The Good Signings, 2008 Edition

The Good Signings, 2008 Edition

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 9, 2008
  • Andre Rocha, Claudio Lopez, Emmanuel Ekpo, Gonzalo Martinez, Kenny Duechar, Kenny Mansally, Marcello Gallardo, Mauricio Castro, Sainey Nyassi

Over last weekend I brought to you a list of players that just didn’t cut it or have it this year. Guys that were brought in expecting to start in some cases and contribute to their club’s run at a MLS Cup this season. Those guys didn’t work out but some signings from the offseason did and are still going strong as we speak.

Let’s face it though, no signing in this offseason had any sort of impact like the 2007 edition. We had plenty of excitement from guys like Blanco, Schelotto, Juan Toja, Juan Pablo Angel and so on and so forth.

This year wasn’t as big. Talent did come into the league but not in a high rate like last year. Hell some would even argue that David Beckham belongs in this year’s bunch since he was injuried for the majority of his first season in Major League Soccer. While I won’t count GoldenBalls in this year’s bunch he would indeed lift up this class of signings.

I think this year’s signings can go in a couple categories. Ones that didn’t work out or aren’t really working out, ones that are good but aren’t great and ones that are doing well with their clubs.

Then there are a couple that should be counted, like Beckham in this year’s bunch that won’t because they were brought on late last year. And finally you have a couple guys that returned to the league like Amado Guevara and Ramiro Corrales who have made a positive impact.

SO who has exactly worked out well for their clubs this year? I have the list for you. As always feel free to pipe in your comments on the list and add ones that I’ve missed.

Emmanuel Ekpo, Columbus Crew: Even after a few games it is easy to say that Ekpo was worth the wait for the Crew. Sigi Schmid and company weren’t sure if he was actually going to become apart of their club at the start of the campaign but once he signed on things took off. A couple goals and a couple assists for the Nigerian and the Crew are sitting pretty well near the top of the table.

Andre Rocha, FC Dallas: Around Dallas you either love Rocha’s play or hate it. For the most part I enjoy how the kid plays and enjoy watching him play. He leads the club in assists (with six), which you can bet Kenny Cooper is happy with. He hasn’t made that splash like Juan Toja did last year but he is right on par in terms of setting up goals as Toja was a year ago.

Gonzalo Martinez, DC United: One of the few offseason additions to the Black-and-Red that have actually worked out well. The more I see this guy the more I like. He is big, strong and does well getting forward. And that goal he scored a couple weeks ago was a thing of beauty.

Marcello Gallardo, DC United: Some will argue with me on this one and say he is in that Claudio Reyna category of DPs, well he is not. Sure he hasn’t score a boat load of goals like Juan Pablo Angel of last year but now that he is use to the league and it’s style of play he has gotten even better, and has his club. Four goals and three assists in 12 games isn’t bad at all considering how poorly DC played early on this year.

Mauricio Castro, New England Revolution: Some call Castro a dud of a signing by Steve Nicol but you don’t appreciate what he brings to the table until you actually see him play. His ball service is the reason why this club is where it is at today. He doesn’t have a lot of assists or any goals but without him setting up things and stepping in early on for Steve Ralston this club may not be nearly as good as they are right now.

Rohan Ricketts, Toronto FC: A couple nice goals and an assist for Ricketts. I love the pace he brings to the wings for Toronto. Definitely was an addition that has brought good fortune to the Reds this year. Without him pacing up and down the wings, the Reds will still be in the same boat offensively as they were to start the year.

Laurent Robert, Toronto FC: Some Toronto fans will say he is a waste of space on the pitch, but I disagree. He brings quality service into the box for guys like Danny Dichio and Jeff Cunningham. But I guess you can’t please everyone can you?

Signings that were decent but certainly not great:

Claudio Lopez, Kansas City Wizards: C-Lo was expected to bring the offense to the Wizards but really hasn’t lived up to his billing. Sure age is a part of that and the fact that his offense around him is largely terrible. I have found plenty of moments where I see just how good this guy really is though. If he can get at least one guy to get on the same page as him offensively (hello Josh Wolff) the Wizards could get back in the playoff discussion.

Tom McManus, Colorado Rapids: At times I want to say McManus deserves to be up the list but just like his club he float in and out too much. But his goals have certainly been worth talking about this season. Still he hasn’t made quite the impact that some would have liked in Commerce City.

Duilio Davino, FC Dallas: Davino isn’t a bust in my opinion. Some Dallas fans will say he is as big of a waste as Denilson was a year ago. Look, without him this defense would be even worse than it already is. He doesn’t have the pace to keep up with some in the league but he does have the IQ to know how to stop people when he has to. Most of the goals scored against Dallas don’t come in the middle of the park were he is at, the come on the wings.

Kenny Duechar, Real Salt Lake: He hovered in this catgeory and the not-so-good signings category. I placed him here out of hope that he will start finishing things and not coming up short in front of the net. A few more games like last week against Houston will get me to easily take him off this list and into the bad signings. At least he wasn’t the worst offseason addition brought in by Jason Kreis.

Two guys that won’t count since they were signed a year ago:

Kenny Mansally and Sainey Nyassi, New England Revolution: Yeah I wanted to count Mansally and Nyassi on the good signings list but they were brought in late last year. So before you start saying what about them, stop and think about when they were brought in by Steve Nicol. But if they had been actually brought in over the winter they’d be a top the good list.


  • Jul 9 2008
i'm glad i'm not the only one to notice castro, he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.
  • Jul 9 2008
i'm glad i'm not the only one to notice castro, he doesn't get the recognition he deserves.