What is the order of the Vancouver Whitecaps 'punching bag' list? Obviously Kenny Miller and Barry Robson have to be front and center on it, but who follows? I'll tell you one name I never hear; John Thorrington, which is surprising, given how little he has contributed to this squad on the field.
In the locker room, Thorrington is an absolute class act. He's affable, he's a calming influence on everybody that wears a 'Caps sweater, and he's incredibly well liked. He's a total character guy, which is great. However, given that he made $170,000 last season, is that extra spurt of character in the locker room really that valuable? Surely there are other members of the team that can pick up that slack.
Plus, it's not like the dude was exactly lighting it up on the pitch. He's been injury prone in his two seasons with the 'Caps, playing in just nineteen contests last year. Besides that, he has a staggering one point in 31 games, and no, that one point was not a goal. One paltry assist for a guy making six figures? Hell, Gershon Koffie made around 92,000 dollars last year, and he's one of the top three players on the club.
Yes, the guy has a hell of a lot of hustle, but come on, how much is hustle worth? If hustle is really what you want to pay for, give a much younger guy that role and see if he can flourish given the same opportunities that Thorrington had. At 33 years old, it's not like the Whitecaps can sit and wait and see if Thorrington is finally going to give them something.
At 33, and with two years on the Whitecaps roster, it's better now to let Thorrington explore his other options.
Many of you are probably saying that Thorrington will take a pay cut if he comes back, which somehow justifies his place on the roster.
I mean, good for him if he's willing to take a substantial cut to remain with the squad, but what is he truly worth? Tell me, whats the market value of an aging, injury prone midfielder who hasn't scored a goal in the MLS in two freaking years?
At this point, Thorrington would just be taking up space. While it's always nice to have veterans on the squad, guys that have fought in the trenches and seen the horrors of war (David Beckhams pirate beard/hair combo.. echhh), Thorrington simply doesn't have what it takes to occupy a roster spot for a competitive MLS team. Maybe Thorrington gets a chance on last years squad simply because it wasn't exactly an elite bunch, but on a team looking to improve upon a first round playoff exit, Thorrington simply gets left out in the cold.
Don't get me wrong; I love John Thorrington as a player and a person. He's always been fair and pleasant with the media, and he's always great for a quote. However, this should purely be a business decision. In terms of simple dollars and cents, John Thorrington should not be a Whitecap anymore.