Wednesday, November 28, 2012

7 Options Declined

The Columbus Crew today announced they will be declining options on the following players contracts: William Hesmer, Rich Balchan, Julius James, Sebastian Miranda, Chris Birchall, Tony Tchani; and forward Tommy Heinemann.

Columbus is free to negotiate new contracts with these players but it is not likely that the club will pick any back up. Roster bullet points:

• All totaled the Crew dropped $ 854,825 in Guaranteed Salary ($ 710,950 Base) today.

• $ 1,899,900 worth of contracts remain on the 2013 payroll, $ 1,554,200 (Base Salary) left on the roster, according to MLS Salary Cap rules

• Only 9 players left from just 2 years ago. Of them, 2 were regular starters. Columbus very much in rebuilding mode despite reports out of team HQ stating otherwise.

Here is a list of 17 players that will be returning in 2013: Andy Gruenebaum, Matt Lampson, Eric Gehrig, Chad Marshall, Josh Williams, Bernardo Anor, Dilly Duka, Ethan Finlay, Eddie Gaven, Kevan George, Milovan Mirosevic, Jairo Arrieta, Federico HiguaĆ­n, Aaron Horton, Justin Meram, Aaron Schoenfeld, and Ben Speas.

According to reports, the Crew will be offering new contracts to Carlos Mendes, Emilio Renteria and Danny O'Rourke.


Sadly, a lot of what was cut strikes me as simply cutting injured players. I do not believe the Columbus Crew have the resources to care and feed players with injury (of any kind). Hesmer, Balchan, and Heinemann all had season injuries early on. James suffered a collapsed lung that sidelined him most of the year then battled a reoccurring shoulder injury. All were cut and all are probably casualty of a poorly financed and run fitness and training staff.

Sebastian Miranda and Chris Birchall are pure examples of unnecessary cuts in my book. They have MLS experience and earn a modest starting salary. Replacements will likely be, at best, similar quality. It's 'change for change sake' at it's best.

Tony Tchani seemed to come on a bit this year but ultimately it's probably his Generation Adidas contract that did him in.


Having only been a casual fan over the years, Tommy probably responsible for me getting hooked on following the Crew as closely as I have since late 2010. I'm not even going to pretend to use data to justify keeping him (even though his win % as a starter remains one of the best in last 2 years). I favor him too much. He's a good dude and I wish him the best where ever he goes.

Tommy's time with the Crew inspired enough in me to make a couple videos... 1st is a video during a long road trip out west back in 2011.

Another was in defeat... but myths, legends and heroes are made in such times:

And here's a 3rd one I did.

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