Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
FC Dallas' bet on Denilson makes sense
by Ridge Mahoney, August 28th, 2007 7AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls


Remember the wails of anguish from FC Dallas fans and a few pundits back in March when "negotiations" broke off with Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids? The two sides never got very close, according to a source. FC Dallas had offered in the neighborhood of $800,000; Davids had a sum closer to $2.5 million in mind, give or take a few guilders. There were some who believed Davids could be the missing piece to the puzzle of FCD finally reaching an MLS Cup. That was wishful thinking, since at the time, perhaps only Coach Steve Morrow had an idea what that puzzle might eventually look like.

A drastic revamping of the team's midfield had already begun and would soon accelerate: Ronnie O'Brien and Simo Valakari, and eventually, Richard Mulrooney and Ramon Nunez, out; Juan Toja and Pablo Ricchetti, and just last week, Denilson, in.

Score one, or several, for Morrow and general manager Michael Hitchcock. The FCD attack, already potent, might be unstoppable with Denilson darting and gliding about. It's certainly a smarter risk than a 33-year-old destroyer renowned as much for a prickly temperament as skill and endurance.

There are certainly questions about Denilson: a 29-year-old Brazilian World Cup winner joining an MLS team seems a few years premature at least. But regardless of the sum spent, and the bar set very high by the Designated Players who have preceded him, the knock-on effect of signing David Beckham et al brings a lot of talented foreign players within range of MLS radar.

Beckham, Juan Pablo Angel, and Cuauhtemoc Blanco have poured commitment and zeal and spirit into their teams.

They train hard, they play hard. Denilson, who speaks English fluently and is every bit as effervescent as one would expect from one so breathtakingly brilliant, can dazzle on and off the field, which is what the DP rule is all about.

There's a danger he believes MLS can be humbled with less than his best; he'll learn soon enough that he'll be marked and harassed and hounded and, yes, fouled by rugged opponents.

On the other hand, he can rely on the myriad midfield talents already present in Toja, Ricchetti, Arturo Alvarez, Dax McCarty and others.

Morrow has some decisions to make as how to deploy Denilson but way back in preseason he declared, "I'm not too much of a stickler for systems and getting labeled," he said. "I would prefer to talk about our style of play and I think that's going to involve, when we have the ball, attacking soccer and a lot of movement."

A free role would suit Denilson, either in support of one forward or two.

None of the forwards - Carlos Ruiz, Dominic Oduro, Abe Thompson - have hit the net consistently this season. Toja leads the team in goals with six. Denilson as a second forward, or attacking midfielder, or a winger, or all of the above, what's not to like?

Any serious gambler will tell you the way to win big is to bet big. Of course, that's also the fastest way to lose big. FCD could go bust on this play, which won't solve their defensive issues. But Hunt Sports Group, notoriously frugal with its MLS investments, has taken a plunge that makes sense.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying    
"We can't say exactly how many tickets there will be because we don't know the exact ...
Chelsea U-21 scores our Goal of the Week    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] Lewis Baker scored an absolutely brilliant goal in U-21 Chelsea's 2-1 win over ...
Maradona goes go-karting    
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Diego Maradona went go-karting in Dubai and the 53-year-old seems to ...
What They're Saying    
"We didn't want to have the appearance of an absolute army looking at every individual call ...
Record 80 teams set for May 7 launch    
[U.S. OPEN CUP] Weekend games for MLS teams during the World Cup break spice up the ...
Three games to watch    
[MLS: Week 8] Without a lot of fanfare, D.C. United finds itself in the thick of ...
Coors Light gets branded zone at Sporting Park    
[SOCCER BUSINESS] Sporting Kansas City has added Coors Light as the MLS club's official domestic beer ...
Seattle Reign looks like the real deal    
[NWSL: Week 3] Sydney Leroux didn't score, and Megan Rapinoe didn't play, but that didn't stop ...
The battle of Miami's traffic experts    
[MLS EXPANSION] You know MLS stadium plans for Miami are not being positioned well when the ...
Joya's second goal in stoppage time trips up Xolos    
[USA UNDER-21 MEN] First-year Chicago Fire midfielder Benji Joya scored two goals, the second one in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives