Revs and Dynamo to split SuperLiga Final purse


The MLS Player’s Union has announced that the New England Revolution and Houston Dynamo will split the winning and second-place purses for the SuperLiga final (set for Tuesday at Gillette Stadium) in a show of solidarity.

"The players have made this decision to show their solidarity and in protest of the league’s violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with respect to the negotiation of bonuses for this tournament."

                                         MLS Players Union Statement

How much money are we talking? The winning player’s share for the SuperLiga final is $150,000, with the second-place share being $100,000. Now the team’s will each receive $125,000.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has already stated his unhappiness with the MLS player’s union turning the SuperLiga bonus structure into a public talking point, calling it a negotiation ploy, and Garber also pointed out recently that while the publicized winner’s share for the tournament is $1 million, Pachuca players received $300,000 of it last year, not the entire $1 million.

I’m all for players being paid more money but I’m still trying to figure out why it took a full year for the player’s union to raise a ruckus over it. Wasn’t it just as absurd a figure a year ago?

You can add it to the long list of things the player’s union will need to fight for when the current Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2009 season. Those negotiations are going to be REAL interesting.

Now, about tomorrow night’s SuperLiga final. Do any fans plan on actually going to a final their teams don’t appear all that interested in playing in? I can’t imagine the game isn’t going to still be a good one (let’s face it, if you’re Houston and you’ve been smacked by the Revs by a combined score of 5-0 in two meetings this year I think you might have a point to prove), but you also wonder just how intense the game will actually be.

What do you think? Will you be watching the game? Do you think the player’s are being mistreated by receiving such a figuratively low bonus for the tournament? Should some consideration be given to MLS and Soccer United Marketing, which are footing the costs and taking the financial risks in holding the tournament? Should the tournament just go away after this year?

Share your thoughts below.

  • George

    It’s funny how Garber can be right on somethings and completely wrong on others.

    MLS players deserve better than this.


  • Blake

    Kind of a sad end to a fun tournament, but I don’t think it should go away. The intensity of the games between MLS and Mexican teams is too tantalizing to pass up.


  • Tim F.

    I’m a big fan of the Superliga tournament. I hope it doesn’t go away unless the Mexican First Division and MLS form a combined league (which I don’t think will happen).

    I will watch tomorrow night’s game but I do hope MLS and the player’s union begin addressing and resolving issues well in advance of the end of the CBA. This league can ill-afford a strike. Don’t know much about the tournament’s financial risk and what SUM does for it so can’t comment there.


  • Christopher

    I’ll be at the match. The opportunity to win a trophy out from under Houston is to much to risk passing up.

    Winning is still a motivating factor for both sides and I doubt the quality of play will suffer that much. These guys aren’t over paid babies like in other sports. They don’t get paid much anyways.

    Does anyone know the winners purse for the USOC and the MLS Cup?


  • Sin2R

    I sense a strike! Just like in other sports, the players think they deserve all the profit. I have enjoyed MLS, but I see its demise in the future.


  • TwistedTidings

    Do you think it’s really a question of what is right and wrong here? Garber’s just setting up a negotiating posture here. Even if he’d be willing to concede the point (which I agree he ought to), he’d be a fool to concede right now with other important issues on the table.


  • Betinho

    When you say the negotiations after 2009 are going to be REAL interesting, I think you have understated it. I think this is a shot across the bow of the MLS that things are going to need be very different…oh and by the way…Pachua got $300k last year and the winner this year was going to get $150k. I’m not sure that’s a real good thing to bring up in defense of the payout.

    Will I be watching? Maybe. Would I be watching if it was MLS v Mexico Team? Definitely. (I’m not sure the money means anything as far as motivation when you have that combo on the field). With this agreement between NE and HOU everyone is guarenteed the same amount of money. What’s the real motivation for the players or teams.

    Do we need the Superliga? If the Champions League is anywhere successful..no. It’s fun but it’s extra fluff – toss it.


  • Javier

    I’m a big fan of the SuperLiga tournament as well, but the players have a reason to be upset, and I give them credit for standing up for themselves. If possible, each side should field their reserve squads, to really make a point. This would really force MLS to reconsider player compensation. However, I can’t imagine the Houston and New England front offices would ever let them do it.


  • nicholas s.

    I hope Houston wins and the Revs continue to lose to them when it matters, but the whole event (which I was excited about) seems like the epitome of what is wrong with how we approach widening the sport.

    It’s another event with high aspirations, but the execution in extremely poor. Which is, to me, a reoccurring theme for MLS.

    Yes, a intense tournament pitting MLS verses Mexican teams is a good idea but you can’t just slap the name Super on it and make it great (like SUPERdraft, etc). You can’t put the cart before the horse.

    I think everyone wants meaning games against top competition, but without a financial framework to allow for teams to be deeper, it won’t happen.

    MLS teams can’t field enough depth and there is a hesitancy from players when it comes to SuperLiga and injuries, especially if your MLS contract has bonuses for MLS appearances. If you go down in a SuperLiga game and it costs you bonus money, I don’t think that 150K split between the team is going to comfort you much.

    I can’t even watch SuperLiga on a 2nd rate cable channel, how am I supposed to be excited about it when it’s only on Telefutura?

    Any lastly, the purse is a joke. Even the Mexican teams, who are getting 300K of the 1M, are getting screwed.

    If you want these games to matter it takes more than throwing some crumbs under the table and calling them Super.


  • 3VIL L33T

    The new Champions League makes this a moot point, if they really want to make this a tournament worth something they should give something besides $150,000 like say a Copa Libertadores spot.


  • Squard

    What has Garber been right on? Bending every rule in order for their richest owner AEG to have a superclub? Not paying MLS players a decent living wage? Making new rules for aging US players? Not allowing new athletes to play where they want?


  • TheDreamTeam

    I hope there is no strike. First, I understand players need to get paid. But owners are not turning a profit in this league at all just yet, so both sides need to work together to make things happen. I hope cool heads prevail. I hear RBNY loses tens of thousands of dollars each game due to not being in a Soccer-Specific Stadium and only averaging 8,000 fans. Though a strike would make headlines for a league that sportswriters would love to see die.


  • Scott A

    ..Where does the rest of the $1 million go to? I don’t understand this discrepancy between ‘publicized’ winner’s share and what they actually get.


  • brentmcd

    Ditch the SuperLiga. Grow the Champions League. I’ll be watching tomorrow night, hoping Dynamo can grab another trophy from the Revs.



  • BFBS

    As far as I am concerned, the tournament is over the minute the last remaining FMF or MLS club is knocked out.


  • Jacob S.

    The SuperLiga is a fun tournament and I think it’s exciting to see the USA’s & Mexico’s top teams square off against each other. It’s a shame that financial differences are getting in the way of making this a competitive tournament. Instead of the 2008 Final becoming another chapter in what is developing to be quite the rivalry between Houston & New England, it’s looking like there’s the possiblity of each team playing a half-assed game, which is never entertaining.


  • Steve T

    Squared, Rule bending is nothing new to professional sports. Just read about the NBA lottery. It behooves MLS to have the best teams in the largest most visable markets. Even with Garber favoring the Gals, there is little outcry from other franchise owners. They know its a necessary evil at least until this league has sustainable roots.


  • AlexS

    The big problem was that the Houston FO wanted to negotiate to give the players more of the million than their the cut of the $150,000, but Garber put the kibosh on it.

    I think this is the players/union feeling like Garber stepped out of his bounds.

    The players care about this game. At least, I know the Dynamo do.


  • anotherbodymurdered

    I think it’s good the players are standing up to the BS from the league and it’s shady marketing venture, SUM. The league is doomed if it puts marketing over players.


  • Eric K

    Too many people have been trying to seem constructive and more intelligent than the rest by bashing SuperLiga. No doubt there are many issues that can be fixed and improved (fields, prize money, etc.). But two years in we’ve seen consistently competitive and exciting games and teams that take it seriously. As a fan of the game in the US and Mexico, what more can you ask for? Stop trying to overanalyze this and just enjoy it for what it is, some great soccer. As a Revs fan, after all the letdowns in finals it’s great to see them win trophies – Open Cup last year, hopefully a few this year. You have to enjoy the good years while you can.


  • Aljarov

    It’s stupid that MLS restricted the bonuses…that should be entirely within the league owner’s prerogatives. I guess they’re trying to ensure parity…and that bonuses is outside of the cap etc… system. I don’t know…but if Kraft or Luck wanted to share the full $1m with their players that should be their choice.

    Still, the union shouldn’t be messing with it.

    I stillthink the owners will want to win, and the players are professionals. Plus, NE has a hell of a score to start settlign with Hosuton…


  • socmin

    How, to all of the SUPER critics of MLS and “superliga”, if MLS can ‘never’ do anything right and many have pointed out the corruption of CONCACAF officials- why all this hope for the CL? I want all of the tournaments to go well, and the Superliga may be a temporary one, but give the carping a rest. Read some history of the NFL and MLB and gain some persepective.


  • Brant

    I’m with most of the folks that the SuperLiga should be superceded by the CCL.

    BUT… I don’t think it needs to go away completely. Heck, the EPL plays about 14 different competitions during the season.

    I think you keep the SuperLiga, and give the winner a berth in the CCL or Copa Libertadores or something similar. I think you also need to spread it out a bit more b/c of fixture congestion, but I understand that it can be challenging to do so.

    So, keep SuperLiga, give the winner a punched ticket to another higher-profile competition, and spread it out over a few weeks. But don’t ditch it. US-Mexico is a great rivalry and there’s no reason not to include the clubs in it.


  • A.S.

    I second Scott A’s question. I don’t understand why there is a “$1 million purse” but the players only get $150,000. What happens to the other $850,000? Does it all just go to owner of the club?

    Also, how much do players make for winning MLS Cup?


  • Joseph D'Hippolito

    I join the rest of you in applauding the Revs and Dynamo for splitting the prize money. I also think that this might be the end of the SuperLiga tournament, unfortunately.

    The fact that MLS lied about the grand prize being $1M is a total embarassment. MLS will either have to put its own clubs on the same footing as the Mexican clubs when it comes to prize money (which it won’t, considering how anal MLS is about raising the salary cap) or shut the tournament down.

    The FMF probably would go along w/shutting the tournament down. After all, its teams don’t need the extra aggravation (they’re also starting league play) and the extra risk of injuries.

    Let’s be honest: The whole idea of a $1M grand prize was to get the FMF interested; I wouldn’t be surprised if the FMF got a cut when Pachuca won last year. Why should the FMF or Mexico’s first division do anything to help MLS in an altruistic fashion?


  • Tim Crawford

    This has been a great tournament this year, even with all of this talk throughout. The games have been intense and heated. I think once the Revs step out in front of what should be a bigger crowd then normal, they’ll have a bit of incentive. Winning the triple has to be a little bit enticing, trophies are nice . . . and beating the Dynamo in a final would definitely be a morale boost. Forwards are playing for minutes (as is whoever ends up in CB). I think the Revs will have plenty of enthusiasm once they step out there.


  • timpramas

    SuperLiga has produced exciting soccer games the last two years, so I would like to see the tournament continue next season.

    MLS never said the players on the winning team get $1 million. The team gets $1 million, $150,000 of it goes to the players on the winning team. The organization has to pay overhead, such as travel costs and travel costs for the Mexican teams as an inducement to have them participate, facility expenses, etc. That players’ money is guaranteed even though the teams run the risk of losing money if paid attendance is low. Maybe the players should get more of the money, but that will be subject to negotiation.


  • SonicDeathMonkey

    Brant, the EPL teams do play several competitions, mainly because they have expanded rosters, which MLS teams do not have. And Squard, AEG the richest owner? Really? You think AEG has more money than a certian Austrian beverage company?


  • TwistedTidings

    Why do people think that the CONCACAF champions league will succeed when the CONCACAF champions cup never really did?

    Superliga is good because (a) it allows MLS teams to face up against teams that people in the US want to see (the MFL teams) and (b) happens to occur when MLS teams are in season, so the games are more competitive (and, yes, less fair to the MFL teams).


  • Revs fan

    Look, I think nearly everyone will agree the players should get more than 150k. It is true that this event has no english tv contract and attendance hasn’t been great, so I don’t know what the right number is. I don’t object to the clubs getting something as well.

    But the posts above about negotiating posture are right on track. The league needs to preserve concession points for what will be a contentious offseason with an oddly hostile union. I believe that is the same reason salary caps weren’t raised last offseason – they know they’ll need to do it this year and so preserved their ammo.


  • brett

    125K? if every player on the team splits that they get less the 10k?? this tourny needs some changing… i think 1st place should get 750k (at least) and 2nd gets 250k…. then the players should split it… adding 5 games in such a short time is an amazing task for any MLS side to handle, and then the full MLS schedule, with USOC games….. they need to motivate the players its really worth it


  • Henry

    SUM and MLS dont control marketing rights and TV money to the CCL. Thats left for jack warner and his band of theives to handle. therefore they will never let go of interliga and superliga live with it the Mexican teams need to milk the money as long as theirs an auduence for their teams here, they screw their own fans as well.


  • Dominghosa

    The CBA negotiations won’t be too interesting.

    Yes, the players will get paid more and the salary cap will rise. There isn’t much leverage from both sides. They need this league just as much as the league needs them.

    If there is any delay to a season because of CBA negotiations, everything MLS built as well as what the players built for the last 12 years will falter.

    For a league so young, and not very popular, it would be devastating. The CBA won’t be swiftly done but it should be more cut and dry than some people think.


  • NateP

    I will be there for the final tomorrow (along with maybe 5000 others tops) but after that the Superliga can go away. I have enjoyed the games against the FMF teams, but the CCL will provide the same thing provided the Revs make the group stage and it will be 3-5 less games to clog the schedule next year. To be honest I am more interested in seeing the variety that the CCL will bring with the rematches with Atalante, a possible road trip to Montreal, and games against Olimpia who I don’t get to see.


  • RSF

    I’ll be making the 2 hour drive to the game to see the Revs finally take down Houston when it counts

    other than that I don’t care too much for the SuperLiga…though beating Mexican teams is always nice


  • rickibear

    I think all 20 open play players should get around the center circle and kick the ball to each other for the first 90 Min of the game.


  • brentmcd

    @socmin: who (aside from certain disgruntled mexican losers) are saying CONCACAF officials are corrupt? perhaps they are incompetent, but corrupt is another thing altogether.

    re: fixture congestion, i agree this is a major problem for the successful clubs and is one reason i wouldn’t be heartbroken to see superliga disappear. of course, the real solution is to play a fall-to-spring schedule — like almost every other league on the freaking planet. it’s absolutely ridiculous to play regular season games during the world cup (or the olympics). does MLS really think they are pulling fans away from football and basketball anyway? people are going to watch soccer regardless of the season.


  • Matt

    The SuperLiga should go away after this year. It’s become a mess. CONCACAF is kicking of the Champions League which should be a bigger, more exciting tournament.


  • Steponhens

    The main problem is the way the tournament is marketed. If there wasn’t talk of a million dollar prize nobody would be complaining.

    Being at the Superliga games and watching the others on TV there is no way you can believe the players do not care about the tournament, which can’t be said for the Open Cup.

    While I believe the players should be getting a higher portion of the prize, any amount of money the players making close to the minimum receive should be welcomed with open arms.


  • John

    This Cup is Lame. Whats the point of having the top four teams in MLS qualify to both the Concacaf Champions League and Superliga. MLS should let the teams in 4th to 8th place go to have some international play or scrap this tournament. The Mexicans are in preseason and we are in busy in midseason. What MLS should do is get teams in the Interliga and to have MLS clubs classify to Copa Libertadores.


  • socmin


    I was referring to other posters on the several threads that have ran concerning the Superliga. I wasn’t saying I necessarily agree with that, but you butress my point. Those that complain about officiating in MLS will still complain when they lose in the CONCACAF.


  • jb

    With the CONCACAF Champions League starting up soon, the SuperLiga can go away. It has proved that a Group Stage + Knockout tourney can be successful in our region.

    Take the money and invest it into player development and raising the minimum salaries in the MLS.


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