Team-By-Team DP Look

Team-By-Team DP Look

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On July 21, 2010
  • Designated Player

Blaise Nkufo will be the shot in the arm that the Sounders need. (Getty Images)

When Major League Soccer changed their Designated Player rule earlier this year we had a feeling this summer would go about the way it is going. Loads of rumors and lots of activity for MLS clubs. Oddly enough MLS is one of the more active leagues right now in the transfer season, mostly due to the looser DP rules and the clubs involved who are now more willing to spend.

Many clubs are active as ever and are bring in one or two DPs to the league. While I could debate what the DP has done on the field for clubs across the league I’ll leave that for another day. I mainly wanted to go team-by-team to see what DPs have done for them and will do in the near future.

Its also interesting to see what a lack of a DP has done for several clubs as well.

Chicago Fire: First there was Blanco leading the way for the Fire and while they could easily gone back to him they went younger in Nery Castillo. This move with Castillo works on so many levels because the Fire need a goal-scorer like him and he’s likely to be hungry to prove himself yet again after falling out of favor with his clubs in Europe and with his national team in Mexico. Castillo is the shot-in-the-arm that the Fire need to get into position for a playoff spot this year.

Could the Fire add another part to the mix? Its possibly if their owners are willing to spend the cash on another DP this year. More than likely Castillo is it for the Fire right now.

Chivas USA: One of the few that have yet to sign a DP since the rule was introduced. With no DPs on the way its obvious the club is expecting a lot on recent signings in Venezuelan striker Giancarlo Maldonado and former leader Paulo Nagamura. With them losing Jonathan Bornstein next year it may be time for this club to start spending some money on a player to get the fans there excited for a change. I just doubt they ever will though.

Colorado Rapids: With the way their ownership pays attention to this club its no wonder they’ve neve even sniffed at a DP. Coach Gary Smith recently said he’d like to add some offense to the club, someone who could go out and get him six goals or something like that. The right DP would certainly do that but for now the Rapids are what we see in them. Just think though if they went out and get a top-dollar keeper to go infront of one of the best defenses in the league. Boy they’d be tough to stop come fall.

Columbus Crew: The Crew have had one DP in their history, it was short lived as that player went right back down to a cheaper deal the next year. Yes I am talking about Guillermo Barros Schelotto. The thing is the Crew seem very content on staying the way they are by not spending money on a big named player or even a mid-level named guy from South America to be a DP right now. They may spin it like they’re find with not spending money on a DP but the fact of the matter is the club just probably doesn’t have the money to actually spend on one.

D.C. United: I’d be willing to bet that D.C. has the worst luck in all of the league when it comes to the DP. Marcello Gallardo was their first and then the second was Luciano Emilio. One was brought in for creating offense while the other earned his way into a DP contract. In the end neither cut it as a DP. So what will Branko Boskovic do for the club? At this point in the season anything positive will be welcome out of him. Its just a bit shocking the club wasn’t more aggressive in getting a striker for their DP. Not to say Boskovic won’t help them out here because I think he will it is just that they were always so agressive in their DP pursuits that this one seems odd for them. But hey, sometimes odd works in MLS.

FC Dallas: They had one a couple years ago because of Michael Hitchcock and the Hunts in Brazilian Denilsen. Thankfully the club has learned from their mistakes here in the DP department. If you’d ask management right now they would tell you David Ferriera is their current DP because he is making close to a DP right now. The way their season is going now I wouldn’t be shocked if he became their DP next year. He’s certainly earned it and is worth it.

The thing is don’t expect them to go out and sign a DP right now. They have a young club that they’ve built around and a DP would likely mess with that, plus I don’t see Schellas Hyndman going for one right now.

Houston Dynamo: By now we all have seen how the DP turn for the Dynamo went with Luis Angel Landin. Hard to believe they wanted him so bad the year before they got him. He never was fit enough to be a quality DP or even developmental player in this league for that matter. I doubt the Dynamo will go for another DP for a while unless their part-owners AEG ponies up some serious money for one. My bet is they’ll hold off on signing another one until their new stadium opens in a couple years.

Kansas City Wizards: They entered the game a couple years back with Claudio Lopez. Those days weren’t the best as Lopez underperformed for the most part. Fast forward to today and it appears the Wizards are back in the DP hunt as they move forward towards their new stadium (possibly next year even). The recent Omar Bravo rumors make some sense for KC too though with the way their season has gone I’d be shocked if it actually happened. I still see them holding out on a DP until their stadium is ready.

LA Galaxy: We knew about David Beckham, hell its why we’re talking about this here. Also we know about Landon Donovan. Could the Galaxy really be talking about Ronaldinho too? That may be a signing that could have more impact than any other DPs both on and off the field. If there is any club that can handle a circus that would be a signing like that it is the Galaxy. The question however is how will the Galaxy carve out the cap room to get him on board? That may be the bigger question.

New England Revolution: One of the few to never have  DP. Don’t expect them to even think about going to one anytime soon either. We know they could use a striker up top so its a shame they don’t take a gamble on one.

New York Red Bulls: Ah the Red Bulls. Yes Claudio Reyna was a bad idea but Juan Pablo Angel has long made up for that short coming. So should Thierry Henry. And if it happens so should Rafa Marquez. Does these three make the Red Bulls a title contender this year? Maybe, but it definitely makes them a big draw at the gates both home and away, something they’ve never been before.

Philadelphia Union: They flirted with Robert Pires a couple months back but that was never going to work, really for both sides. With recent reports that they’ll sit this summer’s DP spending out it makes sense for this club not to get too into the DP market just yet. The young team’s plan doesn’t need to involve a high-priced guy right now. Their gate numbers will be fine without one too (which is a reason why most clubs go for these sorts of things). Maybe in a couple year’s we’ll see them go for one (or two) and by then it will make sense.

Real Salt Lake: The club that has proven that you can load up on mid-priced guys and win a MLS Cup without a DP. Based on how they’re doing this year that idea is working for this club. I don’t see them spending money on a DP anytime soon either, in fact it could be a long while before they dip into this market.

San Jose Earthquakes: Another club that has yet to sign a DP since the rule came out. Just like the others who haven’t done it before they too probably won’t do anything in the near future. I base this on the fact that their owner is trying harder to get a stadium deal worked on than worrying about getting a high-profile guy.

Seattle Sounders FC: It looks like the Freddie Ljungberg experiment may be over right now. At least newcomer Blaise Nkufo looks like the real deal for them and will produce. If they get Ljungberg off the books you can bet on them going after another DP. As good as Ljungberg is he really hasn’t lived up to the expectations there in Seattle. I think the management there is too smart not to replace him with some quality talent too.

Toronto FC: Dwayne De Rosario has always been a boarder-line DP. But Julian de Guzman is their true DP, in money sense. Thankfully he’s finally living up to the DP tag. Now enters another DP by the name of Mista. It will be interesting to see what he actually does for them up top. If he works out Mo Johnston and Preki will look like geniuses, if not I’d be willing to bet Trader Mo will be looking for a new job come this winter.

Future clubs:

Both Portland and Vancouver will enter the league next year. My bet one of those two will come with a DP. Put your money on it being Vancouver too. Portland could get one too but I’d be a bit shocked if they did in year one.

1 Comment

  • Jul 22 2010
revolution too chep to add, there are several natural additions for the Revs given the huge local Portuguese community. Deco, Liedson, Nuno Gomes, and or Maniche