Thursday, January 1, 2009

1/1/2009: Palermo Talk? Let's Get Our Collective Heads Out Of The Clouds. Remove It From Your Minds. A Cost Efficient Crew is a Good Crew.


"Oh, please get us out of here." Let's learn something from the Galaxy and not ruin a club for a quenching thirst of big names.

The more I think of it, the more I think of the LA Galaxy when you add players with high price tags that may or may not be worth it anymore.

I think Palermo talk is a pipe dream and probably a bad one at that, instead of fracturing the squad for a 35 year old with bad knees if I was the Crew I would go a different, more cost effective route. I can almost guarentee that the Crew front office are already there, shaking their heads at us fans with the Palermo talk and saying guys we are already one step ahead of you, that isn't the way. Instead the way would be more cost-effective and rational, more shall we say 2008. The way as I would imagine would be to trade our draft picks for the rights to Eric Brunner, then Warzycha and McCullers would try to snatch up Chris Birchall who is apparently coming to MLS, and then the duo would make some deals in the vein of picking up a player like Bryan Namoff who is out of contract. If none of these players are in the Crew's radar or out of the Crew's grasp because they have already been directed elsewhere by Don Garber or their own personal reasons, then the Crew should be looking for other cheap talent.

In Early 2008, everyone said, "Brian Carroll and Gino Padula, meh. I want me some Maciej Zurawski." But, the former acquistions worked out quite well for us and the latter was supplanted by the much cheaper Moreno, Lenhart, and Garey combination. And, if the Crew would of signed Maciej who isn't really taking Greece by storm with only 9 goals for Larissa since(same total as Moreno if your not counting Ale's MLS Cup opener) then we could have waved goodbye to Guillermo right about now as we wouldn't of had room to make him a DP.

That's what sustained the Crew in 2008, it's cost effective frugal-ness. Ex. Buying players like Ekpo for just over $100,000 was pure genius and cost effective for Ekpo's sheer talent. And, well overall, the average Crew player makes the least ammount of money in MLS and the Crew has received the most out of them. That fact is brillantly displayed here by the Nordecke Luchador blog. This cost effective model, crucial with MLS's insane salary cap, should be the Crew model for years to come. And, adding cheaper players in the mold of Birchall, Brunner, and Namoff who are good but will be smitten with being in the MLS for years to come instead of glancing at Europe, is what the Crew have to do.

Yes, we can all salivate over thoughts of Guillermo and Palermo hooking up on this side of the equator but what are we left with when they are gone? We would more than likely have to give up a player like Gaven or Noonan(guys who will likely be in MLS and with the Crew if we treat them right for most of their careers) for a guy who could be with us for one year.

It's all about the depth. Get three players like Brunner, Birchall, and Namoff and then add another cheap striker who ends up working out for us and then we are basically the same squad as in 2008 but deeper.

In terms of building a team and something substantial past 2009, I would rather get 3 or 4 good albeit less flashy players then possibly have to part with one of our good players(Gaven, Noonan, or someone to make room for Palermo who wouldn't come for chump change) to add another good flashy player who can only go for us for a year or two, if that in Palermo.

So, please let's just remove Palermo from our minds. Nothing against him, but we all know how the Galaxy did with two stars and rubbish strewn out around them. Instead, let's build the team around Guillermo for the next year or two. Let's take the dissolving of the reserve team and use that money to buy some cheap but good players like a Brunner, Birchall, or Namoff(see below article). Let's keep ahold of guys like Noonan and Gaven(Gaven should not even be discussed as trade bait despite his salary as Eddie was one of the Crew's best players the second half of the season. Think about it, where would we be without his game winning goal against Chicago? And, Noonan will contribute a heck of a lot especially when guys like Rogers or Ekpo are plying their trade for Fulham). Let's keep ahold of our talent, let's add additional cheap but good talent where we can, and let's not destroy our team for pipe dreams.

The Crew if it wants can take one thing from Sigi. Building a cheaper (with everyone being paid roughly the same except Schelotto), highly talented, and effective team without blowing it's wad on the big names. Championships and results will take us farther then having some big names. Just look at the anti-christ of success called the Galaxy. I'm sure when Anchutz and company looked at 2009 it did not include Beckham and Donovan clamoring to get the hell out of dodge vis a vis A.C. Milan and Bayern Munich respectively.

Sure, place Donovan and Beckham on the Crew and that's a top world beater of a team. But, MLS has shown that you can't have both. There is no exception out there for Palermo and Guillermo, unless the rest of the Crew wants to play on developmental contracts.

A starry eyed Crew fan might say, "well, yeah." But, try to rationalize that to Hejduk when one of his tyke's needs bailed out of jail for stealing a banana from Arace's fruit market in order to sustain himself. If we demand for Palermo, we are signing off on fracturing the team and what precious salary cap we have left.

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