(by Ian Stewart Palmer soccerly.com 1-9-14)
There have been a lot of strange soccer transfers over the years. Some players have been swapped for their weight in shrimp, tracksuits, a set of weights, 30 lbs of sausage, a set of encyclopedias, two tons of meat, 40 gallons of paint, a pair of goal nets and even a barrel of beer. We can now enter a new addition to the list as a player was swapped on January 7 for several hotel room reservations and transportation.
This one took place in the NASL when the Fort Lauderdale Strikers sent Walter Restrepo over to the San Antonio Scorpions. In return, the Strikers received arrangements for transportation to their match in San Antonio this June 7 as well as hotel accommodations for their club. The Fort Lauderdale team will be put up at the Crockett Hotel, which is a business associate of the Scorpions. Double rooms at the hotel typically cost $169 each night.
If you figure the club needs about a dozen rooms for the players, medical staff and coaches etc, then the rooms are worth about $2,028 a night, plus taxes. Restrepo had an off year in 2013 as he scored just a pair of goals. The season before he had six goals and eight assists and was named as one of the league’s best 11 players even though he missed the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in August. However, some sites have him listed as having scored seven goals and nine assists in 2012. Either way, the player from San Diego, California is pretty good.
The San Antonio club released a statement which said, “The Scorpions would also like to thank Bill Brendel of the Crockett Hotel and Mark Thronson of Shark Limo, two long-term, great partners, for their incredible assistance. It was only through their assistance that we were able to get this deal done.”
Nobody is certain how much the transportation part of the deal is worth since there are no prices listed on the Shark Limo website. The 25-year-old Restrepo hasn't said anything about the deal up to now and reports say he has signed a contract with the Scorpions for next season.
Welcome to the RSL Cup blog
I've been a fan of Real Salt Lake since it joined MLS and took to the field in 2005, and I've been a fan of MLS since it began in 1996. Lately however I've started to worry about the path MLS is taking and the poor decisions they are making that in my mind threaten the growth of soccer as a whole in the US. (see "Columbus conspiracy" section) Soccer in America will grow only when we have a vibrant and diverse minor league system, something that MLS seems to be smothering at the moment. (see "American soccer wars" section) Let's keep our eyes on the situation and hope for the best, a future where grass-roots soccer and the minor leagues can not only exist but flourish, as well as where the contributions and history of the league's early clubs are appreciated and preserved.