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Ship’s log, Mar. 4: Make MLS more transparent

Garth Lagerwey joined the chorus urging for MLS to be more transparent in a recent appearance on MLS’s ExtraTime Radio.

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DeAndre Yedlin was traded from Inter Miami to FC Cincinnati today. FC Cincinnati gets a veteran fullback, while Inter Miami gets some salary-cap relief.

In a sense, it’s the type of trade you see a few times every year. Nothing too exciting.

But what makes this trade particularly interesting to me is the amount of General Allocation Money involved. Or rather, the very specific amount of GAM involved. FC Cincinnati is sending exactly $172,799 to Miami.

Why that exact amount? We can only guess. One theory is that it’s exactly how much GAM FCC could spare. My theory is that it’s the prorated portion of Yedlin’s “over-max” salary remaining on his contract. Either way, this seems to be mostly a salary dump for Miami. The question is how much cap relief are they actually getting?

It’s an admittedly inside-baseball question to be asking, but it’s also kind of important in terms of trying to assess what is actually going on here. Are Inter Miami gearing up for another big move by clearing nearly $1 million in salary-cap responsibilities? Was this just part of them fulfilling a promise they made to MLS in order to get salary-cap compliant? Is FCC taking on a rather significant salary in order to make a big push for silverware? Are they just getting a bargain on a player Miami was dying to get rid of?

What makes this all the more timely is that Garth Lagerwey – now the President and CEO of Atlanta United, in case you were wondering – has been doing the rounds talking about how MLS needs to get more transparent if it’s going to break through the noise and become a serious North American sport.

“What we have to have is transparency,” Lagerwey said during a recent episode of ExtraTime Radio. “We have to publish this information. … The cap’s public, the allocation money is public, the contracts are public. That’s going to allow people to interact with our sport.”

Selfishly, I would love this too. It’s chasing this kind of information that has helped make Sounder at Heart what it is. It’s why Sounder at Heart meticulously tracks the Sounders’ contracts and tries to figure out the salary-cap position. Over the years, I’ve heard countless people – including Garth – say they understand why it’s important to make this information accessible.

And I will admit that MLS teams have gotten better. It wasn’t so long ago that the amount of allocation money being traded was never announced. It’s only relatively recently that teams have begun sharing how long each contract is for.

But there’s still so much more info that can be shared. It’s not just because we’re nosey, it’s because we care. We want to build stories and narratives. But we need to know the plot for that to matter.

-Jeremiah Oshan

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Next up (preseason): UW Huskies v. Reign FC at Husky Soccer Stadium on Wednesday, March 6.

Sounders 0-1-1, -1

Next up: Sounders v. Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Saturday, March 9. The 4:30 pm match is on MLS Season Pass.

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Looking back at the weekend's news

Everything else you need to know.

European football’s leading transfer expert Fabrizio Romano is caught up in a scandal in Denmark, as his work moves further towards marketing/PR than anything resembling journalism.

MLS’s new approach to the U.S. Open Cup isn’t exactly a crowd pleaser, particularly for clubs with history in the tournament as FC Cincinnati wish for the power to choose.

You can probably chalk this up as “things you never think twice about, because why would you ever be reffing an MLS game,” but here we are as the referee assignment had to be changed last minute for Inter Miami’s game last weekend.

Rule 1 for MLS talent when it comes to talking about the replacement refs is don’t talk about the replacement refs.

The weekend was full of entertainment in MLS, so long as you sufficiently wipe the Sounders game from your memory.

Steve Cherundulo is VERY unhappy about his team getting smoked in a snow storm.

Inter Miami opened up some roster space by trading DeAndre Yedlin to FC Cincinnati for just over $172k GAM.

Philadelphia Union dug out a very late draw over the weekend, courtesy of Alejandro Bedoya and what could be the MLS equivalent of the Fail Mary.

Still no MLS Season Pass app for Android, but there’s something of a workaround.

The MLS All-Stars will once again be facing their Liga MX counterparts this Summer.

The USWNT flexed a little bit as they beat Colombia their Gold Cup quarterfinal.

That win sets the USWNT up for a game against their biggest regional rivals, as the US and Canada are set to square up in the Gold Cup Semis.

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