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Lottery determines who lands young stars
by Ridge Mahoney, February 14th, 2011 12:33AM
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TAGS:  mls


By Ridge Mahoney

The second of three weighted lotteries will be held Monday afternoon as MLS uses that mechanism to distribute players not subject to the allocation process or other procedures.

The rights to former University of Virginia forward Chris Agorsor will be determined on Monday, and ex-Crystal Palace Baltimore defender Korey Veeder is up for grabs Tuesday.

Teams may opt out of the weighted lottery, by which a team’s chances of landing a player are generated by a random computer program that uses, in this case, last year’s final placing as a starting point. By this process rights to former Wake Forest forward Cody Arnoux were allotted on Friday to Real Salt Lake, despite a narrow (5.4 percent) probability assigned to RSL when six teams decided to participate.

Houston (48.9 percent) had the best chance to land Arnoux, followed by Seattle (24.2 percent) and Columbus (19.4 percent). Expansion teams Portland (1.6 percent) and Vancouver (0.5 percent) rounded out the six participants. The probabilities will be re-computed depending on how many teams decide to participate in the Agorsor and Veeder lotteries.

By winning rights to Arnoux, RSL is not eligible to enter any weighted lotteries during the 2011 season and neither is San Jose, which nabbed keeper David Bingham in a weighted lottery three weeks ago.

The league uses the lottery for players who have completed their college eligibility and sign after the SuperDraft; underclassmen who sign Generation adidas contracts after the SuperDraft; and players who were previously offered MLS contracts and did not sign.

Agorsor, 20, won Gatorade Player of the Year and NSCAA High School Player of the Year awards in 2008 and helped the Baltimore Bays U-17/18 team reach the U.S. Soccer Development Academy finals later that year. He turned down European offers to play college ball at Virginia, and after scoring four goals in his first seven collegiate games, a serious knee injury sidelined him and effectively ended his college career. He went on trial in Europe last year and since returning has been in camp with the Philadelphia Union.

While Florida native Veeder, 19, was playing club ball for Clearwater Chargers, scouts from Traffic Football Management and CP Baltimore noticed him and negotiated a contract that he signed in January, 2010. A series of trials in Europe failed to produce an offer and the former U.S. U-17 played 20 USSF D-2 games for CP Baltimore, which has shut down operations and will not field a team this year.

Arnoux passed up a chance to sign with MLS as a Generation adidas player in 2008 after scoring 17 goals for the Demon Deacons in his junior season. He signed a one-year contract with Everton as an EU player – he holds Italian and U.S. citizenship – and played for the reserves but was not offered an extension.

Trials with Plymouth Argyle and Scottish club Motherwell failed to produce a contract and though he played for Vancouver last year in the second division, because he declined an MLS offer he is subject to the weighted lottery process.

  1. Leland Price
    commented on: February 14, 2011 at 2:24 p.m.
    The MLS should take a look at William and Mary's James Lofton, whose situation mirrors that of Agorsor. Lofton is a fast and physical left-footed defender (W&M played him out of position at midfield and forward) with European experience - England, France, and Turkey, plus the U-17 World Cup in Spain. This guy's a steal.

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