A League of Haves and Have Nots - Tenorio/Four Four Two

Discussion in 'Columbus Crew SC' started by hangthadj, May 9, 2017.

  1. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    A pretty damn good article was published by Paul Tenorio at Four Four Two last night. The gist of it is that that with the addition of more targeted allocation money we are entering a new phase in MLS where parity will be less evident and we will be moving to a league of haves and have nots. The call is for owners to spend.

    https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/feat...-nots-targetted-allocation-designated-players

    Since we know that this subject riles many Precourt and Berhalter apologists, I'll call attention to this line in the story, a sentiment that I have been speaking to for over a year now (bolded part my own)...

    I can’t emphasize this enough: We’re not talking about a snapshot of the league standings 10 games into one 34-game season. This is about sustained success.


    “We’re going into an era soon that if your ownership doesn’t spend, we are going to have a divide in the league,” one MLS source said. “And if you don’t spend and you don’t have an academy, you’re in big trouble.”

    Tenorio does make mention of how teams wthout the deepest pockets can compete through smart and sufficient investment in their academy. But, interestingly (depressingly?) enough, the Crew isn't even mentioned in the article. It's almost to the point of irrelevance. Yes, we can point to the fact that Columbus hosted MLS Cup two years ago, but this article is pointing towards the future of the league.

    When you look at how Crew has spent TAM and DP money over the past 12-18 months you can understand why they aren't even mentioned here. Dilly Duka, Mensah, raises for Trapp and Meram coming off a missed playoff season, money towards Manneh (who is on a one year contract and out the door of Berhalter doesn't utilize him). This isn't how you build sustained success. These are bandaids. This is plugging the whole in the boat with bubble gum.

    This is why losing the 2015 final at home was so crushing. This is why 2016 was such a disastrous lost opportunity. This is why you hope we somehow catch lightening in a bottle here in 2017. The league continues to evolve, and Columbus Crew SC is still stuck in the MLS 1.0 mindset watching the league pass us by....
     
  2. kgilbert78

    kgilbert78 Member+

    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    United States
    Dec 28, 2006
    Cowlumbus, OH
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd say MLS 1.5. Precourt was never a part of MLS 1.0, except buying a 1.0 team. He's more stuck in the middle....
     
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  3. puttputtfc

    puttputtfc Member+

    Sep 7, 1999
    I have news for Mr Tenorino, MLS has been like that since day one. Some teams were given a Donadoni, some were given a Doctor. Remind me again who we bought with our McBride/John transfer money? Remember when they introduced TAM during the off season so no team was favored?

    I will agree that 2016 was a disaster but Ggg has learned from his mistakes. Not all signings work out but every team in the world has that issue. We have some good signings (Naess, Crognale), bad signings (Abu, Mensah) and WTF signings (Duka, Martinez loan). That's the nature of the game on the professional level.

    What the article neglects is that Ggg doesn't have the ability to sign players the way other managers do. Even if Aces was willing to pony up for a superstar the league can block it. As long as the league is changing rules mid season or allowing teams to enter in plastic grass football stadiums we are still MLS 1.0 from the top down. Ggg has to build a different type of team than Seattle or LA because the rules are not the same. We have seen considerable improvement this year and we will never have the big name star but nothing would make me happier than seeing a miserable Garber give the trophy to a team whose captain's name escapes him.
     
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  4. Kryptonite

    Kryptonite Fancy Title Here

    Apr 10, 1999
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well said.

    I've been told that we've had signings blocked on numerous occasions. I'm not saying it's happened, but the league can block a player we'd sign and turn right around and let a Seattle or NYC sign that same player.
     
  5. zman31

    zman31 Member+

    May 5, 1999
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The concern isn't a haves and have nots for me. The difference between a superstar DP $$$ and regular DP $ isn't that great. Giovinco vs Kei in 2015 as an example. $6M vs $500K and they finished 1-2 in the MVP race. The smart use of funds at a team's disposal makes much more of a difference. As a "have not" we've got to be smarter, more effective and efficient in our use of funds.

    Of course there will be hits and misses. But a big miss like Mensah is so much more costly to us than it is for any of the haves. He's a $900K albatross. He may be a multi-year albatross, ugh.

    The interesting thing Hang brings up is the other uses of our GAM and TAM. We had a boatload of it after the Kei trade and have not turned it around on any new players that are having an impact. That is a major problem. We gave raises/extensions to existing players, added Duka and Manneh. Meram deserves every $ he got. I'm still on the fence on the re-signing of Pipa. He's definitely had better moments this year than last. He's had some down games too and hasn't stood out as the "best player on the field" type guy that you see from other DP level players.

    GAM and TAM have got to be used to make your squad better. We seem to have squandered ours for the most part. We have a max salary defender out for the year which has handicapped us from day one. We replaced Tchani and Saied with Abu and Manneh and lost $300K in funds on top of that.

    We don't seem to have a lot of college players that came through the academy that anyone is excited about and Swanson might just be a bust at this point. So we've got no one Crognale-like coming in the next year or 2.

    I am not a conspiracy theorist when it comes to the league meddling. Yes, the timing of DP and GAM/TAM rules favor deals being made for specific teams. I also see how those changes benefit the league as a whole and don't get too bent out of shape about it. It's not exactly a level playing field but it's not so tilted that I don't see it possible for a smart team without unlimited resources to field a SS winning squad.
     
  6. Minnman

    Minnman Member+

    Feb 11, 2000
    Columbus, OH, USA
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, sure, teams that spend more on talent should, in the aggregate, have better talent. That's kind of obvious. But it's not as simple as that. Think of it this way: While, on average, teams that spend the most on players will win more championships, not all teams that spend the most will win championships. In other words, the sports world is full of high spending teams that fail to win. Take this half-assed statement from the article:

    "Here are the teams that have consistently spent well above that number over the past three seasons: Toronto FC, Seattle Sounders, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers and NYCFC. All of those teams have either contended for or won a title in the past three years."

    First off, the goal is to WIN championships, not merely to be a contender. To that end, NYCFC and TFC haven't won shit. Ever. Not only that, they've been poster children (especially TFC) for how to throw away millions of dollars each year on players that don't produce any hardware (the vaunted Canadian championship notwithstanding).

    Similarly, look at this quote:

    "There are two ways to try to mitigate a lack of spending at the top: Homegrown Players and buying to sell. The best example may be FC Dallas, which not only has a flush homegrown system but has also sold multiple players – Fabian Castillo, Brek Shea, Alejandro Zendejas, etc – to increase the allocation money they can spend on the roster. The Red Bulls, too, have opted for this approach. Sporting Kansas City has also done a nice job of buying low and selling high to reinvest in the roster, though that can be a difficult model to count on consistently."

    And??? You mean running a business the way KC and Dallas do isn't a guarantee of success? You don't say. And signing $5-10 million players is? Of course not.

    No, there's one proven way to win in MLS: Being a well run business, with an organization that invests wisely, not just in players, but coaches who know how to build a roster in MLS. Its' hwo DC United and the LA Galaxy have won over the years (LA far more consistently than DC). There's simply no track record that proves that the biggest spenders win MLS Cup and the Supporters Shield (the only two trophies worth much) in MLS. Being a contender doesn't count; just ask Crew fans in 2015. But if it did, you'd need to include the flock of low to moderating spending clubs who contend for championships each year in MLS.

    I'm sure that this general statement holds: "As Major League Soccer grows and with the introduction of Targeted Allocation Money, however, it will become more difficult for teams with frugal ownership groups to keep up." Great news, as far as I'm concerned. Except that I'd substitute "frugal" for "cheap". Kraft is cheap, and that's made NE a miserable franchise since day one. TAM doesn't change that situation much. But the whole article dumbs down the vital role that being a well run organization is in this league. Unless you want to argue that the $6 million that NYCFC spends on Pirlo is money well spent and somehow makes them a "contender".
     
  7. mmradio13

    mmradio13 Member+

    Apr 13, 2008
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd add that it takes a good deal of luck to win as well.

    With regards to spending more, I think anyone hoping Precourt spends $5m+ on a player should focus their attention elsewhere- we're never going to spend the same $ as Seattle/LA/NYC/Toronto, nor should we. You can compete in this league without doing so.
     
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  8. hangthadj

    hangthadj Member+

    A.S. Roma
    Mar 27, 2001
    Beacon, NY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    All good points. I think Dan Loney replied on Tenorio's twitter that it isn't so much a have and have-nots it's a do and do-nots. Like Minnman, he mentioned Kraft at New England being a billionaire, he clearly HAS he just hasn't done.

    I think that it's important as well to mention that this is a forward looking article. Sure, NYCFC hasn't won anything yet, same for Toronto, but it's extremely difficult to say that they aren't well positioned going forward. We are moving away from the 6 million spent on a Pirlo and the Lodiero, Giovinco type player is more en vogue.

    Do I ever expect Precourt to spend 6 million on a player? Maybe 10 years down the line, but certainly not anytime soon. That said, going forward you must find value. What was Valieri's transfer fee, 3 million? If we (or Precourt) is looking down the road 5 years and saying that even then that sort of investment is beyond Columbus Crew SC, then that's a problem. He might not be the right guy to own this team. With new owners coming in, new investment, and continued league growth you have to be ready for that.

    What you can't have moving forward is utilizing GAM and TAM to maintain the status quo. Have Meram and Trapp earned their raised this season? Almost certainly. But when you look at Mensah, Duka, and an unhappy Manneh where has GAM and TAM made the team better this season? We can talk about depth, I'd counter that we were lucky that Mensah received a red card and an injury. Artur has been great, but he's on loan. Are loans a sustainable way to compete for and win MLS Cup in the next 5-6 years?

    A team on Columbus's budget needs to either increase their budget, or knock it out of the park with our TAM and DP dollars. We seem to be a long way down the road from either....
     
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  9. west ham sandwich

    Feb 26, 2007
    C-bus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    My only real disagreement with this, is that none of us saw Crognale coming 2 years ago.

    Sure, there was one guy who really kept up with the academy guys and he listed Crognale on what was essentially his watch list, but I don't think Crognale was ever identified as a such solid rookie starter by anyone.
     
  10. west ham sandwich

    Feb 26, 2007
    C-bus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    More generically, I'm not sure how GAM and TAM will separate MLS into Haves and Have-nots. Those are both things that are available to all teams. And as someone else said, the difference in a couple 5 million dollar DPs to a couple 1.5 million dollar DPs is largely negligible.

    So it will be how the teams are run. It will be about having the right GM and coach. And any team will be able to get that, the hard part is identifying them.

    I'm sympathetic to the argument that Gregg's not that guy. But I personally think the jury is still out. So far he's doing well this year. If he can continue to build and learn and improve, then he might be that guy. If the Crew stay steady the rest of the year, that will be a solid step forward. The question will be can he take the next step and make them a perennial contender
     
  11. zman31

    zman31 Member+

    May 5, 1999
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think there was any doubt in MLS circles that had he not been a home grown player that he would have been selected by someone in the first round. There may have been a lot of questions if he was a day 1 starter in MLS or would need a year or 2 to get up to speed.

    Do we have anyone playing college ball right now from the academy that has "potential MLS level talent." We had Swanson, his injury troubles have dampened interest, his size and role have always been question marks. I don't know of any others.
     
  12. Jim Bach

    Jim Bach Member+

    Bradford City Association Football Club
    May 11, 1999
    Land of the Lizard People, or so I'm told
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    Palestine
    Stop. Just STOP.

    The reason why Giovinco is getting paid $6 million a season and Kei isn't is not because they both scored more than 20 goals in 2015, it's because Giovinco can be expected to deliver a performance of that level, or close to that level, every season, and Kei can't. 2015 was Giovinco's best season by a small margin. 2015 was Kei's best season by a HUGE margin.
     
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  13. west ham sandwich

    Feb 26, 2007
    C-bus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    True. but most DPs are in the 1-2 mil range. Gio is probably the one player above 3 mil who is such a difference maker. All the others are name players on the downslope of their career.

    Are 6 mil Gio types the future of DPs or is it going to be your Lodieros and Fanendo Adis making 1-2 mil? Seems much more like the latter. And I think Precourt will be willing to keep up with that, it will be a matter of finding the right guys for that price and the rest of the roster composition.
     
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  14. zman31

    zman31 Member+

    May 5, 1999
    Columbus, OH
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #14 zman31, May 9, 2017
    Last edited: May 9, 2017
    That was more my point in comparing Gio to Kei (not a deep longing for Kei and hatred that he was moved). And also not saying they are the same because they finished 1-2 in MVP race. Gio is really the outlier of the very expensive DPs. Most are over the hill euros or overpaid USMNT players. Other top scorers haven't been $6M players. I'd rather have Gio than Pirlo of course. But you don't need a $6M striker to score goals and win games.

    What really handicaps you is when you have a DP that isn't worth even a max salary $475K or whatever it is this year. We have 1 of those this year, keeping us from signing a player who would be worth it or a real million dollar difference maker. Other teams have had plenty of them too, there are too many DP busts to list so its not like you can say Berhalter sticks out for this mistake. You can say that spending that money on a DP defender has never really worked out in the past, you can say that he himself said we spent too much on defenders when he took over the team and now we have the most expensive list of players with D beside their names in the league (has to be close, really want to confirm that with 2 DP level defenders in Sauro and Mensah as well as some other pricey talent). Mensah wasn't starting in Russia for a mid-table team. It seems we listened to Afful and watched some old tape and then jumped at the chance to make a big splash defensive signing.
     
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  15. mmradio13

    mmradio13 Member+

    Apr 13, 2008
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes. The one who jumps out to me is Suniel Veerakone (out of the Michigan academy) at Duke. He started in their midfield as a freshman last year.

    It's really tough to tell with most of these kids. Even if they end up at a big program like Duke/Wake/Maryland, only time will tell if they can handle it. Same with those we sign who have all the makings of a good future pro (like Swanson). We've had a lot of kids commit to big programs only to either end up elsewhere or stop playing altogether. We're at the point where we're not bringing in decent players after their senior seasons like we did with Friedman or Wiet, which is fine.

    I share your frustration though. It'd be great if we had a steady pipeline and maybe some exciting 16-18 year olds on our roster. It's also disappointing to see a lack of representation on USYNTs. I'm comfortable enough if we strike gold every few years on a homegrown signing (Trapp/Crognale), but we're putting a lot of pressure on these kids to succeed if we're only bringing 1 new kid into the fold every couple years. Now in his 4th season, Gregg has only signed 2 homegrowns with a chance (Swanson/Crognale) and 4 others who were really just roster fillers (Friedman/Walker/Wiet).
     
  16. kgilbert78

    kgilbert78 Member+

    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    United States
    Dec 28, 2006
    Cowlumbus, OH
    Club:
    Borussia Mönchengladbach
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I thought we used some of the Kei money on Naess.
     

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