Thursday, February 25, 2010

2/25/2010: The End Is Near, And Most Crew Fans With Actual Financial Problems Cannot Understand Why?

The end is near I'm afraid. Big, bad MLS will not accept free agency because that leads to what happens in every other league, ridicoulous salaries that players do not deserve. Further, in actuality, all the big leagues, such as the NBA and NFL, are trying to push new clauses into their next CBA's to decrease these ridicoulous salaries. In response to that, players making millions upon millions are looking to strike in those leagues. While MLS players are looking to strike, for the opposite, because they do not have the same free agency freedoms or make lots of money (if $100,000 isn't considered a lot) like other athletes in other leagues. Of course, they want more player movement freedom, because no one has to be a rocket science to realize that with more freedom, also comes more money that teams have to plunk down to make a player forgo that freedom and stay where they are at.

So, at the moment, some of the players appear too dense (or are willing to bluff) MLS despite the fact that they have to realize as well that MLS needs to remain a low salaried, single entity at the time being. And, that their overall demands if complied with will likely, eventually wreck that. And, sure everyone including MLS agrees that the players at the lower end need and deserve a higher salary cap and that appears to be agreeable between both sides (as it was reported a couple of weeks back that the salary cap will increase from $2.3 million to $2.6 million, which gives $300,000 to give better contracts to the lower salaried players). But, as far as the other demands, there is a well documented history of why that just cannot happen now (See Fraser v. MLS or read in depth about the NASL). The interest in soccer and MLS in America, although improving, is simply not there yet to give more player movement freedoms for players. And, I wish the players could realize that instead of toying with the emotions of those who do not have a vote such as the fans and the regular employee's of MLS.

Also, it appears that the players are too dense to realize that 75% percent of them have no soccer future outside of MLS. And will likely get paid less in the real world; as otherwise they would be working in the real world, and wouldn't be soccer players.

Further, there starting salaries doing really boring jobs compared to soccer, for most, won't be much better than those we all get (and that they usually get) at a starting salary which is around $30,000. Also, there isn't as much increase financially if you do well in the real world, whereas if you do well in MLS, you'll make six figures a year or two after your rookie season. How ridicoulously unfair.

And most do not have much of a future looking for soccer jobs elsewhere, as mentioned by Colorado Rapid fan Deron:
Fans of each team can do this little exercise....

If the Rapids players needed to job hunt...

Pickens - Maybe Scandinavia or USL, neither have a huge demand for a middling keeper
Ceus - out of soccer
Kimura - a gig in Japan
Baudet - retirement
Moor - about 50/50 he has a future without MLS
Palguta - out of soccer
Earls - back to Ireland
Murillo - back to Colombia
Holody - out of soccer
Borak - out of soccer
Dalby - out of soccer
Mastroeni - retirement
Larentowicz - about 50/50 on a foreign gig
Clark - bad time to recover from injury - out of soccer
Thompson - out of soccer
Smith - back to SPL
LaBrocca - out of soccer
Ballouchy - out of soccer
O'Brien - out of soccer
LaBeaux - out of soccer
Casey - Germany to bounce around 2nd division
Diz - back to 2nd div Argentina
Noonan - out of soccer
Schunk - out of soccer
Cummings - back to Jamaica
Akpan - Wall Street.

A lot of players could get the freedom they so desperately crave.

Further, the players overall appear too dense to realize that the reason why Hartman and Dave Van Den Bergh do not currently have teams and are in their current stituations is because they are not worth their current salaries to their previous teams and are not worth their current expected salaries, along with a small compensation (usually a second round draft pick) for another team.. Hartman should have been smart enough to work out his sticking points (such as whether he had one of the few tickets for first class instead of coach, and whether his dental insurance is covered :-) ) and Van Den Bergh should have made himself indispensable to FC Dallas, as he was in New York. Further, Van Den Bergh can play in just about any second division in Europe, so not so sure what is keeping him. But, apparently because no one wants to give up a draft pick to pick them up, or would likely pick them up anyways (as both are getting up there in age for their salaries and are not worth their current salaries), MLS is unfair for their stituations, although similiar stituations happen in any other league.

Further, who the hell has guarenteed contracts in the real world? Play well, make yourself indespinsable to a team, and you won't find yourself in their stituations. Same with the real world. Work hard and you won't be fired.

And, Hesmer is starting to get annoying with the whole, "hopefully someone is respectful enough to pay for our flights back from Arizona.." routine. Yeah I'll feel really bad if someone due to make over $100 K has to pay for their own flight. Most of the Crew fans that flew all the way to LA paid for their own flights and make less than $20 K. So boo hooey.

Overall most of the players make more than a lot of people do, playing a fricken game. And those that don't make that much, should get an increase, but at the end of the day they can make a choice to leave and join the real workforce. I can't even feel real bad for those players on the lower end as I survived on $13,000 in loans in Columbus for a full year. In contrast, I would have loved to to be a player at the lowest salary making $18,500 dollars of my own money to live off of (just for showing up to practice eight months out of the year, for a hour a day). I bet most of the poor and unemployed people that cheer on the team in the Nordecke would take that gig in a second. Further, you play a game in a country where that sport isn't popular, so at the time you cannot get the same rights as the players in the rest of the world. So just play the damn game, go to another of the 100's of leagues out there, or get a real job. Those are the options today. Deal with it or be quiet already.

You won't get much sadness from the fans that are actually poor and don't have an option to do really well at a job and possibly get a six figure salary in a few years. And, as far as the owners and Garber, sure they can be cheap wads and they should increase the salary to $3 million and get the season started. I think that is fair enough. And, for the Hartman's, play your ass off and you'll never find yourself where your at. Other than that, god play the game already. I'm so sick of Hesmer on his pedistal about the league being so unfair, when the guy is due to make $100,000 K playing soccer in America. Trust me a lot of other lives are way more unfair.

I do not feel bad for the owners or the players. I only feel bad for the loyal MLS fans and all the employees that will be laid off and screwed this season if there is actually a strike. Further, if there is one, it will be the end of MLS. So, I'm glad everyone is being so rational when it comes to the CBA. So, I'll end this with a question, does anyone on both sides see the rammifications past the next few weeks?

By the way, the Toluca game is so so important to us Crew fans. If we have to forfeit that I just might have to look for something else to cheer on, because that is just gut busting.. I have watched this team go through it's 2005 to 2007 suckitude. Now we get to this place and we have to forfeit? Really? Fuck that!

In the end the players deserve more and will get it if MLS continues to improve. At this point though, I think that some of them (such as Onstad, Hesmer, etc.) need to swallow their pride and do what is best. Because at the end of the day they'll never get what they're asking for if there is a strike. Because there are not enough fans that will come back after a strike.

What are your thoughts Crew fans?


  1. No one will win with a strike. The league will fold. Although I understand the players grievances, they need to fall into line right now. Otherwise, they won't be playing at all. You are correct on two points. I'd trade in my job (which pays as much as Hesmer) to play. Hell, I'd even take a pay cut. Also, the fans are gonna pay. I have a sick feeling in my stomach when I think that there will be no more MLS.

  2. Also, the Players Union needs to realize that all their goals will not be achieved in one contract. They need to get some of it now, work on other stuff later. They can't get everything in one contract. It's a building process. Furthermore, the timing is off. This year, with the world cup, it's a good time to play soccer. I feel that World Cup excitement will overflow into MLS success. Plus, most MLS markets have had an increase in season ticket holders. So the league may be on an upswing. This will take the wind out of the sails.

  3. I agree with most of your points Ryan. I wish some members of different supporters groups around MLS could slap some sense into both sides.

    What is most depressing to me is that they have had months of offseason and extended the deadline twice. But, with all of that both sides have failed to get anything accomplished. Zero, nothing.

    That's some ineptitude at its finest.

    Also, I agree with Ben. The players should go for something small now and the MLS should grant it to them. Then the next couple go arounds, MLS will likely be even more stable and might be in a better position then they are now to offer the players the other things.

    At some point you have to take what you can get and fight it down the road. Because really I don't think most of these plays, as that Deron guy points out, can afford it.

  4. Ryan, you make some valid points, however, your argument that players should be happy making $18,000 because many of the supporters do, is ridiculous. If the MLS is a professional league than it needs to pay a decent wage (sufficient so players don't need to hold a second or third job).

    You are certainly correct that most MLS players wouldn't get paid for playing a sport we all love if it wasn't for the MLS. Developmental players should not be part of the 1st team but maybe join academy players or reserve teams. Perhaps they can get (paid) internships with their MLS team (coaching youth teams, recruiting season ticket holders, liaison with supporter groups, accounting, marketing, etc.) or sponsors to prepare them for a life other than as a professional soccer player.

    Either way, it is time to find a solution. They should have started negotiating five years ago and reached a resolution before the expiration of the CBA.

  5. Oh, I think everyone can agree that they should make a little more money being a part of a professional team, and likely the $300,000 that the two sides agreed on adding to the cap a few weeks back would do that.

    All I was saying is I still cannot feel sorry for someone making $18,500 for doing absolutely nothing. All they had to do is show up to practice for a couple hours a day, and they get four months of offseason, and most of the ones making $18,500 on the team didn't see the field, or only saw it as a substitute once or twice. So, did they really even earn their $18,500?

    The Crew would be better off giving $18,500 to Thoma and etc. to make banners. As he has had more of a contribution to the organization than any of our developmental players.