Eddie Johnson is one of the most talented forwards in the league. He has speed, size, leaping ability, the ability to beat defenders off the dribble, the ability to know when to try to beat defenders off the dribble, and a forward's shot.
Eddie Johnson makes less money per season than Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
When EJ rubs his fingers together, a few times, and says "Pay Me" right into the camera after scoring a goal, he has a point.
He also scares the life out of plenty of fans.
EJ wanting to get paid scares me because I see the basketball player trying to convince me that he needs millions on top of his millions to feed his family. I see the ghost of NASL and the bloated contracts that shuttered team after team back then. I see the contract holdout silliness that is the NFL. I see the NHL and their labor problems.
MLS is different than the other big leagues here in the states in that there is no guarantee that a player will be wealthy just for playing. The NFL minimum salary is $405,000. MLB is $400,000. NBA is $490,180. Those are rookie salaries, day one of the contract, bare minimum lunch pail guy. MLS is $32,125. A year. In MLS, you have to earn the big payday.
EJ makes $150,000 this year. Comfortable, but remember this is a single father of two in Seattle- not a cheap place to live. This is a man who has scored 7 times this season with two assists- numbers almost identical to Kei Kamara with SKC, who makes twice as much.
So Eddie might have a point.
EJ does some pretty odd things on the pitch sometimes, the pay me thing the latest chapter, but he has never spoken against his coach, his teammates, or SSFC off of it. He has never been anything but measured and earnest to the cameras. Hopefully, this will be the last we see or hear of this issue with Eddie. Hopefully he will let this compel him to excellence for the remainder of the season.
And then, hopefully, we will pay the man what he is worth. He has earned it.