Earlier in the week, we provided Part I of our chat with Carey Talley, below is the second half of that chat.
FB: Other than the increase in the salary cap, were there changes in the League during your career that made it easier for players financially (e.g. per diem increases, better hotels, etc…)?
CT: Nothing specific comes to mind. But as the league began to establish itself in the market, it seemed like contract values were slowly rising. But that took time and was not an overnight process.
FB: You also had experience with the national team at various levels. Does US Soccer provide any thoughts to its players about life after soccer?
CT: I don’t recall US Soccer spending much time discussing life after soccer, at least not formally. The information I gathered was because I spoke to some of the veterans who were willing to share various things with me. Being in the national team locker room exposed me to players that I wasn’t always around during the season so I was able to gain insight from a broader pool of people. And this helped me see how the veteran players were approaching their post-soccer life.
FB: Finally, even though your playing career has only recently ended, with the benefit of hindsight, what guidance would you give to players now entering the League about how to plan about their post-career world?
CT: The main thing I would tell the current crop of players is that YOU are a brand. You the player and you the person are a brand. And you are constantly enhancing your brand at each training, match, and off field activity. Everything from your personality, to the way you interact with people and the way you carry yourself on and off the field will dictate whether or not people want to be associated with your brand. And they will decide if and how they want to be there with you when the soccer days are over. So as you approach each day, no matter what you are doing, always be aware that you are building towards the future, for those days when the soccer is over. I would also encourage the players to approach each season as if it is their last one in the league and that it’s never too early to start planning for retirement. There are plenty of guys that make good money but have a tendency to spend more than they earn. I would caution players not to be that guy and to live within their means. Don’t be the sixty thousand dollar millionaire.
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