Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ola Kamara, Coastal City

"...multiple sources have now said Kamara prefers to be in a larger, coastal MLS city."

Both Ola Kamara and Justin Meram have asked out of Columbus. The story broke January 5th. Since then sources have chirped more about Kamara (with almost nothing on Meram).

The Colorado Rapids and the LA Galaxy have expressed interest in Kamara. News today seems to put LA on top to win the striker.

What struck me about Kamara was the news that he wanted to play in a coastal city. In my time following MLS I've found that you rarely, if ever, hear about a player preference in the press. And certainly not a preference to live on the coast.

It's rare, but I've heard about player preference in other major pro sports in the US, however. I know in the NHL it is common practice for players to include cities that they would not to be traded to, but outside that, you don't hear much. With trades and free-agency, players are limited and can't get choosy. In fact, it's more likely that you'll hear players get frustrated about winding up in a place they don't want to be. Either from a draft or being traded in the 11th hour.

It somehow got out that Kamara has a preference. Maybe he can pick his spot because he is top two in league scoring the past couple years. Regardless.

It prompted me to take a look at how many professional champions come from coastal cities in NBA, NFL, MLB and MLS over the last 20 years.

Turns out that almost 65% of all titles are won by a team near the coast. Throw in tax-free Texas and it is 3/4th of all league champions.That's... something!

Coast - 50
everywhere else - 30

Here is the breakdown by state:

18 - California
9 - Texas
9 - Massachusetts
6 - New York
6 - Missouri
5 - Florida
4 - Illinois
4 - Colorado
3 - Pennsylvania
2 - Ohio
2 - Washington
2 - Maryland
2 - DC
1 - Wisconsin
1 - Utah
1 - Indiana
1 - Arizona
1 - Louisiana
1 - Oregon
1 - Michigan
1 - Canada

It's hard to argue that Kamara wants to be in a winning MLS city. He's winning in Columbus. I think he just wants to be in a bigger city and near the beach.

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