Selling Peguero is the correct decision
|So, the New York Red Bulls (or Red Donkeys?) are selling Jean Philippe Peguero to Brondby of Denmark. They already turned down several bids, including one for $800,000. So it's safe to assume that they're getting nearly a million dollars for him.|
Naturally, the selling of the man who is possibly the team's best player has the fans upset. 'How can MLS be a major league if they sell their best players,' they say. That is a true statement. But, MLS is not in a position to be a major league any time soon. Let's not forget that the league has lost $300 million in 11 years. Only one team is actually is making a profit (or so I've read). A million dollars can pay for half of one team's salary for the entire season.
Furthermore, the foreign contingent in MLS is cheaper that it was five years ago, after contraction forced the I/O's to cut costs. But there hasn't been a huge dropoff in talent. I would argue that other than the forwards, there's not a big difference. Dwayne de Rosario, Christian Gomez, and Youri Djorkaeff are basically as good as Mauricio Cienfuegos, Marco Etcheverry, and Peter Nowak. There's a decline in the quality of foreign strikers, but the Americans are better and it's helped them develop.
It's just impossible financially for MLS to bring in top quality foreigners at every position, unless they're prepared to lose even more money. So if you're not going to have a bunch of great talent, then why hold on to a guy who breaks through from the usual glut of Central American/Caribbean players brought in every year?
MLS only sells a few players a year, and I don't think anybody is going to stop coming to games because one player on their team is sold. The quality of the league is already an issue for many soccer fans, but if you're going to MLS games, then you're probably fine with it already.
There's also free agency. Peguero was going to become a free agent, so if he didn't get sold he could have left for free. It doesn't appear that he wanted to, but MLS has already messed up on that before. See Clint Mathis and Carlos Bocanegra.
Finally, there's not a lot of people who consider Peguero to be a top player anyway. Why not sell him while he's hot? Clint Mathis again is the model. They could've sold him before the 2002 World Cup to Bayern Munich for several million. Plus, don't forget Eddie Johnson. January 2005, they could've got $5 million from Benfica, which sounds unbelievable at this point. All that for 12 goals in 2004, and scoring against El Salvador, Panama, and Jamaica. Would we really miss him? I dunno, it doesn't even feel like he's here as it is.