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Gomez Continued and Other Morsels

The latest on the Christian Gomez saga.....

I've been told that he has an offer in the Middle East and would take home $600,000 this year, but would prefer to remain in MLS. He's definitely not coming back to D.C. United, but six teams have expressed interest in acquiring him. The question is whether any of them are willing to pay him -- and guarantee him -- what he wants.

There are three possible scenarios: 1.) He signs with a club abroad and United receives nothing for him since he is out of contract; 2.) An MLS team agrees to his salary requirements and offers players/money/picks to DCU; or 3.) An MLS team takes a chance by acquiring his rights from DCU before agreeing to a deal, in which case DCU would probably have to settle for conditional picks or money.

Through an intermediary, Gomez wanted to say: "Thank you to D.C. fans. My family and I will miss them."

*Clarin in Argentina reports that defender Gonzalo Peralta is definitely on his way to DCU.

*Here is the link to my print edition story today.

*Read a Q&A with DCU's supplemental pick from WVU here.

Yes, it was that Junior Agogo (Chicago, Colorado, San Jose in 2000-01) who scored in Ghana's 1-0 victory over Namibia yesterday:

By Steve Goff  |  January 25, 2008; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: United's Picks, Notes [updated with draft list, Gonzalez]
Next: Arguez Out, All of Latin America In

Comments

You'll always have a place in my heart, Christian. A true warrior, you displayed the "Pride and Passion" that United is all about. Best of luck!

Posted by: #10 | January 25, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me or this week is the Soccer Insider what I imagine heroin is like?

Must......check....the Insider......

Posted by: Kire | January 25, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Guinea!

Posted by: JDO | January 25, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I would like to hear the Gomez side of the story for how he got "emotional" but it really kind of sounds like he's "cutting off his nose to spite his face" as my dad would say.

Posted by: Sharp | January 25, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Junior Agogo was always one of the best names in MLS.

Glad to see he's contributing to Ghana's efforts at the ANC.

Posted by: MLS represent | January 25, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame United can't compensate its best players adequately outside of gimmickry like the DP. If MLS can't fix that, the league will become a handful of 30-something has-beens and then a bunch of American kids not talented enough to play abroad.

Thank you, Christian, for your contributions to the team and the city. We won't forget you.

Posted by: Ugh | January 25, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

While, I'm disappointed in seeing Gomez leave. I truly hope that he gets his payday. He demostrated great pride in wearing DCU's colors and was a great example for my kids on and off the field (aside of the spitting incident). He came here as an unknown and leaves as one of the best players to ever wear DCU's jersey. Best of luck!! We will miss you!!

Posted by: Disappointed | January 25, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Cutting off his nose to spite his face????

Beckham 6.5 million
Blanco 2.7 million
Angel 1.6 million
Reyna 1.25 million
Donovan 900,000
Johnson 875,000
Adu 550,000
Ruiz 435,000
Mathis 410,000
Twellman 350,008
Gomez 218,500

Where do think Gomez rightfully slots in there?

Better withhold judgment on who has cut off their nose to spite their face until we know what DCU ends up with out of the deal, and where and how CG ends up playing this season.

Posted by: WNT fan | January 25, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Christian was the catalyst in '04 and has driven the DC attack ever since. He will be missed.

We will see if this was the right decision. Does Christian return to league MVP form or does his performance continue to slide? Time will tell if the FO was right or not. If he stays in MLS it will happen right before our eyes.

Posted by: Golden Child | January 25, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been a huge fan of Gomez over the past few seasons, but I don't think he's worth the amount of cash that Goff mentioned above. This doesn't seem to be so much an issue of inadequate MLS compensation, but maybe a player (or agent) with somewhat unrealistic expectations.

Posted by: Greedo | January 25, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

is this EMilio's last year? surely with us potentially using our DP on Gallardo, EMilio would require that kind of money and his contract expires at the end of this year. Is united ready to trade for another DP to keep him (barring he has a terrible season)

Posted by: dc fan | January 25, 2008 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Given that today's story seems to be coming from the Gomez side (...through an intermediary...), perhaps we have been hearing the Gomez side all along.

If DC United hasn't been talking to Goff about acquisitions, why would they have been talking to him about negotiations with Christian? There is nothing to gained by being seen by their players as sharing with the press salary discussions and the mind set of the player during those discussions.

These guys are a lot more savvy than that.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 25, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Gomez is getting ripped. He played like he truly cared about the DCU shirt on his back and we will miss his play this season.

Posted by: Rocko | January 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I wish Gomez luck, he was a great player for us. He truly makes your heart skip when he's on the ball -- particularly on set plays. And he had a passion for the fans. As someone already mentioned here, the site of him playing drums at the Meadowlands is etched in my memory. I'll miss you Gomito, and hope you stay in the league.

But you know what, DC United is a business that has to look after it's own interests, and they've made a decision that Gomez was asking for too much money. As a customer of that business I hope it works out for them and we get some international hardware out of the deal.

Posted by: DJC | January 25, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not happy about losing Gomez but I am glade the team is taking this stand. From what Goff has shared it seems that under different circumstances United would pay him the $500k for 2 years that he wants, but given the constraints of the system they're not willing to lose the DP slot in the process. I think that's the right decision, and is seperate from who they will acquire to take his spot at #10. It is not a matter of will new player X be better than Gomez, it was he "worth" the potential value of the DP slot.

Jamie is staying! Most have said the United lost shape and didn't have direction when he wasn't on the field last year. And many have said that Gomez was the engine that drove them. Here's hoping that a new engine can be found.

Last thought, in the past 4 years United has won 2 Supporter's Shields and 1 MLS Cup...and the FO isn't shying away from making changes. I applaud that even if I don't like every move made. There is no such thing as status quo, if you're not improving you're regressing.

Posted by: Eire Bier | January 25, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that we took a WVU player but not the WVU player who trained from time to time with United -- the youngest Carroll brother, Pat. I take it Pat has not been picked up anywhere and has to join the "real world"? If so, too bad.

Posted by: Paul | January 25, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for your service, all of your efforts and your love for our team, our colors and our tradition, Gomito. You droped blood and sweat for us (even some spit) and for that we will always love you and remember you as one of the greats.

I disagree with those who think this is a wait and see situation. If Gomez has a great year somewhere else we can't come back at the FO with a "we told you so." Regard less of what happens, the FO is making the best decision for the club at this point in time, and I am convinced that their call also factors in future considerations. Does Gomez deserve his pay day? You bet'cha. But I also think that the FO has done all that they could to get Gomito paid, as best they can. But this is a business and there's usually a line, a magic number, a point that separates a good deal from a bad one. I know how easy it is to spend other people's money, but DC made it's call and Gomez has made his. Our stake in this process is emotional, their's (DC and Gomez) is a bit more than that. I have decided to respect the decision of both sides, regardless of future outcomes and move on.

I believe that our love and admiration for Gomito will not be diminished by this, but neither will our love, honor and respect for our club - VAMOS UNITED! We turn the page, and await for our next Gonzalo.

Posted by: Kosh | January 25, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

If Gomez goes elsewhere in MLS it will really stink. Although, I'd at least be happier that someone would compensate us for him. Perhaps the Red Bulls would be willing to part with a DP for him?

Posted by: UVA-United | January 25, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The money used to re-sign Moreno should have been saved and used to make sure Christian came back. Christian thanks for your contributions on the field and your drumming in NY. When I do buy the new DC jersey I'm still getting Gomez's name and number on the back.

Posted by: Detective40oz | January 25, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Article from today's metro section

Fenty Ponders Plan to Lure Redskins With a Stadium, Perhaps at RFK Site
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/24/AR2008012403804.html

Posted by: emanon | January 25, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

i'd love to see Gomez get paid to stay in MLS anywhere but Red Bull or the stinkin' Revs. seeing him in the stands with a drum in '05 (or was it '04?) was one of the main reasons i became a die-hard DCU fan instead of just a general MLS fan. we'll miss him, but i'm sticking with DC.

Posted by: jeremy | January 25, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Ya know, I miss checking the Soccer Insider for one day due to work and look what happens.....

Sounds to me like both sides are correct in their reasoning. Gomez deserves more than Ruiz and, arguably, others on that list also.

DC Utd doesn't want - and shouldn't - use the DP slot on him. But that doesn't mean they don't value him.

So, that means both sides need to compromise. Unfortunately, that couldn't be done. So, we move on.

Makes sense that the Utd FO has been having talks with Veron and Gallardo. With Gomez's contract up in the air - they had to look - or risk being left stranded in the case the Gomez talks didn't work out. To me, that's having the best interest of the team, and fans, at heart.

I do wish that an agreement with Gomez could have been reached. I hope he gets the money he deserves but think that's likely only to happen overseas. I also hope he stays in MLS because I think he's good for the league.

To of my favorite and 'most jealously inspiring moments for other MLS team fans' was Gomez in the stands drumming and Boz jumping into the stands after the goal against Chelsea.

I understand - and agree with - why Boz and Gomez are gone. But those were great moments that set DC Utd apart and help grow the sport in this country.

Posted by: PotomacBoater | January 25, 2008 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Christian,

Thank you. I enjoyed watching you play. Best of luck to you.

Posted by: Mitchell | January 25, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

DC made him a reasonable offer and he has decided to look elsewhere. happens in sports and life all the time. Move on and find his replacement and hope we can work out a deal in MLS so we get something back.

Posted by: MLS Fan | January 25, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Judging by the details of what was the highest offer DC gave Christian (2 guaranteed years at just shy of DP level with the opportunity for a third year as an incentive), there is nothing that not signing Moreno at a lower level for 2 years would change detective. I can't think of how the offer could be better unless we used the DP slot, which we weren't prepared to do for him. When we are talking about the DP slot we are not talking about Moreno but giving up our chance at Veron or Gallardo to keep Gomez or paying whatever the going rate is to get a second spot (which would probably be pretty shocking right now given how everyone wants to extort LA & Chicago, many teams plan on keeping it for the perfect player/deal and everyone is scared of looking as silly as Chivas does now). Its hard, but I think that DC made the right call not using its DP slot for Gomez and once that decision was made we couldn't match his demands. Maybe someone else will make the opposite decision but it makes the trade harder for other MLS teams.

Posted by: bluemeanies | January 25, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure why the league allowed players like Donovan and Ruiz to be "grandfathered in" as Designated Players while Gomez, who has regularly outperformed both of them since he's been in MLS, remained a "normal" player. I don't see the rationale, since Gomez was also in the league prior to the beckham rule.

Maybe DCU front office should have fought to have Gomito included on the list of grandfathered players?

Posted by: d, dc | January 25, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Here's my take on possible teams that may be interested in Gomez. I may be off in my thinking, but here goes...

LA doesn't have money or DP

Chivas doesn't have DP

NY doesn't have money or DP

Revs have both, but are cheap and he wouldn't fit in their system.

KC have both and he may fit in their system, but their bigger need now is a Forward because Eddie Johnson left.

Columbus if they lose Schletto would be a good option.

Dallas may be a good fit, but I'm not sure if they have the money or not.

Chicago doesn't have a DP spot.

Colorado has the DP spot and money. He probably fits well with their style.

RSL has money and DP and he may fit in, but he doesn't fit well with their style.

San Jose probably doesn't work because they seem to be opting for young, domestic talent.

Toronto could work.

Houston has no need for him.

So, I can see him realisticly going to 4 maybe 5 teams. Of those 4 or 5 teams, I can see him wanting to go to maybe 1 or 2, if that.

My hope is Colorado or Columbus,

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with those who think this is a wait and see situation. If Gomez has a great year somewhere else we can't come back at the FO with a "we told you so." Regard less of what happens, the FO is making the best decision for the club at this point in time,
--------------------------------

Kosh, can I be your stock broker?

Posted by: Billy Baroo | January 25, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Why is he "definitely not" coming back to United?

Say, for example, the Gallardo deal does not happen (which probably isn't the case, but us "outsiders" haven't been told otherwise). Then, no team in MLS is willing to pay his requested amount of money. Then, it seems to me, he still has an option to weigh United's offer vs. the Middle East offer vs. any MLS team's offer.

Posted by: Soccerama | January 25, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I have been a huge fan of Gomez over the past few seasons, but I don't think he's worth the amount of cash that Goff mentioned above. This doesn't seem to be so much an issue of inadequate MLS compensation, but maybe a player (or agent) with somewhat unrealistic expectations.


Posted by: Greedo | January 25, 2008 09:49 AM

OK. How many MVPs on that list. That's what I thought. He deserved better.

Posted by: MVP | January 25, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Given that today's story seems to be coming from the Gomez side (...through an intermediary...), perhaps we have been hearing the Gomez side all along.

If DC United hasn't been talking to Goff about acquisitions, why would they have been talking to him about negotiations with Christian? There is nothing to gained by being seen by their players as sharing with the press salary discussions and the mind set of the player during those discussions.

These guys are a lot more savvy than that.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 25, 2008 09:56 AM

This post makes no sense at all. None.

Posted by: Huh? | January 25, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This "Gomez" situation reminds me of some of the things about professional sports I don't enjoy as much as I enjoy the game on the field. Realities like salary caps, assembling a team, value for the dollar, just compensation, and maximizing career earning potential all remind me that the team I love to follow - DC United - is afterall, a business.

As in virtually all situations of this nature, it is easy to see that BOTH SIDES have valid positions, and that BOTH SIDES are guilty of failing to reach a compromise, else a compromise would have been reached.

I am satisfied with the moves the United front office is making this offseason to prepare the team for the coming season and the myriad extra competitions the team will compete in this year. I had hopes that Gomez would be a member of the team, as the team being assembled, with Gomez as a centerpiece, would be formidable indeed.

Equally, I can see Gomez's side. Comparing his compensation to the compensation of some other MLS players who are, similarly, team leaders, reveals that United has been fortunate to have recieved so much from Christian Gomez for so little.

With hopes that Mr. Gomez will read this or will be told the content of some of these messages on the Soccer Insider Blog, I wish to say "Thank You, Christian, for a host of fine memories and for the proud way that you 'Wore the Badge' for DC United and its fans."

DCUInWheaton

Posted by: DCUInWheaton | January 25, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Gomito needs to take the 600K and run. It's for his family. He's better than Mathis!

Also, I find it interesting that Fenty would give a billion dollars to a lily-livered, tree-cutting, carpark gouging, stock-tanking, Scientology brownnosing, rat-fink like Snyder and can't find 22 mil for Poplar Point.

Posted by: Norteno, So Yo | January 25, 2008 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Danny for this Redskins jersey and congratulations on your terrific season. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new futbol stadium at RFK. World class fans, and a world class team like the Redskins, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Burgundy-and-Gold!

Posted by: Yo Adrian! | January 25, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

As a Nottingham Forest fan, I'm ecstatic for Junior Agogo. Wish he was back here scoring goal though.

Posted by: Richard, UK | January 25, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Beckham 6.5 million
Blanco 2.7 million
Angel 1.6 million
Reyna 1.25 million
Donovan 900,000
Johnson 875,000
Adu 550,000
Ruiz 435,000
Mathis 410,000
Twellman 350,008
Gomez 218,500

Where do think Gomez rightfully slots in there?

==========================================
Okay:

Beckham earns that by bringing in tv, endorsments, exposure, jersey sales, etc.
Same with Blanco.
Angel performed on the field, but I think he's overpaid. Same with Reyna. Please don't use RBNY as a 'good' example. They'd paid a broom 500k to sweep a room.
Donovan is overpaid.
Johnson and Adu earned back more money on their sales than they were paid. So again, bad example.
Mathis was overpaid.
The offer to Gomez was going to pay him what Twellman made.

Christian, thank you for your pride, heart and passion. You were a pleasure to watch and you're always welcome at my tailgate. I wish you and your family years of hapiness.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 10:57 AM | Report abuse

...take 600K and run...

I don't know if I'd run to the Middle East right now for 600K, and I could use the money a little more than Gomez.

Posted by: Jared | January 25, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

This is a product of the situation that many of us have predicted for a year. The form of the DP rule penalizes players (and clubs who want players) whose performance suggests payment at the DP threshhold or a little above it, but not millions a year or more. Those players can't get those salaries in this league, because to do so requires use of a DP slot, which teams will want to use on a bigger player (well, unless your team is named "Los Angeles Galaxy" and thus doesn't have to play by the same rules as everyone else). Seriously, if your play argues strongly for a salary of, say, $450k/year, what team in this league is going to go for that? The only way to do that is to make you their DP, which means they can't use their DP slot to bring in a big name for larger bucks.

Posted by: Bootsy | January 25, 2008 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"Johnson and Adu earned back more money on their sales than they were paid."

Really? EJ made up for it in sales? He was overpaid too. His raise was based on a few very good outings for the USMNT.

What was the deal with Freddy's ocntract? How much of the $500K came out of DC's pocket?

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 25, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Standing next to Christian and the rest of the Barra Brava in NJ was one of the highlights of my DC United fandom. We all thought he'd bang on the drum for a few minutes and then go back to his family. He stayed for most of the second half and went nuts with us when we scored. You can't put a dollar amount on something like that. Gallardo has some mighty big shoes to fill.

Posted by: Chico | January 25, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Fenty's not-so-secret desire to get the Skins back to DC is an obvious ploy to develop the RFK area and gentrify the Stadium-Armory Metro area. It would likely be FULLY funded by the city.

What a guy.

Well - he's likely only going to be a one term mayor anyway - and DCU will be off to PG County.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 25, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Actually Kansas City solved their forward problem almost immediately: Colombian, Ivan Trujillo so Gomez could go there.

But I would MUCH RATHER see him go to the Middle East or some other area abroad. I don't know if I could take seeing him come back to haunt us in Chivas or Toronto colors.


That said, if he has to go anywhere, why not a trade for Terry Cooke in Colorado?

Posted by: plate | January 25, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

For everyone weeping about Gomez getting only $218 k last year, remember that DCU offered him $325 k or so, with a year's extension, at the beginning of the season and he turned it down. I knew then that it was unlikely he would be back this year. If he turned down a raise of over $100 k, he would need a raise of much more than that to keep from looking like a fool for turning it down in the first place.

Best of luck wherever you go, Christian. Personally, I hope it's not another MLS team - I would hate to see you playing against us!

Posted by: ff | January 25, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I got a question. What are we saving our two dp slots for? Beckham is already here. Actually, I have two questions. Which six MLS teams are interested in Christian? Yesterday it was one. Please advise.

Posted by: frctnmom2000 | January 25, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mickey | January 25, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Also, I find it interesting that Fenty would give a billion dollars to a lily-livered, tree-cutting, carpark gouging, stock-tanking, Scientology brownnosing, rat-fink like Snyder and can't find 22 mil for Poplar Point.

Posted by: Norteno, So Yo | January 25, 2008 10:47 AM

-----------------------

I don't think the Fenty idea is to build a stadium for the Redskins but rather make it easy for Pretzel Boy to build it himself. Still, it's a slap in the fact to United...but c'mon, can we even compare the impact of the Redskins (and its fanbase and the possibility of Super Bowls) to that of United? We have great fans and an exceptional side, but having a Redskins stadium in DC will always be a higher priority than having a DCU SSS here.

Even if you look at the sheer numbers, Redskins would bring twice as many people to D.C. (with much higher priced tickets on which to collect taxes) in a season that United would:

Skins: 90K x 8 games (more if in playoffs. p'shaw!) = 720,000

United: 21K x 18 games (using last year with int'l competitions, etc. as a decent model) = 378,000

Posted by: DE | January 25, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

frctnmom2000

What 2 DP's? We only have one, and unless you are willing to give up say an allocation, Simms, Olsen and/or Namoff we are not going to have two. And we have reportedly in this off season drawn up two sets of plans to use it 1st on Veron which fell through at the last minute and now on Gallardo which will probably happen. In fact we tried originally to get Veron halfway through last season to arrive at roughly the same time as Blanco & Beckham.

Posted by: bluemeanies | January 25, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

@ DE
You are right that the 'Skins will draw more numbers than United, even with only 8 games. And unfortunately, public support for a 'Skins stadium in the District would most likely be automatic.

But that doesn't mean it would be a better overall investment. Will a Snyder-built football stadium anchor redevelopment in a neighborhood yet to see the windfall of the past decade? Will Snyder invest in the city the same way MacFarlane would (and has)? Will he create youth outreach programs, and build parks and fields? Will he develop low- and mid- income housing near new retail and office space? And remind me how much he pitched in for Eastern Market after it burned?

My real problem is with Fenty, though. He has shown himself to be dishonest about the stadium situation again and again. He needs to start being straightforward with United and its fans, who have shown far more class and interest in the city than Snyder ever has.

Posted by: DCBird | January 25, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Forget the visitors that it would provide to the district, but you would see that end of Capitol Hill get a massive infrastructure build in terms of restaurants, retail, hotels, , housing, etc in order to support what would be necessary for having a Super Bowl as well. Another Developer's Dream!

Let's Audit Fenty!

Posted by: UVA-United | January 25, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

It might not have been possible to sign Christian but... the bottom line is that it should have been handled better. A player that has meant this much should not be leaving under this kind of circumstance. Communication should have been handled much, much better. I am not saying that he should have been signed no matter what, just that the litany of misunderstandings between the front office and their best player falls on the shoulders of the front office. It is their job to communicate and anticipate misunderstandings, possible differences in perception, etc. - not the player's. That is how professional soccer works. The players play. The coach manages the players on the field. The organization manages their relationship with the club.

What is done is done. We need to move on. It is just a shame that it has been handled this sloppy by such a normally classy organization.

Posted by: Gomez Fan | January 25, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

does anyone have a picture of gomez banging on the drum? i would love to make that my desktop background...

Posted by: PKTaker | January 25, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

"Johnson and Adu earned back more money on their sales than they were paid."

Really? EJ made up for it in sales? He was overpaid too. His raise was based on a few very good outings for the USMNT.
=========================================

So let me get this straight, you are saying that EJ was a bad investment for the MLS? You sure you wanna argue that point?

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Oh believe me DCBird...I am in no way advocating or defending Fenty. I agree with everything you said. It's a shame.

Posted by: DE | January 25, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Goff, can you clear something up for me? There's been all this talk for 2 seasons about United stockpiling allocation money. And now they have transfer money from the Perkins & Arguez sales. What benefit do these pools of money provide? Can we not pay down a portion of Gomez's salary with transfer or allocation money? Or is the club spending all of that cash on the new South American players? Don't we have a lot of cap flexibility?

Posted by: DWE4 | January 25, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

PKTaker, check the photo gallery archives at www.barra-brava.com

Posted by: DirtyHarry | January 25, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Stratford thinks that Washington is two and a half hours from Morgantown. It is, but only if you drive 84 mph. However, it is nice that he seems committed to staying in the States, at least for now. As a Brit, he could presumably go anywhere in the EU.

Posted by: 22201 | January 25, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Allocating money may be applied toward acquiring players, signing players and re-signing current players.

As I've always said, don't bother trying to estimate how much DCU has available, what their salary cap situation is, etc. There are too many variables, too many secrets, too many quirky MLS rules shrouded in secrecy.

Posted by: Goff | January 25, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

It might not have been possible to sign Christian but... the bottom line is that it should have been handled better. A player that has meant this much should not be leaving under this kind of circumstance. Communication should have been handled much, much better. I am not saying that he should have been signed no matter what, just that the litany of misunderstandings between the front office and their best player falls on the shoulders of the front office. It is their job to communicate and anticipate misunderstandings, possible differences in perception, etc. - not the player's. That is how professional soccer works. The players play. The coach manages the players on the field. The organization manages their relationship with the club.

What is done is done. We need to move on. It is just a shame that it has been handled this sloppy by such a normally classy organization.

Posted by: Gomez Fan | January 25, 2008 11:33 AM
-------------------------------------------

Wait a minute. Handled better? By whom? Come on, Gomez fan. What "litany of misunderstandings" are you privy to that we are not? Based on Goff's posts from the last two days, Payne and company made "multiple offers" with a variety of options to get Gomez the money he wanted, but they were NOT willing to give him the DP slot. GOMEZ rejected all of these overatures. How is that miscommunications by DC United? How on earth are they supposed to "anticipate misunderstandings, possible differences in perception, etc?" Gomez rejected offers to resign. DC United did the prudent thing and sought replacements for a player unwilling to resign. If anyone should take blame for him not heading to Bradenton next week, it is Gomez himself.

Count me among the vast majority who enjoyed and will remember Gomito's many contributions to the United legacy these past three years. But let's not delude ourselves that he doesn't bear significant responsibility to the schism between he and the team. All he had to do was say yes. He chose not to. Hasta la vista, Christian.

Posted by: Throwin | January 25, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Are they really quirky MLS rules or are they just making this stuff up as they go along?

Posted by: Chico | January 25, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

PKTaker, we're reworking Barra site so those pics are down, but I have some at http://bastaic.com/ultras/gomez/ that were from that match.

Probably didn't put up high res desktop quality pics on there tho ;)

Posted by: Srdan | January 25, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Awesome Srdan, I was just browsing thru the new Barra Brava site. You guys rock, it's awesome. Me and the wife are definately joining this year.

Posted by: QuietSider | January 25, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Beckham 6.5 million
Blanco 2.7 million
Angel 1.6 million
Reyna 1.25 million
Donovan 900,000
Johnson 875,000
Adu 550,000
Ruiz 435,000
Mathis 410,000
Twellman 350,008
Gomez 218,500

---------------------

The analysis upthread by _ (no name) is correct.

+ Beckham is in a class by himself as a money-maker for the league.
+ Blanco is arguably too expensive ... if he draws extra Club America/Mexico fans throughout the league all 2008 ... he is worth it ... it helped that he performed well too
+ Angel played better than Gomez, he is younger, he is in a bigger market and he is arguably still overpaid. He is also better for marketing purposes than Gomez.
+ Reyna - an example of why NOT to overpay a midfielder entering his mid-30s.
+ Donovan - captain of the USMNT. Think stars for England get inflated wages relative to foreign players in the EPL? They do.
+ Johnson - Salary recovered by his transfer fee. What is Gomito's transfer fee likely to be in 2 or 3 years?
+ Adu - Salary recovered by ticket sales and transfer fee. There may also be sell-on clauses that bring in more income. Also - see Donovan for American player inflation.
+ Ruiz - this was a payback contract for a player who was getting shafted (relatively) for years before. He is also younger, a more traditional goalscorer and it is only too much money in retrospect (as Ruiz had transfer value fairly recently).
+ Mathis - yeah ... great evidence why Gomito should be paid more.
+ Twellman - the best case on this list, but he could have netted MLS $2.5m after being paid at this wage for one year only. He toiled for peanuts for years, scores more than Gomito (though he is not better), is the absolute face of his team and is a popular US player.

---

Gomito should more reasonably be compared to Guevara, Scheletto, DeRosario and other non-US internationals without NT experience. These other guys are (or were) MVP type players and they have never gotten close to DP money. If Gomito were even a former Argentinian int'l - you could justify making him a DP. But not when you consider that DC has never even compensated Jaime Moreno at that kind of level. He is a 'tweener who doesn't have much upside, will not draw additional fans to the team and is likely to face a decline as he ages (because his game is not as finesse/technical as guys like Scheletto and Moreno - finishing ability perhaps aside).

Now Gallardo might be too expensive, but you can at least understand his higher wages considering he is coming on a free transfer, he is a big-time player from a current big-time team, he has been capped dozens of times, etc.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | January 25, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Gomito should more reasonably be compared to Guevara, Scheletto, DeRosario and other non-US internationals without NT experience. These other guys are (or were) MVP type players and they have never gotten close to DP money. If Gomito were even a former Argentinian int'l - you could justify making him a DP. But not when you consider that DC has never even compensated Jaime Moreno at that kind of level. He is a 'tweener who doesn't have much upside, will not draw additional fans to the team and is likely to face a decline as he ages (because his game is not as finesse/technical as guys like Scheletto and Moreno - finishing ability perhaps aside).


Posted by: Liverpool_SC | January 25, 2008 12:17 PM


Ouch!

Posted by: The Truth Hurts! | January 25, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Gomez will always be welcome in RFK.

Hey, Twellman is not Happy with the Revs so how about trading Gomez for him. Jaime could play the attacking midfield role.

Posted by: United fury | January 25, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Liverpool_SC:

Last I checked, DeRo is the engine that makes Canada's national team go. He is definitely a national teamer.

Posted by: Mike | January 25, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Thank you Kevin for this D.C. United jersey and congratulations on your terrific season," Fenty said. "It is great to see over 20,000 fans here at RFK supporting D.C. United. It is my hope that your fans will soon be coming to your brand new soccer stadium at Poplar Point in Anacostia. World class fans, and a world class team like D.C. United, deserve a world class stadium. And I am going to make it a priority to help you build that stadium. Thank you -- congratulations and good luck to the Black-and-Red!"

-Adrian Fenty on Oct 29 2006 (right before a mayoral elction mind you)

link to full article: http://www.mlsnet.com/news/team_news.jsp?ymd=20061031&content_id=77524&vkey=news_dcu&fext=.jsp&team=t103

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Liverpool...

Guille and Guevara also have national team experience. Sorry...

Posted by: d, dc | January 25, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

So let me get this straight, you are saying that EJ was a bad investment for the MLS? You sure you wanna argue that point?

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 11:35 AM
====================

I don't know what the transfer fee was - KC denies that it was $4M. So I can't answer your question directly. MLS probably made it's money back and a little more. I wouldn't have increased his salary by a factor of 10 based on 3-4 good outings with the USMNT against some weak opponents.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 25, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

@ United fury
I would sooner take a boot to the face than see Twellman wearing the United shirt.

Terry Cooke could be interesting, though. Would be nice to have a true wide option, and some relief for Fred and Benny's legs.

Also, let me echo QuietSider's praise for the new Barra site. Looks great!

Posted by: DCBird | January 25, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I was sort of joking

Posted by: DC Bird | January 25, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

My bad

i'm not dcbird

Posted by: United fury | January 25, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Alright

We need to trade Gomez to Colorado for:

1) Terry Cooke
2) An international spot (just in case we need it) or an allocation

Posted by: DC5star2008 | January 25, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't know what the transfer fee was - KC denies that it was $4M. So I can't answer your question directly. MLS probably made it's money back and a little more. I wouldn't have increased his salary by a factor of 10 based on 3-4 good outings with the USMNT against some weak opponents.

===========================================
it was 3 million pounds, or 6 million dollars. KC will deny that, for sure. EJ's max salary was last year at 900k, before that, he was making 110k a year. They had to offer him that because in 2005 Benfica offered 4 million. So, MLS pays in total salary just over 2 million, for a guy who was hardly a washout in the MLS. In five, really 4 years (he missed one because of injury) he's got 41 goals and 13 assists (including 15 last year). And before he had his good outings with the Nats, he had already become the youngest player to tie for most goals in a season. In the end the MLS knew what it was doing. They tripled their money and got to have him for 5 years in the league.

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Whatever happened to that "status report" that DCU mentions in its Poplar Point FAQ page...?

------
"When do you expect you will know the likely location of a new D.C. United Stadium?
Our partners and we are working diligently on this project and we hope to share our plans, or at a minimum provide a status report, by the end of the calendar year."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 25, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"In the end the MLS knew what it was doing. They tripled their money and got to have him for 5 years in the league."

Yep. Talk about a Grown Ass Profit.

Posted by: silentbob | January 25, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed your sarcasm, United fury. The gut reaction to picturing Twellman in Black and Red was a little overwhelming, and temporarily shut down my ability to get a joke...

Posted by: DCBird | January 25, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Wait, Twellman to United? AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH *Head explodes*

cleanup in aisle five.

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

No more guys over 30. If we are trading in the league I would rather get a young and up and coming or capable midfielder. Averaging the age up is a terrible idea.

Posted by: UVA-United | January 25, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Looking back at all of this, I'm glad United signed Jaime. We're going to need his leadership on the field AND in the clubhouse. Team chemistry is always a concern. Varying pay scales can have a detrimental effect on morale (ie: Adu.) Putting a cohesive unit on the field that will fight for each and the shirt is by no means a given. We'll need Moreno and Olsen to step up and show the newbs what United is all about.

Posted by: Chico | January 25, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

(WASHINGTON, DC, JAN 25, 2008) Grocery shoppers where shocked and in dismay today when the head of a man wearing a D.C. United soccer jersey unexplicably exploded, sending skin, bone and brain matter all over the beer aisle.

Witnesses told police that the man's dying words were, "Twellman?! AHHHHHHHH!"

Posted by: Joe Doc | January 25, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

You're probably right, UVA-United. The cap space create by Gomez should be leveraged to land an up-and-comer who has the potential to contribute for years. Hopefully a winger with good work rate and a deadly cross.

Anyone have thoughts on who that might be?

Posted by: DCBird | January 25, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

The cap space create by Gomez should be leveraged to land an up-and-comer who has the potential to contribute for years. Hopefully a winger with good work rate and a deadly cross.

Anyone have thoughts on who that might be?

===========================

Matias Donnet?

Posted by: WNT fan | January 25, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"it was 3 million pounds, or 6 million dollars. KC will deny that, for sure. EJ's max salary was last year at 900k, before that, he was making 110k a year."

I'm having trouble with your math.
EJ was in MLS for 7 totals seasons and played 127 matches to get 41G/13A. He averaged 70' per match. Good stats for a striker, but not outstanding.

According to Goff's reports and the players union, EJ made $86,250 in 2004 and $875,000 in 2005-07 (all guaranteed numbers) Steve did not get the MLS salaries prior to 2004. So the total is $2.7M plus whatever he made in 2001-03 . If Fulham paid $6M (where did you get this?), then MLS roughly doubled, not tripled, it's money.

If MLS had accepted Benfica's offer in 2005, they would recovered their costs more than 30 times over. So they did not sell EJ at his peak.

OK, I've spent way too much time crunching numbers. I have to get back to work and... crunch... some... more... numbers.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 25, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I hate Fenty.

That's all.

Posted by: Hoost | January 25, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

The worst thing about all of this: having to break the news to my kids. :( They love Christian, he's a hero to them. They idolize him and that's ok with me because he plays with a passion for the sport and devotion to his team that I am glad to have my children emulate. My 8 year old daughter will understand when I explain that every team changes and that players retire or go on to do other things. My 6 year old son will cry. I'll do both.

I'll leave the heavy analysis/finger pointing/debates to the rest of you.

I just want to say to Christian Gomez:

Thank you! Thank you for all that you've given to our team. My family and I wish you and yours all the best.

Posted by: AlexandriaDan | January 25, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

No question that GOmez earned a better offer than he got from DCU. I think they could have come up a little without going itno DP territory, but it doesn't sound lilke they could satisfy him.

Personally, I think it would have made sense to sign Gomez, not Gallardo, if it meant saving the DP slot. Let's be clear on what's going to happen next year, Emilio is going to take off at the end of the season. If DCU wouldn't give Gomez DP money, they're going to give it to Emilio either. He may have a talent for scoring goals, but Gomez is the better player. Moreover, it appears the DP slot will now go to Gallardo -- which will leave United in a real fix, trying to find a striker they can count on, after '08.

Of course, there will be a new negotiation, and it's entirely possible that MLS will take a chance and really open up the salary cap rules. Maybe, that will make it possible to hold on to Emilio, despite his proven wanderlust.

I wonder, though -- would it have been possible (maybe still possible) to sign Gomez for less than he wants, but with an escalation clause that would spike his salary if the maximium salary went up, and the cap, as well? I bet the MLS would have concerns about such a clause, because it might prejudice the negotiations, but it could give both sides what they want...DCU keeps their #10, and holds on to a DP slot to bring in a top striker after this season.

And, anyone who begrudges favoritism to the Redskins is being silly. There was a calculation above that showed the redskins bringing in twice the # of fans. Actually, it's more, becuase they get a pretty full house for their exhibitions, too. Presumably, this would result in a Super Bowl or too, which catapults the $$ coming in up into the stratosphere. It's got to be the biggest thing a city could have, outside of the Olympics. Maybe, hosting a few World Cup games would match that. Interestingly enough, though we're not likely to win the 2018 bid, I'd lay even money that the US gets to host the 2022 World Cup. Wouldn't it be nice for the District to have a world-class facility for those games. The possibilty of a roof and air-conditioning migh even make the stadium the top candidate for the final. So, even soccer fans ought to be behind the idea of building such a facility....

Posted by: Fisch Fry | January 25, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I have never understood this MLS policy. If Gomez is out of contract, why would another MLS team owe anything to DC? If he goes abroad, the team that signs him owes nothing. It seems to me that out of contract should actually mean that.

Posted by: PVG | January 25, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

EJ was in MLS for 7 totals seasons and played 127 matches to get 41G/13A. He averaged 70' per match. Good stats for a striker, but not outstanding.
==========================================

Hardly just 'a few good games with the national team', though, is it? and you can google news it to find the transfer, but do 3 million ponuds since the english papers have no problem reporting the amount. And true, they would've gotten more ROI, but not necessarily that much more money head they sold him to benfica, not to mention they got 2 more years of a high profile player in the us. But answer my original question, was eddie Johnson a bad investment as you implied.

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Hardly just 'a few good games with the national team', though, is it?"

You're quoting me out of context. His $800K raise came after a few good games with the USMNT against (among others) El Salvador, Panama, and Jamaica.

It's all how you look at it. MLS made 2M more from Fulham compared to the Benfica* offer, but paid him ~2.5M in the intervening 3 years. If I doubled my money in 7 years, I'd feel pretty good about it. But if I netted $3M in 2007, when I could have netted over $3.5M in 2005, I'd be upset and the shareholders would call for my head.

So yes, a bad investment. Not necessarily because of EJ's skill, but because of the business decisions to give him a large salary increase and/or hold onto him for so long.

* Wikipedia states that Benfica offered $5M in Jan 2005 (prior to the season). So it's worse that whatever I've written, but I'm too lazy to go back and edit.

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | January 25, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

It's all how you look at it. MLS made 2M more from Fulham compared to the Benfica* offer, but paid him ~2.5M in the intervening 3 years. If I doubled my money in 7 years, I'd feel pretty good about it. But if I netted $3M in 2007, when I could have netted over $3.5M in 2005, I'd be upset and the shareholders would call for my head.
------------------------------------------

Yeah, but he played those 2 years and increased the brand. It's not like they paid him for nothing. It's short sighted to sell these kids without giving them the chance to leave their mark on the MLS. Think of it this way, if they had sold Dempsey for 500k when he was a rookie, the percentage on that would be huge, like Arguez, but instead he left his mark on the MLS and drew interest.

Posted by: DCAustinite | January 25, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Those of you commenting on Guevara, Guille, and DeRo having national team experience only prove my point further. Which of those guys ever made more than $300k per season?

Guille is a few years further from his prime than Gomito and he earns substantially less.

DeRo has been an MVP and led his team to several championships ... and he makes right around $300k or less.

Guevera was roughly as productive (though more moody and inconsistent and nowhere near the classy guy) as Gomito and his salary was under $300k.

Guys - I am not talking as a DC fan here ... I am talking strictly from a business perspective. Gomito does not have the track record of a DP player in MLS. He was signed from a 2nd Div Argentinian club. He plays well enough to be a first division guy ... sure. But without the international pedigree - (even a basic one like Jaime Moreno or the guys above) it is hard to turn that into a higher salary.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | January 25, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This Dan Stratford kid has his head screwed on straight. And being the career assist leader in a program is nothing to sneeze at, unless the program is only 1 year old. So I'm jazzed to have him. I hope he does well.

Posted by: Matte | January 25, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I'll add my voice to the chorus. Gomez is the man. Vaya con dios, Christian.

Posted by: Matte | January 25, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Eddie Johnson bought out his own contract for $4 million. He pocketed the amount of his transfer himself.

Posted by: Jason | January 25, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

So where did the $4m he paid to buy out his contract go? Did MLS ever pay him (over his entire career) anything close to $4m?

I rather doubt it.

Posted by: Liverpool_SC | January 25, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

@Posted by: WNT fan | January 25, 2008 09:48 AM

As an objective observer, Fire fan but follower of the league as a whole, Gomez honestly deserves, assuming a guaranteed 2 years, $275K-$300K MAXIMUM.
The other non-DP's you mentioned, with the exception of Ruiz, are all US Nats and they were given those contracts forever ago to play in the league and raise the profile of the Nats and MLS, so they deserve more than a foreign international.
In the case of Ruiz, he's a goal scorer. They always make more and his contract was made when they allowed more 'creative accounting' than they do now.

If Gomez went with non-guaranteed years, he's still no more than $325K max.

He's a good player who had a bad year last year who is getting older. Gallardo, if he is healthy, is a much better player than Gomez is and ever was. It's honestly a + move by United.

Posted by: papa bear | January 25, 2008 7:31 PM | Report abuse

I still can't believe that the DCU FO couldn't come up with the cash to keep Gomez. I'd have rather seen them lose Moreno and give that money to Gomez. Christian is the real deal and although he's not some over-the-hill washed up euro-player, he definitely deserves to be paid the amount he was asking.

Oh well, I've only got one more year till Seattle get their team and then I can stop worrying about DCU's bad decisions.

Posted by: Gary B | January 25, 2008 10:26 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Goff, are you sure your intermediary translated Gomez's comment correctly? He didn't say anything about "ventilators"?

Posted by: Joe S. | January 26, 2008 5:24 AM | Report abuse

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