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MLS Alumni: I want to believe

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Awhile back I was scrolling through the Chicago Fire website and went to the 'Roster' page.  I went all the way to the bottom of the page and was greeted by the familiar sight of:


# POS Player Club Age NATL Previous Club
No players to display.

I had seen this before but for whatever reason, it hit me a little harder this time.  Perhaps it was because the last Chicago Fire original C.J. Brown is gone or maybe it's because the great success of the Chicago Riot's Chicago Soccer Heritage Night has me thinking about Chicago soccer alumni more, but it struck me as wrong to see the Alumni page as 'No players to display'.  I was going to draw a comparison and say even a team like the Philadelphia Union have 'Alumni' but then I discovered something very odd... there's more to the story after the break.

It is not just the Chicago Fire who don't have any Alumni listed under their main website - it's almost the entire league. Yes, Chivas USA, Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dynamo, Los Angeles GalaxyNew England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes, and Toronto FC all feature:



# POS Player Club Age NATL Previous Club
No players to display.

The five teams fortunate enough to not have this embarrassing snafu are D.C. United, Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders, Sporting KC, and Vancouver Whitecaps.  After doing a little more research, it appears this glitch can be attributed to the launch back in March of 2010.  Fake Sigi and Pitch Invasion both ripped the new launch to shreds last year.  From Pitch Invasion on April 2:

alarmingly, one week on from that post and the launch of the site, the scale of the problems ekes out of every pore have only become more and more evident.  

I'm not sure what word to use now if it was 'alarmingly' then, but here we are almost a year from the original launch and there still are massive bugs.  The alumni of each organization should be listed but the best place to put every player is not on the same page as the roster.  That's too much information to load for people who are just looking for a snapshot of the current roster.  More importantly, if you don't have anything to put in a website field for the current time being, you should take it down right away.  It is embarrassing for the league and fans unfairly get angry at their team when they see 'No alumni to display' unless they take the time to search out other teams' websites.  What kind of a minor league organization allows this kind of thing to happen?  Maybe an organization that still has a web page up that says this:

* The 2010 roster regulations are still being finalized by the MLS
Competition Committee. The following information pertains to 2009 only and will be updated as soon as possible.

Unbelievable, they can't even space out 'MLS Competition Committee' properly. 

Portland, Seattle and Vancouver are all new enough teams that they have been able to avoid the mess of  Sporting KC's roster page for whatever reason links directly to's Sporting KC roster page (I'm guessing when they switched over to Sporting KC from Kansas City Wizards, the MLS web team took the lazy route to make this linkage happen).  D.C. United on the other hand has an alumni site to envy.  Every player A-Z has their own page with stats on games played, minutes played, goals, assists, etc and most players have a photo.  The only way D.C. is able to accomplish this is by having their own website.  I know money is tight at the Chicago Fire front office, but I would love to see the team break off from the weak design and move to their own website that would rival D.C.'s.  Other teams in the MLS should do the same.  Major props to D.C. United for getting the job done.  Major 'what are you doing' to Major League Soccer for continuing to feature a website only a minor league could be proud of.