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Friday Mailbag & Open Thread: On Politics And Unforced Errors

Matt Polster’s injury, Ellis vs Ramos, & more

MLS: Sporting KC at Chicago Fire Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard for me to write about soccer and the Fire and the Red Stars today, as there was yet another school shooting. The frequency in which these things happen it makes me wonder how I ever survived high school, let alone survived to graduate college. My condolences go out to the Santa Fe High School Community, and everyone affected emotionally, psychologically, and physically by this horrendous event.

On to our question this week, and then some ramblings about soccer I guess.

The easy answer here is Kevin Ellis will keep starting for the foreseeable future. On one hand, I’m okay with this. Ellis has proven himself this year as a serviceable to good right back, who is capable of some offensive heroics when called upon to provide them. His improvement as the season has progressed is visible and It’s nice to see someone rewarded for their improvement. Hard work does indeed pay off.

That being said, is this not what you gave up the number one academy prospect for? Has Ramos not impressed in training so much that he lost his understudy position to a backup center back? Someone who was brought in just in case Jonathan Campbell or Grant Lillard weren't ready to start the season? Is Ramos the guy Pauno is freezing out like he did Accam? Was Katai’s benching just a red herring? Is there an ongoing power struggle between upper management and the coaching staff? As you can see, I have a lot of questions. This season so far feels a lot like the 2013 season where a talented team who made the playoffs the year before was undercut by internal strife and power struggles. I hope they can dig themselves out of it.


Dax McCarty is hurt. This is not good. The unfortunate bit about MLS is that by it’s nature you can’t have a super deep roster. There are a few reasons for this: the salary cap is too low, the talent pool that would be MLS level won’t come because the salary cap is too low, and MLS are unable to pay competitive salaries because the salary cap is too low. What I’m saying is that MLS should raise the salary cap so teams don’t have to play CMs making $60k a year when their fulcrum players get hurt in a random game in May.

I was scroling around on twitter this morning when I saw this:

This is absolutely unconscionable, and even more proof that USSF and the women’s soccer establishment think so little of their professional league. Here’s the thing: we know the USWNT is the golden goose for soccer in this country. They’re one of the most successful woman’s soccer programs in the world, and have been churning out world class talent since it’s inception. But the fact of the matter is that the National Team First mentality is starting to get old and frankly, makes me want to support them less. It disturbs me that they’re willing to forsake the fans of the NWSL to pull the star attractions from their teams without as much as a by your leave. That you already had them miss the start of training camp to play in some meaningless cash-grab friendlies and the SheBelieves Cup was bad enough, but come on. This is trash and disrespectful to a league that you allegedly want to succeed, but are doing everything in your power to cut it off at the knees.

P.S. Hire a commissioner, already.