Rais M’Bohli: The Philadelphia Union’s $240,000 Mistake


Photo via Greg Carraccio/PhiladelphiaUnion.com

On September 29, MLS Player Association released the salary numbers for every MLS player. There was much talk about Kaka making the highest of any MLS player in history. There was much ranking of players as overpaid or underpaid. For the Philadelphia Union, the salary number for their “World Cup star goalie” in Rais M’Bohli was released. He makes $240,000, which is exactly double of Zac MacMath’s salary.

M’Bohli shined for Algeria in the 2014 World Cup, but has failed to shine for the Union. He has a 1.00 GAA but has only played in four games. In those four games the Union are 1-1-2.

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  • Last Thursday, Philadelphia was leading 1-0 as the game came to stoppage time. And then the Chicago Fire found a late equalizer sending boos throughout PPL Park.

    Off a direct kick, Philadelphia played the ball backwards on a string of passes. The ball found M’Bohli’s feet and rushed to clear the ball. Instead of sending it clear out of bounds, the ball landed right at his opponent. Robert Earnshaw charged towards M’Bohli and chipped him and scored the equalizer. While there were other mistakes made by the Union, M’Bohli’s gaffe clearly cost the Union a critical three points and forcing the team to settle for yet another tie at home.

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    Upon arrival to Philadelphia, M’Bohli was met with mixed emotions. Many Union fans questioned Nick Sakiewicz’s decision making in the Summer transfer window. Instead of going out and filling a need at the forward positioning, he signed a third goalkeeper despite young talent in Zac MacMath and Andre Blake.

    It’s one thing to draft a young Andre Blake in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft. Blake’s contract doesn’t count towards the tight salary cap because he’s a generation Adidas player. However, the same can’t be same about M’Bohli.

    Why pay double the salary for a keeper that isn’t double the talent of MacMath. I would argue that MacMath should be starting over M’Bohli and is better overall. However, that topic is for another article.

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  • All in All, signing M’Bohli was a mistake. It was a $240,000 mistake exactly. The Union could have signed key parts before the playoff push. Instead, they now are on the outside looking in and need three straight wins and a help from others to make the playoffs.

    Let me be clear here. I don’t blame M’Bohli for coming to the City of Brotherly Love and becoming the starting goalie. However, myself and many others blame Sakiewicz and the Union front office for not seeing where their positional needs were.

    Goalkeeper was not a clear need. A solid, attacking player was and this has shown in the past couple of weeks. For now, the Union fans hold hope that their beloved team can somehow make the 2014 MLS Playoffs despite Sakiewicz’ inability to sign a much-needed attacking player.