February 27, 2013
HIS FIRST SHOT OF THE SEASON
Henry: MLS salary cap has to change
Even before the Red Bulls take on the Portland Timbers in their season opener on Sunday, team captain and striker Thierry Henry already was taking aim at a target: the league salary cap.
|Thierry Henry: "If you want to be compared to some of the big leagues in Europe, something has to be changed. I donít know what, but something has to be changed.Ē
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
The former French international and World Cup champion said that the Major League Soccer salary cap had to change. He certainly wasn't happy with the fact that the Red Bulls had to trade Kenny Cooper to FC Dallas due to salary-cap restrictions. Cooper registered 18 goals, second best in the league.
ďAs you know here with salary cap and all of that, thatís the only reason why he left. It wasnít for a football reason,Ē Henry told reporters at media day in Manhattan earlier this week. "It is annoying because you knew, I donít know how he used to do it, but if the ball was going to hit three guys, the ball was going to land at his feet and he was going to put it into the back of the net.Ē
By dealing away Cooper, the Red Bulls made some precious room to sign some rookies and possibly some trialists. So, Henry wants the salary cap changed.
MLS, which kicks off its 18th season this weekend -- the Red Bulls start at the Portland Timbers on Sunday -- always has had a salary cap. That limit has increased since 1996.
ďIf youíre in any other league in the world, you keep your good players. Not in this league,Ē Henry said. ďThatís just the way it is and thatís why most of the time you see players [moving] and being traded. It is an American way of dealing with things, salary cap, draft, trade.
ďIn Europe, we donít do that. In Europe, if you perform for your team, youíre sure of staying. But here itís different and if you want to be compared to some of the big leagues in Europe, something has to be changed. I donít know what, but something has to be changed.Ē