What do a Playboy Playmate, basketball All-American and Cristian Roldan have in common? They’ve all been selected in American soccer’s most anachronistic and superfluous offseason exercise.
Just completed was SuperDraft week across MLS. And that woosh you feel is the collective sigh of purists who only wish to be awakened from their offseason slumber for news of a DP signing.
The merits of a draft must be examined on two levels: competitive and fan interest. Does it help: a) identify and, b) distribute top talent to create parity? And does it satiate diehard fans’ appetite and/or attract new fans to the game?
The Draft as Hype
Of course, the SuperDraft piggybacks on the United Soccer Coaches (formerly NSCAA) Annual Convention and the vibe that comes from 11,000 soccer types gathering together under one roof. Before it joined the coaches’ festivities, the draft was conducted via conference call, and some might say that was just as well. That’s no slam; neither baseball nor hockey drafts are must-see events, either.