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L.A. to Keep Donovan After Rule Reversal

  • SI.com, Monday, November 19, 2007 4 PM
It looks like the L.A. Galaxy will be able to keep Landon Donovan after all: the MLS Board of Governors on Friday voted to allow Donovan, Kansas City's Eddie Johnson, and FC Dallas' Carlos Ruiz to remain with their respective clubs without having to use a designated player slot, as had been previously decided. These players, who make more than the $400,000 that today requires the use of a designated player slot, were "grandfathered" last season because their high salaries preceded the DP rule. At the end of the 2007 season, MLS said their teams would have to use a DP slot to keep them. That decision was overturned on Friday, according to SI.com. Going forward, they will not be considered "designated players."

This means that L.A. no longer has to trade for a DP slot to keep Donovan- neither will Dallas to keep Carlos Ruiz. Both teams used their DP slots last season on David Beckham and Denilson, respectively. Donovan's guaranteed salary is $900,000 in 2007; Johnson's is $875,000; and Ruiz's is $435,000.

"I think it's the right thing to do," Donovan told SI.com's Grant Wahl. "Neither Dallas, Kansas City nor the Galaxy should be punished for getting players early [before the DP rule was passed] and then suddenly having the rule put them at a disadvantage. Other teams might have different opinions, though."

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