Dear Sherjill MacDonald: We Don’t Want You Either
Sherjill MacDonald “doesn’t really care anymore” whether he plays or not. Well isn’t that special. Guess what? The OTF Roundtable cares a lot…
On July 10, 2013, Sherjill MacDonald, who had amassed zero goals and one assist in thirteen 2013 MLS appearances, told Seth Gruen of the Chicago Sun-Times:
“At this point, if I play, I play. If I don’t play, I don’t really care anymore. I mean, I want to play. But if they don’t choose me, I’m OK. I feel like we have to get a solution quick because I try to stay positive, but sometimes it’s difficult.”
“I’m still going to be a teammate. But for me, I’m just waiting for another opportunity to come up so I can just leave. It’s not that I don’t like it here. I like it here. But obviously if you don’t play enough, for me, there’s no point to stay.”
Apparently, someone forgot to tell Sherjill MacDonald about the “Honor” and “Passion” in Tradition, Honor, Passion. Funny thing is though, it’s on the back of his kit — right below his fat head.
Anyway, so what did MacDonald do mere hours after telling Fire Nation he’d all but checked out? To add insult to injury he scored a goal — a 92nd minute garbage time set up from the tireless Quincy Amarikwa — in a meaningless friendly at Toyota Park in front of 18,000 Club America fans.
Well, isn’t that just grand?
Shortly after MacDonald’s first goal in any sort of competition since October 6, 2012, Daily Herald’s Orrin Schwartz remarked on Twitter:
“It’s clear that Klopas is going to treat MacDonald like a professional as long as he’s with the club, despite what MacDonald says.”
Here’s what being “professional” looks like:
Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas on MacDonald last night:
“I was happy for him, obviously, and I think everyone on the team was. He’s worked hard, and I think it’s good sometimes to get rewarded like that. Quincy (Amarikwa) played him a terrific through-ball, and you see the pace. It’s good for his confidence. He’s been working hard and it’s good to see him score. But a lot of times it’s not just the goals. You see guys that sometimes have difficulty scoring or things don’t go their way, I think you have to find other ways to help the team. He’s been positive; he’s been working hard and helping the team in other ways. But obviously it’s a great feeling for him to get the goal. I know for myself and every one of the players they feel good for him.”
I don’t believe a word of this obfuscation, nor should you.
Ask yourself if you think Mike Magee, or Logan Pause, or Gonzalo Segares “feels good” for Sherjill MacDonald.
I can feel the gastric acid creeping up my esophagus and onto my tongue…
I’m not sure what’s more infuriating, MacDonald’s dishonorable honesty or Klopas’s Newspeak, which last night reached a crescendo of dizzying heights. Either Frank Klopas doesn’t read the papers, is completely disingenuous, or lives in a bubble. Perhaps it’s a bit of all three?
Klopas needs to go too, but back to MacDonald…
The Dutchman raised our expectations last year by telling us he’d be better this year with a full preseason under his belt. Then, the Fire’s highest paid, sole Designated Player showed up to camp in January so unfit that he failed his Vo2 max test. By March, he remained visibly overweight and had to be put on a special diet. By April’s end, after seven starts in which he scored no goals and provided one assist, he was benched.
But why take my word for it? Let’s rewind and get some perspective with a history lesson in quotes, shall we?
October 14, 2012, Chicago Fire Head Coach Frank Klopas on Designated Player Sherjill MacDonald, who had amassed four goals and three assists in 12 MLS appearances:
“Right now you’re seeing glimpses of the player that we had seen (scouting). From preseason next year, you’re going to see a whole different player.”
Question: Was this clip not included in the scouting report?
March 5, 2013, Klopas to MLSsoccer.com after starting Maicon Santos over MacDonald against LA Galaxy in the season-opener:
“[MacDonald’s] still a very good player. Nothing’s changed my mind. He’s going to have a very good year and he’s going to be a very good player for us.”
March 10, 2013, Klopas to MLSsoccer.com after yanking MacDonald in the Fire’s 0-1 home-opening loss to New England Revolution:
“We took out MacDonald because we needed him more.”
also on March 10, 2013, MacDonald to MLSsoccer.com:
“I’m just there to support this team no matter what.”
April 23, 2013, MacDonald to the Daily Herald:
“The only thing you can do if you don’t finish your chances is to work for the team hard. I always believe in working hard.”
Rich, isn’t it?
Now, fast forward to the locker room last night. Immediately after Klopas showed him some love and gave him a public “atta boy,” MacDonald had this to say to MLSsoccer.com:
“It took a long time [to score], so I’m not really excited anymore. I like the guys, I like the staff. I’ve just never been in this situation before that I’m so many times on the bench. So I can stay positive, but it gets to you sometimes … It’s nothing personal against Chicago Fire.”
“I’m angry that I’m not playing but I don’t say that I need to play because we’re playing well. If I can get some playing time somewhere else, why not do it? It has nothing to do with the decisions of the staff. I just feel like he’s choosing other guys, I can be valuable somewhere else. But I still love the Chicago Fire.”
“I played eight full games, they always pull me off in the 60th minute. I never played a 90 minute game since the [preseason], never one. I’m a little bit pissed about that. And I feel like the times I wasn’t playing good, the whole team was not playing good, so it’s hard to single out one guy if the whole team wasn’t playing good. Now, I have nothing to say because we’re winning games.”
“Until another club comes and they have an agreement, before that I’m still a Chicago Fire player, and I’m still going to give 100 percent every day when I come in. I know it’s not always going to be a good game for me, but I’ll always give 100 percent … Maybe I’m here ‘til the end of the year. I’m still happy here.”
If Frank Klopas is a master of Newspeak, then Sherjill MacDonald just showed us his Ph.D in Doublespeak. After all of the criticism I’ve written about him on this site, here are my last words to Sherjill MacDonald:
- You’re not excited anymore, and we’re not either.
- It is personal now.
- You’re angry, but you love us? That’s cute.
- You were pulled from games because you weren’t fit. It was your job to be fit. You didn’t do your job.
- Yes, now you certainly don’t have anything to say because the Fire is indeed winning games without you. So if you love the team so much, why don’t you shut your mouth?
- You’re a little bit pissed, and we’re a lot bit pissed.
- You don’t give 100%. You never have.
- Leave. Now.
If you don’t do your job, you lose it. Even if you’re talented.
Sherjill MacDonald has embarrassed himself, the Fire, the city of Chicago, and the league with his self-righteous sense of entitlement, exposed not only by his complete lack of effort both during the off-season and on the field this season, but now by the words from his own smug mouth.
As an experiment, forget for a moment that soccer is a team sport defined by a collective sense of passion, pride, and community. Try to set aside everything you know about supporting and representing a club, and consider the fact that professional athletes are, just like the rest of us, professionals, i.e., men and women who are paid to do a job.
Sherjill MacDonald, for instance, will be paid $527,125 to do his job this season. By comparison, Quincy Amarikwa, a man who’s won an MLS Cup and plays the same position, will bring in $46,500. Amarikwa makes considerably less than the average school teacher in Illinois, while MacDonald makes more than many corporate CEOs in downtown Chicago.
And yet, the CEO showed up for preseason out of shape, and his in-game heat maps resemble those of an MLB outfielder.
The school teacher? He runs his tail off every minute he’s on the field.
Amarikwa worked a tireless 90+ minutes last night, sacrificing his body to the small, loyal contingent of Fire fans at Toyota Park in a (somewhat) hostile environment. MacDonald got lucky after 30 when Amarikwa played him a sublime through-ball he couldn’t possibly miss.
In a day, age, and locale where many fans — folks who pay money to watch him play — are fighting for financial security and just scraping by, I don’t know how Sherjill MacDonald sleeps at night.
Mackie, Mackie, Mackie… oh dear. Saying that you still want to play now whilst making it clear you could give a toss.
Tell me, when have you played this entire season? On what day did you actually show up to do your job in 2013?
I cannot recall ever having seen a more abject performance from someone who calls himself a striker, or center forward, or even a footballer. Typically, when you’re trying to show for another gig somewhere, you give, I dunno, maybe any effort whatsoever for your current employer. All you’ve done from day one of this 2013 campaign is show up to collect your sizable pay packet.
You have been shit. Honestly, you’ve been shit for most of your career. In over a decade as a supposed number 9 you have a smashing goal rate of just over 1-in-5 in around 250 matches. You make Emile Hesky look like Lionel Messi.
Your work rate… I can’t even conjure up a comparison. I’ve never seen someone give fewer fucks about earning $500,000 a year or more to do their job, and I saw Scottie Pippen’s last season with the Bulls.
Your goal in last night’s friendly was the ultimate white elephant gift to fans and a club you have robbed of money since your arrival. The fact you were allowed on the pitch in the first place was a slap in the face to supporters who have showed up to watch the Fire all season. That’s about the only thing here you’re blameless for—what the management team was thinking even dressing you I’ll never know. You should have been sent home for the remainder of your contract.
You quit, and you had done nothing up to that point. Honestly, perhaps less than nothing, as playing with ten men at times would have been a better option.
Coming out and telling Seth Gruen that you’re angling for a move was no revelation. In fact, you’d already made that clear to Daily Herald and some Dutch paper.
I hope these mystery teams in Belgium you continually reference have actually seen you play. I don’t know many clubs looking for a center forward who simply does not score, let alone one who seems content to move about the pitch at a half-jog-like pace.
In short: Good riddance, the sooner the better. And please, allow the door to smash into you multiple times on the way out. You’ll never be missed.
Tip o’ the cap to Portland Sirens for the Mackie/Costanza .GIF!
NOTE: All four of the authors of this piece have been blocked on Twitter by Sherjill MacDonald @mackie84