Monday, December 03, 2007

Blog Has Officially Moved


New address:


Friday, November 30, 2007

Is It Racists To Call Kraft Cheap?

This post is also at Please update your links.

Probably not. However, the cabal of tight-pursed MLS team owners, led by Robert Kraft, blocked a potentially decent salary cap raise. According to David J. Warner at AOL Sports, the league was poised to raise the cap much more than the $200,000 bump it got. The new cap will be $2.3 million, excluding LA Galaxy of course. Well, they'll follow it until they get permission to break it.

Kraft was particularly called out in the article, citing his NFL team's salary :

"Let's start with Robert Kraft, a billionaire who owns both the New England Patriots and New England Revolution and pays Tom Brady two and a half times what he pays the entire Revolution roster. "

That's actually not a very valid point when considering the way Kraft used to pay his Patriots players before this season. He was quite stingy compared to teams like the Redskins or the Cowboys and will continue that philosophy in the future. So, compared to other NFL owners, he is rather cheap.

The problem is, even non-squad NFL players earn a great wage. There is a distortion when you compare the top tier American players and their designated player counterparts. Going even further down the pecking order, MLS journeymen make around $100,000 a season when they could be making three times as much in places like Norway or the second tier league in England.

The article addresses a potential labor dispute looming in 2009, when the current agreement expires:

"Major League Soccer is setting itself up for a massive labor dispute -- one in which its players might decide to head for Europe en masse, without the approval of their bosses, much like locked out NHL players did in 2004. If that happens, it could force FIFA to get involved. Do these billionaire cheapskates really want let Sepp Blatter, already one of the least popular FIFA bosses in recent memory, to have a legal and binding impact on their fledgling business"

I have to disagree with that assessment. The pay scale for reserve and development players is absurdy low. However, so is the pay for most minor league players in baseball. The league could easily reclassify such players to avoid any legal recourse from the union. Also, the collective "mainstream" American sports community would laugh it's butt off during a MLS player strike. Then again, so would I.

MLS owners should have raised the cap to at least $2.5 million to get pay more competitive with foreign leagues. With the added exposure MLS got with Beckham's arrival, comes more interest in players from richer leagues. To keep our players, they need to be paid more. Period.


Switching To Wordpress

Just to let everyone know, this blog is in the process of switching over to a new domain. I've spent a lot of time tweaking the template and I'm in the process of putting as much from this blog onto that one. We'll still be posting here for awhile, though. If you get a chance, tell me what you think of the new site:


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nicol Makes $175,000 A Year

Thanks to Frank Dell'Apa, we finally know what MLS coaches make. Revolution coach Stevie Nicol makes $175,000 a year. A few years ago, that made him the highest paid person on the team. Now, it puts him behind Twellman ($350k-ish) and Joseph (Tellman-like pay).

The worrisome aspect of this to Nicol backers, like myself, is how other MLS coaches are outpacing him. I wake up in cold sweats to the idea of him going over to Red Bull. If they were willing to pay Arena $600,000 (and buy him out for $1.2 mil to fire him), then they would be willing to give Nicol at least a 300% pay raise.

I hope Bob Kraft takes notice of these new numbers and doesn't have a memory too short to remember what the Revolution were like pre-Nicol.


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Dorman's Going Home, Riley Leaves In Expansion Draft

Looks as thought Andy Dorman will be headed back to England to ply his trade where he grew up. The 2006 Midnight Riders man of the year faded during this past season, eventually losing his starting spot to Wells Thompson. I wish him well, and hope to see him work his way to the Premiership. With the lousy pay he's been receiving in MLS, karma dictates he'll get his payday. He leaves behind a younger brother, Richy, who's a standout for the Boston University soccer team, Andy's alma mater.

James Riley was San Jose's selection in the expansion draft last Wednesday. Riley has been an on again, off again starter all over the field during his three year stint with the Revs. Although mostly a left defender, Riley offered coverage and depth at central and right defense, as well as some time at left midfield and holding mid. He's a very intelligent player and person, and I hope he becomes a full time starter for San Jose.

With Avery John's future uncertain, this leaves some holes to fill for New England. Hopefully, Amaechi Igwe becomes the stud he's supposed to be and takes over left defense. Granted, he may be better suited in a 4-4-2 as he played forward in his one year in college with much success. He could always beat out Khano Smith for left midfield, but coach Steve Nicol is insistent on keeping that area of the field their glaring weakness.

Speaking of which, the coaches are scouting in Argentina before watching the college tournaments and playoffs. To his credit, Nicol has had an eye for picking players out of college. However, he's yet to bring in a skillful player which could provide the service to take the Revs over the top. You can't find one of those in college.