Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Rate of Exchange
November 24th, 2006 11:16AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

How will MLS fare in the offseason rate of exchange, i.e., the players it sells or loses overseas to those it imports?

Right away, the league has fallen slightly behind on the American side of the ledger, with EPL clubs Reading and Fulham in the hunt for Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey, respectively, and Brian McBride and, maybe, Claudio Reyna and Eddie Lewis headed in the other direction.

The deals could mean a major plus in money, as Reyna will be out of contract next summer and Lewis, while a solid player, won't command a substantial transfer fee. McBride signed a one-year deal last year with Fulham and will be free and clear in a few months.

The New York Red Bulls, which a source says will soon acquire an additional Designated Player slot from Chivas USA in exchange for Amado Guevara, could field as many as three high-profile players next season. The league would acquire Reyna and pay him a high salary, as it has done for Landon Donovan, Eddie Johnson, and a few other players, leaving RBNY to sign two stars at whatever cost it can negotiate.

A Designated Player slot costs the team $400,000 against the cap and the club is also responsible for acquisition costs, which is just as important a change as the salary hikes. A second DP costs $350,000. All deals must be approved by the league Board of Governors, but those teams that have been pushing for ways to spend money stupidly have been granted their wish.

Much ballyhooed, and never really nailed down as to its legitimacy, was a $5 million offer from Benfica for Johnson nearly two years ago. Kept under wraps yet confirmed by two sources was a 2.2 million pound ($4 million) bid by Everton - a team scout watched him play against Mexico during the CONCACAF qualifying campaign - that was approved and signed off by the league, yet eventually collapsed for reasons unknown.

Dempsey could command a higher price than Johnson, even though Dempsey's contract expires next season and Johnson's option years extend beyond 2007.

If a rejected offer of $2 million from West Ham was indeed the high-water mark following the World Cup, Fulham could probably nick Dempsey by paying a little more and sending McBride home a few months early. Even if it has to buy out a few remaining months on McBride's contract and pay him a good salary, the league would come out ahead and bring one of its most popular players back into the fold.

A change of scenery can only help Johnson, who has missed lots of national team games the past 18 months because of injuries and scored just two goals in MLS last season. Games missed through injury are exempt from the computation of whether a player meets the 75 percent benchmark of competitive matches in the past two years, but by not playing in several games for which he was available - and not starting any of the three World Cup matches - his case for a work permit is weakened in case he doesn't meet the 75 percent threshold.

WOLFF WAITS. A solid trial with 1860 Munich of the German Second Division and his MLS contract about to expire has put Josh Wolff in an interesting position.

He has met with the new owners of Kansas City and discussed the future, which could include a new head coach to replace interim coach Brian Bliss. He nearly went to Derby last summer, but fell just short of the 75-percent benchmark and his work-permit appeal was denied. He made $420,357 last season and it's unlikely the Munich club could afford that salary unless it gets promoted, yet he has seen a change in MLS that might spur him to try something else.

"We have a lot more younger players, and with that comes guys out of nowhere," he said. "In some ways that's a good thing, but I think there's less quality games than there were five and six years ago. There's been a changing of the guard in a lot of areas.

"The parity in our league is something else these days. Teams in the past always seemed to have a few more quality players."


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
MLS expansion teams address their needs directly    
The first SuperDraft of the expansion teams United is in the books. Minnesota went for a ...
Family team effort helps Abu Danladi rise to MLS No. 1 pick    
Abu Danladi's mother was unable to come from Ghana to join him in Los Angeles and ...
MLS 2017: How Eastern Conference teams look on the eve of preseason    
The New York teams finished one-two in the regular season, but the conference's 2015 MLS Cup ...
MLS 2017: How Western Conference teams look on the eve of the SuperDraft    
No more Robbie Keane or Bruce Arena in L.A., a coaching change in Houston, and a ...
USA's January Camp: It's all about the here and now    
When Bruce Arena accepted the job as U.S. national team coach for a second time in ...
MLS Positional Awards: Bingham takes top goalkeeping spot    
It was a strange year for goalkeepers in MLS. Colorado conceded the fewest goals with two ...
MLS Positional Rankings: TFC duo heads the pack at outside back    
MLS teams don't spend much on outside backs. They've been only marginally affected by increases in ...
MLS Positional Rankings: Birnbaum and Van Damme command the centerback slots     
The three-man back line is gaining favor in MLS as well as around the world, but ...
MLS Positional Rankings: Lodeiro and Piatti dominate the flanks    
Not many MLS teams field a truly dominant winger or wide midfielder; two that did, Seattle ...
MLS Positional Rankings: Kljestan, Felipe, Alonso top the midfield slots    
For players who toil in the middle of the park, roles and classifications often overlap as ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives