Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
How to weight the value of an American DP?
by Ridge Mahoney, March 2nd, 2009 4:15PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Confidential

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

Is 2009 the season that an MLS team takes the plunge and hangs the Designated Player label on a U.S. player who hasn't been to Europe in some shape or form?

There aren't many candidates if that criteria is strictly applied. Kenny Cooperis a U.S. product but played a few years with Manchester United reserves and in Portugal on loan. Landon Donovan is in the midst of a third stab at making it in Germany that is, unfortunately, beginning to fizzle like the first two. Taylor Twellmanspent two frustrating years in Germany before coming into MLS at the minimum salary, which at the time was $24,000.

Claudio Reyna played a season and a half in MLS as a DP, after toiling for more than a decade in Europe. Brian McBride isn't getting DP money in Chicago, and he's only slightly older than DPsJuan Pablo Angel, Cuauhtemoc Blanco and recently upgraded Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

Kasey Keller, also not a DP, will be 40 this year and though Seattle doesn't need his presence to sell tickets, he'll be a very popular and valuable representative as well as an excellent goalkeeper.

As the final year of the three-year DP experiment unfolds, will more teams consider keeping an American as worthy of the money and the slot, or will it make more economic sense to let MLS sell the player and use its portion of the transfer fee in other means? The downside to the latter scenario is a player leaving when his contract has expired, as Carlos Bocanegra and many others have done, leaving MLS and his club with nothing.

Is this the year FC Dallas stumps up some real money for Cooper, and rewards him handsomely while at the same time increasing his possible transfer fee? Will MLS end the semantic song-and-dance that has "grandfathered" Donovan the past few seasons at a DP price without the designation, or seriously consider a DP contract for Twellman or Sacha Kljestan, who went on trial with Glasgow Celtic during the winter, should lucrative offers come forth?

Donovan already makes more than double the maximum salary, yet the DP slot is still allotted to David Beckham, thus allowing Los Angeles to skirt the rules. It's the slot, which can be traded, not necessarily the salary, that is a critical factor. Donovan is alone in the grandfathered category, since Eddie Johnson went overseas on a transfer andCarlos Ruizleft the league. If Beckham leaves after the 2009 season, assuming he plays in the league this year, must the Galaxy use the DP slot on Donovan, or will the entire mechanism be tweaked somehow?

Angel's DP contract has been extended beyond the 2009 season, as has Blanco's, and Schelotto's upgrade is believed to include a second year of DP status. Could they be "grandfathered" as DPs for the 2010 season, should the MLS Board of Governors decide that the DP option, given the harsh economic realities as well as the cases of Reyna, Denilson, Beckham, Marcelo Gallardo and others, be more trouble than it's worth, pun intended?

More likely is a decision that the DP option continues as is, with any hopes of a second DP slot per team pushed well into the future. However, if Seattle turns out to have spent $2.5 million (for two seasons) on a very gimpy Freddie Ljungberg, that will further taint the DP experiment.

More to the point, will MLS teams consider more Americans as possible DPs, to either reward those already in the league or entice them back from overseas? Eddie Lewis (34) and Bobby Convey(25) came home at much different phases in their careers, but neither merited DP money, which seems to indicate that except for Donovan and Cooper and a very few playing overseas, not many Americans will be highly compensated by the American league for some time.



0 comments
  1. Andrew Tucker
    commented on: March 2, 2009 at 9:12 p.m.
    Thank you Soccer America. I not trying to be mean. In the usa, a lot persons like fast action football. Also the dolphin logo. It is very neato. Also i do not like teams that like high impact heading because it causes serious damage to the brain. Also sincere christian players! Please be careful. There are intelligent hurtful people and groups out there.Thank you for your time.Gal 3:3.Col3:11. 1 corinth 14:26. psa99:9-pray. Alter beleiving Jesus christ nation Jesus Andy

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




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Confidential
So far, Jordan Morris' decisions have been the right ones    
U.S. forward Jordan Morris turned down a move to German club Werder Bremen, which is rooted ...
MLS Playoff Watch: Breaking down the Eastern Conference's battle of bubble teams    
With a month of the regular season to be played, no Eastern Conference team has clinched ...
Strenghtened Sounders set aside distractions to focus on postseason quest    
The midseason arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro and the return to fitness of Roman Torres has bolstered ...
Talk of treble not heard at FCD    
Tuesday night the U.S. Open Cup final sold out, and most of the 16,612 in attendance ...
Rested Revs will be tested by defining run of games    
A formation changed and renewed commitment to defense has tightened up a porous Revs' back line, ...
Pulisic helps USA play low and win high    
I had high expectations of Christian Pulisic. He delivered -- and then some.
Christian Pulisic must start on Tuesday    
Coaches like to be secretive about their starting lineups, which is the only way to explain ...
More than a Hexagonal berth is on the line for USA in Caribbean tests    
Does U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann take dramatic steps to revamp his team In qualifiers this ...
Doyle departure starts crucial new era in San Jose    
With only two playoff appearances since it rejoined MLS in 2008, San Jose hasn't been able ...
Farewell, Hope Solo    
I have admired Hope Solo for many reasons. I've sent YouTube clips of Solo's highlights to ...
>> Soccer America Confidential Archives