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Casing MLS's Next Generation Of Designated Players

  • SI.Com, Tuesday, May 27, 2008 3 PM
The highlight appeal of David Beckham's 70-yard goal against Kansas City at the weekend add one more reason why the Designated Player rule is working so well for Major League Soccer, writes Greg Lalas.
 
"Beckham's goal will be shown all over the world," he says, "which, as a colleague pointed out, 'is why he's getting all that money.' You think SportsCenter would've cared if Alan Gordon had done the exact same thing? Nope. Because it was Beckham, it was news the world over." Meanwhile, fellow DP Cuauhtemoc Blanco spent the weekend registering three assists and a goal in the Chicago Fire's 5-1 shellacking of New York at the Meadowlands.
 
Such returns leave Lalas asking, "Who's next?" Any new DPs have to bring "name recognition, an attacking flair (read: no goalkeepers), something left in the tank (read: no 36-year-olds), and the ability to withstand the occasional Canadian clubbing from Adrian Serioux."  Although prone to tossing out names like Alessandro Del Piero, Clarence Seedorf and Martin Palermo, Lalas thinks Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry, Andriy Shevchenko and Adolfo Bautista "would make the most sense."

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