The 50-50 Ball is a reoccurring element of The Offside Rules. The purpose is to create discussion & banter about topical & sometimes controversial questions in the world of soccer. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
With the list of players participating in the MLS player combine being released to today by the league, thoughts turn to the MLS Superdraft. While drafting college prospects is the normal way of stocking teams in traditional American sports (with some exceptions from MLB's farm system), this is truly unique in the world soccer. With it's deviations from some FIFA regulations, short seasons, and the fact that it stunts opportunity for many players during the crucial 17-22 years many view NCAA soccer as detrimental to the American game but it remains the most accessible well for young US talent.
The other side to that coin is that college-groomed players are often said to be lacking in some ways to players who have developed thier game through means that are more conventional (youth systems, foriegn clubs, and in the streets of Mexico, Central & South America). With the announcement of the leagues new youth club initives MLS has taken steps toward bringing in young players outside of the draft. So here's the question; is it time for MLS to consider doing away with the draft to encourage teams to take in more players through other means?