FanDuel - WFBC

January 11, 2007

Davids to bank it like Beckham?: Edgar Davids, 33-year-old Spurs midfielder (formerly of Inter Milan and Holland) with the cool sports glasses, is reportedly in talks with FC Dallas. I wonder which other aging stars will be next to join Becks on the MLS Old-Timers Gravy Express? (C'mon, Zizou!)

posted by worldcup2002 to soccer at 11:03 PM - 30 comments

Excellent post title, worldcup2002. Definitely got a chuckle out of me. I wonder if this is going to be a trend over the next few weeks as teams use that one player exception to try and get more attention for their respective markets. To this I say: bring back Carlos Valderrama! At 45 years of youth, I'm sure he's still got plenty in the tank (and according to Wikipedia, has been pursued since retirement three years ago).

posted by PublicUrinal at 01:11 AM on January 12

I wouldn't say Beckham is past his prime by any stretch yet. When he was in the squad at Real, he performed decent enough. Not a star (skillwise at least) but should bring alot to the Galaxy. Davids, I would say is a little past his, but still should do well in MLS.

posted by Ricardo at 03:44 AM on January 12

Considering the far weaker defenses he will encounter in America, Beckham should perform very well.

posted by zippinglou at 05:09 AM on January 12

No one seems to remember when Pele came over to the US in 1975, which led to a vicious cycle of signing aging superstars and eventually resulted in the demise of the NASL in 1984. Of course Beckham is past his prime and in a couple years, people will be blowing by him left and right, but that is not the issue here. The MLS is a young league and should first concentrate on developing young homegrown talent before succumbing to the quick fix of aging Europeans. The future of the MLS depends on it, and if this Beckham signing sparks a trend, the MLS will become about as popular as curling before 2015.

posted by antwan at 05:33 AM on January 12

Beckhams signing is making news across the soccer world. Most people outside the US did not realise that there was a professional soccer league in the US and I'll bet there are quite a few Americians who arenow thinking "must watch that". Beckham still has the skill and ability to be a star player, but more that that he will be a star draw and bring more fans to the game..........which leads to more money................which leads to more big signings.............which leads to more money............. I say this can only do the MLS profile good. I think is it a very clever move by Galaxy and will prompt more teams to do the same. The big question, of course, is how will Posh fit in to life in the City of Angels??

posted by jadzia1970 at 05:47 AM on January 12

I do remember Pele, et al, coming to the US, and I must say I agree with antwan. If MLS doesn't control the number of European stars—and more importantly their salaries—they may have trouble at the bank themselves. Plus, I am not so sure that bringing names over that average Americans do not recognize (not including Becks in this) will increase the fan base. If these people knew who these other "aging stars" were they would probably already be footie fans. As antwan said, MLS should be working on developing youth academies and their existing talent base.

posted by scully at 06:26 AM on January 12

If MLS doesn't control the number of European stars—and more importantly their salaries Salaries are capped at $2 million in the MLS (not sure how they got around it for Becks or how they will pay him, but there you go).

posted by yerfatma at 06:51 AM on January 12

Each team has one roster exemption. Each team can pay one player whatever they want and exceed the cap. Only $400,000 of that players salary counts against the cap. MLS will pay Beckham $400,000 and the ownership group of the Galaxy will pay him the rest. It is referred to as "the Beckham Rule". It was put in place at the end of last season to try and lure Beckham and Figo in particular to come play in MLS. The current salary cap is actually 1.2 million. It is estimated to go up to 2 mil this season due to each team trying to lure a "superstar". I would rather see the extra money that MLS is throwing around going toward developmental players. There are 3 to 5 players on each teams roster who make the league minimum of $11,700. It is sickening to know Becks will make more in one day than many players will make all year. There are several players speaking up about it, including Alecko Eskandarian. Excerpt: "The first thing that jumped out at me was the figure he was making. I mean, that's unbelievable," said former D.C. United player Alecko Eskandarian, who was traded to expansion club Toronto FC last month. "As much as I'm all for the exposure, I feel like if [MLS clubs] have all this money they could divvy up some of it, especially for some of the younger players with developmental contracts. It's really not fair what they make. To think that one guy could make more in one day of practice than some guys make for a whole year of effort is pretty shocking."

posted by urall cloolis at 07:36 AM on January 12

"To think that one guy could make more in one day of practice than some guys make for a whole year of effort is pretty shocking." But isn't the same true in most professional sports, you have your bigs stars on megabucks and then your bench guys who don't make so much.

posted by jadzia1970 at 07:40 AM on January 12

Yeah, but the bench guys in MLB, the NFL, and the NBA are generally making in the 100K/year range, not less than a dishwasher at the local greasy spoon. That's atrocious, and MLS should be ashamed. That the MLS league minimum is $11,400, while the poverty line in the United States is $9,800, is mind boggling. With labor practices like that, MLS is well on its way to exhibiting the kind of institutionalized greed and disregard for its employees that will guarantee the league's place next to the other American professional sports leagues. Well done, gents.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:51 AM on January 12

The demise of NASL had less to do with bringing over foreign stars than it did the league's ability to create interest in the game outside of New York. As it was, signing Pele, Carlos Alberto, Neeeskens, Beckenbauer, Chinaglia, etc gave the league a much needed shot in the arm. The Cosmos went from playing in the dank Downing sStadium to selling out Giants Stadium as a result. The bigger problem was that fundamentally, the NASL was a good idea whose time has not yet come. It was just too out of the blue. The novelty had wore off quickly and the bandwagon jumpers moved on and there had not been enough time to grow the core fan base organically. I think, given the 94WC, and the upswing in tv ratings for the past three WCs,the achievements of the women's team, the steady improvement of the Men's team, a foundation has been constructed for future MLS success. Time to try to take it to the next level (if it can be done prudently). Davids is awesome by the way. He is tough and fearless, I enjoy watching him play as he's always making something happen.

posted by psmealey at 07:54 AM on January 12

MLS is well on its way to exhibiting the kind of institutionalized greed and disregard for its employees that will guarantee the league's place next to the other American professional sports leagues. I know that we'd all like the MLS to be some kind of fair-minded utopia where everyone has a fair shake at earning a decent living in pursuit of his passion, but it is a business and needs to do everything it can to compete in a very crowded marketplace. this may very well be a good gamble on its success. Hey, the CFO of GE gets paid about 10,000 times what I do for essentially doing a similar job, but I'm not going to bitch about it. I'm either going to accept the essential differences in our career paths, or do what I can to get there.

posted by psmealey at 08:11 AM on January 12

The MLS needs the marketing boost that the one-star rule permits. I don't see how the league could forget the signings that followed Pele in the NASL, considering how the period's the biggest thing anyone remembers about the NASL. I'm excited about the future of American soccer. Back in the '70s, they didn't have the World Cup coverage, Fox Soccer Channel, women's national team success, soccer-specific stadiums or large regions across the Southwest nearing majority Hispanic status where soccer is king. All of will help the MLS become a major league sport if managed properly.

posted by rcade at 08:11 AM on January 12

"Yeah, but the bench guys in MLB, the NFL, and the NBA are generally making in the 100K/year range, not less than a dishwasher at the local greasy spoon." I took a job in New York making below minimun wage when I moved there in 94. It was my choice as I did not have enough experience in the my chosen field. I learnt my skills, worked hard and now run my own business back in Ireland with a Ph.D behind my name. The big guys in hospital where I worked were making megabucks. I'm not trying to bore you with my life story...just making an analogy...the guys making less than a dishwasher choose to do so in the hopes that their time will come. It's life. Sport is a business like any other, you have your high paid employees and your lower paid employees. I stand firm in my belief that signing Beckham can only do good for MLS and soccer in general. I mean, it is the leading news story on almost every sports channel world-wide. How's that for raising the profile of a league!

posted by jadzia1970 at 08:18 AM on January 12

Yeah, but the bench guys in MLB, the NFL, and the NBA are generally making in the 100K/year range, not less than a dishwasher at the local greasy spoon. That's atrocious, and MLS should be ashamed. Well they are due to pass a new minimum wage law. that should help them a bit.

posted by scottypup at 08:24 AM on January 12

Yeah, but the bench guys in MLB, the NFL, and the NBA are generally making in the 100K/year range, not less than a dishwasher at the local greasy spoon. That's atrocious, and MLS should be ashamed. The alternative to Capitalism and Free Market is preferable to you?

posted by ChiefsSuperFan at 09:06 AM on January 12

SoccerFilter!!! Another difference between the NASL and now is the global media coverage and TV rights. Beckham is huge in, among other places, Asia -- so this move increases exposure of this US sports league there and potentially enhances revenues through television licensing, merchandise sales, etc., in addition to perhaps eventually luring better talent (and not just past-their prime superstars) into this league.

posted by holden at 10:02 AM on January 12

Another thing lost here is the Galaxy aren't footing the bill for the whole $250 Million. Most of it will come from endorsements and jersey profits and the like. They will be paying Becks $10M / year which is about what Michael Vick makes and as an Atlanta native, I can guarantee Beckham will be better for the Galaxy than Vick is for the Falcons.

posted by Ricardo at 10:36 AM on January 12

Ricardo, you hope so, at least. Not that Senor Mexico is awful, but for that kind of cheese, Becks better be bringing home the bacon. On my pipe-dream list, I'd love to see Owen Hargreaves skip Man U, leave Bayern and come (sort of) home to play for Toronto FC. He'd be a relatively easy sell to the fans, even in an expansion market (I remember mostly full houses at Blizzard matches in the NASL when I was a kid), and while they probably could find the money for him, the big sticking point would be whether he wanted to come at all. But as the best Canadian (born, anyway) soccer player on the planet at the moment, it sure would be awful nice.

posted by chicobangs at 11:12 AM on January 12

The alternative to Capitalism and Free Market is preferable to you? Here's a suggestion: how 'bout you wrap that red herring in newspaper and stick it in the fridge before it starts to stink even more than it already does. Major League Soccer's league minimum is less than two thousand dollars above the official Poverty Line of the United States of America. Put your Sean Hannity catch phrases aside and stop trying to make a political fight out of my comments, which pertained to the MLS salary situation, which I think is profoundly and fundamentally unfair. You want to grow the sport in America, then pay people enough money that they can make a living at it. I've worked part-time jobs that paid as much as, or more than, $11,400 a year, and I'd wager that others here have had the same experience.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:13 PM on January 12

A couple of things about the league minimum salary. First of all, the poverty line is, in my opinion and in the opinion of many commentators, set too low. I think a more reasonable/appropriate poverty line would be higher than the $11,700 MLS minimum salary figure and would make that figure look even worse. On the other hand, the MLS salary is presumably not the only income that those toiling at the bottom of the MLS payscale have. There is certainly an opportunity to have another job in the offseason and some players may even have other jobs during the season. Whether professional athletes should be paid at such a level that they are forced to have other jobs is another question, but historically that has been the case in other American sports and certainly in soccer elsewhere (like England probably up until the mid-1900s) -- it's just not particularly common now.

posted by holden at 02:45 PM on January 12

You're all a bunch of idiots who don't have a clue what you're talking about. Sucker will never make it in the U.S. of A. because we don't cotton to your commie kick-ball! God Bless America!!!!! (Sure makes an ol' soccer-head like me smile to see such intelligent discussion going on here. I think there's something in my eye....)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 03:16 PM on January 12

NFL practice squad players earn $4000 per week on average. To argue that the "journeyman's" wages of $11,000 per season is fair for young talent in the MLS is insane. Pay the talent to bring the talent. If this is bothersome, then don't follow sports. It's insane that grown men are paid more than doctors to play kids games, but it is done the world over. I don't see anyone harping about the amounts of money that other forms of entertainment pays. Have any of you checked into the amount of money paid out to Hollywood actors for doing a single film or the amount of money earned by the last big "reunion" tour of aging musicians?

posted by FonGu at 05:50 AM on January 13

None of that makes any sense, FonGu. The NFL has a multi-billion dollar TV contract. The teams can afford to pay that much for practice squad players because people are willing to pay so much to see football. Same with reunion tours. None of it makes the MLS any more popular than it is.

posted by yerfatma at 09:48 AM on January 13

I bet the galaxy hasn't even made 250 million since their inception,and won't make it in the next 5 years.so exactly where is this money supposed to be coming from?

posted by mars1 at 11:47 AM on January 13

jadzia: But isn't the same true in most professional sports, you have your bigs stars on megabucks and then your bench guys who don't make so much. As others have said, jadzia ... cmon, man. That comparison is totally offbase. The argument is not that there should not be equality. But the payscale ratio between teammates in the EPL first teams is not the 5:1 that you see here. It's one thing if you're a second-stringer or youth team player, but not when the other 10 guys in the first team are each earning less per week than the one "star" in the team makes in a day (at best). This is not a long-term sustainable approach.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:04 PM on January 13

this is a piece from espn.com: This being the case, remember this: According to the Designated Player Rule, MLS is on the hook for only $400,000 of Beckham's salary, with AEG and the Galaxy stumping up the remaining $8 million to $10 million. So where, exactly, is the remaining $39 million to $40 million a year coming from? The simple answer is endorsements and creative clauses stemming from Beckham agreeing to play in MLS. It's rumored that Adidas will be paying an additional $5 million to $6 million a year just to sponsor the Galaxy's jersey, ironic since they already manufacture them. If that doesn't tell the story of Beckham's endorsement appeal, nothing else will -- and presumably Beckham will get a cut of that fee. "Most of the value is from David's worldwide endorsement," MLS deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis told Reuters on Thursday. "That's a separate deal. That's his deal with [Creative Artists Agency] and 19 Entertainment. That's not something we're involved in."

posted by louisville_slugger at 05:04 PM on January 13

Sorry, I know I screwed that up somehow, but I couldn't get it to link. Where all the spaces come from, I have no idea.

posted by louisville_slugger at 05:07 PM on January 13

the blank spaces are from the black holes in David Beckhams personality

posted by urall cloolis at 07:05 PM on January 13

You know how they'll gather $250 million. Sports Authority and Sport Chalet stores here in LA will be chocked full of people trying to buy jerseys.

posted by LA_Dude at 07:43 PM on January 14

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