Baltimore, MD - As soon as the Vancouver Whitecaps FC selected Omar Salgado as their number one pick for the 2011 MLS SuperDraft, the 2011 Major League Soccer year officially kicked off and entered its 16th year.
With boisterous supporters clubs such as the ones from the New York Red Bulls and D.C. United, and the Philadelphia Union keeping things entertaining with their chants and enthusiasm, expectations are high this season for their fans.
Many of these MLS teams should be commended for providing transportation for their fans so they'll have the opportunity to witness this day. It's fantastic way to not only show appreciation for their fans' loyalty, it also creates an opening on how both parties can promote their team to others.
For some clubs, anything less than the MLS Cup will be considered a bad season. For others, winning 10-12 games will be considered a successful season. And in the case of the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, their inaugural seasons taking place is already a success.
With the Houston Dynamo being the last MLS team to repeat as champions, many will wonder if the Colorado Rapids will repeat or if MLS will have a new champion to declare at the 2011 MLS Cup.
The one thing which makes the MLS SuperDraft unique is the fact that majority of the players drafted are educated enough to have another career outside of soccer.
For as much as critics complain about the quality of a player's Soccer Education, they should take a moment to commend the maturity level of most of these players.
How many players have we read about from other countries who careers were ended due to injury had nothing to fall back on? Or former superstars who have squandered their fortune because they weren't educated enough to manage their finances or educate themselves for another career once their playing days was over?
While most of the world class players have the opportunity to solely focus on soccer, many of the players drafted today were college students.
And while the money they may earn is no where comparable, at least they'll have the opportunity to continue with their personal education and growth.
Cesar Diaz covers Soccer for Latino Sports. You may follow him on Facebook at Covering Soccer and at Twitter at @CoveringSoccer and @LatinoSports143. Please email your questions and comments to Cesar at firstname.lastname@example.org.