roster with the same breakdown by position as last year" (four goalkeepers, seven defenders, 14 midfielders and seven forwards).

Midfielder Kyle Beckerman and defender Jonathan Bornstein, named to the initial squad but unavailable because of injury, are also inactive and among the 32.

Much more.....

*At halftime Wednesday, the league will conduct a coin toss to determine the first pick in the expansion draft and other player-dispersal procedures as they pertain to the 2011 newcomers Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers. The winner of the coin flip will choose first priority in one of the following mechanisms, with the teams then alternating choices through the priority list:

1. First pick in the expansion draft
2. First pick in the MLS draft
3. USL player priority on opening of signing period
4. Allocation ranking
5. Designated Player ranking
6. Discovery player ranking
7. Lottery ranking
8. Waiver/re-entry draft ranking

*With Vancouver and Portland entering the league next year and, for obvious geographical purposes, joining the Western Conference, two current clubs from that division will shift to the Eastern, Commissioner Don Garber said. It has got to be Dallas and Houston, right? It couldn't be Real Salt Lake, Colorado, San Jose, Seattle, Los Angeles or L.A.-based Chivas USA. Or how about ... a single table!

[UPDATE: I am awaiting clarification on Garber's comment since taking two clubs from the West and adding two teams to the West would create conference imbalance in an 18-team league.]

By Steve Goff  |  July 27, 2010; 3:08 PM ET
Categories:  MLS  | Tags: MLS, MLS All-Star Game  
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Next: Boyzzz Khumalo released by D.C. United


hmm - was it intentional or unintentional to list San Jose as Houston?

Posted by: emanon13 | July 27, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for single table with playoffs. 8 teams. Two home and home rounds.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

seriously, with 18 teams there is no excuse. Give us a single table!

Posted by: hungrypug | July 27, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Methinks your math is a bit fuzzy. With two teams joining the West, one team needs to move from West to East, leaving each conference with 9. That being said, any one team moving will cause problems -- would they really split the Texas teams? RSL or Denver can't really go to the East, much less teams in California or the PNW. About the only idea I see that could work would be to move Houston and Dallas to the East, and put KC back in the West. Truly though, single table would work much better.

Posted by: argo0 | July 27, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Eastern/Central Time Zone Conference and Mountain/Pacific Time Zone Conference!

Posted by: boggle76 | July 27, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I think MLS is still too scared to alienate non soccer wattches by making a 'single table' with how US sports work in this country.

Posted by: BolivianDCFan | July 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Nine divisions of 2. Top 16 teams make the playoffs.

Posted by: Hoost | July 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Najar is having a Way better season than Lundberg.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | July 27, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

It's not clear to me why Garber and the MLS FO continue to think there will be great unrest in the land if conferences are abolished. The "East" and the "West" are fairly artificial as they stand now, especially with the playoff format revamped a few years ago.

With MLS on a 30 game schedule, single table won't work unless the league is ready to expand to a 34 game schedule, and eventually 38 games. That may be too much. So only benefit of conferences today is that they allow teams to play nearby rivals more often. But that can be done without conferences.

Posted by: jofij | July 27, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Why in Hades did Ljungberg (zero contributions this season) make the All Stars? Or Keller (see DC win and Keller's blunders)? Seattle has pretty much pooped the bed this season .. . .

Posted by: delantero | July 27, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

you single-table people need to be hit in the head with a heavy single coffee table. It ain't gonna happen.
okay, it's a stupid idea, which does mean it has at least an outside chance of happening :-)

Midwest teams tend to be bounced back and forth between conferences, haven't KC and Chicago both been in both? Here's a memory that must make the single-table guys cringe (which gives it some credibility by itself) - how about the return of the Central Conference?

Interesting use of the coin-toss, thanx for that info.

Posted by: dcufan | July 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Garber wants conferences because he's privately concerned about his ability to build a pyramid or at least two divisions.

Conferences allow him to disappoint us with regional scheduling. (Can we say you'll only see the western teams every other year at home?)

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Goff confirmed as Eurosnob.

Posted by: PEddy | July 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Nine divisions of 2. Top 16 teams make the playoffs.
Posted by: Hoost

Thinking outside the box. That's what I like.

There's really no excuse for not going to the single table format with 18 teams. MLS could still keep the Supporters Shield and playoffs.

DC has 6 away trips to the Mountain and Pacific time zones. A couple more to Portland and Vancouver shouldn't be a big deal, especially since we wont; have to worry with CCF fixture congestion.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Goff - with the conferences currently 8 & 8, wouldn't only one team need to shift to the East to make it 9 & 9? Unless they move KC back west while moving Houston & Dallas east - that would keep the TX rivalry in conference.

Posted by: IDS_8 | July 27, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Please, for the love of God, stop with the conferences. We're all grown up now. It's usage for playoff purposes is done, it doesn't matter anymore beyond the top teams with the current format. And Don, don't go changin' the format to make it relevant again. Go to a single table, make it home and away and be done with it. Enough with the baby steps and the..."I'm afraid," "but the big scary Americans who don't like soccer won't like it," "the rivalries will fade away," "it's too big of a country," whinefest.

Posted by: offthecrossbar | July 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Two teams are coming in, Portland and Vancouver, both very far to the west, meaning two teams will need to switch east.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

What's the DP ranking for? I thought individual teams more or less carried on negotiations since clubs pay salary that exceeds the max amount paid by the league. Right? I assumed that meant Henry or whoever goes to the highest bidder (or wherever Henry wants to go) and no DP order is necessary. What am I missing?

Posted by: benonthehill | July 27, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, I think dcufan is right - the dreaded return of the Central Conference:

New England
New York
DC United

Kansas City
Salt Lake

San Jose
Los Angeles
Chivas USA


Posted by: combedge | July 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ljungberg is turning into a bigger disappointment/flop than Gallardo... What's the point of giving him a bonus? Gallardo at least had some sort of hernia excuse. Are we to believe Ljunberg's ankle is still twisted?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait, You're right. My b. Just one would do the trick...

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

We need a round-table discussion on the single-table issue. Who would chair this round-table talk? Or should we table that for another day?

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 27, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

OT: Omar Cummings is a goshdarn beast. What a rocket of a shot he's got.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it!!!! There are 18 teams- each team must play all the other teams twice. Why bother with conferences? There is absolutely NO POINT!!! And don't call me a Eurosnob; I hate Eurosnobs as much as the next guy, but I am all for common sense and logic.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 27, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

So then, if everybody plays each other twice, what difference does it make it there's 1 table, 2 tables, or 8 tables?

Posted by: JkR- | July 27, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

the argument for conferences went out the door when RSL met the Galaxy in the finals last year. i cant recall if thats happened before (2 teams from the same conference), but its pretty stupid to have 2 conferences and then allow a team to float between them for the playoffs. Imagine if the Red Sox got to go play in the NL playoffs because they finished with a better record than the NL WC winner, but didnt win the AL WC? FARRR more ridiculous than a single table.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 27, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

And don't call me a Eurosnob; I hate Eurosnobs as much as the next guy, but I am all for common sense and logic.

Posted by: kdiff813 | July 27, 2010 4:24 PM

Don't worry about being called a Eurosnob, you'd be on the winning team. The war is over, the last battle was for ESPN during World Cup 2010. Eurosnobbery won and it wasn't even close. Garber will be wise to get this league as close to authentic ASAP, the proof was in the World Cup ratings pudding.

Posted by: Kev29 | July 27, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse


Red Bulls vs Crew 2008 - which was also a Supporters Shield vs #8 Seed match up.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | July 27, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I love the conferences and I hope they never go away. And I absolutely mean it. I agree with Garber that they provide some extra drama and some small victories for fanbases - little goalposts on the road to greatness. Saying "hey we're 8th and if we win today we'll be 7th!" is not satisfying. Saying "Hey if we win today we're 1st in the East!" is.

Other arguments that I buy as well, like (eventually when we have more teams) having more conference games than non-conference to build rivalries etc., but I won't go into them all at this point.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | July 27, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I was going to say... How could you forget NYRB's legendary failure in 08!?!?

Posted by: DadRyan | July 27, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

People, PEOPLE! You're all wrong. MLS will always retain 2 divisions. Next year, with the addition of Portland and Vancouver, MLS goes....

(wait for it)....

North and South

North Division
New England
New York
Kansas City

South Division
Chivas USA
San Jose
DC United
Real Salt Lake

After Montreal and whomever join, MLS abandons the North/South divisions for an NFL/MLB-style MLS Originals vs. MLS Newbies conference format, with San Jose and Chicago granted entry into MLS Originals (sorry Houston).

Of course, I will still look at it all on a single table. Or desk. Just depends where I'm sitting at any given moment....

Posted by: DWE4 | July 27, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Also, DC United's website reports that the team has released Boyzzz. No surprise there especially after how terrible he looked against Portsmouth. Junior, come on down!

Posted by: VercengetorixII | July 27, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse terrible Boyzzz looked in most opportunities he had this season. This team isn't shallow on talent in spite of Boyzzz!

Posted by: DWE4 | July 27, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | July 27, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks VBB.

my bad. I thought it might have happened before, and how could I have forgotten the Crew rolling the cows in 08. but that further proves my point...2 years in a row of the same conference in the finals. if the mainstream American fans Garber covets knew that the League does this for the plaoyffs, theyd laugh and walk away.

Posted by: VTUnited | July 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

You're all wrong! MLS will be broken down as follows:

NPR Conference:
Los Angeles
Los Angeles (Chivas)
New England
New York

Don't Tread on Me Conference
Kansas City
Salt Lake City

Latte Conference
San Jose

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | July 27, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Chicago should switch conferences for the third or fourth tine, just to jerk them around.

Rand-al-Thor: DC should definitely be in the NPR conference, to win the Nina Totenberg trophy or the Scott Simon Cup.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | July 27, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?
Albert Einstein

Posted by: csd1 | July 27, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse



Slightly OT, Daniel Schorr died last week in DC.

Posted by: benonthehill | July 27, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

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