Minnesota set to sign NASL MVP Campos

By IVES GALARCEP

The Minnesota Stars are under new ownership, and the signs of that new ownership group’s influence are starting to show.

The Stars have been known for fielding one of the best teams in the NASL on a consistent basis under head coach Manny Lagos despite not having the financial backing of an owner. Now, with new Stars owner Bill McGuire backing the team, the Stars look poised to build a powerhouse.

Enter Pablo Campos, the reigning NASL MVP. The Stars are set to sign Campos to a new deal, snatching the free agent away from the San Antonio Scorpions , sources told SBI on Sunday.

Campos scored 20 goals for the Scorpions to win the NASL Golden Boot and MVP honors. A former Real Salt Lake forward, Campos is expected to be joined on the Minnesota squad by midfielder Bryan Arguez, who is also expected to be signed by the Stars in the coming days.

What do you think of these developments? See anybody stopping Minnesota in the NASL this year?

Share your thoughts below.

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52 Responses to Minnesota set to sign NASL MVP Campos

  1. ericJ says:

    There goes the Scorpions season… and with their new stadium… this sucks.

    • Bobb says:

      Go get someone else? The world is full of soccer players. This is a funny comment given how please Hal is that NASL has free agency unlike MLS…

      • AzTeXan says:

        “There goes the Scorpions season.” Funny that’s what I said as watched that clown get a red card in the playoffs against Minnesota. Utter buffoonery.

  2. Dev says:

    Interesting that with the new stadium coming they didn’t feel it was necessary to hold onto the only reason they won any games lol

    • AzTeXan says:

      Two comments and two people who didn’t see the 2012 playoffs. You can’t win with guys who lose their cool 25 minutes into a game.

  3. Chance says:

    I really hope we can get the Stars into the MLS within the next five or six years.

  4. Hal says:

    NASL has free agency. Why doesn’t MLS?

    • Bobb says:

      MLS is a stable, successful, rapidly expanding league. For some odd reason teh decisionmakers seem to value that other arbitrary logistical talking points like no cap, single entity, lack of pro/rel, etc.

      • Hal says:

        and how would free agency lead to instability? There are dozens of other leagues around the world in a similar situation as MLS and of similar quality. All of them have free agency and not one of them in is danger of collapse.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      NASL has free agency for probably the opposite reason, so that teams on shoestring budgets can offload players. At minor league salaries the players are probably only somewhat empowered ($30K?). You want more than x go beg MLS for a bench job.

      Plus, anyone knowing the disappear/reappear history in US soccer wouldn’t be holding up the minors as an example. It’s basically a big experiment where MLS now cherrypicks the best locations from them.

      • Hal says:

        NASL has free agency because there is ZERO chance of NASL clubs overpaying and bidding each other up for the type of player that is available to NASL.

        It’s the same reason MLS should have free agency.

        • Dave says:

          Are you kidding? MLS teams would quickly drive up the prices on mediocre players.

          The NASL has free agency because most players sign one year deals so they can get into MLS.

          • Hal says:

            no they wouldn’t. The international player market in soccer is the least volatile of any player market. This is not the MLB where you have a small number of teams competing over an even smaller number of players. There are hundreds of players of similar quality available to MLS. And the type of American players staying in MLS are not going to break the bank. The top American players want to move on to Europe.

            So please bring some facts to the conversation instead of the same tired debunked arguments.

  5. Bobb says:

    I know Etienne Barbara didn’t do much with Vancouver last year (in fairness he had injury issues), but it would be nice to see NASL MVP or golden boot types get a shot in MLS. If this guy was available, why didn’t some MLS team take a chance on him like Rennie with Barbara?

    • Redneck says:

      I’m pretty sure that Rennie brought Barbara with him from the Carolina Railhawks. Even so, it would be great for more high-quality NASL players to move up to MLS.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        It was more roundabout than that, Montreal squatted Barbara (I think the rumor was Rennie was headed there then changed his mind) and made Vancouver give up considerations for him.

        IMO the CBA is very protective of MLS roster spots especially after the freeze deadlines when you might get the idea to call in a minor leaguer for a late season trial. You can’t just cut someone to create the slot….at least not easily.

  6. bullsear says:

    Well, I have to say, as a long-time Minnesota fan, this has me a bit confused. Not confused as to why the Stars would bring him in–that’s obvious. The guy is a proven, prolific goal scorer. But he’s also one of the worst divers in the league, a hot head, and not typically the type of guy you’d find in the Minnesota locker room.
    Who knows. Maybe our guys’ positive attitude and kindness will rub off on him? (Not holding my breath.)

    • c0ldfu says:

      Bullsear–look at Kallman three years ago as an example. Lagos will reign him in.

    • stpauljosh says:

      Well, the Stars have an owner that couldn’t have cared less about Minnesotans when he was CEO of United Health Care. Made getting treatment more difficult for Minnesotans to get while raising their payments while inking a sweet deal for himself ($400 million of it he had to return to avoid a class-action lawsuit). ***all google-able, btw***

      Bill McGuire doesn’t care about Minnesota values. He just cares about money.

      • jimcrist says:

        fine by me as long as the stars win.

        • stpauljosh says:

          as long as you’re team wins, the means don’t matter.

          are you sure you’re from mn? you seem like deep, south red state material to me.

          • Pfutz says:

            Deep south red state material? Nice generalization there. Think harder about your insults. It’s unbecoming of a Minnesotan.

      • Pfutz says:

        “I just care about money.”

        - said no one who bought a d2 soccer franchise in the United States ever

      • StarsFan4Ever says:

        Just what Campos needs; a touch of Minnesota Nice, instead of Texas Trash Talkin’. He’ll figure out how to get along in Minnesota.

        And of course he dives; that’s how it’s done in Brazil. It’s what he was taught. If he gets out of line, its up to the Refs and the fans to keep him in line.

        I’m sure he’s reading these comments: Hey Campos!! Welcome to Minnesota! Can’t wait to meet you at Bricks’, Bro!! Make us proud!

    • AzTeXan says:

      It’s certainly a risk taking on players with a criminal record and you’re smart to be cautious with Campos considering he murdered the 2012 Scorpions playoff run.

  7. Backtozero says:

    Campos is a great addition for Minnesota, strong presence up front keeps the opposing defenders on their toes and is a great target man. The kind of guy you love on your team and despise on others. Looking forward to seeing him tie up the defence and allowing the skillful smaller players to light up the NSC.

  8. Vinz Clortho says:

    I didn’t know where IC went after RSL. Glad to see he’s had some success elsewhere…

  9. drew11 says:

    Is McGuire interested in MLS? MN seems like a natural fit for the league. The only thing missing has been an owner.

    The parallels to Seattle are amusing. NASL team, politics, Scandinavian roots, corporate sponsor potential, etc.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      Stadium. I played at Blaine a couple times for tournaments and the stadium at NSC is basically HS/college level, capacity 12,000. You hear the Metrodome or whatever the Vikings get tossed around.

      Also, I think it would be risky because unlike Montreal or even say Rochester at one point they have not been incredibly well attended. It would be a dice roll that the fans would be more attracted by MLS. Kind of like people love Miami as an idea. But then, Toronto was never much of a minor league fan magnet, and look how it turned out. So who knows.

      • drew11 says:

        Montreal or Rochester do not have the many potential corporate sponsors MN has. Health Care, Target, etc., all fit the demo that would be attractive to MLS.

        The new Viking stadium will be downtown. That could work if they do it right. Seattle fills their NFL stadium. MN could do the same. I really wouldn’t put Blaine attendance figures into the equation since that is minor league soccer out in the boondocks. Not comparable to MLS in downtown MSP.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          A downtown stadium plus MLS soccer might improve attendance but the basic question is the interest level. 3k/game is 2012 attendance. Compare that to 9K for San Antonio. If people will already attend SA at near-MLS levels (9K would have been MLS level 5-10 years ago), why do I move MN ahead of them? Sponsorship?

          To me unless a minor league team is getting 5K plus it’s not worth the risk.

          • drew11 says:

            Old schoool NASL in MN was hip and averaged 20-30,000 fans 30 years ago. I don’t see attendance as a problem. If anything, the market is even better for pro soccer now. Of course they don’t draw for minor league soccer at that dump out in Blaine. Total outlier and I wouldn’t consider it.

            It all comes down to an owner who can get a good stadium situation. Downtown stadium in MN = Seattle type MLS success story.

          • Minnesota Nice FC says:

            What was the attendance for Montreal before they announced MLS? Or Seattle? Or anywhere for teams who made the move from lower divisions to MLS? I understand what you’re saying, but you’re shooting from the hip here and haven’t looked at the data.
            You can always check out MLS4MN .com and just read through the FAQ there.

          • StarsFan4Ever says:

            You could double or triple attendance instantly just by moving the team downtown.

            Opening Stars game at the dome last year was nearly 10k. Their first five home games in the dome this year will tell the story of the location.

  10. NewtonH says:

    Pablo is the Carlos Ruiz of lower tier American soccer. In no particular order, he’s a prolific goalscorer, a diver, a hot head, card-prone, lazy. He’s an enigma. You have to take the good with the bad with Pablo. I for one am glad he is one and done in San Antonio. His goals were much needed in the team’s first season, but the franchise can do better going forward.

  11. Josh says:

    Yeah Pablo the headbutt Campos served his purpose but as a Scorpions fan… I’m not sad to see him leave. We need strikers who can actually create opportunities not just poach goals. I’m excited for this new season in Toyota Field…

  12. Richard Mendez says:

    I live in San Antonio and I liked Pablo Campos. He is skilled and a good goal scorer. It just came down to him wanting too much money, from what I can remember from an article a few months ago, and it doesn’t make sense for the Scorpions to dump a lot of money on him when players are available throughout the world. Does anyone know what the average salary is of a division II player? I am just curious. Under Hankinson, I’m confident the Scorpions will be fielding a winning team this year.

  13. Cesar says:

    Wll the Stars will play 6 games at the Metro Dome, lets see if people come to see NASL soccer in a downtown venue.

  14. uhclem says:

    Just to clear up a few misperceptions some of you have about the current soccer situation in Minnesota…

    MLS Interest in MN: Has been there since the beginnings of the league. Back then we lacked a deep pocket owner with interest and suitable stadium.

    The board of 10 that owned the Vikings in the last half of the 90′s had no interest in MLS, nor did the next owner in ’98, McCombs. The owner of the Thunder, Bill George, had the pockets, but didn’t like the structure of the MLS. That, coupled with his imminent retirement from business to head the Business School at Harvard, led to his selling the team to owners who lacked the finances to join MLS. Subsequent owners, until the latest, also lacked investment capital or primary tenant status in the Metrodome. That lack of capital has been reflected in marketing budgets inadequate for this size and type of sports market, resulting in a plateauing of attendance in the 2000 to 4000 per match average. Individual matches that have been marketed more extensively have drawn, for the most part, between 5,000 and 21,000, with 5 drawing 10,000 or more.

    The current owners of the Vikings, the Wilf Family, have expressed interest in MLS, stating their desire to have a franchise to fill the new Vikings Stadium, scheduled to be ready in 2016 and in which they are the primary tenant. MLS has preliminarily approved the stadium and tenant arrangement, subject to future negotiations.

    The current owners of the Stars, have expressed interest in moving to a more central location, but have not advanced any plans for a new stadium or named an alternate current site for relocation. The team’s plans to play this year’s first mini-season in the Metrodome and the second mini-season at the NSC is in part, to compare attendance figures and marketing opportunities in the two locations.

    The likeliest out come will be an MLS team in the new stadium within the first couple of season’s of it’s opening. The Wilfs will either form their new team themselves or offer to buy the Stars, depending in how successfully the current owner builds the brand. The Vikings and Stars have had talks and continue to “keep in touch”, but no commitments have been made.

    Bill McGuire, current owner of the Stars with currentn estimated wealth of between $500 million and $1.2 billion, has been very vague about the future of the team, except to say he is serious about building a franchise that will last and has a preliminary goal of averaging 10,000 fans a match, preferably this year.

    A less likely, but still real possibility is that the Wilfs form their own team and the Stars remain active in minor league soccer. I believe that the Stars could remain viable, in a vaguely similar way that the St. Paul Saints minor league baseball team has remained viable despite the presence of the Minnesota Twins.

    • Dave says:

      The Stars are done if MInny gets MLS. Nobody up there cares about the Stars now. And Bill McGuire, who has a shady past, is going to be in for a reality check about owning a minor league team. I don’t see him staying around long.

    • StarsFan4Ever says:

      I doubt the Wilfs commitment to MLS. He already owns one crappy team, and I would expect any MLS team that he would own to also be crappy by virtue of his penchant to hire cheap coaches.

      Inserting the “exclusivity” clause for MLS into their lease agreement is proably nothing more than a ploy to extract millions from a future MLS team owner in the new stadium. MLS has not granted any exclusivity to the Wilfs. It didn’t hurt for Wilf to ask for it, and it didn’t cost the state anything to let the Wilfs “own” soccer in the new stadium for five years.

      Mark my words. Despite the rhetoric (which has vanished with the stadium discussions), the Wilf family will never field any soccer team in Minnesota; not even divison 4 MASL team.

  15. JaredfromSA says:

    JUST FYI – A beat writer that has talked to several front officer persons here in San Antonio indicated that Pablo Campos was making $80,000 last season with the San Antonio Scorpions. Due to a great NASL MVP 20 goal season, Campos wants 3 times the salary to return for the Scorpions. CAMPOS WANTS TO MAKE CLOSE TO $250,000. That is ridiculous for NASL salary. No wonder the Scorpions (the best run team in the league/the league model in NASL) are willing to say goodbye to him. Otherwise, the Scorpions could easily retain him and pay him a reasonable salary based on them clearing a profit this season.

    Sorry to drop some science here but…….BOOOM.

    • Pfutz says:

      250,000 is ridiculous if you can’t afford it I guess.

    • Dave says:

      The Scorpions player budget was around 400k last year. I am not sure if Campos was making 80k. That sounds too high. The top guys in the NASL make around 40 to 50k.

      250k is the craziest thing I ever heard. That is half of the budget for any NASL teams.

      Also funny how Campos can’t get back into MLS. He was actually one of the worst foreign players in league history.

  16. Darren L says:

    YES!! One of the benefits to having a billionaire owner! Well done, Stars!

    If only Brian Quarstad were around to write about this! :-(

    FILL THE DOME!!

  17. Zimmy says:

    Time to pile on! The Stars picked up Daryl Sattler and Barbara. link to startribune.com