With the Combine complete and the Superdraft right in front of us, teams have been wheeling and dealing over the last week creating soccer’s version of the hot stove. There have been DP sightings in Toronto and Philly, rumors of big name players (Xavi anyone), trades for draft choices, players moving within MLS and fading stars (see Chivas). This is a great time to be a soccer fan. Soccer rumors are driving supporters to Twitter and keeping MLS beat writers busy as the draft approaches.
The draft will be televised on ESPNNews, a development that started last year after some more prominent airtime on ESPN in seasons past. Those with access to Watch ESPN can also view the goings on from afar. Of course, MLSSoccer.net will provide its own draft coverage, and that will include analysis, chats and more. Whether the importance of the draft is diminishing has been a popular subject this year, with international and homegrown players sapping both the roster spots and quality associated with the drafted. Nevertheless, the draft is an important milestone in the short MLS off season and an important connection between the league and its American sporting roots.
Finally, with respect to tickets, there is no doubt that the inking of Bradley and Defoe is having an impact on season ticket sales in Toronto. There are multiple reports that more than 2000 season tickets were sold in the immediate wake of the signing and those numbers seem to be continuing. There appears to be no doubt that TFC will reverse its declining attendance trend in 2014.