It’s not exactly Footballers Wives

Today’s Dispatch lets us know about the extracurriculars of Crew midfielder Brandon Moss:

It’s hard to imagine how international soccer icon David Beckham might spend his free time when he arrives in Los Angeles to play for the Galaxy this summer. Yoga with Madonna? Sushi with Tom and Katie? The possibilities are endless.

It’s especially hard for Crew midfielder Brandon Moss, who will spend a lot of his free time this summer with a pooper scooper in his hands, cleaning up after the dogs at the Johnstown kennel where he will work a third job in between playing and practicing with the Crew and coaching a local youth team.

Moss makes only $1,500 per month in salary from the Crew, according to the article, which is a mere 1/2667 the weekly salary David Beckham will reportedly receive from the LA Galaxy. By way of comparison, the average Wal-Mart employee’s annual pay is only 1/1356 of CEO Lee Scott’s (including bonuses). Yikes.

Crew head coach Sigi Schmid thinks the league needs to address the disparity between the highest and lowest paid players:

“It’s shameful,” Schmid said. “Take Moss — he went from a regular contract (minimum $30,000) to a developmental. He’s sucking it up for us this year, but if we can’t move him back up to a regular contract, then there’s a guy who might have to say, ‘I have to hang it up.’ ”

Schmid is not alone in his opinion that perhaps the league, which is in its 12th season and pays the salary of all of its players, has grown up enough to offer all of its players a man-sized salary.

Seven of 13 MLS teams play in soccer-specific stadiums, and revenues, boosted by sizable new television contracts, are at an all-time high.

“We’ve had steady and controlled growth that has been successful,” Schmid said. “The footprint of this league has expanded, and (commissioner) Don Garber and everyone involved have done a masterful job. The salary structure — it’s been that way because it had to be that way. But are we ready to make the next jump?”

If MLS is intent on becoming a true “major league,” the answer is yes.

“The league higher-ups will tell us everything is great, even with guys making $11,000 a year,” said Crew goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, 25, who spent two years making a developmental salary before being promoted to the senior roster this season.

“But how is it great when you’re barely putting food on the table and gas in your car? When you have to get rides to practice every day because you can’t afford to drive yourself?”

Schmid said temporary relief could come in the form of higher win bonuses, which also would curb resentment of the salaries of higher-paid players and big-name signings. Currently, teams reportedly split about $3,000 for each win.

“The league is getting tired of hearing me say this, but we’ve got to have bonuses that are motivational,” he said. “It can’t be $100 per player. At a minimum, it has to be $1,000 per player per win. A player might say, ‘I know this guy is making 30 times what I do, but if he helps us win an additional six or seven games, he’s going to put $6,000 or $7,000 in my pocket.’

“Then, it’s, ‘Hey, welcome aboard.’ “


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