Signings Gone Bad, 2008 Edition

Signings Gone Bad, 2008 Edition

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 5, 2008
  • 8 Comments
  • Bad Signings, Franco Niell, Gonzalo Peralta, Oscar Echeverry, Peguero Jean Philippe

It seems like every season or so a number of clubs will bring in a number of players in hopes of putting together a squad that can make a MLS Cup run. In the winter before the start of the 2008 season we saw just that, clubs putting moves together left and right.

While some moves have worked out (Rohan Ricketts, Emmanuel Ekpo, Andre Rocha, etc.) there have been a number of moves that were more than questionable or now that we are half way through were just plain wasteful.

I will go into who did well later on in their offseason signings but today I wanted to discuss those who were not so lucky in putting together a winner out of a couple signings in the offseason.

I think it is fair to say that nearly all of these players were pretty wasteful but a couple stood out even more than others now that these couple players have been waived by their respective clubs. Anytime you go out and sign a guy in Major League Soccer for more than $100k and like one club throw in a heafty transfer fee, you obviously can throw this in the Denilson category for worst signings in league history.

Rafael Gomes, Colorado Rapids:  Most people outside of the Mile High City have no clue who Gomes is. The Brazilian midfielder played in only seven matches and tallied one assist on the year for a struggling Colorado side. Some say he was the worst signing of the offseason, and some will say he is right up there. I’m probably in that first boat saying he was the worst. First off the Rapids overpaid for this waste of space. Starting with his $120,000 salary, Gomes also cost the Rapids a good-sized transfer fee. Sources put the fee at a low six figures, with one source stating Gomes cost Colorado $250,000.

Its no wonder people like myself are still calling for Fernando Clavijo’s head as Rapids coach.

Franco Niell, DC United: Another waste of space this season was Niell. Most figured (including myself) he would be a perfect fit in an already deep United offense. Turns out he had trouble cracking the lineup after some early blunderings in front of net. Niell was waived recently by United. He and his steep contract will open up some room for DC to look for some added depth in the coming weeks. Some will say Niell was the worst signing, and to those I wouldn’t disagree by all that much.

Peguero Jean-Philippe, San Jose Earthquakes: Talk about a waste. Jean-Philippe was expected to come back to MLS and be the same striker he was a couple seasons ago for the Quakes. Turns out his cronic injury problem was still in tact and the Quakes used up an allocation spot to get him. That same allocation spot that could have been used for a number of players like Brian McBride, Darren Huckerby, and so on and so on. PJP easily costed the Quakes a solid signing or two plus whatever Chicago would have traded them for McBride. A deep burn will be PJP for most Quake fans this year and maybe even next.

Gonzalo Peralta, DC United: Most United fans will also scream for Peralta for this list. Probably a victim of media overhype going into the season was Peralta along with fellow Gonzalo, Gonzalo Martinez. Peralta hasn’t lived up to the work rate of Martinez and has been more inconsistent than anything else.

Oscar Echeverry, New York Red Bulls: I’ve seen this kid play in person and for the most part I wasn’t impressed. He was the lone Red Bull addition going into the season that wasn’t traded for or drafted. People probably put too much pressure on Echeverry this year with the injuries to Juan Pablo Angel or to the departure of Jozy Altidore. Either way you look at it I find myself thinking his time in New York is going to be fairly limited now that Juan Carlos Osorio is finally bringing in some reinforcements for the second half of the season.

Alviro Pires, LA Galaxy: Another overpaid Galaxy player. Pires is big and bulky. I found myself thinking he was a total waste of space in the midfield for the Galaxy. Some like Pires, while I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that most Galaxy fans would do without him. Not the worst signing by Alexi Lalas but certainly not the best.

Others causing questions:

Rafael Wicky, Chivas USA: The Swiss international has hardly cracked the Chivas lineup, even with all the injury problems.

Tomasz Frankowski, Chicago Fire: Strong play early on but lately hasn’t done nearly a thing for the Fire and their struggling offense.

Ivan Trujillo, KC Wizards: Columbian international that has hardly made an impact on the Wizard’s offense.

Franco Caraccio, Houston Dynamo: Was expected to help Brian Ching and company. Turns out he hardly even starts anymore.

Ian Joy, Real Salt Lake: Expected to help sure up a RSL defense. Just as expected he has seen more cards than anything else.

So who else did I miss?

  • Josh Rollins

    Gino Padula – Columbus Crew

  • Matt M

    I agree, not much of a good year for foreign signings.<br />
    <br />
    Padula out injured all year for Columbus. McManus mediocre for Colorado. Cordoba cut for Salt Lake (I won't lower myself to say Real). Lopez has a whopping three goals in KC (remember when he and Trujillo were sure to score 40 between them?). Fernandez in New England has been loaned back to his original club (presumably not coming back). Castro has like one assist and no goals.<br />
    <br />
    I honestly don't think I can think of another foreign signing. <br />
    <br />
    These things go in cycles. Last year, we had a bunch of impact players and everyone thought every new signing would be a star. When DC signed those five foreign players, everyone thought they could just cancel the season and award DC the title. <br />
    <br />
    Laurent, Ricketts, Ekpo, Rocha have been OK but I don't think there's a single star signing this year to compare to Toja, Emilio, Fred, Angel and Schletto from last year's crop. Though perhaps Beckham might count as this is his real first season in MLS.

  • Josh Rollins

    Gino Padula – Columbus Crew

  • Matt M

    I agree, not much of a good year for foreign signings.

    Padula out injured all year for Columbus. McManus mediocre for Colorado. Cordoba cut for Salt Lake (I won’t lower myself to say Real). Lopez has a whopping three goals in KC (remember when he and Trujillo were sure to score 40 between them?). Fernandez in New England has been loaned back to his original club (presumably not coming back). Castro has like one assist and no goals.

    I honestly don’t think I can think of another foreign signing.

    These things go in cycles. Last year, we had a bunch of impact players and everyone thought every new signing would be a star. When DC signed those five foreign players, everyone thought they could just cancel the season and award DC the title.

    Laurent, Ricketts, Ekpo, Rocha have been OK but I don’t think there’s a single star signing this year to compare to Toja, Emilio, Fred, Angel and Schletto from last year’s crop. Though perhaps Beckham might count as this is his real first season in MLS.

  • ben

    RSL's got one, and arguably, two more. The one is Matias Cordoba, who played maybe 20 minutes (all useless) and has now made his way back to Argentina. The arguable one would be Kenny Deuchar, who came in to a lot of hype and has done nothing but head balls over the net all season.

  • ben

    RSL’s got one, and arguably, two more. The one is Matias Cordoba, who played maybe 20 minutes (all useless) and has now made his way back to Argentina. The arguable one would be Kenny Deuchar, who came in to a lot of hype and has done nothing but head balls over the net all season.

  • Kevin

    You are kidding about Caraccio, right? The kid is only 21 and still has alot to learn. No way was he expected to come in here and be a force next to Ching. He is still getting fit after starting and scoring earlier in the year. He will be a very good forward for years to come, but he first must get acclimated to Houston (the heat and humidity) and Dom (the cold-shoulder) after rarely getting on the pitch for Arsenal (ARG). Patience patience patience. Nowhere near

  • Kevin

    You are kidding about Caraccio, right? The kid is only 21 and still has alot to learn. No way was he expected to come in here and be a force next to Ching. He is still getting fit after starting and scoring earlier in the year. He will be a very good forward for years to come, but he first must get acclimated to Houston (the heat and humidity) and Dom (the cold-shoulder) after rarely getting on the pitch for Arsenal (ARG). Patience patience patience. Nowhere near