How to Assemble an English Premier League Level Starting XI for $800,000

Bolton, beware. The MLS Player’s Association leaked player salaries for the fourth straight year, and it’s time to assemble the traditional starting 11 of underpaid MLS players who could easily match a mid-table Premiership side for a staggering $798,899 (last time it was $875,288). Somebody give these guys a raise so that they can get out of their parent’s basement!

You can also check out Climbing the Ladder, where they assemble a full 23-player squad that could bring the pain to Derby County and remain under the MLS salary cap of $2.3 million.

We’ll line up in a 4-3-3, just to show that the cheapness is inclusive of good style. Not only that, I think these guys would thrive and throw down in a 4-3-3.

Goalie
Brad Guzan: $103,974. (hey, splurge on the goalie; you’ll only need one since he’s the best in MLS. That non-transfer to Aston Villa hurt more than the Worm’s pride!)
Defense
Bornstein Jonathan $77,500.00 (Shutting down Messi in the Copa America never came so cheap.)
Boswell Robert $33,000.0
Craig Waibel $70,008
Michael Harrington $49,600 (If he was at Fulham, he would be tied for top goalscorer.)

Midfield
Juan Toja: $150,000 (Cheapest #10 on the planet! This dude will be moving on to La Liga or Argentina in the next two years. Deco, protect your neck!)
Devon McTavish: $33,000
Stuart Holden: $33,075

Forward
Maykel Galindo: $79,750 (The Cuban makes a perfect right-sided forward, and he doesn’t like Communism!)
Kenny Cooper: $83,000 (Prototypical No. 9)
Chris Rolfe: $86,000 (A poor man’s Ronaldinho, with the same inconsistency but without the Barcelona nightclub bar tabs.)

Total: $798,899

Blue Light Specials
F Jozy Altidore: $128,333 (If Real Madrid knew this…)
M Dane Richards: $33,000
F Chad Barrett $53,773.13
F Hercules Gomez $51,817
F Adam Cristman $33,000
D Jeff Parke $57,487
D Chris Leitch $60,000
D Marvell Wynne $47,500.00
F Soumare Bakary $70,000
M Sainey Nyassi: $17,700
GK Bouna Coundoul: $33,000 (Take your team to the Africa Cup of Nations final, shutting out D. Drogba & Ivory Coast, and this is what you get to come back home to!)

April 13th, 2008 | Soccer, Unbelievable | No comments

He Is From the Stars

I commence the Juan Roman Riquelme death watch. The “man from the stars“, the “big, strolling, beautiful zombie, languid as the smoke off a cigarette“, will soon move off this mortal coil. There can be no other way. Why did Blaise Pascal pass before finishing his Pensees? Why was Wilhelm Gottfried Leibniz removed from our time so perfunctorily into his most wise years? Whither ‘Pac and Buddy Holly?

There is but one answer. God the Almighty took them away from us, for the eschaton in which all thing are made right was not yet to come upon earth. There is yet more suffering, more heartbreak, for the faithful to endure so that they may be, through trials and hardships, purified into pure gold.

Juan Roman Riquelme, mark my words, shall slip off our time, but not our hearts, for he has become Icarus, and reached too close to the heavens.

Exiled like Israel from his homeland of the soccer field, left out of every team practice yet cruelly still allowed access to the training facilities, Riquelme awaited redemption. And then it came, in the form of a loan to the club of his heart, Boca Juniors, and (I say as a River Plate believer) a meltingly, staggeringly genius run to the Copa Libertadores championship of all South America with the blue and yellows. Then the clock struck midnight, money became the word on the lips of the heathens and the tribe, and he returned to Villareal, his Babylon, deported to a quaint seaside Spanish siro.

And yet, he was called back for his country, and, given the sword, stabbed into the team of his oppressors, Pelegrini’s Chileans, not once, but again, deeper, deadlier. Shakespearean as it was, nothing else came after. Revenge against the country of your slave master must be savored, because it only lasted for 90 minutes.

Now, the gates have lifted, the captive set free, returning to La Bomberena for the highest transfer fee in Argentine history. I would not buy a ticket for first class on the same flight from Spain to Buenos Aires as him. Nor would I ride in the same limousine, eat at the same cafes, or even use the same shampoo as this “Einstein of the pitch”. For him-who-must-be-named to play for La Boca again would be too perfect. All would be made right before its time.

Juan Roman Riquelme must die. Not by me. By the deep magic of the created universe. The beginning of the Aptura campaign is imminent, and he will play for them, and will them to champions.

February 5th, 2008 | Philosophy, Soccer, Zombies | No comments