Major League Soccer simply doesn't have enough to show for its new designated player rule, says Brian Straus of U.S. Soccer Players. David Beckham and Claudio Reyna are great additions to the
league, but each series of "major announcements" by the league since then have had nothing to do with "what we'll see on the field starting April 7," Straus says, adding that the truly big
announcements have been the league's failure to sign the major players it's been endlessly linked with: Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, Edgar Davids, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Robbie Fowler and others.
Today, with just three weeks left until the season opener, the 10 other MLS clubs with DP slots (Chivas USA traded its away to New York) have declined to use their DP salary-cap exemption slot, and
why's that? Many clubs don't have the money, while other clubs owned by big organizations may be playing it cautious, content to sit back and see how the Beckham situation plays out.
deputy commissioner Ivan Gazidis said it's still too early to draw conclusions about the DP rule, which he says will last at least three years. "We're fairly confident that you're going to see some
more significant players signed under the designated player rule, and by more than two teams," he told Straus, adding that MLS never expected it to be "a mechanism that more than half of our teams
would immediately use." Well, two is certainly less than half of 13, but Straus points out that the $400K hit teams against their cap for using the DP slot is still 20 percent of a team's budget,
which is probably too much. How about getting rid of that rule?
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