Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New York drops the ball

My SI.com editor Jonah Freedman takes the New York Red Bulls to task about the Claudio Reyna retirement situation.

Freedman argues that if New York knew about
Reyna's impending retirement, which really he should have been euthanized when he first broke down this year, then the Bulls should have made a push for Ronaldinho.

Is that far-fetched? Should the Red Bulls have gone after one of the biggest names in world soccer?

Probably, but would they really have paid the millions of dollars necessary to acquire his services? Jonah points out that Man City and AC Milan drove the price up by bidding against each other. Would New York have driven the price even higher?

New York needs a superstar, that much is true. Yes, Juan Pablo Angel is a great player but his starpower doesn't extend off the soccer field. Ronaldinho's does.

I don't know if Ronaldinho would have come stateside. Gut and all, he's still got soccer left in him. But I'm just not sure if he would have considered New York an option.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is a stupid article. MLS might pay $30m in salary over a period of years if the player is likely to raise revenues to cover the cost (see Becks) however MLS will not likely pay a $30m transfer fee for the next decade or two.

And frankly I'm not convinced that Ronaldinho would have an effect on attendance remotely similar to what Beckham has done...

Those looking for big transfers to MLS have to look to free transfers of players out of contract. Those are the only possibilities.

Elizabeth said...

totally agree with the above poster. No way would NY be able to pay the transfer fee or his salary. beck's real salary is only $6.5 million and most of the money is raised by his endorsements. Ronaldinho is a big name but no where in the league of beckham, especially in the US. NY just wouldn't be able to promise him enough in supplemental income to really entice him.

CACuzcatlan said...

Don't forget that Dinho turned down more money at City to play for Milan. He's not ready to end his career yet. While Beckham may still get call ups for the England national team, there is no way in hell Ronaldinho would get called up with so many great Brazilian players at the highest levels.

And sources now say that RBNY may not even be able to use their DP slot this year. There's no way in hell I can come close to believing that Ronaldinho would play in MLS at this point in his career.

Anonymous said...

Even if they could get ronaldinho I don't know if he would be the right fit. He's a great player and a person that would be a joy to watch, but he's also very selfish. I don't know if he is mature enough to be the poster child of a league. David beckham does tv talk shows, signings/appearances for fans, and does press conferences after practice and each game. I don't know if ronaldinho would do that and be gracious about it. Beckham is a great spokesperson for the league and even blanco has toned down his antics and become a good role model. I think ronaldinho would think he is too good for this league especially if his team sucked.

Anonymous said...

I usually like Freedman's articles, but I found this one to be odd and just plain misguided.

L.B. said...

What's the difference between Beckham and Ronnie? I would have thought MLS would have ended Becks' England career but it hasn't. Maybe they made Becks and offer he couldn't refuse. Who's to say New York couldnt or shouldn't have done the same?

I don't think Ronaldinho would have come here either, especially considering ManCity's bid was 50 million reportedly, and Becks came on a free. But Red Bull Limited Co. has some serious money. Perhaps they could have at least try to throw some of it towards acquiring a world superstar? How great advertising for them to have Ronaldinho wearing the Red Bull logo every game and for that to be seen across the world.

Anonymous said...

You're pretty much talking about potentially splashing over $50 million for a guy that has been underperforming for both club and country. Just because Man City was willing to do it doesn't mean NYRB had to do the same.

starinyourfire said...

i think if they had a chance if Reyna was retired before the season started then ya why not?

Ronaldinho has a lot to offer for any team in this league either in the midfield or up top, attendence though it probably wouldn't be in the magnitude of David Beckham but who knows how much of a draw he would be.

we just know that more players have said they would be interested playing in the league, it doesn't hurt to ask and try to bring those players to this league.

starinyourfire said...

just read this from Goff's site:

*Okay, as for the Claudio Reyna retirement and the impact on the Red Bulls, several MLS officials were in attendance at RFK tonight. They tell me that Reyna's departure will open a roster spot and a designated player slot for New York. However, the club will not receive any salary cap relief. Essentially, Reyna's hit against the salary cap (325K?) remains intact for the rest of the season. That's what the MLS folks tell me.

papa bear said...

Freedman needs to step away from the crack pipe.

@lb: the difference between Becks and Dinho is Ronnie is still under 30, Becks was not. Plus I get the feeling that after last year, he wants to prove at least one more time that he can dominate the European game.

RBNY and their fans really need to get real. No one that big is going to fall over themselves to play in a dilapidated stadium on green concrete. Angel came because he was essentially out of options in England.

Secondly, I am happy they are making RBNY keep the cap hit on the DP slot. I wonder how they will handle that considering they only own CUSA's DP for one more season and one would have to imagine they would like to retain Angel. Seems like moving Angel to their 'natural' DP slot would be a good move right about now.

Lastly, though the move is unrealistic, Red Bull could have certainly afforded any transfer fee. The company basically prints money.

A.Ruiz said...

Are you mad! Ronaldhino would fill stadiums. He would be a bigger draw than Beckham among soccer fans, who could not care less about "becks". I included.

Anyway, He's been the captain for Brazil...believe it or not...people in the US know who the Brazilian National team is.

He'd be bigger than Pele ever was, on the pitch and maybe even off it.

He's also been the face of Nike soccer for the last few years. People know who he is, give people credit.
Maybe not everyday rubes because he isn't in the tabloids but people who know even lick of the sport like some of the ones who bothered to watch the last world Cup. Well...they know who he is and would like to see him play.

Basically a lot of so called "euro snobs". The point is moot though, he wont come for exactly those reasons. He's too relevant.

Anonymous said...

wait, Freedman updated his blog? I think that's the real news here...


Anyways, it's silly to try to argue this. It's pretty obvious that Ronaldinho wouldn't have come here at this point, so do we really need to be upset that they didn't try to get him? There are more important things to complain about.

just another one of you said...

I agree that RBNY should be taken to task for not being at least rumored, heck the Galaxy were out there as a potential suitor. Founded or not, the fact that an American team is included amongst the rumors is a good thing for the sport's progress. Dinho would have packed stadiums across the country and given the league two teams to send on world tours. Plus the top selling jersey worldwide for 2 years running.

That's the high profile problem, but not the most important problem, which is that RBNY hasn't been in talks to bring in ANY big name players. JPO has practically brought in a new squad with the signings and the players he has on trial now. There are more players out there than Ronnie and the Bulls need help up and down the field. They need to start winning games or else that stadium will pretty empty to start next season. Only Henry, Ronnie, etc would change that.

Anonymous said...

Ronaldinho would not fill stadiums. There are not enough true soccer fans in this country.

Becks fills stadiums because of his cult of personality. It's not his soccer ability. Anyone who thinks that fan drawing ability has much at all to do with soccer talent is very naive about US soccer.

Becks is a draw because of the movie, the tabloids, the pop star wife etc...

I don't think there is another player in the world MLS could buy (at any price) that would have the impact of David Beckham. IF there was, MLS would make the offer, because the deal for Becks has been a gigantic success and the league would love to duplicate it.

Too bad there are no others like him.

Dominghosa said...

There's no argument that Ronnie would fill stands but I agree with most posters here, that article was pointless. No way was he coming to NY right now, anyway.

Diane said...

I have no problem with players coming to MLS for the end of their careers, from anywhere -- in or outside of the U.S., as long as they're fit and have class to offer even for a few years.

But there's a big difference between 28 and 32 (when Beckham signed on). Beckham had planned to play another two years at Real Madrid before making his next move, which obviously included a possible stint in MLS, and he brought enough to the team that they regretted letting him go. But they did, so his schedule was moved up. Ronaldhino isn't close to the point where such a move would represent a tweak in the time-line.

The only serious offer Becks considered other than MLS was also was Milan, but there were a host of other reasons he was drawn to the State (money not included because he would have made as much or more than he is here anywhere he went at that point) that aren't relevant to Ronaldinho's life. Not least of which is the fact that he does believe he still (or again) has something to prove in Europe.

The attendance squabble is silly. These are the two most popular players in the world (still) according to the much-referenced shirt sale indicator. There is no question that Ronaldhino would draw the crowds, and that he would be a joy to watch. It's just not realistic to think he is ready to leave top-flight, or even that he would want to go to the U.S. when he is.

Anonymous said...

if you think dinho wouldn't fill the stadium at home and everywhere he goes, you have no clue.

i drove down from san fran to LA to watch dinho and barca play chivas guadalajara two years ago - the coliseum was packed with 92000 people, and when dinho entered the game in the second half, the entire stadium rocked, and it took a while for the flashes to stop...

dinho is a greater player in the soccer sense than beckham ever was or ever will be - becks works hard in the midfield, and other than the occasional cross, he isn't very useful... being an articulate captain/leader for his young teammates and a spokesperson for MLS are the only things becks has over dinho. in terms of soccer value, becks doesn't add any more than a generic midfielder from the bottom half of the premiership. dinho, by contrast, is a magician that makes it all look so simple and elegant - the only ones in the world with that quality now are messi and pirlo... even ronaldo, kaka, and fabregas have to "work hard" and don't look as smooth...

that said, would i want to watch dinho get hacked by the likes of adrian serioux and jesse marsch? my imagination shudders at that thought...

David Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Harris said...

Jack Bell from the New York Times wrote a similar article recently and I provided a commentary on my website. Like I said in my post, I think MLS should have gone after Ronaldinho and I do think he is a player who can fill stadiums in this country. Look at the impact the Beckham has had. MLS needs to sign more stars in order to attract a greater following.

http://www.prosoccerweekly.com/2008/07
/ronaldinho-to-red-bulls.html