Monday, May 17, 2010

Oguchi to Play for Free

A very interesting bit of news today is that USA central defender Oguchi Onyewu has signed a one-year extension at AC Milan, keeping him at the San Siro through the 2012-13 season.  That's not the really interesting part.

Oguchi offered, and Milan duly accepted, to play that final season for free.  Noble gesture, in light of his injury-missed season?  Or stupidity, because why play for free when one of the best teams in the world will pay you handsomely? 

It's a clever move by Gooch, convincing Milan to give him another year that maybe they would have otherwise questioned in light of his injury and lack of games with the team. Certainly if Gooch gets on the field and holds down a starting position, he'll get rewarded once he needs to re-sign again.  Hopefully Gooch is healthy enough to play well in the World Cup and carry that over into next season.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I was surprised to see this. Injuries are part of the game, and it is a dangerous precedent for players to start taking wage cuts for injuries suffered with their national team.

    That said, I think it is a relatively low cost way to generate a ton of good publicity and fan support.

    If Gooch plays well, Milan will want to extend him, and I'm sure compensation for that year will work its way into the deal.

    On the other hand, if it doesn't work out with Milan, he'll probably be transferred and have to come to terms with the new team.

    So the only way that he ends up wasting one of his prime earning years playing for free is if he ends up playing at a level that they keep him for the duration of the contract but don't extend him. That is somewhat unlikely.