Three days ago we heard that Steve Ralston had declined a contract offer by the Revolution. However, as Kyle McCarthy wrote in the Boston Herald, Ralston was "expected to consider other potential playing options." Per MLS rules as they stand now (a new CBA is expected by February 12), Ralston is not allowed to consider other playing options within MLS. Today, however, we've found out it's not an MLS move he was considering, but an NASL move, to AC St. Louis. He will co-function as a player and an assistant coach.
This marks the departure of a second key Revolution midfielder this offseason (Ralston and Larentowicz). Ralston made $150,000 in 2009, and he was worth it. Mike Burns & co had even less bargaining power here than they had in the Larentowicz case, because whereas Larentowicz couldn't bargain with other teams himself, Ralston could bargain with AC St. Louis because they are not in MLS. For this reason, I do not hold Burns responsible for Ralston's departure. I do, however, expect him to have a succession plan for both players (Zak Boggs?).
On the St. Louis side, it's good to see the new 2nd division get such an accomplished player as Steve Ralston. It's a sign that although it may change in composition over the next few years (in fact it necessarily will change, since Vancouver and Portland will join MLS in 2011), the 2nd division as a whole in this country is here to stay.