[MLS] To shore up one of the weakest rosters in MLS, TFC head coach Aron Winter, technical director Paul Mariner and consultant Juergen Klinsmann have worked their European contacts to import two experienced players as Designated Players.
German Bundesliga and national team midfielder Torsten Frings, 34, and Dutch League forward Danny Koevermans, 32, have been signed by the club and join Canadian international midfielder Julian de Guzman as its DPs.
They will be eligible to play once the domestic transfer window opens July 15. Terms of their contracts were not disclosed. Under MLS regulations, if a player’s deal is worth at least $500,000 annually in salaries, bonuses, and related acquisition costs, he is classified as a DP.
Frings played for Germany in the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and has been a mainstay for Werder Bremen since 2005. He started his career with Bremen in 1997 and came back to the club after brief stints with Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. He earned 79 caps for the national team from 2001 to 2009.
Koevermans has been signed to help spark an attack that has scored just 13 goals this season, second-worst in MLS. He comes to TFC from PSV Eindhoven, for which he’s scored 34 goals in 91 appearances since 2007. He previously played for Sparta Rotterdam and AZ Alkmaar.
Frings attained villain status in the U.S. during the 2002 World Cup quarterfinals, when a shot by American defender Gregg Berhalter caromed off Germany goalkeeper Oliver Khan and off Frings' arm before being cleared. At the time Germany led, 1-0, and with that play it held the lead to eliminate the USA. Klinsmann later coached Frings at the 2006 World Cup.
Injuries to several players, most notably defender Adrian Cann and forward Alan Gordon, have forced Winter and Mariner to shift lineups constantly and play younger players such as academy product Doneil Henry.
TFC climbed out of last place in the Eastern Conference by beating Vancouver Wednesday, 1-0, for its first win since May 7 but is still well below .500 with a record of 3-7-9.