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MLS TAM news provides an opportunity for Sugarman to show intent

The optional TAM increase is the first place Jay Sugarman can finally prove he’s committed to this team

MLS: Orlando City SC at Philadelphia Union
“Evan, how’ve you been feeling about the Union recently?” Welp. Like Ale here.
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I’m really tired of all the talking. Really I’m just tired of Jay Sugarman saying he’s “open to spending.” However, for those out there like me that are tired of lip service, there’s some intriguing news. MLS announced today some changes to the Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) mechanism for 2018 and 2019. In short here’s what we got.

Currently everyone gets $1.2 million a year in TAM. Clubs will all get that for 2018, but may pull forward and add 2019’s $1.2 million to this year, for a total of $2.4 million in 2018. MLS clubs will also have the ability on a discretionary basis funded by the team to spend up to an extra $2.8 million in 2018. So in total it looks like the Union can wind up with a grand total of $5.2 million in TAM if they pull up 2019’s TAM and Sugarman and co. put in the optional $2.8 million.

Wouldn’t that be fun? This isn’t really something that happens often. Team owners and coaches and directors of soccer always look back on poor seasons with a “what if” narrative. The only other time MLS has given teams a way to show their intent to a fanbase this bluntly recently is when Anthony Precourt decided to screw over everyone in Ohio by actively trying (and probably succeeding, sorry) to relocate the Crew to Austin in the midst of Expansion talks. We know Toronto FC (who we can’t possibly hope to spend like, I’ve been told), the Seattle Sounders, and probably LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, and the Portland Timbers will put in money. I’d bet New York Red and Blue will both put in too. There’s so many defeated, fed up and regretful people in this fanbase. It’s December and we already have some buyer’s remorse on Twitter for season tickets. That’s insane, but not unwarranted given the team and their history.

I think I’ve mentioned before that Jay Sugarman comes from real estate. There’s one thing that real estate investors hate, and that’s big projects. Big projects require time and money and hiring the right people (who cost money) and waiting a longer time for a ROI. Not seeing a return on your investment in soccer right away is a given. Go and ask Merritt Paulson or maybe Robb Heinemann, hell, you can even ask Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment. They all had to put in a little extra work and open the wallets a bit, and do you know what they all have? They don’t have open houses, they have sell outs. They don’t have upset customers, they have rabid fanbases. They don’t have cute for sale signs, they have US Open Cups, MLS Cups, Supporters Shields. They don’t have a building with a lot of grass around it. They have soccer teams.

Maybe you should have a soccer team too?