Midweek Mailbag: Retention funds, Grabavoy's wrist, forwards, and more

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barnard @ccb1212 asks: Do you have any idea how the "retention fund" works? Is it outside the salary cap?

Retention funds are a tricky thing, and there's not too much known about them. But from everything I understand, retention funds used to keep players stateside do not hit the salary cap. That much is discussed here: http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/08/02/retention-funds-explained-mls-reveals-list-14-players-graham-zusi-re-signed- but, as ever, it's not 100 percent clear. It's essentially about long-term investment in players, and it shouldn't be surprising that most of these players are Americans. In our ongoing question to keep talented American players in our league, things of this nature are to be expected, I hope.

For all unaware, Chris Schuler and Tony Beltran, who both signed a new contract during the offseason, are players we have used retention funds on. I'm assuming it's something discretionary at the league level.

Jeremy Sabin @jesabin asks: Heard that Ned had a X-Ray on his hand... any updates?

Ned Grabavoy suffered some hand pain during our last match, but he's since trained fully and it doesn't seem there's any serious problem. I wouldn't expect him to miss any game time as a result. Considering how well he's been playing, that's extremely positive news.

Stockton Mair asks: What forwards do you think Jason Kreis will use for the Open Cup Final?

Ooh, a tough one. It's hard to say, because it really depends on our form, but I don't see any reason why we wouldn't go with Plata and Saborio if it took place tomorrow. If Olmes Garcia is back fit, he joins Robbie Findley in the discussion, and while I love Devon Sandoval, he's probably not a starter for us at this point. He is, however, a strong substitute. So, yeah — Plata and Saborio with plenty of time for that to change.

Alene Jensen Hall asks: How do I get this chant out of my head? "So if you believe then stand on your feet and shout loud REAL!" Love RSL!!

You know, I'm not sure you can - not that you'd want to, would you?

Matt Shifley asks: Is the Open Cup final going to be on TV? Or is still not determined yet?

The final will sort of be on TV - it'll be aired live on GolTV, which approximately five people in the United States get at this point. It's a real shame, as this one should be publicly available. Verizon Fios, Cox, and Time Warner are the only providers that offer GolTV. I suppose that's approximately five more people than receive Fox Soccer Channel now.

Chiqui Pelaez asks: Who had offers to leave the team and RSL didn't let them go? Just wondering if you get that news.

While I don't routinely get that information, I would imagine a fair few of our players have been inquired about. We have some real gems, and it would be a shame to lose them. In fact, I'm sure plenty of players across the league have been the subject of inquiries from other clubs, and it will only make us stronger that they stay.

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