Monday, June 14, 2010

World Cup Underway, Red Bulls Salaries Revealed

So here we are - coming up on a week into the 2010 World Cup - and I have yet to be truly entertained by a game, with the exception of the Germans slick passing and sublime movement against hapless Australia.  I'm sure it will come.  It won't be all dull defensive struggles, will it?  Frankly some of these matches are making me pine for the expansive flow of MLS.  OK, I'm not being totally serious, but can we please have a few more goals and a lot less of Alexi Lalas?  During the tournament, I will be appearing as Kevin McCauley's guest on Inside the Six each Monday and Thursday.  We'll be running through the day's games and previewing upcoming matches. To check out today's episode, click here.

Meanwhile there is some stuff to look forward in Red Bulls land.  First, of course, everyone is expecting the Thierry Henry to MLS announcement to be made official once the competition in South Africa ends or France goes crashing out.  Based on their game against Uruguay, Les bleus may be home sooner than expected. Surely Henry's arrival is just a matter of dotting the "I"s and crossing the "T"s, right?  We shall see.

As we wait for the TH14 circus to unfold its tent, the Red Bulls will be back from a brief vacation and back in action again versus Brazilian club Cruzeiro on Friday at the Cathedral of Football.  viper won't be able to make it because a heavy metal concert takes precedence (ahem), and Tim is enjoying the delights of New Haven for a few weeks while he works a theater festival.  But I'll be there with a few friends and will try to bring you some video and photos.  By the way, Cruzeiro had no problem beating New England 3-0 last night in the first match of their North American tour.  The Brazilians will be no pushovers, but as long as RBNY doesn't sustain any more injuries and gets some match sharpness back I'll be a happy man.

Finally, the 2010 MLS salaries were revealed today on the MLS Players Union website.  The most heartening thing about the numbers is that the developmental designation has gone bye-bye - and with it the McDonald's wages that some players used to earn.  The minimum MLS salary now rests at a not-terrible-but-not-great-either $40,000.  Among the Red Bulls earning this relative pittance: rookies Tim Ream, Conor Chinn and Irving Garcia, but also a few veteran bargains, such as Sinisa Ubiparipovic and proud South African Danleigh Borman (pictured above).  These last two especially have been punching above their weight and deserve to be steamed (see what I did there?) about their lousy paychecks.

At the other end of the spectrum you have guys like Salou Ibrahim ($264,000), Brian Nielsen ($156,000) and Kevin Goldthwaite (a jaw-dropping $120,000) who have done little to nothing to earn their keep.  We'll cut Goldy some slack because of his injury, but 120K?!  Really?!  Carl Robinson, meanwhile, will be making a staggering $315,000 this season, but a large portion of that is being covered by TFC (whew)!  It's also worth noting that the Red Bulls have about $225,000 of their cap space dedicated to goalkeeping.  Bounatime may want to take a portion of his $156,000 and invest in some kicking lessons.

Just kidding Bouna!

Well not really.
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