DeGuzman, 28, has been looking for a new club since his contract with Deportivo La Coruna of Spain expired over the summer. Toronto FC has proposed making him a Designated Player, and such a signing would need MLS Board of Governors approval to become official. Like Canadian teammate Dwayne De Rosario, he is a local product from Scarborough, Ontario, but unlike DeRo, he has played in Europe for the past decade for French club Marseille, Saarbrucken and Hannover in Germany and Deportivo.
Because he is out of contract, De Guzman is not subject to the FIFA-imposed international transfer window for the USA and Canada that closed Aug. 15. MLS teams can sign and trade players up until the league's roster freeze date, which is next Wednesday. He is also not encumbered by the European window and can return if no deal is struck with TFC and MLS.
TFC could sign De Guzman to a contract by which he would finish out the current MLS season as a non-DP player and elevate him to DP status next year. As a new signing, he can be paid out of allocation money, of which TFC still has approximately $400,000, according to a source. Allocation money also has a shelf life and thus teams cannot hoard those funds indefinitely. As a DP, a limited portion of a player's salary - in 2009 the limit is $415,000 - counts against the salary cap, with the team instead of MLS paying the balance.
However, De Guzman and TFC seemed on the brink of a deal in July with no resolution. Might instead he prefer to sign a short-term contract - as was also discussed at that time -- to fill the few months remaining until the European transfer window re-opens in January, and thus keep his long-term options open?