SHALRIE JOSEPH New England $450,000
Joseph along with the underpaid and under appreciated Steve Ralston has been the heart and soul of the Revs for many years. A skillful and yet hard nosed footballer, Joseph has shown not all holding midfielders have to be Chris Armas tough or Demo Kovelenko rough to be useful. Not bad for a player reared in the maligned American college system.
JUSTIN MAPP Chicago $255,000
MLS has some very bad habits when it comes to US Internationals. One of these habits is to reward long term contracts based on potential while letting serviceable Americans move to Europe without receiving a transfer fee. The other bad habit we will discuss in our commentary about Bobby Convey.
Mapp as a left sided midfielder has had some nice games with the Fire, but has never come close to fulfilling the potential that made him one of the most exciting young American players a few years back.
DARREN HUCKERBY San Jose $385,000
Passion, experience and football savvy describe Huckerby. The Norwich City legend and former Premier League man is versatile and has more football in his legs at 32. Huckerby a Premier League footballer at Leeds and Manchester City as well as for a season with the Canaries brings the qualities of a Premiership player without the baggage of so many Englishmen previously signed by this league.
BOBBY CONVEY San Jose $244,000
MLS has another bad habit with American players: Allowing Americans of potential use to the national team rot away on the bench of second tier European sides and then overpaying them when their contract expires. This is both bad business and bad for the development of the US National Team. Convey is the poster child for this morally bankrupt MLS policy.
Convey needed to be rescued from England a year and half ago at the latest. His game, once so promising had clearly regressed. Injuries and a bad attitude have been the hallmark of Convey for sometime now. Yet he’s been rewarded with a salary almost of almost $100,000 more a season than the league’s all time assist leader, Steve Ralston.