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MLS departures, absences raise questions
by Ridge Mahoney, May 9th, 2007 7AM

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Ellinger&KreisJust about one month into the season several prominent players are missing from MLS rosters, some by design, some not.

Jason Kreis may or may not be up to the job of MLS head coach, but decisiveness is certainly one of his traits.

Kreis, named to replace John Ellinger by RSL operator-investor Dave Checketts just last week, has unceremoniously dumped sluggish, slothful striker Luis Tejada, whom Ellinger had signed just a few months ago as a discovery player at a salary of $105,000.

"He came into our preseason knowing that he needed to be fit, and he came in completely unfit," Kreis said to the Salt Lake Tribune. "You know, it was quite obvious that his fitness level was not going to be high enough for the MLS."

Kreis unloaded Tejada in plenty of time to avoid paying him for the entire season. Players on MLS rosters as of June 22 have their entire salaries guaranteed, and there will be more money coming RSL's way.

According to league documents supplied several months ago regarding allocations, the league had provisionally granted RSL an allocation in the case of Kreis' retirement. That, plus wiping his player's base salary ($160,000) from the team's salary cap, gives RSL some money to play with, if a coach can get an allocation through his own retirement. Hmmm.

Speaking of player departures, what will MLS do if Amado Guevara heads back to Honduras? By declining a trade to Toronto and squelching possible deals with other clubs, he has effectively refused to play in MLS. Refusal to play, like refusing a trade, should annul a transaction, and it is up to the league to make good on this, since it controls player movement.

Since Chivas USA traded its Designated Player slot to Red Bull New York in exchange for Guevara, and lost the asset it gained in that deal through no fault of its own, can Chivas USA petition the league to get back a DP slot?

RBNY has already used the slot on Juan Pablo Angel, who is expected to make his MLS debut Sunday (on Telefutura! Ole!) against Colorado, and while Chivas USA would certainly love to have Angel, that's not going to happen. But its DP slot should certainly be reinstated, because there really isn't any other way - draft picks, cash, a league MVP to be named later, etc. - to make up for what Chivas USA lost when Guevara bolted.

 



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