The twenty-five year old 2013 Golden Boot winner, Camilo Sanvezzo, leaving North America for a stronger league would be a coup for Major League Soccer. Aside from Camilo and his family attempting to obtain permanent residency in Canada so he can dawn the maple crest, a flight from MLS is imminent.
Whether the rumor of Camilo’s transfer to Liga MX’s Queretaro is valid or just a negotiating tactic will eventually be cleared up. This week the Vancouver Whitecaps deny the report by Ana Patricia Fernández on ESPN Deportes. Camilo’s non-Designated Player contract paid him $247,000 in 2013. The Caps have two remaining DP slots and transferred out more than a million dollars salary in the offseason. They have the space, he has the numbers.
Keeping Camilo in MLS for one more season is a selfish wish for any league supporter. Preventing the league’s Golden Boot winner from transferring to Liga MX is mandatory.
Despite the contentious opinion from league supporters and the inherent regressive labor practice, the single entity system has stabilized cost and kept MLS afloat by attracting new investors. In its 19th season it is time to turn the single entity contract system into a tool. Time to compete with its nearest geographical rival. While the comparison to European leagues are consist among the soccer community, Liga MX is still the greatest competitor.
The Cruz Azul transfer of LA Galaxy striker Jose Villarreal (loan), the Philadelphia Union playmaking midfielder Michael Farfan and San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca should irk fans. The salary cap allowed the Mexico City club to get two solid contributors in their prime with 2013 salary compensation less than $200,000 combined. Players moving to large clubs is an emotional double-edged sword. The domestic league develops players that can compete in best leagues, but we (the fan) lose quality players that are joys to watch. When the club is a CONCACAF rival with a league that gets more broadcast television games in the US than MLS, league supporters are cut even deeper.
A shift in strategy must occur to strive to be the top league in the hemisphere. The league office and club executives need to broaden their scope outside the vacuum of United States and Canada. The slow climb to relevance within the domestic sports landscapes is a two theater battle: selling soccer and selling MLS. The growth for the league is outside the borders.
By selling its top talent to the most clear and present opponent is short sighted. The Caps need to pay Camilo, give him DP status and keep him out of Liga MX. Even if it’s only until the summer transfer window when they sell him to a European club. No more should MLS artificially low player salary benefit the continent’s richest clubs.
You can’t surpass your competition by giving them your best assets. Time for MLS to start using their bureaucratic tools against their rivals rather than just benefiting owners.
This winter break’s Throw-In:
I tweeted Thursday:
— Jason Sieira (@RescindedRed) January 2, 2014
Just to clear it up that does not include the retirement of Kevin Hartman or Matt Reis.
- The three league salary dumps this offseason were by the Chicago Fire ($1,687,500), DC United ($1,411,500), and FC Dallas ($1,020,500). All three clubs declined the options on DPs Arévalo Ríos, Dwayne De Rosario, and David Ferreira, respectively.
- The New York Red Bulls are the only playoff team to transfer out players that scored more than 10% of the club’s season goal total. Columbus Crew 5 goals, 11.90%; RBNY 9 goals, 15.52%; DC United 7 goals, 31.82%; and Toronto FC 13 goals, 43.33%.