Monday, February 1, 2010

Ralston to St. Louis

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.



  1. Any thoughts on American soccer adopting the European style of relegation and promotion? It would be interesting to see that, especially if more big names like Ralston join 2nd tier teams.

  2. I really like this topic. I would like to see it eventually, but I'm satisfied short-term with the balanced schedule MLS finally adopted. Maybe the next step will be a single table. It would be very hard to do pro/rel in the near future considering we don't have enough stable sub-1st division clubs...I mean, we just got a 2nd division this offseason, and it has just 12 teams, at least 2 of which are set to join MLS in 2011. It's a long-term hope for me personally.

  3. Balanced schedule will be nice. Finally get rid of teams like Salt Lake City coming out of 5th place in the West to win MLS Cup.