TFC Cut Iro and Marosevic
MLS is a harsh little league sometimes. And the reality that is the salary cap is without a doubt a huge part of just about every single roster decision that clubs like Toronto FC have to make that can come off looking a little nasty. And TFC is far from alone in dealing with this reality.
Two cases in point on Friday:
Andy Iro, the much maligned centre back from the 2011 season past, was released by TFC Friday after he refused the teams new contract offer. Already on trial over in the UK at Nottingham Forest, this release was likely already previously long made and Andy is probably now hoping in retrospect that the half season he just spent here was some sort of “Patrick Duffy in the shower on Dallas” that he can just forgot ever happened (and if you have no clue of the meaning of that cultural reference from the 1980’s, Wikipedia is back up I hear).
I was never one of those that heaped the scorn on Andy Iro that many others did. I truly did not believe that he was as diabolically bad as he often looked last season. Nor in retrospect after seeing him up close for about twenty odd games was he anywhere near the quality defender he looked to be when he partnered up with Chad Marshall in Columbus to lead the Crew to their single (and hopefully only) moment in the sun back in 2008. Like most things in football (and in life) the truth about him is probably somewhere in the mushy middle between those two extremes. And with the likelihood of Andy being no more than depth for TFC this upcoming season there was little chance he would be offered near close enough to what he wanted to earn. Iro’s departure frees up roughly $86,000 in salary cap space. If TFC could have gotten him back on say 50K I for one would have considered it.
Peri Marosevic was also probably a victim of the vicious mathematics in MLS. Coming out of a lucrative Generation Adidas contract that saw him earn more than $120,000 last year in his split season between Dallas and Toronto, he also turned down TFC’s new contract which again probably saw him offered a hell of a lot less to re-sign than what he earned last season, an amount that would of course count against the salary cap. And niceties aside, the front office probably had no option but to cut him loose.
As we all know The Reds have three full salary cap hit DP’s on the books, a relatively high paid goalkeeper in Stefan Frei, plus some pricey pieces in the likes of Johnson, Avila, Harden, Soolsma and Bouchiba (these five guys together for example took up roughly $500,000 in 2011 cap space) so it looks likely that TFC understandably decided to low ball both these players considering that it looks likely that at most they were going to end up being bench depth and not everyday starters. Bench players in this league should not be earning six figures. That’s basic MLS Economics 101 folks.
Back to Peri for a second, he to me seemed like a nice interchangeable piece in the 4-3-3 system with the likes of Eric Avila in particular, and he helped make the Champions League Quarter Finals a reality, and for that he deserves our thanks. TFC 2012 draft pick Luis Silva is probably going to be the roster replacement for Marosevic anyways on the depth chart if he is as good as advertised, so the point is probably moot anyways.
The other reality from these two moves is that the signing of Joao Plata earlier this month and the rumoured (and very welcome) probable re-signing of fullback Richard Eckersley will probably take a hefty chunk of cap/allocation space to get done and I think most supporters will agree that you spend your precious and limited big bucks on starting XI players instead of players who would not be considered first choice options game in and game out.
So the harsh little off season is quickly coming to an end and players are starting to drift back into town to report for training camp. Much more to follow in the coming days from BMO Field.