Being a diehard Major League Soccer fan is a life of compromise. It’s willingly accepting a drop in quality from other leagues to “support your local.” It’s going along with the league’s labyrinthian financial and roster rules because you don’t want to see it go bankrupt. There are unending piles of dirt that MLS fans are forced to eat in order to happily support their domestic league.
As much as we all understand that MLS is growing and still needs time to find itself, there are times when the league makes such a massive mistake that even for a moment, you consider walking away forever.
That’s where I am today, after learning that Major League Soccer botched a chance to sign the the greatest athlete in the history of competitive sports, Adebayo “The Beast” Akinfenwa.
If you’re unfamiliar with Akinfenwa, get your life together and start focusing on things that matter. The Beast, a hero to billions across the globe, is a 6’1″, 224 pound striker … striker … STRIKER…currently with AFC Wimbledon in England’s League 2 (fourth tier).
At the end of the season, Akinfenwa took a trip to the United States to film part of his upcoming documentary. While here, he says he chatted with a few MLS teams and explored the possibility of joining the league, presumably with the intent of ripping the lesser humans of the Eastern Conference in half. Somewhere talks broke down, and The Beast has instead decided to re-sign with Wimbledon.
As if losing out to League 2 for the signature of a world-class player wasn’t dumb enough on the league’s part, as the Instagram post above shows, Akinfenwa was in Miami hanging out on South Beach just a week ago. I live on South Beach. I am one of MLS’s top unofficial (unpaid and unrecognized) brand ambassadors. Was I called in to consult on the negotiations? Nope. Did they bring me in to help craft the sales pitch? No! It’s like MLS doesn’t want to be great.
“There was a lot of interest in me, but that was not the sole reason for me going to America. It was also about my brand and shooting a documentary. I met with a couple of clubs in America and there was also interest from League 1 and League 2 clubs. I even got a call from a club as I was driving in here today. As a player you can only feel blessed that there are people interested in your services, but my heart has always been with AFC Wimbledon.”
The Beast’s documentary is to promote Beast Mode, Akinfenwa’s lifestyle brand, which is designed to lead you to greatness and getting “swole” with fitness tips and comfortable sweat-shorts. More than just a mere athlete, Adebayo Akinfenwa is a spiritual guru, traveling the world, spreading his message of productive calorie intake and celebratory choreography.
“Beast Mode On – Is a state of mind, not a state of physical appearance.
You don’t have to be a body builder to be in Beast Mode… as long as you ‘Apply Yourself and Go Hard’, that’s how you keep it Beast Mode!”
How did MLS not trip over themselves to get this man into the league? There is no sum of money that Akinfenwa could have asked for that would have been too much. Instead of The Beast, we’ll all have to spend the summer watching nearly-criple losers like Frank Lampark stand at midfield, doing nothing. Can Steven Gerrard pull a bus? No. Can Andrea Pirlo do the robot? Certainly not. Enjoy your summer of feeble old man soccer, MLS. You done messed up.