- Posted by Drew Epperley
- On September 20, 2010
- 2 Comments
- Designated Player, Jay DeMerit
After earning the number one spot in a number of drafts a few weeks back, the Vancouver Whitecaps were able to not only get the top pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft but also in the allocation order to sign returning US National team stars.
It looks as though they may be pulling a Seattle and signing a guy early using that allocation order position. Reports last night out of Canada say the Whitecaps are in discussions to sign US National team defender Jay DeMerit.
DeMerit was unable to get a contract in Europe this summer after his previous contract with English side Watford ran out. The 30-year old defender and MLS are now trying to find some common ground for the price tag that DeMerit would like to have, likely a Designated Player slot. Thankfully if he does come to MLS it will be on a free transfer, something MLS loves to get.
So is a guy like DeMerit worth a DP slot? Typically those aren’t reserved for defenders nor are they really reserved for Americans. I know Landon Donovan got one but we all know what Donovan brings to the table. DeMerit is a solid defender don’t get me wrong but as a DP I’m not so sure he’s really worth placing that tag on. The pressure that a DP tag puts on a player can do a number on the club if that player doesn’t live up to the expectations. I mean just see where using it got clubs like Houston, Kansas City and Dallas in the past.
I do think DeMerit coming back to MLS (remember he once was in the Chicago Fire system, playing for their development team back in 2001 before going un-drafted out of college) is a good thing. I said it all summer long that a team in the league needed to pony up some extra cash to get him. Looks like Vancouver wants to make sure their defense is secure going into their inaugural MLS season.
If you compare it to past USMNT defender moves like Danny Califf this one makes loads more sense for the club involved. The only thing I’d be worried about if I were a Whitecap fan is his fitness going into the new year. If he does sign with them it will be a long layoff for him seeing how he hasn’t played since the World Cup. Sometimes layoffs help guys and other times it does nothing but hurt them.
What do you make of this news? Think DeMerit is worth a DP tag in Vancouver? Think Tom Soehn is making the right call before his expansion club starts up next year?