“Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”
Congratulations! You’re in elite company. Like Andrew Farrell before you, you’re coming into the league at a time when it’s gaining popularity, and that means more scrutiny and more opportunity. Andrew Farrell earned $161,000 in guaranteed salary in 2013, and probably $100,000 more in endorsements, so I’m guessing that you’ll make about a quarter of a million dollars.
The good thing is that you’re no stranger to the bright lights. You’ve been to a World Cup qualifier in The Office. You know the expectations having been part of the Reggae Boyz. The pressure won’t be on you in the beginning, unlike some of your predecessors, because you have an established goalkeeper in your team already in Zac MacMath. You can take your time and get used to the speed and the differences in the game. You’ll probably play in the U.S. Cup and maybe in a few MLS matches next year, but you won’t be between the sticks every game.
I was a goalkeeper. Granted, I stopped playing in high school, but I at least know what it’s like to be the hero or the goat. We’re a different breed. It makes us the most fun to hang out with at parties.
Soccer in the U.S. is not really littered with stories of players who have lived extravagant lives and gone broke, a la Allen Iverson, Ron Artest, and the like. There are stories like that in Europe, though. Michael Chopra and Andros Townsend come to mind. You’ll see temptation, no doubt. The MLS publishes all player salaries, so it will be no mystery how much you’re bringing home, although people can only guess at your endorsement compensation. That’ll be a different experience than most people have.
So with that in mind, as a rabid soccer fan and a financial planner, I have a couple of (unsolicited) suggestions: