Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Andrew Jacobson

Recent developments are going to force me to write about the United SuperDraft selections (Supers?) in their actual order rather than reverse order. Wait... If Fullback claimed Suppies, can I claim Supers?

But anyway, this guy really isn't worth writing a full blog post about, and he's certainly not worth researching. Yeah you got that Andy, you're not even worth 5 minutes of my time.

In case you didn't hear, Andrew Jacobson, who was United's first selection in the SuperDraft (second round), will be joining FC Lorient of the French Ligue II. Jacobson could have possibly provided depth behind Clyde Simms as a defensive midfielder. Or then again, he could have provided about as much depth as Arguez provided last year. We'll never know.

So what does this mean?

In general for MLS... It means that a promising young player is choosing to play overseas, probably because the $17,000 salary that he'd earn on the Developmental roster won't get him into very many apartments in the DC area, and he doesn't want to have to wait tables on the side in order to survive. At least not when he can earn a decent living wage, but probably not a whole lot more playing time, with a second division European club. It's almost more of a wonder why more players DON'T go overseas right away if they can get an opportunity with a second or even third division club with more money and more contract flexibility.

In general for DC United... It means very little in my opinion. The SuperDraft is so hit and miss that this really doesn't bug me at all. Our second round draft pick last year was Brad North, and he's already out (although I did see him hanging around the practice field in street clothes on Monday). Lately, we've had about as much luck with our Suppies (McTavish, Kpene) as we have with our Supers (Moose, Dyachenko). And we've arguably had more luck than any other team in MLS at identifying foreign talent that fits our needs. So this doesn't bother me much.

Specifically for DC United... This is great news for the Carroll family. Jeff Carroll now inherits the role of second string defensive midfielder from his brother. And younger brother Pat Carroll now has a greater chance of making the team in a Developmental role.


Fullback said...

Lorient is actually in the French top flight and not too far out of a UEFA Cup spot. They're actually ahead of the same PSG that Gallardo is coming from.

Now, if Jacobson strolls into this club for a week-long trial and lands a contract (and a low number shirt--#4), that tells me he'd most likely be able to contribute in MLS.

How does that hurt us? Well, you say middle Carroll is Simms' backup. How much has middle Carroll actually played for the first team? Yeah, about as much as Jacobson has. Any foreign clubs sniffing about Carroll? Didn't think so. I think Jacobson would have pressed Simms harder than Carroll will, to the benefit of both, but we shall see.

It's a shame that MLS is becoming a feeder league. Look at all the kids coming out of college who skip MLS and the guys who stick it out for a few years until they realize all of the money is going to a few marquee players, so they head for 2nd/3rd tier Euro leagues. If the league isn't careful, we'll be left with a huge quality gap that journeyman and promising young American players should be filling. How can they hope to expand and maintain quality of play if all the talent is gone?

Anonymous said...

^ Agreed.

It's just an example of what's happening to MLS, becoming a "feeder league," as Fullback said. But specifically to United, it didn't quite *hurt* them, but it *could have helped* them. So no harm done, but a shame to miss out on an opportunity, that's all.

He may not get much time on Lorient, but it just goes to show that if a kid with a one-week trial --> POOM, contract!!!, then he must be pretty good. Even so, MLS and United may be missing out, but they more than make up for it with their Latino signings.

Shatz... said...

Not sure I totally agree with you. Of course just like anything else - only time will tell.

To me, this seems more like the Arguez deal than anything else. It's a totally unproven player who gets a week trial for a mid-level European club and impresses enough coaches to get a contract. If Arguez had stuck around, I think he still would have been behind Jeff Carroll on the depth chart this year, mainly due to the huge difference in work ethic between the two of them. I agree with you that Jacobson probably would (or at least SHOULD be able to) push Simms harder than Carroll will, but you probably would have said the same thing about Arguez a year ago. Right?

But in the end, the lesson from this is... If MLS expects to compete with the mid-level European leagues (French, Norwegian, etc), then they need to be able to offer better salaries to these young promising players straight outta college.

Fullback said...

Or you could say that Jacobson could have been this year's Kpene-- a much more apt comparison as he was fresh out of college but racked up some minutes despite stiff competition for places, right?

Whatever the case, developmental salaries are the wrench in the hands of a very angry monkey, and that could spell some serious simian-damage for MLS if they can't find a way to spread the money around that'll keep the kids playing domestic ball.