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
D.C. United ups its foreign quota
by Ridge Mahoney, January 29th, 2008 6:30AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS WATCH] If any team figured to take quick advantage of the greater liberty granted by MLS teams to sign international players, it would figure to be D.C. United. In his series examining MLS clubs' preseason maneuvers and preparations, Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney examines D.C. United's South American shopping spree, which included the landing of Argentine World Cup veteran Marcelo Gallardo.

Limited in past seasons to four senior (25 and older) and three junior internationals, MLS teams can now sign up to eight of any age, and can trade for additional slots if they wish.

At the rate D.C. is accruing them, a trade or two might come in handy. The net gain is four, with out-of-contract Christian Gomez making way, perhaps in a trade to another MLS team, or a transfer abroad.

Four were unveiled at training yesterday and today is the official introduction of Argentine midfielder Marcelo Gallardo, who not only gets his own media event a day after training began, he gets it at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The last major soccer figure to hold court in that location was MLS Commissioner Don Garber last November two days before MLS Cup 2007. But for the first Designated Player signed by the four-time MLS champion, the setting is apropos.

By signing Gallardo as well as a fleet of newcomers while retaining Luciano Emilio and Fred, D.C. United is intensifying its quest to reach the championship game, which it has failed to do the past three seasons after winning the title in 2004.

Not coincidentally, defender Ryan Nelsen -- a native of New Zealand -- left MLS after that game, and is now captain of Premier League club Blackburn.

Costly breakdowns in central defense have plagued D.C. since Nelsen's departure, and two of the newcomers -- Gonzalo Peralta and Gonzalo Martinez -- will be tested as the new pairing.

Franco Niell will be tested as Emilio's partner up front, and Jose Carvallo -- who as a green-card holder doesn't count as an international player -- will get a crack at replacing goalkeeper Troy Perkins, who went to Norwegian club Valerenga in a $750,000 deal.

To land Perlata, Martinez and Neill, D.C. coach Tom Soehn and general manager Dave Kasper worked their scouting network and contacts that have netted Fred, Emilio, and Gomez the past few years.

The availability of Gallardo, released by French club Paris St. Germain, had been public knowledge, but he was steered to MLS by Juan Pablo Angel, a former teammate at River Plate.

To get Carvallo, they only needed to pick up the phone.

"Mrs. Carvallo calling on line one." Yes, Jose's mom called the D.C. offices.
"It's nice when things fall in your lap for a change, and credit to Jose's mother for contacting us," says Kasper. "That's definitely the exception, not the rule, but we went through our normal process of identifying players ahead of the transfer window and then going and scouting them and meeting them, making sure we could afford them."

The sale of Perkins netted D.C. about $500,000 under league policies by which teams receive two-thirds of the transfer fee, and it also received a cut of the deal by which Bryan Arguez went to Hertha Berlin for $350,000.

The league sets limits as to how much of its cut a team can use to acquire players but regardless of the math, Kasper says the policies -- first implemented last year -- offer teams greater incentive to approve transfers.

The 2008 salary cap -- about $2.2 million -- doesn't go very far in the modern market, but supplementing it with allocation money offers teams greater latitude to stock its 18-man roster with as much quality as possible.

"I think that's been a great decision by the league, to let the teams get the lions' share of any transfer fee," says Kasper. "Getting back allocation money certainly serves as a motivation to develop your players and put that money back into your team. You don't always want to sell your players, but sometimes there are opportunities that a player wants to take and now I think teams will probably be more willing to listen to those offers.

"We're not like some clubs in the world that are strictly export teams. That's not our goal. We like to see our young players develop and move up on our team, and move up to better contracts and stay with our club. That's something we want, but at the end of the day, those players that do get offers, you'll consider them a little more."

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Pep Guardiola: 'It's not normal to win, 7-1'    
[UCL: Week 3] It was Germany-Brazil all over again. Bayern Munich with five German World Cup ...
MLS set to break season attendance record    
MLS set to break season attendance record [CROWD COUNT] Major League Soccer is set to break ...
What They're Saying: Oli Makin    
"I can't thank [the] police enough. It has saved the club a fortune and the players ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] UCLA, Florida State and Stanford remained 1-2-3 in the Soccer America Women's Top 25 ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25    
[COLLEGE RANKINGS] Creighton moved ahead of Washington into the No. 1 spot in the Soccer America ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 32] A classic encounter left the LA Galaxy, No. 1 in the Soccer America ...
Guardiola is happy to be back in Rome    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Two matches involving former champions, plus Pep Guardiola's return to Roma ...
Klingenberg golazo highlights another easy U.S. win    
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] The USA cruised into the semifinals of the Concacaf Women's Championship with its ...
Concacaf Women's Championship Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] Trinidad & Tobago beat Guatemala, 2-1, on late goals by Kennya Cordner of the ...
Agudelo trial at Wolves ends    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Juan Agudelo's search for a club continues as English League Championship club Wolves passed ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives