Sunday, October 30, 2011


That's the date Football Manager 12 is telling me a number of Columbus Crew contracts end. Why FM12? It is difficult to find contract information on Major League Soccer players, anywhere.

Here are the players that will be out of contract come December 31st, 2011:

Robbie Rogers, Chad Marshall, Andres Mendoza, Eddie Gaven, Emilio Renteria, Will Hesmer, Emmanuel Ekpo, Danny O'Rouke, Tom Heinemann, Andy Gruenebaum, Josh Gardner, Kevin Burns.

It almost would have been easier to have given a list of players with contracts past this year (15 with, 13 w/o).

Having that many players with expiring contracts is not unusual for a MLS team (or in the Footballing world in general). MLS likes to keep rosters fluid, especially in expansion years.

November and December of last year was a time of change for the Crew. Lots of players either declined new options, Traded for Allocation dollars or were left unprotected for the two team expansion draft.

All and all; Eight players, most of them starters, were turned over in that time. Schelotto (38), Padula (35), Hejduk (37), Carroll (30), Moffat (25), Brunner (25) were the most polarizing.

Fans and Supporters around town were really hard on the Crew front office for the changes made last year. Notably: Supporter fallout and venom contributed to a record low year in attendance. It wasn't until 2/3's of the way through the year, when the Crew managed 1st in the East, did Supporters ease up and crowds get back to normal.

The more I read, see and hear about MLS and it's contract dealings the more I realize how much of who is on the team is not controlled by individual franchises. There are certain degrees of wiggle room, but not a whole lot.

Knowing that: As is the case with any professional sports team in Ohio (or, this part of the country), that wiggle room is always less.

Looking at some of the larger names on the expiring contract list it must be tempting for the front office to move a couple stars for asset allocation funds.

In just about eight weeks the January transfer window opening up in England and Europe. It'll be interesting to see a couple of the players worth on the open market (Ekpo, Rogers). Columbus has proved (mostly) smart in spending money. A few extra dollars could possibly go a long way.


Larry W Johnson II said...

Added Note; Adam Jardy (Dispatch, this morning) reported Robbie Rogers saying: "I think there's some good young players here, some talented players. Some guys are done with their contracts, so it will be interesting to see what happens with that."

Rogers routinely talks about playing "in Europe" like it is a sure fire thing. He also somehow manages to make playing "in Europe" sound like he his going to Disneyland.

This team needs somebody to rally around. Bleeno called it out early in the season. No field commander. Without one this team will scatter. I don't see Marshall trying to keep these guys together. Hesmer, maybe.

Regardless, for whatever reason, Rogers decided sometime in his past to be a follower.

Unknown said...

Rogers/Europe/Disneyland - man, that's funny.

Maybe I shoulda known but Mendoza is a DP?! Highest paid player? Zap!