Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber spoke to the media at halftime during last night’s game at Qwest Field between the Seattle Sounders FC and expansion side Philadelphia Union. Of the comments made the biggest was that regarding the Designated Player’s rule.
Garber told the media the league is looking to expand on the rule shortly, giving each club two slots.
“The program has been successful for us and I think it would make sense for us to look at expanding the Designated Player rule,” Garber said. “We’ve got to take a deep breath at the finalization of our [collective-bargaining] negotiations and get back to addressing that, but we should be able to do that shortly.”
Ten clubs have used the rule since it came into place back in 2007. Most only seeing marginal success on the field. But with the addition of a second slot that could help out a few clubs right away. Look for New York, LA, Chicago, Toronto, and Seattle to take advantage of this rule if the league does expand it.
Of the clubs that currently lack a DP on their roster, I’d also throw D.C. and Philadelphia into the mix for picking one (or two) DPs this year under the possible expansion of the rule. I see both sides needing a DP to get over the top this year. Philadelphia especially after the way they played last night (more on that later).
I like the idea of expanding the rule right now. The league wants to expand its image on and off the field and doing this would help. Sure its a total gamble but I think this will get more clubs to use the slot.