In Monday action, Falkenberg lost late to Hammarby, 1-0. FFF remains just barely above the relegation line. The relegation drama is one part of soccer we don't have in MLS. This format give motivation for teams as there is quite a bit of money on the table to be lost if one falls from a higher level league. Thus, there is drama at the top (winning a championship) and bottom (avoiding relegation) of many soccer leagues. Of course, teams in the middle need to find a balance between hiring new talent to try to go up the table and keeping existing talent from being raided by more lucrative clubs.
Also in Monday action, Liverpool defeated Bournemouth, 1-0. Didn't see the game but read the post-game analysis. The general feeling was that it was a pretty even match and that Bournemouth had a goal waved off that may have been a good goal and that Liverpool's goal was a missed offsides call. In MLS world, there are lots of complaints about the referee's work. Alas, even in a top three in the world league like EPL there are also complaints! The game is simply too fast for the refs to catch everything and "instant" reply isn't going to work in a sport that prides itselft in the continuous nature of the playing.
In Tuesday action, LA Galaxy play in CONCACAF Champions League (CCL). Hope to watch the game on TV tonight and may live blog my impressions?
The big news for LAG is the rumors that Zardes may be recruited away from the Galaxy to the top level Belgian league. For those new to MLS, there is a team salary cap of which three designated players (DP) do not count toward the cap. For LA, the three DP are Keane, Gerrard, and Dos Santos. The salaries of the rest of the team count toward the cap. Thus, Zardes a rising star, is paid below free market wages. Zardes should get quite a raise going to Europe and stiffer on the field competition; thus improving him as a player. Eventually, he could return to MLS and command a DP level salary. As a fan, would be great to have him stay at LAG but the nature of the global business of soccer says making the move makes the most sense for his long term development.
Eventually, MLS will grow enough that there will be more DP slots and a higher salary cap for the rest of the club. But, at this point in the development of MLS, that is not in the cards. To get a sense of the salaries around the world, check out this article.