And, now for something completely different: The business of off-season soccer.
Today, Major League Soccer announced the players who have graduated from the Generation Adidas program. Sporting Kansas City's Roger Espinoza and Chance Myers were among them. Meaning, those two player's salaries now count against the team's salary cap and, if unprotected next week, could be selected by Vancouver or Portland in the expansion draft.
For Espinoza, this is no surprise. He is now a regular starter for Kansas City and was the team's only World Cup representative. Myers is a little more so, having only made 31 appearances in 3 seasons. He missed most of his rookie year after coming down with mono and last year recovering from offseason surgery.
According to MLS: Generation adidas contracts provide the opportunity for players to leave college early and continue to develop their soccer careers in MLS. The salaries of these players are greater than the league minimum and the players are also provided educational funds should they decide to return to school. Their salaries also do not count against a club’s salary budget, allowing teams to afford them time to develop.
The full list:
Eric Avila (FC Dallas), Nico Colaluca (New England Revolution), Roger Espinoza (Kansas City), Stefan Frei (Toronto FC), Bruno Guarda (FC Dallas), Baggio Husidic (Chicago Fire), Fuad Ibrahim (Toronto FC), Chance Myers (Kansas City), Alex Nimo (Real Salt Lake), Ciaran O'Brien (Colorado Rapids) and Brek Shea (FC Dallas).
I expect Kansas City to absolutely protect Espinoza. I don't think Myers has a spot on this team anymore. He's not strong enough with the ball to play on the wing, he's not going to supplant either Espinoza or Michael Harrington at fullback. He also doesn't have the skillset to be an impact substitute.
The protected list for the expansion draft will be revealed on Monday.
I only typed in "Wizards" without realizing it three times in this blog post, my first post-rebrand. I sort of like that I don't have to rely on a nickname for the team in a story. Then again, maybe that was a subliminal point in favor of the name change?