Wednesday, September 17, 2008

MLS Raiding USL2

There were a flurry of moves leading up to the Major League Soccer roster freeze deadline, and a surprisingly large number of them were signings of players from USL2 -- which is essentially the third division of American soccer.

Colorado: Kwame Sarkodie (Cleveland City Stars)
Columbus: Stanley Nyazamba (Richmond Kickers)
Dallas: Jeff Rowland (Wilmington Hammerheads)
DC: Greg Janicki and Thabiso Khumalo (both from the Pittsburgh Riverhounds)
New York: Terry Boss (Charlotte Eagles) and Matt Mbuta (Crystal Palace Baltimore)

Interestingly, Rowland and Khumalo were both drafted by MLS teams but didn't stick.

So why a bunch of players from USL2, rather than USL1? My guess is the classic combination of low asking price and potential upside. I doubt any of them will be major contributors during the MLS stretch run, but it certainly never hurts to look at young talent for the future.

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