Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brek Shea and FC Dallas

FC Dallas stood out to me after spending some time with MLS teams and player performance in relationship to salary. Marvin Chavez, George John, Fabian Castillo and Andrew Jacobson are among the top under valued players in the league in that the are playing well beyond what their salary might dictate.

In all, FC Dallas only has six players performing below their current salary. From what I've found, this is superior team management/planning then all the other teams in the MLS. It could be argued that if it were not for the injury to Designated Player David Ferreira earlier this season the team might be even better at appropriately paying it's players.

One interesting piece of info to take a look at is how much a Point is worth currently in the table. In adjusting player salaries to reflect their teams point in the season I can see that FC Dallas (47% of season complete) is getting the most points out of monies paid out to players. Each point taken from either a win or draw is only costing the team ~$46,000.Under paying players isn't necessarily a virtue. In fact it can get a team in trouble next season. Will Dallas be able to hang on to players out performing their salaries? Or will they have to shed a few in hopes that they can bring in new talent at lower levels of pay. Time will tell.

In a league without relegation and limited funds paying players appropriately is a high wire balancing act that has a net if you fall. In the English Premier League, where relegation does happen, there is no net. In fact if you fail there, you and all your spent money, fall into a vat of acid.

One of the reasons I mention Brek Shea in the post title is that he is one of the players in the MLS being paid appropriately for is outstanding play this year ($133k salary, $205k value). The tall Texan is 21 years old and has six goals on the season to date. He is playing lots of minutes on a winning team. To put his goal scoring in perspective. His six goals are more then any Crew player had last year except for the one and only Guillermo Barros Schelotto (9 goals) had all last season. Ironically, for Dallas last year, their leading scorer was Jeff Cunningham. Yeah, that Jeff. He had 11 for them.

Let's keep an eye on Mr. Shea this season. He is having an MVP year. It'll be interesting to see what other teams (foreign and domestic) come calling later this year. Where he ends up could be a bellwether moment for the rapidly growing MLS. A league that is now able to compellingly stand on the same level as, say... Turkish leagues and lower division European ones.

Is it possible that we might see a USMNT in the near future that isn't loaded up with players riding foreign pine? Recent results by the MNT may suggest that picking players based on the simple fact that a club outside the US saw something in them almost seems antiquated at this point. Almost. When you throw in the fact that some US players are getting picked out to play elsewhere based 1st on the fact that it brings attention (rich) US viewers (revenue) and not player talent? American's gobbling up foreign teams are doing so for a reason folks. Ohhh, it's getting interesting.

Young Mr. Shea's future may answer that question and prove some of those statements.

For now, pull up the FC Dallas game tonight on your computer while the USMNT game is on the TV. You might see the future US mid-fielder putting one in the net at Pizza Hut park and wish it were him putting a much needed one in at the Rose Bowl against Mexico.

No comments: