Thursday, November 28, 2013

Crew Roster + Budget Snapshot

The Columbus Crew have had a busy roster move week so it's worthwhile to take a quick look at where things stand with the team.


IN: Waylon Francis
IN: Matt Wiet
IN: Brad Stuver

RE-SIGNED: Josh Williams

OUT: Glauber
OUT: Matias Sanchez
OUT: Jairo Arrieta*
OUT: Eddie Gaven
OUT: Danny O'Rourke*
OUT: Dominic Oduro*
OUT: Andy Gruenebaum*
OUT: Aaron Horton
OUT: Konrad Warzycha
OUT: Kyle Hyland
OUT: Drew Beckie

*Players believed to be in contract restructuring negotiations. Players agreeing to reduced deals with existing team is a moderately rare event in MLS.


Budget Hit : Name, Pos 2013 Base Salary
YES: Federico Higuaín, M 440k
YES: Chad Marshall, D 330k
YES: Tony Tchani, M 130k
YES: Agustin Viana, D 105k
YES: Wil Trapp, M 100k
YES: Waylon Francis, D 100k*
YES: Josh Williams, D 88k*
YES: Tyson Wahl, D 76k
YES: Ben Speas, M 62k
YES: Justin Meram, M 56k
YES: Ryan Finley, F 47k
YES: Ethan Finlay, M 47k
NO: Matt Wiet, D 46k*
NO: Aaron Schoenfeld, F 47k
NO: Bernardo Anor, M 47k
NO: Chad Barson, D 47k
NO: Eric Gehrig, D 47k
NO: Kevan George, M 47k
NO: Matt Lampson, GK 47k
NO: Brad Stuver, GK 47k*
NO: Daniel Withrow, GK 47k
NO: Shawn Sloan, M 47k

*Estimating new or re-signed player salaries.

Budget hit is what counts towards the league mandated "salary cap".

Only players 1-20 on each roster count towards the cap (1st team players). Teams fill those slots with players making about $80k and up with projected starters making >$100k.

Isolating the player that count to the MLS Budget along with projected 2014 wages (YOY wages, on average, increase between 10-15%):

$369k Federico Higuaín (DP)
$363k Chad Marshall
$143k Tony Tchani
$115k Agustin Viana
$110k Wil Trapp
$110k Waylon Francis
$88k Josh Williams
$83k Tyson Wahl
$68k Ben Speas
$61k Justin Meram
$52k Ethan Finlay
$51k Ryan Finley
$1.62 million

The players above are who Gregg Berhalter and company are planning to have locked in the 18 each game day. Since there are only 12 players here that leaves about 8 more open spots for "MLS level" players (>$80k).

This fits perfectly with the roster already at 22 players.


So who and what type of player will be filling the final 8 to budget spots?

SLOTS 1,2 maybe 3: Forwards. Crew only have Schoenfeld and Finley right now (Meram should be there, but will not). They will likely be spending big here. Oduro, Arrieta are still out there, yes. Wouldn't be surprised to see new faces though.

SLOT 4: Easy one: the 4th overall draft pick in the upcoming SuperDraft (he will likely be in the 60-90k pay range).

SLOT 5,6: Midfielders. The Crew are already crawling with mids but lack solid starters. Wil Trapp and Higuain are the only two that are locks. Anor? Maybe. Personally would like to see Speas get full games. I believe Berhalter will be looking for another CDM to push Trapp (or start over him) as well. Either way, MF weakest area in '13, needs improved. They will be shopping here.

SLOT 7,8: Defenders. With Marshall the only player to be locked into the starting back line the team will be on the hunt for defenders. Heath Pearce or Brad Rusin were just released and could be options. I would expect him to be a target to play next to Marshall. On the wings I think it will be Williams on the right and Francis (or Viana) on the left.


I have a few MLS budget sheets that I mess around with, even one's for other teams. This might be blasphemy in the world of sports blogging (particularly MLS where very few step out of their own team's bubble). Never the less, I do it. Reason being: a general understanding of a team's cap position is the single most important thing in MLS. Team budgets are ever present and is behind everything.

It's not perfect but I think it gets me close enough.

Questions, comments? Feel free to email me at ljbaby654(at)

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