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Jonathan Spector signs new contract at Birmingham City, reportedly spurns MLS offers

JonathanSpectorBirminghamCity1-Brighton2014 (Getty)



Jonathan Spector apparently wasn’t ready to take his talents back to the United States.

Championship club Birmingham City announced on Friday morning that they have re-signed the 29-year-old American to a new two-year contract. The versatile defender made 26 appearances for Birmingham City in all competitions last season, despite missing all of October, November, December, and most of January with a torn right thigh.

Spector has made 127 appearances for Birmingham City since joining from West Ham on a transfer in August 2011. According to a report in the Birmingham Mail, Spector rebuffed interest from MLS clubs to re-sign with the Blues. Birmingham finished in 10th place in the Championship this season.

Spector has earned 34 caps in his career for the U.S. Men’s National Team, but the Chicago, Ill. native has not featured for the USMNT since Feb. 2012, when he came off the bench as a second half substitute in the USMNT’s 1-0 friendly victory over Italy. His last call-up was for the USMNT’s friendly match against Ukraine in March 2014 that was moved to Cyprus.


What do you think of this news? Do you see Birmingham challenging for the EPL next season? Do you see a recall to the USMNT in the future?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I dont see any verbiage or anything in the linked pieces that would warrant the use of “spurned” as a adjective in the headline. Are you implying that any offer not taken is rejected with disdain?

    • It is implied in the thesis that this article is a mere personal disappointment from the writer. Objectivity was not the goal in this case.

    • You’re right. The linked article from the Birmingham Mail says he “snub[bed] MLS interest” in that he re-signed despite “interest” from several MLS clubs. In the absence of any real offers, there wasn’t anything to spurn.

      By the way, at least as of the time I am reading it, the headline uses “spurns” (not “spurned”) as a verb (not an adjective).

    • English broadcasters make this mistake all the time. They say a shooter spurns a chance when they miss on a good opportunity. Spurn implies that a person deliberately passes up an opportunity or an offer rather than fails to capitalize on an opportunity. In this case I think that the use is not so bad in that he did turn down an offer, but I think it’s not really a spurn if you accept a better offer.

  2. Can’t blame him for staying, but it would have been great to have him bring his extensive knowledge to MLS and further grow the game here. His resume is impressive and a lot of young players could learn from him. Still, good luck, stay healthy, and best wishes!

  3. Considering that he apparently was one of the highest paid BCFC players and if rumors are true about MLS interest causing the Blues to “sweeten the pot” than it would have been tough to turn down the Blues. A new great manager and a strong showing at CB make it even a better situation for him. I am really glad that he re-signed and hope that he can minimize injuries this year and own the CB position. This guy works really hard and continually overcomes lengthy periods of injury so wishing him luck.

  4. Similar level of play but he’ll almost certainly make more at Birmingham. Certainly can’t blame any player for making as much as possible given how short most careers are.

  5. Always like seeing our boys come home (especially if it’s their home town, ala Brian McBride), but I don’t blame Spector one bit. If he can make more money and avoid the quagmire that is the Chicago Fire more power to him.

    • probably pretty accurate figures – despite MLS teams overpaying for USMNT players, I can’t see him demanding much more than that….

    • not saying 350,000 pounds is peanuts… but after taxes and high cost of living in England, $250K probably goes further in the states.

      • It really depends upon where. If you include state and city income tax, the tax rate is lower than New York, DC, California teams but more than Florida or Texas. New York San Fran are probably two of the most cities in the US. I can say from experience that except for buying a house/apt, cost of living in London is cheaper than NY. I can’t really speak to San Fran. On top of that Birmingham is MUCH cheaper than London. Not to mention, if the numbers are correct £350K is about $550K. He will still clear roughly $350 after taxes. No competition. Much more money, more prestigious competition, better league and live in a place where the game is more popular – no brainer.

      • The only factor left out of your equation is if he just wants to come “home”.
        Obviously that wasn’t Spector’s choice. But it is for others, and after living abroad for so many years, I could see how some players would choose returning to the States (even for less money) just for the chance to be in more familiar surroundings more opportunities to see family, start/raise children of your own in your home nation, etc.

      • Bryan is right. All sports salaries are reported post-tax in Europe. So it’s 350,000pounds take home versus $105k take home (after tax, medical insurance, etc) in a setting like NY, LA, Chicago which is terrible.

      • Pretty sure athletes dont pay for insurance out of their salary. I work at a tech/gaming co. in the Bay Area and healthcare is on their dime.

      • Look at your w-2 again, because that is SUPER odd.

        Also, 105K isn’t nothing even in NY, LA, or CHI. Recall, median family income in Manhattan is 66K.

    • This.

      Plus he’s lived in England since 2003? So it’d be more like leaving your home.. to go back to where you grew up.

    • Telling fact, he got married back in Chicago and then signed for Birmingham in 2013. That sounds like he and his spouse are happy in England. I think he would have the Freddy Adu problem of being more expensive than he is worthwhile. The money is presumably similar and he can always come back here next deal. Maybe by then he has kids and a reason to come back. I don’t think he has any real chance at NT because of his lack of speed or appearances so that’s not the factor some suggest.

    • It should be obvious. Jurgen said that players that play regularly in Europe will have the inside track for national team roster spots, and everything Jurgen says is true!


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