Thursday, December 6, 2012

"It’s a good… it’s a good. It’s a good thing"

Jason Kreis, Head Coach of Real Salt Lake, said the following after the club let go of a handful of players:
"It is with a tremendously sad heart that we at RSL say good bye to 3 absolute legends: Jamison, Fabian, and Will. Terrific soccer players but more importantly, terrific men. You will all be sorely missed, but you will remain family of RSL forever. Nothing but the best to the 3 of you! Upwards and Onwards Gentlemen."
In search of answers in regards the the roster changes my own club made I headed towards the club's website and the official explanation. Not satisfied with quick quotes from the coach and technical director I moved on towards "The Morning Buzz". It's a Columbus Crew podcast where "Frankie Hejduk, Duncan Oughton and's Cody Sharrett talk Columbus Crew, MLS and more," once a week throughout the year. During a recent recording they took on the changes to the Crew's roster makeup.

It takes them nearly 30 minutes to get to the actual roster changes and I doubt many listened long enough to hear it. So, here it is. I hath transcribbled it. If you would like to follow along (recommended) go here and pull the scroll bar to the 28th minute. It's where they start to transition into the recent Crew moves.

(emphasis mine)

[Duncan Oughton] We unfortunately, like every year, had to release players. Had to make room. Salary cap, for many a reason. We’re trying to improve the defensive unit as a whole. Bolster the central midfield and continue to build depth to this team. You know we might be signing a homegrown or two coming up here soon. The defensive units, there’s a couple of names out there, couple of contracts in the works. Ya know, it’s never easy to let go of a guy. It’s never easy, but there’s always reasons for it. There’s certain guys at the moment haven’t been picked up but contracts are getting negotiated. You’re trying to get them back in, fit them in the salary cap.

Frankie you and I have been in that situation and it sucks, it’s just a bad. Ya know, it’s just a great time of year. It’s the holidays coming up. Everybody’s, like happy, family and gifts. For a soccer players, MLS players, it’s always that nerve racking time of year. December 1st to you get picked up do you not. Is your salary too high. Is it time to renegotiate. There’s so many variables...

[Frankie jumps in] So many variables. It really is kinda a buzz kill for everyone involved an-and unless ya know ya know what a great season I had but even then you never really know.

[Duncan again] even then some guys don’t get picked up.

[Frankie again] …wanna bonus. Like ‘dude, I had the best season of my life I want a bonus and their like; dude wha? No.’ there’s some much stuff that goes in to it that a lot of people don’t understand. You try to do the best you can with it and there’s upside and downside there’s probably some trades that you shouldn't have made but you did there’s probably some didn’t… that you might. There’s a bunch that goes into it.

The bottom line is that everyone here at the organization is trying to do the best and get the best, eh, team they can assemble for the next season. And that’s it, it’s all in the best interest of the team and we’re trying to do things right.

Now we wish we could keep players that we couldn't, salary cap issues always come into effect in MLS uh, hence; Real Salt Lake. Hence a bunch of team droppin’ some big name players and I’m not just making excuses but that’s just the way it is man. It is like you said Duncan, it is a buzz kill and it is a stressful time of the year for the players and for fans uh tat a ya know ta just get to know a player that they thought was going to be here for a while that now is leaving or a player that they didn't want to leave that is now out of contract, to someone who ‘I’m done here, I wanna leave, thank you for time but I wanna leave’. So it is a tough time of year for everyone, ya know. We try to keep, ya know, the core together. We still got some…

[Duncan jumps back in] Oh, it’s a great core of players. When you look at the latest two additions; Arrieta, Higuain. I mean, your attack starts from there. You've already got Eddie Gaven who - year in year out, whether he plays good, bad- injured. When he plays Eddie Gaven will give you everything he has to much effect and this was his highest goal tally this season and I think we can expect much of the same playing with those two guys for Eddie Gaven. Right… you’ve got your Chad Marshall back there at center back. I mean Ben Speas is coming on. The core of guys. Andy Gruenebaum has pro-proven this last season that he’s one of the top in MLS.

So… you just… you can just tell. Like… this team is really… looking exciting.

I’m looking at 2007, like we talked about before, leading into 2008. This is, like, us [indecipherable] back then. I think the locker room’s great and ya know, it’s a good… it’s a good, it’s a good thing. We’re in a good place. We can go through the names released and people have their favorites people have their least favorites. People wonder why, people don’t wonder why. At the end of the day, the moves haven’t been made … just… short notice for no reason. The moves have been made for specific reasons. And just so everyone knows, there are contract negotiations out there for Sebastian Miranda. Chris Birchall, if he’s not picked up in the expansion draft he’ll be getting a offer, ya know. O’Rourke, Mendes, Renteria...

[Frankie jumps in] We have to. There’s a bunch of people in contracts guys... ... heh heh

[Duncan to close] Like, don’t freak out just yet. Some of these names you think are gone … will hopefully be back. The “buzz” is hoping and the club is hoping.

It's interesting to me how the Crew goes about things. Nothing ever seems to directly addressed or confidently explained. I often find myself wondering if the club themselves even know what is going on.

But, like... the salary cap and all, ya know?

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