Major League Soccer's salary cap might be all about keeping close tabs on the books, but soccer columnist Frank Dell'Apa reminds us that the cap has nothing to do with coaches salaries. In the last few months, New York and L.A. have underscored that point by spending big money on coaches -- although in NY's case big money was spent to get rid of its coach.
Bruce Arena was to cost the Red Bulls $600,000 per year for three years, but management was so keen to get rid of him they decided buy out the remainder of his contract after little more than 15 months in charge. Anschutz Entertainment Group, of course, spent even more money to bring Dutch tactician Ruud Gullit to the L.A. Galaxy. He's currently on a three-year, $4 million contract.
These may be teams with deep-pocketed owners, but Dell'Apa says their willingness to pay a premium for coaching could be the start of a trend -- a trend that's almost encouraged given the salary cap, which was just raised to $2.25 million for next season. In the case of successful coaches like Houston's Dominic Kinnear, who earns about $250,000 per year, and New England's Steve Nicol, who earns about $175,000 per year, they've earned the right to demand more money. Less successful clubs, on the other hand, have earned the right to give higher profile coaches a call. Of course, as expectations for coaches rise, so too should their pay.