Nov 15, 2012, 10:20 AM EDT
Hopefully, we are all a little smarter about this one.
Hopefully, we will not get all flush, hot and bothered because Brazilian star Kaka has graciously allowed that one day, in his declining years, he would be interested in cashing paychecks in these United States.
Please pardon us if we all are not falling over in delight.
Here, as always, are the important elements to keep in mind each and every time a foreign star dangles his pricey services, hoping to stoke some fires for later MLS arrival:
- When these players say they would consider MLS, what most mean is that they would like to perform in New York or Los Angeles. Of course, the math is tricky here; at present, each MLS club is allowed just three salary-special Designated Players. That reduces the chances of these star splashdowns.
- It takes two to Samba. In other words, Kaka or any other known name may want MLS, but does MLS really want them? Kaka? Perhaps, although every year Major League Soccer clubs get a little smarter about what does and does not add fans in the stands. Gone are the days when everyone believes so strongly in the star player attendance correlation. There’s generally more careful examination now, which is why someone like Arne Friedrich may have more value than a wow-wow aging attacker. (That is, a good, solid German defender who can improve the W-L ratio does more for the club than a guy who sells a couple of seats initially, then rides the bench while sowing ample salary envy in the locker room.)
- Finally, Kaka, 30, is talking about joining MLS after the 2014 World Cup. But the way player value tends to escalate after World Cups, he is more likely to (wisely) cash in with one more lucrative European deal. Then, at 34 or 35 years old … to MLS perhaps? By then, it may be too late.
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