“In order to rise from its own ashes, a Phoenix must first burn.” – Octavia E. Butler
Stay weary of mystifying highlight reels spotlighting otherworldly displays of skill. Under the right conditions, a slick video editor can make a common rec soccer bum look like a young Pele incarnate. Mainly, these kinds of YouTube videos lack two things: quality music accompaniment and the necessary context to judge a player’s true abilities. What is the level of competition? Are these friendlies? Did the keeper take his vitamins on the day? Are the opposing teams strictly populated with degenerate gamblers, throwing games for quick cash? Where has the internet‘s repository of royalty-free EDM been music hiding for all these years?
Take my acquaintance Jóbson Leandro Pereira de Oliveira; Jobson’s Botofoga highlights will have you pestering the AFC front office like a deranged telemarketer, shamelessly spam-calling with pleas to sign the Brazilian. After you break through and within minutes of scouts finishing Jobson’s video, Matthew McConoughey would be boarding a private jet to South America to bring Jobson to the Lone Star State.
No doubt. However, what Jobson’s carefully crafted reel fails to portray are his issues with tardiness, discipline, spousal assault, suspensions, parole violations, police arrests, and the smoking of crack cocaine. Most importantly, the videos don’t show you where Jobson fails in living up to the hype.
The same healthy dose of caution taken with Jobson’s highlights should be used in Rodney‘s case as well — but don’t twist my shit; Mr. Redes seems like a good boy, and fans of his former team have personally assured me of this, via Reddit. You won’t stumble into him at 2am ripping coke rails off of the porcelain at UnBARlievable or being thrown into the back of a cop car for publically urinating on pedestrians from the Rooftop on 6th patio — not happening. His Austin FC reveal video shows us 7 of his 12 professional goals, spanning over 80 career games; that’s what should worry you.
Rodney comes to our town with the weight of a new franchise and goal-hungry fans on his shoulders. We’ve all shelled out thousands of dollars for tickets, and we deserve the spectacle of unadulterated goal scoring. As our only goal scoring source to currently exist, and Anthony Precourt’s all-time most expensive signing, the expectations placed on Rodney will be ever-increasing until filling a second roster spot ultimately distracts us.
Hey, Rodney, no pressure at all…
…but for real…
…don’t fuck this up.
People want to know what to expect, so comparisons of Redes to a fellow Paraguayan, Miguel Almiron, are inevitable. Miguel Almiron is the prototypical player all MLS owners wish to sign. Buy low from South America and sell high to the big leagues for profit. Arthur Blank‘s Atalanta United netted $18.5 million dollars after selling Almiron to Newcastle United — the highest profit margin Major League Soccer has ever seen. Capitalism baby.
The stakes are a bit lower in the case of Redes, as we purchased him for a modest $2.75 million dollars compared to Atlanta’s expense of $8.25 million in acquiring Almiron. On the bright side, a cheaper transfer fee makes a $19 million dollar profit margin that much easier to achieve. Disregard females, acquire currency.
Rodney’s salary (200k/yr) also cushions the risk. It’s change compared to someone like Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s payment plan (7.5mil/yr – remember when Precourt fed into the rumor of signing him?). Don’t get me wrong, you can live like a king earning two hundred thousand American greenbacks in most US cities, but this is Austin we’re talking about. Mr. Redes will have to stretch his dollar if he wants to live like a rockstar, and I encourage him to do so. Life goes from Thursday night cocktails and ménage a twois to Friday macaroni dinner with the kids in no time.
My advice? You’re a professional athlete in your very early 20s. Do NOT buy a house. You’re too young for that kind of responsibility, and you need to stay liquid. Go get a swanky apartment in the Domain and spend what money you have left on a camo-wrapped sports car. The license plate should read something like “3ALL1N0U7” or “BIGROD420”.
I’m sure Rodney looks forward to living in Austin. Perhaps, the only thing to give him pause could be this photoshop‘d abomination of our kit. If Rodney really moves to a different hemisphere and is forced to sport this crap, I would like to apologize on behalf of club and country:
Many unknowns still surround Austin FC. We are, after all, an expansion team with a single player and half of a year before the first kickoff. It’s nearly impossible to guess if Rodney will perform like he did in his highlights or fall into MLS obscurity. Ultimately, attempting to predict the career arc of any young player is borderline foolish, especially for those not in a profession where the accuracy of this sort of forecasting determines your own success. Even then, scouts get it wrong all the time. Passive futbol fans should leave these kinds of predictions alone or risk exposing themselves as self-flagellating snobs.
This cautious approach towards newly acquired talent is logical but let’s piss into the wind and look at the glass being closer to full — if only for my own amusement. We need Rodney to elevate this team to immediate heights, and I’m hoping he is going to do it. Welcome to Austin Mr. Redes; we’re counting on you.
And for any fan who is doubting him, remember this…
Like Fred Durst said…
as did George Michael…
and Jesus Christ before him…
“You gotta have faith.”