When I read Grant Wahl's The Beckham Experiment, there was one player who stuck in my mind, Alan Gordon. Grant Wahl writing for SI.com takes another look at Gordon, who far from his third string days of 2007, is enjoying a banner year for the San Jose Earthquakes in 2012.
For every Theirry Henry, David Beckham, Tim Cahill, Landon Donovan or Dwayne DeRosario, there are half a dozen Alan Gordons playing in MLS. Players who from year to year are not sure they will be playing professional soccer next year. Alan Gordon typifies the kind of player who plays because they love it, hopes to be better and hopes to contribute to a team. And they often do it at pretty low wages. n 2007 Gordon made just over $30,000 and had a part time job coaching soccer to make more money. Things have changed, but Gordon is appreciative.
Gordon will earn $120,000 this season, according to MLS Players Union records, but even now his salary isn't guaranteed beyond 2012. "It's taken me a long time to get here," he says. "I can honestly say I've earned every dollar that I've made in the MLS. I definitely haven't been overpaid, that's for sure. Everything is year-to-year for a guy like me in the MLS. Let's not get confused here. I don't know what's happening in the next month, but it's always been that way for me, and it keeps me working hard. No matter how many goals I score or how much I get paid, I don't assume a thing. I'm just enjoying this moment. I have to keep doing the things that have gotten me here, and hopefully I can do them for a couple more years."
Read the whole piece. Gordon is the kind of guy that I would love to meet and whom I am enjoying watching. He is also the kind of guy that the MLS has relied upon for years. Even as the quality of soccer improves in the MLS, it is the squad players like Alan Gordon who make the game more accessible as a league.