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Morning Ticker: Figo too pricey for Revs, Conde sits, Houston adds a forward


Good morning folks. It is a good day for MLS fans as word of Philadelphia’s inclusion as the next expansion franchise circulates. There is other MLS news to get to though.

Here are a few news tidbits to get you through the morning:

Figo a no-go in New England– Since SBI reported earlier this week that the New England Revolution plans on using its designated player spot this season, there has been plenty of speculation about who that player will be. Don’t bet on it being Luis Figo.

According to a source within MLS, Figo’s asking price is so high that the Revs have essentially written off any realistic chance of adding the Portuguese star. How how an asking price are we asking? Think the $4 million to $5 million a year range.

I’ve always thought Luis Figo would be an idea player for the Revs, not only from a skill standpoint, but also because of his ability to draw from the large Portuguese communities in the Boston area. Figo had been linked to the Los Angeles Galaxy earlier in the offseason. That move didn’t make any sense. A move to New England would, if Figo didn’t cost a mint that is. Could Figo’s asking price go down? It will have to in order for the Revs to seriously consider it. Hopefully Figo lowers his price because I think he would be a great fit in New England.

Conde sits for Fire friendly– In the newest episode of Wilman Wants Out comes word from the Chicago Tribune’s Luis Arroyave that disgruntled defender Wilman Conde did not play in the Chicago Fire’s 1-1 exhibition tie vs. Toronto FC on Wednesday. Curious move considering all the injuries to Chicago’s defense.

Does Conde not playing mean he will be traded? Don’t bet on it. Another reason why a Conde trade will be extremely difficult to make is an MLS rule prohibiting the inclusion of cash in trades. This means that the only way a team can include money in a trade is if it is in the form of allocation money or cap space (paying a portion of a player’s contract). With Chicago having used a $300K allocation to acquire Conde just last year, the Fire is expected to want that same size allocation as the starting point to any Conde trade. Is any team in MLS equipped to offer a major allocation AND a couple of established players? Nope, not even the Red Bulls, which have pushed hard for a trade only to be turned down every time.

Dynamo to add Argentine forward– The Houston Chronicle’s Bernardo Fallas is reporting that the Houston Dynamo is set to sign 21-year-old Argentine forward Franco Carracio. A former Argentine Under-20 national team player, Carracio is expected to step in and start alongside Brian Ching at forward.

Considering how good Houston looked in dismantling Sydney FC last night, I think it’s fair to say that the Dynamo will be everybody’s choice to three-peat as MLS Cup champions in 2008.

That’s all for now. I will be attending Red Bulls practice this morning so stay tuned for more MLS and international updates throughout the day.


  1. Hi guys, new guy to Ives’ board from the Chicago area. Enjoy reading your posts. What do you think of our problem child Conde? He has most Fire fans upset with his request to stay bunkmates with Osorio. Figo needs to go collect all our Petro-dollars in the Middle East. Houston will be a tough nut to crack again I’m afraid.

  2. “Figo” is Portuguese for pissing away your designated player spot. (not to mention all the money that goes with it)

    A washed up waste of money and space.

  3. 4 to 5 million for Figo? Did Ashton Kutcher bust in with the hidden cameras after that price tag was named?
    He is worth at the very very most $3 million.

    Thank god Houston added a young Argentine forward, they looked like they had some real struggles scoring last night against Sydney FC /sarcasm

  4. Reid –

    Last year a Saudi club was going to make Figo the highest paid player in the world by some distance. He was also asking for a contract clause that would allow him to leave at any time. It went awry somewhere in the process and he signed a one year extension with Inter.

    The Inter player MLS clubs should be aiming for is Santiago Solari. He is out of contract after this year, he is familiar with the US, and he is young enough to contribute something meaningful. He has been buried behind some world class players at Inter this year so motivation would not be an issue.

  5. I disagree with some of the posts regarding Luis Figo. If he only wants to come here to cash in, then yeah I’d say forget it. However if you give him a fairly competitive salary with incentives perhaps he’d consider it. I believe he can still play and would be one of the best players in the league.

  6. Figo definitely has a lot left in his tank, more than enough to be a top player in MLS if he is motivated, of course. But he has made it clear that his priority is to find one last big payday. He has even referred to his move from Inter as the end of his time in “competitive” soccer. So let him go somewhere like Qatar or Saudi Arabia, where he can get the money he wants and it is truly not competitive. The history of greedy, aging Euro greats coming here for just a payday is bleak — see Matthaeus, Lothar for Exhibit A.

  7. rocky, the salary cap is like any other rule designed to make the game fair. successful teams have proved that paying 11 players $100,000 makes a better, happier team, than paying 1 $1,000,000 and the other 10 $10,000 each. The salary cap just exposes the competence of each team’s front office.

  8. the galaxy looked awful last night. I no its only preseason, and they were missing some of their best players, but omg they looked like a bad high school team. i feel so bad for beckham, you could see on his face his frustration for the talent around him, he cant do it by himself hes not that type of player. I do believe they will get better, but jounalist and experts need to stop down playing them, their simply dreadful. This is why i cant wait for the cba to expire so we can rework this stingy salary cap, and get some great players who can make soccer interesting in this country.

  9. I could be wrong but i thought Figo was offered like $10m for a year with a UAE or Saudi team. At some point last year? I could be wrong but I thought i remembered reading that somewhere.
    As soon as I saw that I realized that he was never going to play in the States. And even a team like the Revs would never recoup anywhere near that money from his countrymen coming to see him play.

  10. The reaction of Hyundai A-League fans to their dismantling at the hands of Houston will be interesting to see. I know some of their fans were disappointed to see FC Sydney chosen after a mediocre campaign (although they finished the season well). One would think that they would be in pretty good form following their regular season, but they struggled to dictate play.

    Steve Cohen suggested A-League had a 100 players who could do something for MLS, but as Fred proved – it can take an adjustment for even the best A-League players to deal with the differences in MLS.

    It will be interesting to see how Sydney stack up against the very mediocre (especially sans Donovan and Ruiz and with a totally patched together back-line) Galaxy.

    I am really curious to see how Houston stack up to a J-League team that played very well against the Galaxy.

    I know this tournament doesn’t amount to much, but it is still interesting to see teams from leagues that are very aggressively trying to establish a high level of football on limited budgets competing against one another. It may only be for bragging rights. On the other hand, these types of matches can help players who could be targets of all three leagues (esp 2nd and 3rd tier Brazilian players) figure out which league they would prefer to move to.

  11. I hate to be a pedant, but an annual salary of 4-5 million is indeed a lot of money in world football. Here is what Inter is willing to pay Luis Figo to play next year: zero euros. The list of top world clubs that will pay Luis Figo a great deal of money to play next year: zero. It is true that MLS salaries are not competitive with most world leagues, but the list of clubs with multiple multi-million dollar players is a very short one.

  12. Beckster – Can’t tell if you were being snarky or if it was a serious question. But Convey had an injection on his knee following the Mexico game here in the US. I would assume his knee is acting up and Reading is giving him an opportunity to work on his match fitness and test out the knee. If the knee is fine he will be back in the first team ASAP. See american soccer daily for an update.

  13. Pet Peeve: constant griping about how overpaid “so and so” would be if he came to MLS. I know the cap and all, but these guys arent coming here to get overpaid. they are coming here and taking a pay cut. 4-5M isnt squat compared to the rest of the worlds leagues and if you want those kinda guys, thats what they cost. If the league is set up to be cheap and undervalue players, and thats the case, then quit griping because a star wants somewhere close to market value. If you want a guy pay him, if you dont then dont. But for christs sake, shut the hell up about these guys being overpaid. they can all go elsewhere and make way more. salaries are not competitive in this league.

  14. If Figo considers MLS semi-retirement then let him enjoy a farewell tour in the UAE or elsewhere in the Middle East where he can hire a good tutor to teach his daughter English; there are better players for the money that the Revolution could get who’d be a better fit and potentially better option that Figo.

  15. I am a bit confused by the assumption some have that DC is going to be top drawer. Marcello Gallardo indicated he struggled when he returned to Ligue 1 because the league had become “too physical”. Clearly he has not spent a lot of time watching MLS matches. Enjoy that split second you get on the ball Marcello!

    We are Inter supporters in my house and we have enjoyed watching Figo. He is outrageously gifted and still has a lot left. With that said, any MLS club wishing to sign him has taken leave of their senses. Figo is brutally honest about his post-Inter career; he will agree to play in the United States if and only if someone meets his (massive) wage demands. He would also like for his daughter to learn English here. He would still be able to bounce a cross of someone’s forehead from 40 yards out, but he would regard MLS as semi-retirement and has openly said as much.

  16. Guys, Houston has been peaking since they were San Jose. Lets get REAL here.

    They know each other, the nucleus is still there, and the culture remains the same.

    They will be contenders, as always, whether we like it or not.

  17. Houston’s got to be a lock for the MLS Cup. As we know the MLS regular season doesn’t matter. It’s the preseason friendlies that carry all the weight. Keep up the insightful analysis.

    Posted by: Tom

    Did you watch the game?
    I did. Sure it’s only pre-season. But top to bottom Houston is just a lot better, more professional, than a lot of other MLS squads. They look like they play in an entirely different level of league than the Galaxy.

    PS: Get off Ives. He does amazing work for soccer fans in this country.

  18. Has anyone actually seen Carracio play? I know Arsenal did well last season, but this kid apparently doesn’t play much for them. Of course, I suppose he just has to be better than Chris Wondolowski.

  19. Man, the Galaxy were so ugly last night. But Houston was pretty masterful for their first real game before the season starts, I was really impressed.

    I always have a soft spot in my heart for Houston, and they are probably the team I hate the least out of any of the teams that aren’t the Red Bulls, they are a great team.

  20. “I think it’s fair to say that the Dynamo will be everybody’s choice to three-peat as MLS Cup champions in 2008.”


    Houston’s got to be a lock for the MLS Cup. As we know the MLS regular season doesn’t matter. It’s the preseason friendlies that carry all the weight. Keep up the insightful analysis.

  21. as a fire fan i can see the team not wanting to trade conde, but benching him seems childish. why not make him wear a dunce cap and sit in the corner as well? or perhaps a saturday detention a la the breakfast club?

  22. It would be nice if they could snag Pauleta, he is coming off the bench now at PSG, atleast he was in the first 1/2 of the season. Boston is only a what 2.5hr flight from the Azores, (don’t know if he still has any ties back there). And he still knows how to put the ball in the net. He seems more mobile then Figo IMO.

  23. Carracio is the type of signing I love to see for a MLS team. A talented South American youngster with huge upside. Assuming they sign him to a reasonable contract, this a perfect signing. I far prefer this to trotting in a 30-something European washout.

  24. It’s fine if Beckham makes that money, because even by paying him so much, they’ll make a profit off him in jersey sales, ticket sales, exposure, attracting sponsorship revenue, and international tours. Figo would have a great effect, but not as great an effect as Beckham. I’d say Figo would probably be worth 2-3 mill.

  25. Nobody should be making that kind of money in this league, including Beckham. Unless their names are Messi, C. Ronaldo, etc. and they are under the age of 25. 😛

  26. As much as I agree with your assessment of how Figo would help the Revs at the gate, the big problem I had with adding him is the fact the Revs play on artificial turf. I could be mistaken, but one thing that has been limiting him in recent years has been injuries with his knees, correct? That could be a problem when playing consistently on artificial turf.


  27. Thanks for the info ives. Was figo the DP the revs were lookin at or are they in the hunt for someone else and he was just one of the options?

  28. “I think it’s fair to say that the Dynamo will be everybody’s choice to three-peat as MLS Cup champions in 2008.”

    The GolTV guys like DC, despite the fact that last year’s first-round playoff losers made massive changes with all those South Americans who haven’t done diddly in their early friendlies.



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