‘NYRB hammered home a great goal on the run as Alex Muyl crossed a perfect low pass from the right side to the foot of Derrick Etienne. However, the goal was waived off by the Assistant Referee for offsides. Immediately, Head Referee Ismail Elfath put his hand to his ear and delayed the restart as VAR official Baldomero Toledo reviewed the play. The PRO referee crew, after a few minutes, signals that the goal stands, giving NY a 2-0 lead.’
I told them that I didn’t know, and that Matt Pollard and Abbie Mood and Marco Cummings and Brian Jennings and Anthony Hudson did not know either.
Here’s Hudson’s exact words:
“I can’t understand why the first offside decision was changed, when it’s been given and was clearly offside, and Tommy Smith at the end*? I can’t see how that’s not given. The position of where the defender is, you know, it’s a goal scoring opportunity. I think it’s poor. It’s poor.”
There are two things confusing about this goal. The first thing is the call itself. It looked offside, and was called offside. So the important question to ask here is: was it offside?
Here’s two pics:
MLS Salary ChatterI used to do a ‘bargains and sunk costs’ piece right after the MLS salary data release, but Marco Cummings basically said everything I’d say about the booms and busts. I’ll just make some other observations. Below, if you haven’t already seen it, is the Rapids salary data for 2018.
Everybody making north of $500,000 has an expectation of being fit, healthy, and starting, as well as performing at or above the level of an average counterpart in MLS. The ‘worst values’ on Marco’s list - Yannick Boli, Stefan Aigner, and Shkelzen Gashi - carry expectations that come with that big money that none of them have met. The next tier of players - Joe Mason, Tommy Smith, and Danny Wilson - are also expensive, but the fact that they don’t top the list for earnings, and that two of them are central defenders - is a curiosity. It goes back to something I’ve discussed before: that the moneyball Rapids under Padraig Smith want to spend money on things that other teams aren’t spending money on, like defenders. If the market is hot on strikers and South American attacking mids, then buy something the market doesn’t overinflate.
A possible corollary to this moneyball axiom is based on Joe Mason’s big salary. Mason, making $682,500, along with Yannick Boli at $907,500, Dominique Badji at $168,750, Jack McBean at $68,906, and Niki Jackson at the minimum salary of $54,500 form a striker squad that is relatively affordable. Consider that 19 MLS forwards make north of $1 million dollars. Consider also that a number of MLS teams have several million-dollar attackers, like Atlanta United, LAFC, LA Galaxy, NYCFC and Philadelphia Union. The Rapids, meanwhile, have paid a medium price for three strikers, hoping two will end up successful. It’s an interesting play. So far it’s not quite working to produce the kind of offensive explosion the team needs, but ask Philadelphia Union fans if paying Borek Dokal and David Accam over a million dollars each to score a grand total of one goal has been worth it. Odds are, they’ll say no.
Aignergate UpdateStefan Aigner did not make the 18 man roster for the fifth match in a row this past week. As Matt Pollard has reported, Hudson and the technical staff maintain that Aigner is on a specific training program to get him where the coach wants him to be.
Meanwhile, a reliable source with knowledge of the MLS transfer market informed me this past week that the Rapids shopped Aigner around the league before the transfer window closed on May 1. So it seems to me that the situation in Commerce City is that Aigner and Hudson are going along to get along for the near term, but the team is almost certainly trying to offload Aigner to another team, if and when the conditions are right.
That also assumes that Hudson is still with the Rapids at the next transfer window.
Hudson to Sunderland?
Reports out of England have Rapids coach Anthony Hudson on a short list of five coaches being considered for the job. Rapids beat reporter Marco Cummings asked Hudson about it, and got a firm but non-committal response: “My life right now is the Colorado Rapids.” I don’t want to parse the words ‘right now’ too carefully, because it could mean nothing that he added a present tense conjugation to this rumor. But also, Hudson didn’t come out and say ‘I don’t want the Sunderland job.’
Some pundits think that Hudson may be leaping off of a sinking ship. Maybe. I think leaving the stable and promising Colorado Rapids for a team that was relegated from the Premier League at the end of 2017 and relegated again to end 2018 down to League One. Sure, he could be a savior. But Hudson’s got a job with security into 2019 and probably 2020 here in Colorado. With Sunderland, he might not even last as long as the 10 months that David Moyes did. Or even the 85 days that Bob Bradley lasted at Swansea. How many Scaramuccis is that?
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* Smith went down in the box with contact from Kemar Lawrence during stoppage time.
** I know! I’m shocked too. But the net was so wide open that your grandmother would have put that in with her walker if given the chance. McBean’s goal doesn’t change my central contention that he’s not really what we need as a second striker.
*** We play NYCFC in New York this weekend. Top to bottom, this is the best team in MLS right now - better than even Atlanta United in my humble opinion. Buckle up for a fifth loss in a row kids.