Getting back into talk about the Salary cap and how we should move cap space and everything. The continually talk of replacing Fredy Montero keeps up and really I hadn’t expected it to go away. Montero is a guy that obviously has a target on his back after the playoffs by some supporters and others have vision of sugar plumbs dancing in their head. As if to expect huge quantities of money in return for in the transfer window. That The thing that we have to remember is that he counts for $367,000 against the cap. No more. No less. Regardless to how much he’s actually being paid. That’s the same amount to which Conor Casey counted against the Cap for Colorado. Juan Pablo Angel for Chivas USA, Eric Hassli for Toronto and Kenny Miller for Vancouver. All were paid near or even more than Fredy Montero, yet none were even close to the value that Fredy Montero produced on the pitch.
In baseball we talk about production vs. value. There seems to be a disconnect in soccer as most tend to see the value tied directly to the cap and amount of money they make. This is the incorrect way of looking at it. It’s very difficult to actually put a number with on the field production and say they did this, this well. But being that Montero plays forward it’s a little bit easier to make direct comparisons to his peers. He not only is involved with the offence but he’s borderline responsible for the team as a whole putting goals in the net, a long with Eddie Johnson. The way I look at it there are only 4 (you could argue maybe 5 or 6) other DP’s in the rest of the league that, in my estimation, make the contributions to their position. Again that my opinion and one day I hope to be able to properly have a number to associate and compare and have a fair argument but for now, this is my site and you can go blow yourself if you think otherwise.
So, here is the thing, If you wanted to dig further into the league and look at everyone, it’s arguable that Montero is in the top-15, maybe 20, most valued players across MLS during his tenure in Seattle. The thing is, he’s also only 25. Entering into the prime of his career it’s fair to think that he is looking for the “big pay day” that is offered overseas and even rumoured to possibly be coming from South America. He could certainly go in this coming transfer window. But as recent as this past summer he has talked about staying put and helping to bring a Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup to Seattle. There is a sign of commitment. This IS the purpose of the DP contract. The ability to keep good, YOUNG players in the league and compete with teams from Europe for talent if the situation lends itself.
We, as supporters and fans, often fall in love with athletes in general and at an alarming rate have our heart broken by them for various reasons (i.e. they leave, they never live up to their potential, injury ridden, ect). I am in no way advocating that it would be a horrible idea to take advantage of Montero and his high stock, gather some allocation money and go back to the drawing board. The plan itself has some merit. But the problem is when you look at what Fredy does for this team in terms of production, a long with his age, a even his contract you would have to get a very good deal and at least fair compensation. Count me as someone that’s not sold that’s out there at this time.
The Sounders–I believe it was by the estimations of Jeremiah Oshan, from Sounder[at]Heart and SoundersFC.com– would need a substantial amount of money; somewhere in the range of $4 million. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a real journalist and I’m certainly not “in the know” and I certainly don’t know anyone who is. But looking at the landscape of the transfer market I’m not sure that type of money is available for him. According to a few different sites his top value is right around $2.5 mil. Would that be enough for Adrian Hanauer? It’s an interesting question.
Obviously, Adrian’s not going to come out and tell us “Yes, we want $3 million for Fredy, but we’ll also take more!” It completely undermines their ability to negotiate. But, I am not about making moves just to make moves. If you are going to sell Fredy it HAS to improve the team. Maybe it provides enough in allocation money to support the depth of this roster, maybe it enables you to add a piece to the back line and restructure Mauro’s DP contract. That would potentially open up two Designated Players slots and enable you to possibly go get another quality piece. I’m not a General Manager, I don’t know what’s going on in that chair. I just want to see my club get better and selling Fredy is one potential way for that to happen, but it seems as if fan’s look at it as the easy way out. That the “band has been together too long”. The biggest problem I have with selling off Fredy or at least talking about it is there more ways to improve the team without selling off, a guy I consider, to be one of our more valuable pieces.
It’s been a lot of fun to see the Sounders collect guys like Zakuani, Montero, Rosales, and EJ out on the pitch, but acquiring these types of impact offensive talents is not as easy as the front office has made it look. You can see clubs like FC Dallas, Chivas, Portland and even New York, in a lot of ways–such as their continually search to find a partner up top with Henry, are examples of teams that have struggled in the last two years with finding quality players and depth on the pitch and yet have been willing to spend money to try and acquire them.
It’s a little bit of a safer gamble considering the Sounders have David Estrada, Mario Martinez and even Mauro Rosales to fill in the spot potentially left behind by a transfer; being candid I see Martinez as the perfect eventual replacement for Montero. But, finding talent and having it work within yourself system is a huge deal and as I said before, a sale of Montero could have it’s merit, but it must be worth the gamble. The Sounders have to find equal compensation for him and be able to use that compensation to upgrade the surrounding pieces within the line-up. *cough*thebackline*cough*