MLS’s (Just Plain Daffy) Salaries, The Joys of Central Planning

“The more I stare at the list, the more I think the majority of players can fit in either category. Can’t say I understand how Major League Soccer comes up with salary figures, but only that it doesn’t tally.”

With the number of those who have read and commented being roughly equal, I’m confident everyone now knows that the Major League Soccer (MLS) Players Union (MLSPU) has again released player salaries. I wrote the above – and don’t worry if it doesn’t make perfect sense – to wrap a post about the salaries of Colorado Rapids players that don’t add up for me for the Colorado Offside. Embarking on the same project for the Columbus Crew over here, it struck me that I don’t have anything more grand or important to say on the subject that I didn’t put into that quote. I only wish it had been more clever.

That said, there’s so many mysteries to the logic of how MLS pays their players. For instance, why does rookie defender Andy Iro pull down $53.5K guaranteed while a second-year pros like Ryan Junge and Brad Evans earn only $12.9K and $33K, respectively? And that’s without getting into something more mysterious: Adam Moffat, the star of the Crew’s victorious season opener, and a player with one more start under his belt than Iro earns only $17.7K. To spell out a familiar acronym, what the fuck? The fact that the Rapids salary structure makes even less sense only deepens the mystery.

I get the designated-player business all right and believe the salaries of veteran players hinge on free(-ish) market factors ranging from a front office’s idiocy, a player’s attentiveness to his finances, and his agent’s audacity. But things get really messy when a player just comes into the league. I have read, in the past, about why one rookie earns $12.9K; while another earns $17.7K; while still another earns $33K; and, finally, why someone like Iro makes more still: I don’t recall the particulars (help? anyone?). I tried to refresh my memory, but found more mechanics and less figures in MLSnet.com’s rules and regulations web-page. Just when I think it might be the difference between developmental and senior roster players, the Crew’s roster tells me that both Robbie Rogers ($57.5K) George Josten (sharpened stick up the ass…er, $12.9K) are listed as developmental players. Back to that drawing board…but, wait, here’s another: speaking of Rogers, how does that an up-and-comer earn a guaranteed salary a couple thousand dollars smaller than that of the distinctly less-promising Jason Garey? Continue reading

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La Liga: Ronaldinho Says ‘Goodbye’ To the Season

The story with the big toothed Brazilian known as Ronaldinho gets even weirder today, as he effectively is out, officially, for the rest of the season.

According to AS today, Ronaldinho suffered a muscle tear in yesterday’s training. This is after finally being cleared a few days back after having some ‘mystery’ ailments that kept him off of the pitch for the previous 5 matchups. There are already rumors flying around signaling his departure to Milan next season, or anywhere outside of the Spanish peninsula for that matter.

As good as Ronaldinho is, there isn’t too much that I like about him, personally. He does have great skill and ability, but he is a terrible diver, he is out with these mystery injuries, and he is more of a show than an effective member of the team. Doctors preformed numerous tests on Ronaldinho, they concluded there was nothing wrong with him. However, his constant stream of complaints and whining kept him on the bench, and now sees Barcelona sitting in 3rd place in La Liga.

Most of the Barcelona faithful over at Isaiah’s ‘The Offside-Barcelona’ have thrown in their two cents on this issue. Some have stayed committed to ‘Dinho, and others couldn’t be happier to see him go.

With all of the troubles at Barcelona lately, it would be a good thing to see the Brazilian head to a new club. As I already mentioned, I don’t like him, never have, never will.  Barcelona should focus on their youth side and give guys like Bojan and Dos Santos more games (even though Dos Santos has been quite the letdown at the Camp Nou this season).  Shit, you might even have a better chance with Gudjohnsen

But, don’t forget, if he leaves the Catalan side, that means no visit to the US this year.

A Little MLS Salary Work: Top 15 Raises

TOP 15 Raises

1. Arturo Alvarez (FCD) – 406%, $32,819 to $166,250
2. Seth Stammler (RBNY) – 240%, $30,870 to $105,000
3. Matias Mantilla (RSL) – 218%, $48,000 to $153,000
4. Guillermo Barros Schelloto (CMB) – 183%, $150,000 to $425,000
5. Ryan Cochrane (SJE) – 158%, $51,149 to $132,000
6. Alan Gordon (LAG) – 135%, $30,870 to $72,504
7. Will Hesmer (CMB) – 127%, $30,870 to $70,000
8. Steve Cronin (LAG) – 116%, $34,728.25 to $75,000
9. Javier Morales (RSL) – 100%, $120,000 to $240,000
10. Ned Grabavoy (SJE) – 100%, $45,050.25 to $90,000
11. Collin Samuel (TFC) – 87%, $90,000 to $168,000
12. Christian Gomez (COL) – 78%, $216,000 to $385,000
13. Jon Conway (RBNY) – 77%, $65,000 to $115,000
14. Shalrie Joseph (NER) – 76%, $170,625 to $300,000
15. Brad Guzan (CHV) – 70%, $52,237.50 to $88,974.38

This is neglecting the upgrades from developmental contracts to the league minimum for Colin Clark, Stephen Keel, Joe Vide, Brad Evans etc.

So what do ya think? Alvarez has been a big part of FC Dallas for a good while now and it’s about time it jumped – but over 400%?

Center Holds It: In The News??

As all of you may know (and if you don’t, you will now) in my real life, I’m a Ph.D Linguistics student at the University at Buffalo.

Well, someone from our student newspaper ‘The Spectrum’ got wind of what we are doing over here on CHI and did a story about the website and about me for today’s edition.

The piece was entitled ‘Soccer blogging, haven for hooligans’ (which I found to be a rather amusing title).  I first read it online and was pleasantly surprised about the article, but when I read it in print today upon arriving in my office at school, the picture in the actual paper is gigantic.  Seriously, its huge.

It was a good opportunity to get our name out, and something fun to do myself.  I never even imagined starting a small blog last year would have led to being sent free stuff, a bit of advertising, and an interview on Spanish Radio (and soon with MARCA about the Sevilla Peña that was founded in the United States).

So give it a read.  And I’ll be back with some La Liga stuff this afternoon.

Chicago Up 4 at the Half: Collective, Embarrassed Silence Ensues…

Suddenly, the #4 ranking 3rd Degree put down for New England Revolution looks positively sagacious.  As for the rest of us pundits, well…there’s always next week…when we’ll face the dilemma of what to do with Chicago and New England all over again.  Maybe the 2nd half will clarify things a little.

(NOTE: I’m not watching the game, but took a second to turn it on to see what was happening.  When I saw the 4, it took a triple-check before I accepted it was Chicago in the lead.  I heard Jeff Larentowicz got chucked – and that couldn’t have helped – but 4-0?  At the frankin’ half?  Shee-it.)