- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On May 8, 2008
- 2 Comments
- Designated Player, Luciano Emilio
A while back DC United striker Luciano Emilio asked his club for a pay raise due to his performance in the 2007 season. He scored 20 goals and was the league’s Golden Boot winner. DC said they would talk about it but nothing ever came out from it.
Today, that story changes a bit. Steve Goff is reporting that Emilio is finally getting that pay raise that he wanted. He is now the club’s second designated player, a slot that they traded for when they dealt Christian Gomez to the Colorado Rapids a couple months back.
“Here’s the deal: Emilio and United have signed an amendment to his original contract, essentially a bonus (how much, I don’t know) that brings his earnings past the DP threshhold of $400,000-plus. He had been guaranteed $313,000 this year. His original contract remains intact, but at some point this year, one of three things must occur: United must sign him to a new deal, trade him or sell him abroad. Fair to say, his scoring output the next few months will determine his fate.”
Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me. I thought the club would be looking elsewhere to use that DP spot and not promote from within like this. However, it is noted that Emilio hasn’t played nearly as well this season as the previous one. A lot of that stems from the contract that he wanted bumped up in the offseason. Apparently he was still a bit down from not getting that and his play on the field suffered as well.
The new contract is now bigger based on what he did last year, which as Goff put it, should help motivate him for this year. We see this from time to time with players, they do well one year and then ask for a bigger contract. The club and the league balk at the idea and they both continue to go on but the player typically is still upset from the lack of a better contract. His play takes a hit in the next season until he gets his way.
Look no further than to Houston’s Dwayne De Rosario. Last year DeRo wanted a fat contract to start the year because of the season he had in 2006. He probably should have gotten a better deal before the season but that isn’t how Houston works sometimes I suppose. Anyways, it took most of the season to finally get DeRo a better deal and once that happened his play picked up in a big way, and he then helped lead his club to a second straight MLS Cup.
Will the same happen to Emilio? If you are a DC fan you sure hope so. This season hasn’t been anything to brag about from a United’s standpoint. Emilio hasn’t lived up to his billing from a season ago and really hasn’t even looked like the same player from a year ago. Maybe the fatter contract will help out but who knows if that will happen right away. With a big game tonight at home against the Fire, DC sure could use some of that Emilio magic from a year ago.
Also, one more thing, the club cannot sign any more DP-type players this year but can (and probably will) still sign players that aren’t DP-worthy.