Veteran soccer reporter Ives Galarcep reported yesterday on Goal.com that MLS expansion team LAFC is set to sign midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye from Louisville City for “an undisclosed fee believed to be one of the highest paid for a USL player.” That could mean not one but TWO bags of soccer balls!
First: the internet wants to know: IS THIS LEGIT?
Probably. Goal.com is a reputable source. Ives Galarcep’s been writing and reporting on soccer since Jesus was riding dinosaurs through Judea. If he’s got “multiple independent sources” confirming the transfer, it’s probably a go.
Second: what does it all mean, Basil?
Well, it shortens the Louisville City roster up. Temporarily. Kaye’s been on several teams’ radars since he started making regular appearances for Canada, and was a likely transfer target this offseason. He’s obviously very talented, and the fact that he’s still just 23, (now) has a championship pedigree, and can probably still be signed for reasonably inexpensive (for MLS) wages likely made him attractive to Bob Bradley and the LAFC brass trying to fill out their 2018 roster. While he wasn’t a regular starter for Louisville City, he was certainly an impact player for Los Morados in 2017.
Long term, let’s be real: identifying and developing players that can be sold on for a profit has always been a part of Louisville City’s business plan. Income from transfer fees is a much more volatile and unpredictable revenue stream compared to income from game day operations and ticket sales. However, unless you’re Real Madrid or Manchester City, a great way to make money in the international player market is to find them first, sign them to years-long contracts, help them get better, and then sell them on for way more money. Ajax, Southampton, [random Portuguese club] and Borussia Dortmund have been doing that in varying degrees for years.
While it sucks to lose a talented player like Mark-Anthony Kaye, the proceeds from his sale, if invested wisely, will only help Louisville City get even better. We already know that O’Connor was maybe even too deep in attacking midfield going into this season. It’s a blow to lose a player of Kaye’s caliber for sure, but if that means the club now has money in its player budget to go shore up some other glaring roster deficiencies, then Morados should jump at the chance.
Kaye is a great guy and a very talented player. I know we all wish him nothing but the best as he begins this next chapter of his playing career. Let’s hope he’s the first of many players that find success here in Louisville and use it to go do bigger and better things.
COME ON, CITY!