We're smack in the middle of the most important and most fun week of the year for MLS player personnel people. The week starts with the MLS combine and concludes with the MLS Super Draft. The combine is equal parts reunion, winter vacation and Liar's Club convention. That's followed by a few days back home when teams download all the information they've gathered from a myriad of sources and create a game plan for draft day.
At the NSCAA Convention, the game plan is massaged, adjusted and played out in mock drafts before the big day. You're always trying to move up in the draft, find out what players other teams are interested in and positioning to get an edge in the season by acquiring a player, pick or allocation money for less than you give up.
The draft itself can get hectic when you have multiple picks in the same round and trade offers are coming and going. After the draft, virtually every team feels they did very well - simply because at the time they make the picks, they think the players will help them out.
The real draft grades aren't handed out until the end of the season.
i'll be in Baltimore for the women's league's meetings, head coach interviews that Marcia McDermott has set up, a special league announcement and a Town Hall forum hosted by USA Today's Christine Brennan.
i'll also be taking a couple shifts at the women's league's booth on the trade show floor Friday and Saturday, so if you're at the convention please stop by. i'll be having a great time, but not as much fun as all the MLS player personnel folks.