Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
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
Angel sets DP bar very high
by Ridge Mahoney, February 16th, 2009 5:45PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

I hope not just the executives and officials of MLS, but the fans and journalists who follow the league, are paying close attention to the offseason goings-on regarding Designated Players as the high-priced option comes into its third season of existence.

It's getting to be a case of sink or swim, have and have not, is it not, with the nots clearly in the lead. That running soap opera, As the Beckham Bends, is only the most glaring example of how radically things can spiral out of control once ambition and self-interest take over.

Injuries and bad choices also take their toll. Marcelo Gallardo bailed on D.C. after one lackluster season, Denilson turned FC Dallas into a Farce Celebre, the Wizards have downgraded Claudio Lopez out of the DP ranks, and Claudio Reyna did what he could yet ultimately didn't measure anything close to a $1 million player, especially compared to a Red Bull teammate who epitomizes what a DP should be, but often isn't.

Red Bull New York announced Monday that forward Juan Pablo Angel has signed a multi-year extension, which implies that the DP option will be granted life when it is reviewed at the end of the season, or that if it is dropped, players like Angel will be "grandfathered" for the duration of their contracts.

Doubtful, though, given the track record of DPs is any reasonable hope that league officials would add a second DP slot per team and instead retain the current system by which slots can be traded. Those rumors flying about prior to MLS Cup 2008 that the MLS Board of Governors was leaning in that direction were fueled by nothing more than wishes and dreams channeled into the cyberworld.

Another option is for there to be two versions of DPs: one category for international players, and another for those eligible to play for the United States, and in the case of Toronto FC, Canada.

But in any case, teams and journalists and fans should be forewarned that MLS and Red Bull got it right, and perhaps got a bit lucky, with Senor Angel, whose class and professionalism on and off the field - as well as 35 goals in 53 regular-season and playoff games - set the DP bar rather high, which is where it should be for a league trying to keep afloat in a roiling economic storm.

"I'm very excited to extend my contract with the Red Bulls," Angel said in a statement. "As I have said in the past, I think that the League is very competitive and is growing every year. Red Bull has shown me that they are dedicated to improving the club and the quality of the sport year after year and I am looking forward to be a part of it as we move into a brand new stadium next season."

The controversy surrounding David Beckham and his aspirations to play for England is a unique case, yet somehow I seriously doubt that if Angel learned he'd be recalled to the Colombian national team, he'd have clandestinely arrange a loan with one of his former clubs, say Nacional Medellin, tell MLS and New York about it after the fact, and upon arriving in Colombia to join his temporary team, disdainfully criticize his current one.

Had Beckham last summer told AEG and MLS officials he'd rather join Milan on loan instead of playing for the Galaxy in lucrative offseason matches, he'd have been flatly turned down. Never did it cross his mind to work within the system rather than bypass it. Now he and his team(s) are ensnared in a very public squabble.

If he's dragged back to MLS, Becks will shrug, flash that perfect smile, say a few politically correct things, and probably play decently without any real passion or commitment. Stolidly yet effectively, Angel has not only said the right things, but done them, on and off the field, and teams scouring the world for possible DPs should look at those high-priced players who are also first-class men.

 



No comments yet.

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
Portland Timbers face added pressure loaded on MLS top dogs    
Portland beat RSL, 1-0, to wrap up its preseason training stint in the desert. It has ...
Legal primer explains past and (possible) future of soccer litigation    
The lawsuit filed by U.S Soccer against U.S. Women's National Team Players Association in U.S. District ...
Chicago Fire's Paunovic is counting on new youngsters    
A major makeover of the Fire under head coach Veljko Paunovic and general manager Nelson Rodriguez ...
For once, USA starts off a year just as it's supposed to    
Defensive miscues. Sloppy touches. Blown assignments. Confusion. These negative facets of play have been part and ...
Jozy shows he's still the man up front    
U.S. soccer fans have a love-hate relationship with most of their big stars. For every fan ...
Lee Nguyen on how he parlayed longer offseason into national team success    
Revs attacker Lee Nguyen got his first U.S. start against Iceland last Sunday and turned in ...
Revs' Heaps relishes competition and preaches consistency    
Aside from the apparent departure of Jermaine Jones, not a lot has changed on the New ...
USA-Canada match underscores Olympic issues for Klinsmann    
A games against Canada Friday may be the last opportunity for USA coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and ...
Christian Pulisic, 'the American Jewel,' must be protected    
I can think of 10 reasons we should be excited about Christian Pulisic. Those are each ...
Paths of Miazga and Cropper cross with both at crucial points    
An FA Cup match this weekend between MK Dons and Chelsea is a tussle between a ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives