Monday, September 15, 2008

USWNT, WPS Player Allocation

The player allocation process has been fascinating. Part, part medical school national matching day and part MLS SuperDraft.

i think the results are going to be remarkably successful in terms of matching up player preferences, team preferences and balancing competitive and marketing issues.

It is nearly an impossible task, but WPS and the USWNT are managing to give almost all of the teams their preferred top player and most of the players their preferred market. The official announcement will be tomorrow (Tuesday) at 12:30 pm ET and can be followed via Twitter as described on the WPS social network site. BTW, i've started Tweeting recently and have found it a useful way to keep up to date with people. If you'd like to follow me on Twitter by texting 'follow Peter40' to 40404 to receive my updates.

As has been said about the legislative process and sausage-making, the player allocation shouldn't be seen close-up. The process may not have been the smoothest, but result is very good. Congratulations and thank you to WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci, USWNT representative John Langel (both pictured above) and everyone else who is participating in this process.


Flynn said...

Hi Peter,

Couple a questions for you:

1) I would like to hear your thoughts on the results of the player allocation process. (softball question alert) How do you feel about the 3 new Red Stars? Where do they make the team the strongest, and what areas does the team still need help in?

2) If you had to choose between a team composed entirely of either young prospects or a team of veterans who were a few years away from retirement... which would you choose at this point? Who do you think will win the league in its inaugural season--a team with a few more veterans or a team with a few more youthful prospects?

3) How do you feel about the White Sox's chances to hold off the Twins

4) What do you think is the most underrated weakness of Sarah Palin's VP bid? (i.e. a substantive problem that the media hasn't latched onto yet)

4a) Same question for Joe Biden.

4b) Same question for a future Peter Wilt VP run.

peter said...

Am on vacation Flynn. I will respond to your inciteful queries upon my return.

Flynn said...

One more question Peter:

Economists would argue that the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailout, as well as the current $700 billion bailout are examples of "moral hazard". In a moral hazard case, banks and lending institutions are able to make increasingly risky bets based on the knowledge that some higher authority (e.g. the federal government) will step in and bail them out. If the risky bets pay off, then the banks win. If the risky bets fail, the banks still don't lose.

Do you see any similar form of "moral hazard" showing up in the early stages of WPS?

It would seem that the first few years of a league like WPS would be filled with moral hazar opportunities. With much of the world's talent pool still playing outside of WPS, a high draft pick in the early years would have an unusually high value. (As the league expands and more talent is drawn into WPS, the value of future draft picks would increasingly regress toward average value).

Do you think that this unique situation will lead to teams making increasingly risky bets on prospects in the early years of WPS? If their pick pays off, they win. If their pick doesn't work out, they gain a high draft pick in an unusually loaded 2010 draft.

peter said...

Here are some responses Flynn:

1) the USWNT allocation worked out remarkably well for all/most of the teams including the Red Stars. Carli, Lindsay and Kate provide us with strength up the spine. Reminds me a little of the Fire's use of its first international players (Nowak, Kosecki and Kubik). Both teams needed more help in goal and on the outside. Fire got their help domestically from the expansion and amateur drafts and Red Stars are getting theirs from the international draft and more will help will come from the next two drafts.

2) Obviously a blend is the preference, but given your all or nothing choice, i'll go with the vets. i think the first championship will go to the team with a good balance. The Euro championships may or may not effect the playoffs and unfortunately THAT could be more decisive than vet/youth balance.

3) i believe the Sox will blow their 2 1/2 game lead in Minnesota ;-) and then they will come back and win the division on Monday!

4) i think the more exposure she gets (or any candidate gets for that matter) the more flaws are exposed. i think this has already eroded some of her early popularity and will continue to do so.

4a) i think Biden will be perceived negatively during the VP debate for either attacking a woman too harshly or speaking in a patronizing voice.

4b) My opinionated nature with limited edit function.

peter said...

i do think there are some examples of moral hazards in WPS. it's ironic you asked this question, because Emma, Marcia and i were discussing it the day before the international draft. There are rules re: international players that restrict the number of international players a team can acquire the rights to. Some teams may gamble by selecting several players that may not be signable.

IMHO, if they can not sign five internationals from their selections (teams are permitted a few swings and misses), they should have to play the season without their full compliment of internationals as that's the risk they took. They should have to live with the existing rules, but i could foresee a scenario where the League changes/relaxes the restrictions in order to give teams that fail to sign most of their draft picks some help and give them another swing at more international players.

Flynn said...

Peter, in what ways does the Dow Jones dropping 777 points on Monday relate to women's soccer policies on...

awwww, never mind.

Good mailbag though. We should do these Q&As more often.