Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Which way to the MLS winter meetings?

I may have mentioned this before, but I love baseball.

Even though the regular season only runs from April-October, there always seems to be something going on between November-March. Free agency. Potential trades. Roster movement. The Rule V draft. In other words....the hot stove.

I mention the hot stove because this week's grill has heated up like a sunburst. A few big names are moving around. C.C. to the Bronx. K-Rod to the Metropolitans. Plus, rumors abuzz concerning Mark Teixeira, D-Lowe, and A.J. Burnett. It's been the most entertaining display of non-action since the second O.J. trial.

Meanwhile, back in MLS land...

Well, what is going on?

Lots, actually. Michael Parkhurst went to Denmark yesterday. Landon Donvan's on loan to Bayern Munchen. David Beckham's on loan to AC Milan. MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto is staying put. Those stories are pretty big. Unfortunately, it's been drowned out mercilessly by the NFL, NBA and...what do you know? Those darn MLB Winter meetings!

You're probably smart enough to know where I'm going with this. If not, no worries. I'll explain it in full.

What? The MLS Winter Meetings.

When? Every December, just after MLB's winter forum.

Where? Rotate it every year. Start in California. Alternate between warmer weather locales, like Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, Arizona, New Orleans, etc.

Who? Don Garber, of course. Get some team CEOs. A few soccer celebrities, like Drew Carey and that super cute Amanda Bynes (She's the Man) to show up and say hello. Hello. And, of course, every winter meeting needs a superagent. I have someone in mind. But in the interim, see Scott Boras for reference.

Oh. Don't forget the Chivas Girls. They need to be there.

Why? Why else? To promote the sport of soccer!

If there's one thing that fans love more than watching sports, it's analyzing it ad nauseam. Landon's going to Bayern? Live report from Eric Wynalda from the MLS winter meetings. Parky says goodbye to New England. A discussion between J.P. Dellacamera and John Harkes...okay, maybe Eric Wynalda too. The launch of WPS. At the bottom of the hour, a panel discussion between Cat Whitehill, Julie Foudy, and Brandi Chastain.

Let's talk about some stats. Like how Michael Parkhurst committed the fewest fouls for a centerback during the past four years. How does this impact the Revolution, one of the most disciplined sides in MLS? Let's ask Steve Nicol himself, via live feed from Gillette.

And this is just the first MLS winter meeting broadcast. Two more specials (one for each day) will keep the MLS fanbase tuned into to the latest offseason rumblings.

After all, there are a number of other things to discuss: Seattle's roster. The recent setback to Philly's plans for a soccer stadium. Players looking abroad. Internationals looking Stateside. January's SuperDraft. National team news. College Cup buzz. Expansion bids. DPAs. Rumors.

Fans love rumors. You know who else loves rumors, besides 14-year old girls? The media. Yep, we writers love to discuss sweet nothings, no matter how outlandish they are. Oh, did you hear about Taylor Twellman wanting to reunite with Pat Noonan in Columbus?* No? Let's talk about it!

(*I just invented that rumor like three seconds ago. I have absolutely no substantial information to base this asseertion on. So, please...don't torch me in the "Comments" section.)

And so on. I know offseason MLS news is covered already on any number of soccer journalists and their respective publications. But wouldn't it be fun to have an annual shindig every year where a bunch of MLS people and writers all converge on one place, then talk about it on TV? That's what MLB does...extremely well.

Pretty successful model, don't you think?

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