Soccer Business Bits: MLS Digitial Update, Edu & More

unitedOn Monday, MLS released some thoughts from Bryce Kahle, a Developer in the MLS Digital office.  Mr. Kahle provided a detailed explanation of improvements to the MLS mobile Matchcenter App.  According to his entry, the digital team wanted to create a mobile first platform.  “Mobile users are a major percentage of our website visitors, and we weren’t delivering the best to them. It was the byproduct of a desktop design that had been progressively hacked to work on mobile with responsive stylesheets. There was a laundry list of things that we didn’t like, and we concluded it was best to start over.”

Elsewhere, the league drew the ire of many fans when the terms of the Maurice Edu signing were released.  League rules on player acquisition and funding have always been a bit murky, but fans felt comfortable with the MLS rule that DP signings do not impact the Allocation Order based on prior year finishes.  That rule disappeared with the signing of Edu, the American international returning from overseas to join the Philadelphia Union.  As a result, the Union got their man, but lost their spot at the top of the allocation list.  Some believe that the league loses credibility when its rules get changed on apparent whims.  However, it is important to remember that the league is still feeling its way, and as long as the owners are on board with the changes, fans should understand that the rules are designed to continue to grow the sport and the league.

Finally, there are reports emerging (including this one from NBC Sports), that suggest DC United continues to face tough sledding in its efforts to locate a stadium within the district.  We could fill two weeks worth of posts with the various trials and tribulations faced by United over the years.  They have explored Maryland, Virginia and many locations within the District.  However, the latest efforts to locate a stadium within the city have seemed promising. Yet, per NBC, “[t]he bill, being pushed by D.C. Mayor Vincent Grey, has support from only 35 percent of the 1,003 residents polled, with most expressing skepticism about the district’s potential $150 million investment….The city has yet to secure the land it would donate for the project, and any financing plan (which involves selling an office building) would still have to be approved by the city council. It seems like we’ve been here before. There’s an apparent stadium plan for D.C., the MLS community gets excited, and then we’re reminded how difficult things get once we move beyond the soccer sphere.”