MLS: Who Does Andre Lewis Really Belong To?
Andrew Lewis was selected seventh overall in the MLS SuperDraft by Vancouver Whitecaps FC. This is simple enough; it means he now belongs to the Whitecaps, right? Wrong.
The day after the SuperDraft, it was reported that Lewis had signed a contract with the New York Cosmos. What? How did he sign a contract with a club the day after being selected in the SuperDraft by a different club? This whole thing makes my brain hurt a little.
MLS and the Whitecaps both stated that this was all a misunderstanding, and that Lewis would be part of the Whitecaps. Then, it turns out he was actually part of the Cosmos, and he would be loaned to the Whitecaps pending a loan fee. So, the Whitecaps didn’t actually select a player in the SuperDraft, but a loan offer? This is ridiculous and frankly embarrassing to the SuperDraft system and the MLS. It should not have gone this far.
Apparently, Lewis actually belonged to the Cosmos and had been playing with them for a while. What I don’t understand is why he would play in the Player Combine and be listed for selection if he actually wasn’t eligible and was already tied to the Cosmos. Whose fault was that? Can we have them fired? If the Whitecaps had known they had to deal with this mess, I don’t think they would find Lewis to be worth it; they threw away a top 10 selection for a loan. Some SuperDraft players end up playing for their clubs well into their veteran years, so how long of a loan will the Whitecaps actually get? This is not fair.
Lewis may be getting the most benefit from the situation. The 19-year-old Jamaican midfielder will have plenty of experience to gain from both clubs. He’s already been playing with the Cosmos, and now he’ll be on loan with the Whitecaps. Playing at the MLS level will definitely improve his skills, and if he must return to the Cosmos, he’ll be able to bring that experience back to the pitch for it.
It’s still pretty ridiculous, but at least it may not be a total loss.